Dump truck driving, keeping safe on the road

Dump truck driving, keeping safe on the road

Tipper trucks are the work horses found ferrying materials to or from construction or mine sites all over Australia. While drivers must be licenced to drive a Rentco tipper truck, when you drive a new or different model vehicle, it’s worth going back to basics to remind yourself of the risks associated with handling a large, heavy and long vehicle. Seasoned truck drivers will be familiar with all the safety checks, but if you’re new to the job, here are some tips for safer driving that could keep you safe.

Familiarise yourself with the truck, always check brakes, lights, oil, water tyre pressures and adjust the mirrors to suit yourself before you set off.  Remember every large truck has blind spots and statistics show many truck-related accidents are caused when other vehicles disappear from view the truck’s so-called blind spots.

Plan your trip by choosing routes that are safe, and that are familiar to you if possible.  Remember to stop for regular rest breaks, and never drive tired.  Fatigue affects concentration and focus and is a major risk factor to accidents.

Take care with loading - begin loading in the centre of the tipper bed, and if the material is not free-flowing, ensure the load is spread evenly, doesn’t exceed height limits and cover the load with a retractable tarp to protect other road users.  Incorrect loading is a major cause for truck rollovers.

Watch your driving speed, tipper trucks especially when loaded have a longer stopping distance.  The weight to the load adds momentum to trucks when accelerating, braking, and turning.  Slow down, drive to suit road conditions and give other road users plenty of notice if you plan to change lanes.

Get rid of distractions, GPS and mobile phones even 2 way radios are essential but should never be used or adjusted when the vehicle is in motion.  Installing a voice activated hands free phone kit is a safer option.  Check and return text messages or emails during your scheduled rest breaks.

Take healthy snacks and water, when you’re flat out working it’s tempting to reach for a chocolate bar or bag of chips, especially if you’re working in a remote area.  Taking a small cooler box with some fresh fruit, your favourite sandwich, healthy snacks and some water will improve your concentration and your waistline.

Watch out for weather, at certain times of the year, Australia can experience severe weather conditions.  If you’re working in extreme heat, ensure you stay hydrated with extra drinks, avoid coffee.  If heavy rain is forecast take extra care.  Rain blurs vision, makes roads slippery, and other drivers nervous.  Driving in heavy rain can be exhausting, take a break if you feel your concentration Is compromised and slow down!  Speed kills especially in wet weather.

Rentco peace of mind – Rentco offers 24/7 roadside assistance so that a qualified mechanic can be with you quickly to attend to issues. In cases of break down or urgent maintenance, park the vehicle safely and contact the Rentco helpline as soon as possible.