Hauling Industry News
Ten tips to stay safe while working with a dump truck
Dump trucks come in a variety of styles and sizes, but one thing that should remain the same across the board is safety. Dump trucks are dangerous at the best of times. Whether you’re the driver or someone helping at the job site, it’s important that you make safety a priority whenever you’re working around a dump truck.
To help keep you safe while working with various types of dump trucks, we’ve come up with ten tips that will keep everyone out of harm’s way.
1. Commit to maintenance.
Things break. Things stop working for no apparent reason. Things occasionally need to be replaced. To do its job, your truck needs to be in good repair, which is why it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance of your truck. A broken dump truck is an unsafe dump truck.
You should also do a daily inspection and checks of your truck. You should check tire pressure, the suspension and lift cylinders, and the pins and bushings (which should be kept properly lubricated.)
2. Make sure you’re on level ground before unloading.
Balance is the name of the game when it comes to operating a dump truck. Before you go to deposit a load, make sure that you’re on stable ground. The truck will become less stable as the bed is lifted, and this could cause it to tip over.
Make sure the dump truck is on level ground before unloading.
Keep in mind that the longer the truck bed is, the easier it is to tip the truck. Give your truck its best chance of staying upright by being on solid, level ground. Firmly packed soil or gravel are ideal for unloading.
3. Distribute the load evenly.
The load that the dump truck is hauling needs to be centered between the rails of the truck bed. This will help improve your balance and help the truck stay as stable as possible. The center of gravity needs to be, well, centered. Make sure to spread the load out evenly throughout the bed.
Even something as small as low tire pressure or a dip in the ground can upset the truck’s balance, so check to make sure that everything’s as level as can be before dumping the load.
4. Don’t skip the truck bed liner.
The bed of the dump truck should have a liner so that the load will flow out evenly when it’s being deposited. The liner will help prevent the load from getting stuck and the truck from getting unbalanced when you unload.
5. Know how to talk the talk.
More accurately, know how to signal the signal. Sometimes there might be a two-person job. And two-person jobs work out a lot better for everyone involved when those two people are on the same page. If someone’s helping out with navigating or unloading the dump truck, chances are you’re going to be communicating with hand signals, not words. Make sure that both of you know exactly what each signal means.
Proper signaling can help you avoid accidents, which means avoiding claims. And that means you can save money on your dump truck insurance. (You can also save on dump truck insurance if you get multiple quotes for truck insurance to compare coverages and prices.)
6. Don’t overload the dump truck.
Even though it might be tempting to keep piling whatever you’re transporting into the truck bed, make sure that you don’t overload it. Having an overloaded dump truck can make dumping the load uneven and hazardous. Don’t make the truck’s job any harder than it has to be.
7. Clear the area of people and other obstacles.
Obviously, you don’t want to run over someone with your dump truck. Before you starting dumping your load, make sure the area is completely clear and free of people and passers-by. If there are any lingerers, kindly ask them to move to a safe distance before starting to unload.
Remember, even if you have a remote control to operate the truck bed, you still have to take every precaution for safety’s sake.
8. Don’t drive while the truck bed is raised.
If you drive with the bed of the truck raised, you could end up running into something, like a power line. Generally, it’s not a good idea to take out power lines or other overhead hazards with your truck, so keep the bed flat while you drive.
9. Keep the tractor and the trailer lined up properly.
The tractor and the trailer have to be aligned so that they’re as straight as possible. If they’re jackknifed at all, it would be extra dangerous if the trailer tipped.
If a situation arises in which you have to work between the truck bed and the frame, make sure that you have safely and properly blocked the bed. If the truck bed slips or lowers while someone is tinkering around or working beneath it, they could be seriously injured or even crushed.