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Best Practices For Operators - Part II
Categories: Tips, Safety

Best Practices For Operators - Part II

Dump Trucks & Backhoes by Heidi Valdez Roeglin

Whether you're the driver or someone helping at the job site, it's important that you make safety a priority whenever you're working around a dump truck.   " A raised truck bed can easily overturn due to its size and weight," states MSHA. "Uneven ground, unbalanced, load, and/or underinflated work tires increase the hazards associated with this task.  These hazards can be avoided with proper training and implentation of best practices."   Unloading a dump truck can be a dangerous operation, especially when the ground is uneven or when the load is to be delivered into a pit.  For this reason and many others, it is always best to inspect your work areas for any hazards that can create unsafe conditions and follow a checklist.   We have created a convenient list of Best Practices for Dump Truck Operators (see available download) and suggest the following checklist: 

1. Commit to Maintenance
2. Make sure you're on level ground before unloading
3. Distribute the load evenly.
4. Don't skip the truck bed liner.
5. Know how to talk the talk. (Know your hand signals)
6. Don't overload the Dump Truck. 
7. Clear the area of people and other obstacles.
8. Don't drive while the truck bed is raised.
9. Keep the tractor and the trailer lined up properly.
10. Be super careful if you're working between the bed and the frame.

So what about Backhoes?   The backhoe-loader is one of the most popular pieces of construction equipment in the world, which should make safety a top priority.  But this might also explain why in 2018, a report found backhoes were the most common equipment involved in accidents and fatalities.  And since the person in the operator's seat is the one responsible for what the machine does,  responsiblity for safety ultimately belongs to the operator!   We, at James A. Rogers Excavating, Inc. firmly believe that safe practices should begin before the machine is even started.  So we have made a Best Practices for Operators of Backhoes (see available download) and the following checklist: 

1. Conduct Walk-Around Inspections.
2. Ensure Loader Stability.
3. Be Aware of Surroundings.
4. Wear Personal Protective Equipment. 
5. Stay on Top of Preventive Maintenance. 

While we know we can never cover everything that happens in the real world, we at James A. Rogers Excavating, Inc. will always strive to educate and protect our family of employees to the best of our ability.  Stay safe out there! 

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