- 19 April 2021
Unloading a dump truck is not an easy task. Moreover, poor maintenance of the truck and incorrect unloading can make the job harder, which can lead to injuries or death to drivers.
However, with the best practices in dump truck operations, you can minimize the risks of injury and death.
Maintain the Dump Truck Properly
Dump trucks are prone to faster wear and tear because these trucks are exposed to extreme conditions such as heavy loads and weather. At any time, these could break or stop working, resulting in a bad situation.
A dump truck that stops working midway while your drivers are unloading poses risks. These risks affect the driver and people present during the unloading or loading. Thus, you must maintain the dump truck.
Replace parts that need replacing at least a month before the scheduled replacement. Repair broken parts as soon as possible. Daily inspection of your dump trucks will prevent any undetected damages to the equipment.
Find a Leveled Surface to Unload
Unloading the contents of the truck can be a tricky process. Thus, your dump truck driver should always find a leveled surface to unload. Not only that, but they should ensure the surface is also stable. Gravel or packed soil is an ideal ground for unloading.
The ground will be the driver’s anchor as the contents are unloaded. Once the truck bed is raised, the truck becomes less stable and could easily tip over if the ground isn’t leveled. In short, balance is important during the unloading and loading process.
Distribute the Load
Load distribution is another essential factor in keeping the balance of the dump truck. Take note of the center of gravity. An unbalanced center will make a truck tip over with a mere dip or low tire pressure, causing imbalance.
Also, avoid overloading the dump truck. Transporting a loaded truck is already a difficult job for the driver, and overloading could double or triple the risks such as tipping over.
Install a Bed Liner
Contents getting stuck on the dump truck’s trailer can cause imbalance while unloading. However, with bed liners, contents flow fluidly out of the dump truck, no matter what kind of items you load.
The liners prevent loads from getting stuck on the truck’s trailer. Thus, your dump trucks should have bed liners because these could help the flow of unloading.
Know Proper Signals
During unloading, your truck driver might need the assistance of another person. A two-person job is common if your dump truck is longer and transports heavier loads than usual.
Moreover, hand signals are the only way the driver can communicate with the person assisting him. They’re cost-effective and faster than verbal communication like shouting. Besides, the truck’s sound and other external sources of sound can drown verbal communication.
Thus, your dump truck driver and the person helping with the unloading should know the same hand signals.
Clear the Unloading Area
If your driver is working in a crowded area such as a construction site, make sure your driver knows the necessary precaution when unloading contents of the dump truck.
No one should be near the unloading area. People should vacate it before the driver proceeds with the unloading. The driver should double-check or ask someone else for assistance to avoid accidents at all costs.
Inflate Tires Properly
Before driving, make sure to inflate the dump truck’s tires properly. A heavy load tends to swerve dangerously if one side of the truck is leaning because of flat tires. Also, tires with low pressures often affect brake distance and steering response.
Besides, improperly inflated tires increase fuel consumption because of high rolling resistance. Thus, you will need to replace tires more often than usual. Invest in a good pressure gauge to ensure proper inflation of dump truck tires.
Train in Responding to Emergencies
Emergencies could happen anytime despite proper maintenance and precautionary measures. One leading cause of dump truck driver’s death is their impulsive response to flee when a truck is tipping over while unloading.
This could be rooted in the fact that drivers don’t know what to do in times like this. It’s only imperative that your employees should undergo training on how to respond to emergencies.
Again, dump truck operation is not an easy task for most business owners. Aside from these safety tips, there’s one critical aspect you should always consider: CO Trucking Insurance. Insurance protects your business from costly expenses, so contact the best insurance provider now to know more about it.
About Mountainside Insurance Management
Mountainside Insurance Management, LLC is a multi-state insurance brokerage and management specialist. We are an independent brokerage and work with over 150 A+ carriers to secure comprehensive coverage for our clients. Our brokerage is committed to providing the highest quality insurance and risk management services at the most competitive premiums with hands-on services tailored to our customers’ needs. For more information about reducing your risk, contact us today at (720) 800-9495.