Articulated dump trucks allow workers in construction, mining and other industries to move large loads efficiently. Although useful and essential to many operations, this type of equipment can also pose unique safety risks, particularly due to its heavy weight and tendency to become unbalanced. To keep drivers and others safe when using a dump truck at a work site, it’s important to follow best safety practices.
Safety Tips for Dump Truck Drivers
Even the most experienced operators can face challenges when it comes to dump truck operation and safety. Thankfully, by following a few standard safety procedures, drivers can keep themselves and others safe and minimize the chances of an accident occurring. Here are six dump truck safety tips to keep in mind:
- Keep the trailer balanced: One of the biggest risks when driving a dump truck involves tipping. Because dump trucks carry heavy loads behind the cab, they can easily become unbalanced when loaded unevenly. To prevent tipping, center loads between the rails of the truck bed. If your operators are tempted to distribute loads unevenly to prevent spillage, invest in a tailgate instead. Just be sure to latch it properly.
- Dump on stable, even ground: Dump trucks are more likely to tip over when unloading on uneven grades. Before unloading, make sure the ground is level. When possible, unload on compacted soil or gravel.
- Only back up when necessary: Between 2005 and 2010, dump trucks were responsible for the most backover fatalities in the United States. To prevent backovers, avoid backing up except when absolutely necessary. Never move at more than a walking speed when backing. To reduce the risk of serious harm in the event the articulated truck tips, you should also keep the tractor and trailer in a straight line.
- Work with a spotter: A spotter can look out for hazards and provide guidance from the ground. Work with a spotter whenever possible, and have them clear the area of bystanders before you unload your truck.
- Lower the bed before driving: When you drive with the bed raised, you risk running into power lines and other overhead obstacles. Remember to lower the bed completely before moving the truck.
- Use a truck bed liner: When materials freeze or become stuck in the trailer bed, they can cause a dump truck to tip over when the bed is raised. Use a truck bed liner, and antifreeze when necessary, to ensure materials flow out without issue.
Contact Prime Source for More Information
By performing regular maintenance and following articulated dump truck safety procedures, fleet owners and operators can ensure jobs are done safely as well as effectively. To learn more, contact Prime Source by filling out our online contact form today.