HOW TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS WHEN WORKING WITH TIPPER TRUCKS
Tipper trucks are ever-present on our roads and are used ubiquitously in multiple industries. The very nature of tipper trucks – a large tilt tray upending itself and offloading tonnes of rubbish or material of some description – can be extremely dangerous for those operating in close proximity.
Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen, but most can be avoided if those working with tipper trucks follow all safety procedures, and use their common sense.
Here are some tips for the tippers:
VEHICLES & DRIVERS
The owners of these tipper trucks have to ensure that all vehicles are properly maintained and regularly serviced. They also need to ensure that all drivers are correctly licensed and trained in the operation of these heavy-duty tippers.
FILLING THE TIPPER TRUCK
Before we even get to the tipping we need to look at filling the tipper truck correctly. Operators need to ensure that they know the truck’s maximum capacity and make sure they do not exceed this. They also need to fill the tilt tray evenly, which will go a long way to ensuring the tipping is efficiently executed.
DRIVING TO THE DROP-OFF SITE
When the tipper is full, extra caution should be taken when driving to the drop-off zone. Maximum speeds should be avoided at all costs, as should very steep inclines and hairpin bends, if at all possible. This often takes some planning, but this planning can help prevent an accident before the truck arrives at its destination.
ENTERING A DROP-OFF ZONE
When entering a drop-off zone it’s up to both the driver and his assistant to keep a sharp look out for other vehicles and people in the zone, especially in bad weather. This also goes for looking out for other vehicles when you are outside yours. The danger often comes from multiple trucks operating in the same area at the same time.
TIPPING THE LOAD
The most dangerous part of the entire tipping journey is when the load is released. This is the moment when several tonnes of material are offloaded from the truck causing a huge change in the trucks weight, stance and stability.
- When tipping, the truck should be parked on level ground
This will go a long way to ensuring that the entire truck does not tip when the tilt tray is lifted to release the load. Parking on a slope is a recipe for disaster; if you do there is a good chance the truck could tip over when the tray is tilted.
- Tip slowly
A simple solution; no matter how much pressure you are under or how much of a rush you are in, this process needs to be done slowly with all eyes on the truck and tray for anything that might go wrong.
- Effective communication is critical
The driver usually operates the tray, and his assistant must keep his eyes open to see that the truck is well positioned and that no one is in danger’s way. The driver’s assistant must have a clear line of communication to the driver to ensure that he can stop the process if need be. Signals and warning calls should be worked out in advance to ensure efficient communication and an immediate response time in the case of an emergency.
- Use stabilisers
If your truck has stabilisers make sure to activate them every single time it’s called for. Do not think it’s too time consuming and that you can get away with it once, it only takes one accident to ruin a life or cause huge amounts of damage to your company’s equipment.
OTHER PRECAUTIONS THAT HELP PREVENT AN ACCIDENT
- Handrails and/or steps should be attached to the truck to make inspecting the load easier
- Use wheel stops if you deem them necessary
- Any other safety factors that can help prevent an accident should be used.
The most important aspect of staying safe is to follow as many safety procedures as possible and use all the necessary safety mechanisms you have. In addition, don’t get complacent because you might not have had an accident in many years because that is when most accidents occur.
Contact the tipper specialists for more information.