VIDEO: Here’s a really dumb and dangerous way to unload a compact track loader

John Deere compact track loader being unloaded off trailer without ramps

Contrary to what the title of this video says, this has to be one of the most dangerous ways to unload a piece of equipment that we’ve seen.

This crew has devised what they probably feel like is a pretty clever solution for not having, you know, ramps. They stack a couple of large wood blocks on top of each other to catch the tracks of this compact track loader. Meanwhile, they’ve rigged up a chain—a small chain at that—to the CTL bucket that will act as an extremely fragile counterweight as the machine dangles from the edge of the trailer before coming to a rest on the blocks.

The kicker to all of this is that, the operator’s skill or feel aside, this whole maneuver boils down to driving the machine off the back of the trailer backwards and hoping for the best.

They luckily pull it off in one of the most needlessly dangerous methods of unloading you’ll find on the internet. There’s a lot that could have gone wrong here. The chain could have snapped, seriously injuring anyone close by and sending the operator for a ride he wouldn’t soon forget. The blocks could have slipped sending the operator and machine tumbling to the ground, maybe also causing the chain to snap. You could go on and on.

Unfortunately, for every video on the internet of one of these crews actually getting the machine off the trailer without injuring someone or destroying a machine, you can find hundreds more where they’re unsuccessful. Usually, two very simple things have been overlooked:  1) the trailer has no business hauling the machine it’s carrying, or, 2) the crew unloading the machine doesn’t have ramps.

Trying to haul equipment without one or both of those things isn’t very bright. And yet, thanks to the sensation of Internet Points, backhoes, excavators, dozers, and skid steers falling with style off of trailers has become it’s very own genre of YouTube video, and the operators and crews attempting and sometimes pulling off these silly maneuvers are celebrated.

Save your skill for the actual work. The thing that should be celebrated is doing things the right way so that everyone can get through the workday without their life being in danger.

Right size your trailer to the equipment. Strap/chain everything down. And for Pete’s sake, use real ramps to unload your equipment. These guys are lucky one of them didn’t end up like Darth Maul.