SafetyTips for Loading a Dump Truck
When operating a dump truck, safety is essential. The loading and unloading processes are most dangerous. This is when most accidents and injuries occur. However, following these safety tips will reduce the risk of injury to crew members, as well as damage to equipment both on and off the job site.
Tips for Dump Truck Safety Before Loading
Before any material is loaded, a thorough inspection of the vehicle should be completed. Essential safety features should be checked to ensure they are all in good working order. Any parts that require lubrication should be inspected.
The dump truck’s suspension needs to be inspected by the operator before loading. The air pressure of a
ll tires should be examined to ensure proper inflation. Properly inflated tires provide a stable base which is important during loading and unloading. An unstable truck will tip more easily causing potential injury or damage.
Inspect the surface where the dump truck will park near the material to be loaded. The ground should be level and even since uneven ground creates instability. There should be no opportunity for the truck to slide or shift during loading. After maneuvering the truck into position, the operator needs to engage the vehicle’s parking brake and ensure that the truck’s dump bed is down. The dump gate should be secured and locked and all chains and lock bars in place.
After the dump truck has been thoroughly inspected, the loader must be examined next. Look for defects in the machinery. It is important to check the loader’s tracks or tires, bucket, hydraulic system, and stability. The loader’s operating manual should outline special safety features and procedures. Be sure to follow all precautions defined in the manual to ensure everyone’s safety.
Tips for Safety During Loading
During loading, the loader bucket must be aligned with the center of the dump truck’s bed to ensure the initial weight of the load doesn’t tip the truck. The material should be loaded into the dump bed slowly. The initial load is dumped in the center and then filled using a side-to-side motion. This will help maintain the dump truck’s stability.
If the material being loaded is not free flowing, it is okay to lighten the load at the top end of the dump box near the cab of the vehicle. This will leave less weight to be lifted by the hydraulic system, and leave a heavier portion of the load at the dump end of the box.
The most important safety measure to use during loading any dump truck is attention. Distraction is often the cause of dangerous accidents. The operators of both the dump truck and loader should be aware and alert.
Operators should know the load capacity of the dump truck and keep track of the weight of the material that has been loaded. This is important for preventing overload. Many dump trucks have on board warning systems that will alert operators when a dump truck load is close to capacity. This takes the guess work out of the equation. But these systems are never a substitute for operator vigilance.
Operating heavy equipment always comes with an element of danger. However, operating heavy equipment while distracted increases the possibility of an accident.
Quick Safety Checklist for Loading a Dump Truck
Here is a convenient checklist that you can use as a Safety Review when loading a dump truck.
- Inspect the dump truck, loader, and parking surface for potential hazards.
- Check all moving parts and safety features.
- Check tire pressure and vehicle suspension.
- Inspect the truck’s hydraulic system.
- Park the dump truck on even stable ground.
- Begin to slowly load material into the center of the truck’s dump bed.
- Continue to load using a slow, steady side-to-side motion.
- Be aware of the dump truck’s load capacity and observe any onboard warning system.
- Remain alert and attentive during the loading process. Avoid distractions while loading.
- Make sure operators have safety training and are capable of handling heavy equipment.
When loading a dump truck, it is important to follow all safety procedures. Remember that the most important goal of any job site is the safety of the work crew and equipment.