Safety Matters: Dump Truck Safety Operations

There are many vehicles utilized at the construction site that require specific safety precautions due to their unique nature. Dump trucks are no exception. Follow these dos and don’ts when it comes to working safely.

Dump Truck Do’s

  • Do make sure the ground is stable before raising the truck bed. The truck becomes less stable as the bed rises, and the greater the bed’s length, the greater the chances of it tipping over, especially if the ground is not level. Unload on compacted soil or gravel when possible.
  • Do make sure the load’s center of gravity stays between the frame rails of the bed as it rises. Even low tire pressure on one side or small ground depressions can throw off this balance.
  • Do ensure that the truck bed always has a liner to guarantee the even, continuous flow of materials. This protects against an unbalanced load and is especially important when dealing with wet or frozen material that may stick to the bed.
  • Do make sure the tractor and trailer are in as straight a line as possible. Jack-knifed alignments can cause unsafe situations for the truck and surrounding workers if the trailer does tip.
  • Do keep up with daily maintenance of the truck. Checking tire pressure, inspecting the suspension systems/hydraulic lift cylinders and regularly lubricating pins and bushings will ensure smooth operation, as well as the safety of you and your co-workers.
  • Do become trained in how to use hand signals or warning signs for two-person unloading operations.

Dump Truck Don’ts

  • Do not overload the dump bed. This is an unsafe practice and can cause problems in unloading, especially if the material flows poorly out of the bed.
  • Do not assume that a remote control device controlling the dump bed means it is safe to take unnecessary risks. Drivers should still follow all safety guidelines even if a remote control makes it easier to maneuver the truck bed.
  • Do not allow any vehicles or people in the area when unloading the truck. Clear an area if necessary to ensure the conditions are proper for dumping the bed.
  • Do not drive with the bed raised. It is important to understand the dangers of this activity. For example, you could run into an overhead power line, electrocuting yourself and anyone else in the vehicle.
  • Do not work between the bed and the frame without blocking the dump bed. The bed can unexpectedly lower onto the person below.

Please be sure to contact the team at Horst Insurance for more information regarding Dump Truck Safety Operations.