Tips for Operating a Tipper Truck

Tipper truck (AKA dump truck) hire is essential in multiple industries. Loading, hauling and dumping material is a part of nearly every construction and mining project. But just because they’re everywhere doesn’t mean they don’t require care when operating.

Tipper trucks are a bit more complicated to use than other rigid vehicles. Most dump truck accidents occur when other vehicles are in their vicinity, especially in bad weather. They can often be avoided by following all possible safety procedures, such as those listed here.

1. Get Your License

A ‘dump truck licence’ does not exist, and fortunately, depending on your operation you may not need a licence at all. If it is your truck on your private property, this is often the case.

However, tipper trucks are big and unwieldy vehicles, and recognising this the government has imposed some licencing requirements for using them.

If you’re driving a dump truck on local roads, you’ll need a Heavy Rigid (HR) licence. When you graduate to public roadways the type of heavy vehicle licence you need will differ depending on the size of your tipper truck. Here is a basic guide:

  • Size
    • 4.5t-8t
    • 2 axels and 8t or over
    • 3 or more axels and 8t or over
  • Licence
    • Light Rigid (LR)
    • Medium Rigid (MR)
    • Heavy Rigid (HR)

If you’re looking to hire a dump truck for work, especially in a mining environment, consider getting a Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations (RII3O115) from a registered training organisation.

2. Take Care of Your Dump Truck

Assuming you’ve hired your tipper truck from a reputable company (like us), it will come with all the required bells and whistles and safety features you need. Don’t add any vanity modifiers, please – they’re more likely to compromise the dump truck than impress your friends.

Your hired tipper truck should have handrails and/or steps attached to it, wheel stops available, and any other safety factors.

Start with a pre-start check every time you go to operate a dump truck. Check the indicators, wipers, mirrors, and especially the tipping operation and tire pressure. Something wrong with the tire pressure can destabilise the truck, compromising its load capacity and encouraging a rollover.

Keep equipment maintenance records. Your pre-start checks will go a long way in identifying a problem before it turns into a catastrophe and keeping logs of when you deal with those problems can do the same with your finances. These records can be used to prove to insurance or hire a company that the machine has been well looked after, and to develop plans for future maintenance checks.

3. Plan Around Your Environment

Does the route to your next pickup or dumping location have low overpasses or low-hanging obstacles blocking the way? You should find out before you leave and change it if these would hinder you (you should also know how tall your vehicle is).

Other obstacles to keep an eye out for include powerlines, carports, steep inclines and hairpin bends. Avoid these as much as possible. While driving, stay clear of other vehicles and of pedestrians. The bigger clearance you can give at the lowest speed, the safer everyone is.

When pulling out, pulling in, dumping or reversing, ask your assistant to hop out and direct you. You should establish your signals and warning calls in advance, and ensure you always have clear communication between you.

4. Go Slow

To stay clear of other vehicles and pedestrians, you need to leave the biggest clearance at the lowest speed possible. Avoid maximum speeds.

Going slow also applies to the tipping function. Check throughout the tipping process with your assistant that your surroundings are clear. Take the time to find solid, level ground to tip on and to turn on your stabilisers.

Ready to Hire a Dump Truck?

Once you’ve got the hang of the tipper truck, it’s time to hire it! Eastern Plant Hire has dump trucks available for whenever you need. Contact us today to hire it out.

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