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Working safely with open top tipping bodies ben lee
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This blog focuses on the safety aspects of working with open top tipping bodies and the importance of operators following set rules to ensure that correct safety protocols are followed.


Accidents and injuries related to tipping applications are all too common and can start from a simple operator mistake to operating guidelines not being followed correctly, ending in injury to the driver or others.


It is essential that operators of tipping applications are briefed on and trained on how to use the equipment correctly and know the necessary steps to take should a malfunction with the tipper hydraulics or other system related problem occur, as well as how to avoid potential accidents.


The most common occurrences of accidents are the vehicle rolling over sideways or striking an obstruction. The effects of these could be very serious and potentially fatal.


Below, we examine the steps from the initial loading of materials onto the tipper to unloading at the destination and guide you through the correct procedures to be followed to avoid any incidents and accidents.

Correct Loading procedure

Following the correct loading procedure for materials is imperative to avoid any pitfalls further down the line. Firstly, the load should be evenly distributed in the trailer to keep the balance equal should any secondary factors come into play such as flat tyres, sloping ground etc. which could promote tippage.

Incorrect and uneven distribution of load could also put stress on vehicle systems, such as suspension or lead to axle overload. It could also cause issues when the tipper is unloading at its destination, potentially making the vehicle unstable.

During the journey

Once you are happy that the load is sitting correctly on the tipper and have begun your journey, there are a number of key rules to follow to ensure your load is transported safely. A major safety concern is the type of terrain you will be travelling on. If possible try to avoid overly soft ground and steep gradients, as well as areas of road that have been previously excavated or poorly repaired.

It is also important, depending on where you are travelling, to follow the local compliance and legislative laws, as well as any weight limits that are imposed on your tipper or the route you are travelling.


At the destination

On approaching your delivery destination you should first identify a suitable area which will be used for unloading your goods. Bear in mind safety aspects such as overhanging electrical cables, which may hamper the unloading process or uneven ground that could prove to be a safety hazard.

Another useful safety measure you can take is to fit a rear facing camera to the back of the vehicle which gives a clear indication as to what is immediately behind you when you begin the unloading process.

Make sure nobody is standing adjacent to the vehicle when unloading is taking place, as a number of potential accidents could happen including the swinging of the tailboard and a load that releases quickly and catches an unsuspecting person off guard.

Finally, maintaining the right rate of discharge is key when unloading your materials and the person manning the vehicle should monitor this at all times, as different materials will require different discharge rates.


Vehicle check after unloading

Once you have successfully unloaded your goods and before you leave the site the vehicle should be checked for damage and general cleanliness, to ensure that there are no blockages from stray debris etc. and no damage has been done to the hydraulic mechanism or system components related to the unloading process.

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