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Safety Tips for Working With a Dump Truck

Safety Tips for Working With a Dump Truck

Working with a dump truck, whether on a mine site or a construction site, is an activity that needs to follow all of the safety protocols in order to be successful. You need to ensure that you have safe practices in place, such as wearing the correct protective gear and fully reading the manual of your Volvo dump truck before operation. Outlined below are some top tips to help you ensure that you are safe whenever you work with a dump truck. 


Daily inspections

It is important to commit to maintenance for dump trucks, as they can break just as easily as a normal vehicle if not looked after. In order for your dump truck to do its job, it needs to be in good condition, which means you need to inspect it daily for possible issues or damage. 

Your daily inspections should include tyre pressure, the suspension and lift cylinders, and the pins and bushings which need to be properly lubricated. These inspections will allow you to find any issues with your Terex dump truck before an operation, keeping workers safe before there is any chance of an accident occurring. You should also make sure the windshield is clean so that workers have clear and accurate vision of the road ahead of them. 


On-site safety is important too

Once you have performed your daily inspections, it is important to remember to move on and check that all on-site safety regulations are met. This includes ensuring that the operator of the Volvo dump truck is wearing a reflective protective vest and a hard hat, as well as protective footwear. 

Safety equipment, such as a first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher should be kept within easy reach of the safety officer on site, in case of a medical emergency or a fire breaking out. Having this safety equipment within easy reach means that should the dump truck operator be in an accident, he or she can easily be helped. Always use the alarm and lights as well as the warning lights when reversing or entering the mining site or construction site. 


Make sure you are on level ground before offloading

This is arguably one of the most important safety protocols you will need to follow on a construction or mine site when using a dump truck. You need to ensure that you are on a level surface or that the ground beneath the truck is level before offloading your load. 

The truck naturally becomes less stable as the bed is lifted, so it is vital to check that you are on a level surface and that the truck will not tip over if you raise the bed. The longer the bed of the Volvo dump truck, the more likely it is that it will tip over. Firmly packed soil or gravel are ideal for offloading, but be sure to check the stability of the ground before in order to give your truck its best chance of staying upright.


Beware of electrical wires

One important safety measure to take is to beware of low hanging electrical wires or wires that are loose and lying on the ground. Before lifting the bed, check for any wires above the area, as coming into contact with an electrical wire could shock the dump truck operator. 

One way to ensure the operator of the dump truck is aware of power lines is to have a signaler working with them. This means someone who walks alongside the truck, signalling them to turn right, left or continue straight, This person will also show them where the power lines are in order to make it easier to avoid them. The dump truck operator should not move the truck while the bed is raised, in order to further prevent contact with an electrical wire or power line. 


Distribute the load evenly

The load that your dump truck is carrying needs to be distributed evenly between the rails of the truck bed. This will help to improve the balance of the truck and will help it to remain stable. It will also ensure that the centre of gravity is centred by spreading the load out evenly on the bed. 

Something as simple as low tyre pressure can cause the truck to be off-balance, so it is important to evenly distribute the load, not to cause more issues for the operator. When you are adding the load to the truck bed, be sure that it is not uneven, with most of it being in one corner or all of it in the middle. This off-balancedness will make operating the truck difficult and could be dangerous if the truck is going over an uneven road. 


Final thoughts

Operating a Volvo dump truck or a Terex dump truck takes skill, but it can also be a dangerous position to be in. You will need to perform daily checks on the truck, checking tyre pressure and ensuring that important parts are well lubricated. Ensure that dump truck operators wear the correct safety gear and always have a safety officer on-site in case of emergency. If you practise all safety protocol, then your work day will be safer and more efficient. 

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