Monday, May 11, 2015

Dump Truck Safety

In any construction or industrial environment, safety should be the highest priority for all involved in the operation of equipment. Even though it might seem like dump trucks are fairly safe vehicles to work with, they still require safety precautions and operating precision like any other machinery. Any unit capable of carrying and dumping such heavy loads, that also has moving parts should be handled carefully to prevent accidents on the job site. Below are some tips to keep in mind when operating these enormous pieces of machinery.

  • Stability - Dump truck tipping is a major concern, especially when dumping a load. Be sure to always load and unload this vehicle on solid, even ground; this will lower the risk of any tipping accidents. Having a level, even load to dump and maintaining a safe center of gravity while unloading is essential to prevent tipping. This will all vary depending on the type of material, amount of material, and the weight and length of the dump area itself. Along these same lines, never drive with a raised dump bed as the truck could become unbalanced or hit power lines and result in serious accidents.
  • Questionable Conditions - Due to the risk of tipping and problems with unloading, if there is any kind of question about the operation's safety, use another way to get material including regular pickup trucks if necessary.
  • Even Loads - Starting in the middle of the bed, load evenly outward and fill in empty spots as the loading continues. This allows for safer transport of material and easier dumping at the job site.
  • Load Weight Limits - Overloading us serious, it increases the chance of truck tipping and can cause problems when dumping. Always follow weight limits and know the allowable amount of loaded material.
  • Bed Liners - Using bed liners will help loaded material flow out of the bed more freely when it is raised for dumping. This is especially significant when hauling material that could possibly stick or freeze to the surface of the truck bed.
  • Observation - Before dumping a load, clear the area of people and objects, checking as well for overhead obstructions. One of the most dangerous situations can happen by raising the bed into electrical wires that unfortunately happens too often. It is important to know the raised height of a dump truck's bed to be sure there is ample room to lift before making any such attempt.
  • Warning Systems and Alarms - It is important to learn and understand hand signals, use of the back-up alarm and lights, and other way to communicate with other workers to keep everyone informed.
  • Bed Safety - Never assume that a truck's hydraulics is enough safety when working behind the truck's cab or under the bed. Accidentally lowering the bed can be deadly for anyone working under it. Dump beds should always be held up with props and bed blocks to protect against such accidents. Tail gates should also be locked whenever any kind of work is being performed on that item.
  • Safety Checks - No matter what heavy-duty truck is being used, daily maintenance and safety checks are essential to prevent accidents. Use the vehicle's checklist and be sure that everything is working well, tires are properly inflated, and all safety gear and devices are working correctly. Safety gear should always be worn and all safety protocols closely followed.

Although these tips may seem to be common sense, it is possible to assume that there are fewer hazards present when using dump trucks. Strict adherence to safety procedures and careful attention to detail will keep all workers safe and on the road, ready to deliver that next important load!

Christopher M. Hunter is an expert in commercial specialty trucks. To find out more about Dump Truck Sales, go to the main website at:

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