The nature of the work that commercial dump trucks perform brings with it certain inherent risks. All too often, there is another news report of a truck’s tip-over while dumping with damage to the truck and sometimes even injury to a driver or bystander.
You certainly would not intend for your dump truck business to be in the headlines for this type of accident, as for the most part, this type of accident can be avoided. It is imperative that your dumping business embrace safety procedures to prevent such accidents from happening. Following are several things that can be done to ensure the avoidance of just such an accident.
Conduct Routine Commercial Dump Trucks Maintenance Check
Doing a regular maintenance check for your dump truck is pretty much the proverbial ‘no-brainer.’ There are maintenance checks you should do daily, regularly and for specific job needs. You should check tire pressure as an uneven distribution of tire pressures could contribute to the truck not being level and therefore contribute to possible instability when dumping. Also, check on the truck’s suspension system when the truck is loaded to see if it is handling the load properly. If you notice a poor rear suspension system, you should handle that immediately. Be sure to check all components of the lifting system for any deficiencies.
Inspect and Prepare the Work Area
You should be familiar with every work area where the truck will operate. If dumping will be done at the edge of a particular site or location, make that point as stable and level as possible. Since the load distribution at the time of dumping puts the weight primarily on the rear axles of the truck, try to increase stability at that point of dumping by building a raised pile of material at the very edge. This is to avoid a downward slope and hopefully provide an upward slope at that point. If at all possible, avoid dumping right at the edge and dump short of that point, utilizing a bulldozer to push the material over the edge. Check to make sure that the position of the raised bed when dumping does not put the bed at any risk of coming in contact with power lines. Of course, don’t forget to check for safety lighting if the work is to be performed at night in the dark.
Distribute Commercial Dump Trucks Load Properly
If the dump truck being used has a long box, know that this has more potential for problems than a short bed box. Be sure the material is loaded onto the truck from the front near the cab to the back by the tailgate is as even a manner as possible. Don’t let the load get too heavy, especially if the material being dumped has the potential to floor poorly. Box liners in the dump bed will help with the flow of material as well as maintain the box in good condition.
Additional Precautions While Dumping
In addition to all of the above, check the dump truck to be sure the tailgate has been unlocked just prior to beginning the dumping procedure. Don’t dump side-by-side with another truck; if one of the vehicles does tip over, it would most likely disrupt the next vehicle and cause an unanticipated accident. Most importantly, check to make sure that there are not any other workers near the dumping site who may be working on other jobs and may not be totally aware of the dumping process.
Different Safety Practices for All Types of Commercial Dump Trucks
Each type of dump truck comes with its own set of potential problems. Two of the many different vehicles and their potential safety hazards are listed below:
Back-Dump Trailer –
Pretty much this has been covered by all of the above as this is the more common type of dumping trailer. In addition to that, you can place around the area brightly-colored safety cones to keep other vehicles and workers away from the site. It is recommended to begin the dumping procedure with the gear in neutral and then put the truck into first gear when all of the material has been dumped. Pull away in safety when the procedure is done before securing the tailgate and removing the safety cones.
Bottom Dump Trailer –
These typically either unload into some point below the ground or dump the load from the bed as the truck is being slowly driven over an area, such as at road construction sites. Loading over a site such as an elevator is relatively uncomplicated. Just be sure the truck is absolutely stationary before engaging the door switch to allow the material to pour out of the truck. If unloading from the bottom onto a surface while the truck is moving, primarily be sure that the speed at which the vehicle travels is as even and smooth as possible to avoid any disruption of the load as it is coming out of the truck.
No matter what the dumping job involves, ensuring the safety of the drivers, workers and even the payloads involved is by far the best practice that your commercial dump trucks company should promote. By educating, advocating and enforcing a safety program for your drivers and workers, you will have accomplished as much as you can towards the safety of lives and security of equipment.
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