Tips to Ensure Dump Truck Safety
Dump trucks are considered to be one of the most popular, effective, and strongest vehicles for commercial transportation. Since the invention of these vehicles in the 1920s, these trucks have been used extensively all over the world because of their load bearing capacity and hassle-free operation. These huge trucks have a dump box in the rear end that is used for filling up materials such as dirt, sand, and others. These trucks are equipped with a mechanism that can elevate the dump box, which is hinged to the truck’s rear end. In most instances, the elevation and other procedures of the dump box are operated by hydraulics.
In the recent years, the use of dump trucks in all sectors of construction and similar industries has increased significantly. This has also increased the number of mishaps and accidents related to dump trucks. Considering the truck’s load and nature of operation, tipping and sliding of the vehicle is a genuine possibility. This is why it has now become extremely important to adhere to certain dump truck safety guidelines. It is possible to ensure a safer driving experience for the dump truck drivers by following these guidelines.
Dump Truck Safety Measures:
The safety levels for a dump truck are often elevated because of the number and the nature of the accidents we have witnessed in the recent times. It has been observed that most of these accidents take place in the loading and off-loading locations of the trucks, as the condition of these locations are extremely prone to tippings and rollovers.
Mentioned below are some of the most important risk areas to address while working on dump trucks.
- Safety needs for a dump struck starts well before the materials are loaded into the truck. The entire truck must be checked and inspected thoroughly. You may start by ensuring that the tire pressure is optimum and even on both sides. Also, before you start working, all the dump box mechanisms should be in perfect working condition. Also, don’t forget to check the hydraulic system, suspension, and all the safety features.
- Next important activity is to check the vehicle carefully for stability. This is the most important safety consideration while the truck is engaged in loading and dumping, particularly for dump trucks that are old. Stability is often the most easily compromised aspect of a dump struck, and hence, can be a serious risk factor for the drivers as well as others in the vicinity. Therefore, before unloading a dump truck, be hundred percent sure that the unloading ground has been perfectly levelled. It is also useful to build barriers to support the truck’s rear loading edge or point. In order to prevent the dump tuck from rolling back, it also helps to build a berm with an adequate upward angle.
- Loading is another important aspect of dump truck operations that requires adequate safety measures. Firstly, the legally permitted limit for gross weight and axle weight must be followed. The material being loaded into the box should be laid evenly in it. Ideally, the loading should start from the centre of the box. In case the loaded material is not free-flowing in nature, it should be piled up more towards the top end of the box. It is also important to ensure that the surface of the box is even, and allows unrestricted material flow. Use of box liners may also be helpful.
- Specific applications of dump trucks may cause stability related issues that require adequate safety measures. If the filling areas are rough and uneven, it is always better to avoid semi trailers. Instead, if possible, it is much safer in such areas to use standard straight trucks.
- A detailed inspection of the ground and unloading area is extremely important before dumping. During this inspection, carefully check the surface for unevenness, and areas that are sludgy or soft. In order to avoid hazards caused by tipping, make sure that no other vehicle is parked close to the dump truck. It is dangerous to have other operators and workers cramping the surrounding areas. Whenever possible, maintain enough free space around the truck while dumping.
- Traffic control is another key aspect of safe dump truck operations. This can be ensured by maintaining a good lighting and back-up alarm system. The operator must be extremely attentive and carful throughout the dumping process and ensure that the tail gates are open. Also, the area should be clear while backing.
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