Alleviate the Hazards of Working Under Dump Beds

Alleviate the Hazards of Working Under Dump Beds
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The hazards associated with dump truck maintenance are all too real.  We have all heard stories like the employee who was greasing the U-joints on a Mack dump truck.  He raised the dump bed and propped it with a 4"x6"x8" chunk of wood. Shortly after beginning to grease the U-joints the chunk of wood dislodged and the dump bed came down on his back.  He was pinned between the dump bed and the frame, and like most incidents like this, he later passed away.  

Incidents like this are a grim reality, but they can be prevented with proper training and equipment.  At  Unique Truck we offer the Dump-Lok, a pair of braces that support 50,000 lbs.

Maintenance work underneath a dump bed presents a unique set of hazards.  You or some of your coworkers may be performing repairs to air or hydraulic lines, welding and frame repairs, electrical wires and release cables, power take-off shafts, hydraulic pumps, fuel pump, or even routine greasing.  The bed can suddenly move due to inadvertent control operation, a release cable being pulled, the hydraulics suddenly failing, an air line being reconnected prematurely, or failure of the bed prop. This is where having proper procedures in place can save lives.   

Body props are typically included on dump trucks.  Though most trucks come with body props, they may not be used properly, may not be used at all, or may fail. These props must be properly maintained or they will fall subject to rust or other damage.  All too often the props do not allow for sufficient access to the rear of the truck, which leads to the body prop not being used.  OSHA recommends employers use an alternative "truck bed brace bracket" rather than stock body props.

Safety Measures

As important as it is to use proper dump bed braces, it is just as important to have a lockout-tagout system in place.  Everyone working around the vehicles should be properly trained on the lockout-tagout procedure.  With a proper procedure and training, accidental startup of the vehicle or any activation of hydraulic controls will be prevented. 

Now that you have proper lockout-tagout procedure in place, a reliable brace is needed.  As mentioned above, the Dump-Lok is available through Unique Truck and fulfills OSHA's recommendation for employers to protect employees from the hazards faced when working under a raised dump body by using an alternative "truck bed brace bracket". The Dump-Lok is available in pairs and can hold the bed at a higher angles.