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Top ten safety tips for working with dump trucks

There are many different types of dump truck, but they all require the driver or user to understand dump truck safety. Dump trucks can be dangerous if you’re not careful. To help you avoid workplace accidents while using these vehicles, here are ten safety tips.

1. Only unload on stable, steady ground.

It’s important that the dump truck is parked on flat terrain before you unload. If you’re on uneven ground, you could upset the balance of the vehicle as you raise the bed. And that could cause the truck to tip over, which would be no fun at all. Be mindful of the fact that the longer the truck bed is, the easier it is to tip the truck. Gravel or tightly packed soil are the best surfaces for unloading.

2. Don’t overload the dump truck.

Yes, you might want to minimize the number of loads and squash as much cargo as you can into the back of your truck, but you have to be careful not to overload your vehicle. If the truck bed gets overloaded, it can make the load uneven as you drop it. That can be dangerous. Respect the limitations of your truck.

3. Make sure the truck bed is lowered while you’re driving.

Driving with the truck bed raised…probably not a great idea. You could end up hitting something like a power line or another obstacle overhead, and that could be a real disaster.

4. Be careful of people and other hazards while unloading.

Of course, it’s a good idea to avoid hitting people with your dump truck as you drive. But you also have to be mindful of unsuspecting pedestrians before you unload your truck. Be sure the area is clear before you start depositing your sand, gravel, dirt, or whatever it is you’re transporting.

Even if you’ve got a convenient remote control to raise and lower the truck bed, you still have to be vigilant for people and obstacles before unloading.

5. Make sure your load is distributed evenly.

It’s important to make sure that the load you’re transporting is properly centered and evenly distributed in the bed of the dump truck. This keeps the truck balanced and steady, so spread the weight of your load over the truck bed. A slope in the ground or low tire pressure can be enough to throw off the truck’s balance.

6. Use a truck bed liner.

By using a liner on the bed of your dump truck, you help the load spill evenly as it’s being dumped. With no liner, the cargo could get caught or trapped as you raise the bed and release it, unbalancing your dump truck.

7. Become fluent with your hand signals.

If you’re working as part of a team, you all need to be well-versed in the hand signals you’ll be using to navigate the dump truck where it needs to go. When someone’s acting as a spotter or guide, they need to be communicating and effectively signaling the driver. So before you begin, it may be a good idea to review what all the signals mean and make sure the spotter is clearly visible.

8. Line up the tractor-trailer.

You have to make sure that the tractor and the trailer are lined up properly. If they’re angled or jackknifed at all, you could be in a dangerous situation if the truck were to tip over.

9. Be very cautious and safe if you’re working between the truck bed and frame.

It there comes a time when you have to work between the truck bed and frame, it’s important to securely and properly block the bed so it doesn’t fall or drop. That could lead to severe injury for anyone working under the bed. Take steps to ensure that everyone stays safe.

10. Maintain your dump truck.

Getting your truck checked out by a mechanic regularly can help you find and fix problems with the truck before they become dangerous. It’s important to make sure that everything is working as it should be and to get any needed repairs taken care of. Starting a preventive maintenance program for your business can help you keep your trucks in good working order.

It’s also a good idea to do your own inspection of your truck daily. Tire pressure, the lift and suspension cylinders,  and the pins and bushings (which should be kept properly lubricated) should be on your list of things to check before heading out on a job.

Safety is a must when it comes to working with dump trucks. It’s not an easy job, and it takes a lot of planning and caution. Keep your truck balanced and don’t overlook safety precautions – make it a habit to be safe. It can help you lower your truck insurance rates.

If you need a quote for dump truck insurance, we can help. Our team of transportation insurance agents is here to help businesses like yours save money on your dump truck insurance. All you have to do to get truck insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.