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Dump Trucks: Safe Operations Make the Best Dumps

A Brief History of the Dump Truck

Along with history, you can learn about every type of "tipper trucks" on Wikipedia. The first dump truck innovation is believed to have originated for farming use during the "late 19th-century western Europe." These tipping trucks were first introduced in the United States "around 1910," when motorized "dumper trucks" were manufactured by numerous companies known for developing "small equipment." One company that was instrumental in delivering the first motorized dump trucks was The Fruehauf Trailer Corporation. Unfortunately, this company had to close its doors before the turn of the century. 

The hydraulic bed innovation, developed by "Wood Hoist Co.," created useful vehicles which were extensively used during World War I that also lead "August Fruehauf to invent his semi-trailer in 1914." With the variety of hydraulic applications, Fruehauf eventually offered their "dump trailer in the early 1920s." For years, Fruehauf was the main manufacturer of dump trailers, and they also developed the "bathtub dump."

Safely Drive and Operate Dump Trucks 

It is critical to know the hazards of operating dump trucks to keep yourself and others safe. Found on eXtension, "the most common dump truck or trailer incidents occur when emptying a load, when a bed is lowered unexpectedly, or when a raised bed contacts overhead power lines." The article has given a very detailed overview of operating dump trucks with safety in mind. Here are some highlights that are centered around safety.

Tipping Precautions

Tipping is also a concern when operating a dump truck. Before dumping a load, it is highly recommended that the dump truck is parked on a flat area. "Low tire pressure on one side or one set of tires sitting in a low area or depression" can also be the cause of a dump truck tipping over. Other hazards to be aware of when operating a dump truck are: "wind, loads not centered, and jack-knife trailers." Also note, the longer dump trailers have more exposure to tipping during high winds. 

Loading and Unloading

When loading, even distribution of the loads is vital to guard against the load shifting. Never overload the dump bed. Using a tarp can help avoid loss of load. 

Always slowly dump out the load to avoid damaging the lift mechanism. "It is important not to jack-knife a truck and trailer because doing so creates the potential for the cab to be crushed." 

Dump Box Lock Bar

It is highly recommended that dump trucks are equipped with a "dump box lock bar." Raised dump beds can unexpectedly fall down. 

Back-Up Warning

A dump truck should have an alarm that sounds when backing up to warn others to get out of harm's way. 

Dump Beds Left Up or Lifting Up While Underway

Dump truck drivers should have some reminder to never drive away with the dump bed up. A dump bed should be locked down before driving off. 

One crucial reason is making contact with power lines. It is very imperative that the driver knows what and what not to do in case power lines are laying across the dump truck. 

  1. Do not step out of truck as you usually do. Electrocution can happen when one foot is on the truck, and the other foot is on the ground. 
  2. Know what to do and how to "bunny hop" away from the truck. 

Maintenance and Operator Training

  1. All vehicles should be routinely maintained with necessary repairs made to ensure operational safety.
  2. Dump truck drivers and operators should have the training to drive and operate dump trucks and dump trailers
  3. Checklists can help maintain dump truck equipment.
    1. Here is a daily checklist.
    2. PDFfiller offers various documents of all kinds for a multitude of industries. Here, you can download a free dump truck checklist form. (Just click on "Get the free dump truck checklist form" in orange for a 4-page form." You can find other dump truck forms on this site that can help with dump truck training and maintenance.)

Dump Trucks are Part of J. Ruble and Sons' History

Over 40 years ago, we began building our own grain trucks for our farming needs. As other people began asking us to customize a work truck for their operations, we soon expanded into dump trucks, long wheelbase trucks, daycab tractors, and other specialty trucks. Today, we refurbish daycab tractors, heavy spec cab and chassis, and other vocational trucks, and we are known across the country for our frame shop.

Our repeat customers return for our unique ability to customize trucks to their needs. We will do the same for you. If you're looking for a dump truck or any quality-refurbished truck, that will do the job for you, contact our team. Come meet our J. Ruble and Sons Truck Sales team, and see everything we can do for your trucking operation.

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