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Mining Truck Drivers Ultimate Safety Tips
03 January 2018
Mining Truck Drivers Ultimate Safety Tips

Driving a dump truck in a mine is often a dangerous and delicate operation. You can experience a number of accidents or issues, which is why it is important to practice safety when driving a dump truck. Even if you are only going a short distance. 

Whether you are new to driving a mining truck or are a dab hand in your Terex truck, it is vital to be safe, and following the tips outlined below can help you to have a secure and successful day of driving. 


Before you start driving, perform these checks

Before you start driving, it is important to perform the vital checks of your vehicle, such as tyre pressure, water, oil, safety features for any repairs as well as hydraulics and suspension for elevation. This will ensure that you do not set off on a dump truck that is less than roadworthy, which could result in an accident.
You should report any damaged parts that need repair or replacement and it is wise to wait for the quicker repairs to be completed before using the vehicle. As with any vehicle, performing these checks also extends the lifespan of the vehicle itself. 


Ensure your safety lights and alarms are working

This is the second most important step in ensuring the safety of driving a dump truck. The driver needs to be sure that the backing up alarm and lights are working correctly, without any delays or malfunctions. 

Along with these safety features, you must be sure that your tailgates are fully open and that the area is clear before beginning the unloading process. Using your lights and alarms will allow people enough time to clear your pathway, making for a smooth and successful unloading. 


Assess the stability

The most important feature of any dump truck in the mining industry is the stability of the vehicle. When loading and unloading the truck, be sure to assess the level of the ground the truck is on – it should be completely flat, without uneven patches that could cause the truck to roll or wet or sludgy spots that could cause the wheels to become stuck. 

To further ensure the stability of the dump truck when loading or unloading, you could build a barrier around the rear unloading point or edge, or a pile that has an upward angle to support any possibility of rolling back of the vehicle. 


Look at the loading procedure

The manner in which you load your dump truck is vital to consider. You should always follow the recommended axle weight so that you don’t overload the vehicle and cause tyre damage. Always try to level the material you load and begin loading in the centre of the loading box. 

If the material is not free-flowing, you should lessen the amount of material to the top end of the loading box. Ensure that the loading box surface is level and does not have anything in it that can restrict the flow of the material. Using box liners can help with this situation. 


Check the grounds before unloading

The stability of the ground, meaning the evenness of the unloading position, should always be assessed before you begin unloading. Be sure to check for uneven patches and for sludgy surfaces. Also, check for other vehicles when beginning the unloading procedure. 

The grounds where you are unloading should not be cluttered with other workers and vehicles, in order to avoid accidents and hazards when tipping. Be sure to announce that you are going to begin unloading so the area can be cleared of both people and other vehicles. 


Slow and steady wins the race

When you are backing up your dump truck, remember to do so at a walking pace. If you speed up, this could cause instability in the vehicle, due to the heavy weight it is carrying and may even cause you to lose control of the vehicle itself. 

Keeping your pace slow and steady also ensures the safety of the workers and vehicles around you, allowing them ample time to clear the pathway to the unloading point. Always be sure you have someone to guide you in turning and stopping during the reversing of the vehicle, as your truck has blind spots that can cause accidents or driving hazards. 



Following these safety tips will help with a smoother and safer truck driving experience. Remember to always check the vehicle first, making sure that all the vital equipment works as it should. Having the correct alarms and lights to warn people is vital, and you should always make certain the surface you are travelling and unloading on is flat. Safety should always come first, no matter your skill level. 


Image source: www.babcock.co.za


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