Haul Truck / Dump Truck Safety, Loading and Dumping Procedure

The purpose of this construction safety procedure is to provide safe operating instructions for haul truck and dump truck operators working on any kind of projects including building and road construction machinery.

This Instruction applies to projects and offices where a company operates and areas where haul trucks are in use.

Project manager and project HSE team is having overall responsibilities for the implementation of this standard on a project.

The procedure is complemented by a number of other standard project instructions for operators of machinery as referenced below:

  • Lock out Tag out
  • Earthmoving Operations
  • Personnel Competency
  • Fitness for Work
  • Truck Spotting/Dump Man
  • Traffic Management
  • Local applicable country standards
  • Other Standards – ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (requirements)
  • Legislation – Applicable local legislation

Definitions and Abbreviations

Some of the more important terms used in this document are defined below:

dBA: This is the symbol for decibel, which is the unit used to measure the intensity of sound. Any sound above 85 dBA can cause hearing loss, with the loss being related both to the power of the sound as well as the length of exposure.

PPE:  Personal Protective Equipment.

Procedure / Standard Instructions

Authority to Operate

a) All Haul Truck operators must:

i. hold a valid, project and equipment specific license; and

ii. where legislated, possess a valid country license for heavy plant / equipment; and registration card. (Insurance)

b) Note: legal age restrictions may apply and should be enforced by Project Managers.

Planning the Haul Truck Operations

a) All haul truck operators must plan their work with the Supervisor before commencing it. For example:

i. in pre-shift meeting find out relevant operational information, such as: allocated excavator and work area, agreed traffic patterns in the area, and other equipment / personnel in the vicinity (surveyors, scrapers, haul trucks);

ii. find out about known hazards and environmental aspects of the work and their controls.

iii. Inform your Supervisor if you have been mistakenly allocated equipment for which you do not have a licence – do not attempt to operate it!

Pre-Start Safety Checks for Haul Truck / Dump Truck

a) The operator should conduct a pre-start safety check at the start of each shift to determine whether or not the truck is safe to operate.

b) Complete the check as per training, you must sign the form and give it to your Supervisor each shift.

c) Check with your Supervisor each shift to ensure all road diversions are identified.

d) Only proceed with work if the truck and work area are safe to do so – discuss any issues, hazards, defects with your Supervisor (Section 6.4 refers).

Walk-around Inspection

a) When approaching the haul truck at the beginning of shift, observe the ground the truck is on. This helps to determine if the truck is level and if there are possible suspension problems.

b) Look for equipment damage.

c) Check and clean lights.

d) Inspect the engine compartment for oil, coolant, fuel leaks and check air cleaner service indicators.

e) Inspect all steering, suspension and braking systems.

f) Inspect Tyres for rock cuts, bulges and inflation pressure. Front tyres must have good tread and no deep rock cuts. If you are concerned, have your supervisor check the tyre. Make sure rock ejector is in place.

g) Check the tyre rims for missing or loose bolts.

h) Inspect differential and final drives for leaks.

i) Check transmission for leaks.

j) Check steering hydraulic system for leaks.

k) Do not smoke while checking oil, fuel, hydraulic levels or battery.

l) While walking around truck, check no one is working on, under or close to equipment. Also, check safe clearance from adjacent objects and determine safe route to work area.

Haul Truck Cabin Inspection

a) Inspect condition of steps and handholds before mounting.

b) Use steps and handholds provided on equipment when mounting and maintain good three points of contact with the truck at all times.

c) Clear the cabin steps, grab rails, floor and seat of mud, oil and water.

d) Adjust operator seat to be in a comfortable position while operating machine and to enhance your line of sight.

e) Check fire extinguisher is present, charged (in the green zone) and in date (tagged within last 6 months) – contact your Supervisor for a replacement if fire extinguisher is discharged.

f) Check seat belt works.

g) Clean all windows.

h) Inspect operator’s compartment for cleanliness. Keep floor free of debris. Remove unauthorized tools, supplies and other material from the cabin – keep cabin clean for yourself and your co-workers.

i) Wipe steering wheel, foot, pedals, hand levers and knobs clean of oil and grease.

j) Clean and adjust mirrors to ensure maximum visibility.

k) Check windshield wipers work properly.

l) Complete Daily Pre Start Checklist

Defect Reporting and Stand-down Items

If a defect is identified, notify your Supervisor who would be required to make a decision whether the equipment is to be stood down – some defects may require equipment to be stood down until safely repaired.

Stand-down items include:

i. non-operational or dysfunctional braking and/or steering systems;

ii. seat belt damage;

iii. fire extinguisher or deluge system discharged;

iv. Stage 3 Warning lights non operational or indicate a problem on start-up or during operation;haul truck operation safety requirements

v. Head Lights not working.

c) The Supervisor is to attach a “Lock-out Facility” to the isolation point if the equipment is not safe to be operated. If equipment to which you have been allocated has an out of service tag applied – do not operate.

d) A “Lock-out Facility” can only be removed by a qualified person affecting the repair and once equipment is safe to be used.

e) Also record defects / faults / damage in writing.

f) These are formal records and should be signed by both the operator and Supervisor. Comments are to be legible and accurately describe the defect or defect symptoms.

g) Report faulty air conditioning to the Supervisor to be repaired as soon as possible. The Supervisor is to make suitable arrangements, in the interim, to protect the operator’s health.

Start-Up Procedure for Haul / Dump Truck

a) If the walk around inspection was made without finding any problems requiring immediate correction, you are ready to start the machine.

b) Observe personnel who may be around the truck.

c) Climb in – use steps and handholds provided when mounting and maintain good three points of contact with the truck at all times.

d) Finalize any housekeeping, ensuring the cabin is in safe condition.

e) Apply appropriate PPE – for example, appropriate hearing protection if the cabin is not 85 dBA rated, face masks if working in dusty conditions, and U.V. sun protection, as required.

f) Adjust seat and fasten seat belt – seatbelt must be worn at all times.

g) Make sure transmission selector level is in “Neutral” and park brake is “on”.

h) Make sure truck bed is down and hoist control is in “float” position.

i) Turn disconnect switch on.

j) Observe the supplemental steering indicator.

k) Depress the accelerator.

l) Sound the horn one time, wait 15 seconds. This is to indicate you are about to start the engine and allows time for people to move to safety.

m) Turn the engine start switch to “start”, release switch when engine starts.

n) Check all gauges, warning lights and horns as engine warms at idle – do not ignore or become complacent about warning lights or excessively idle / rev a cold engine.

o) If there are no problems, perform brake test as per training and Manufacturer’s Manual.

p) Check steering control responsiveness.

q) Check hoist control.

r) If the truck is in safe operating condition, proceed to the assigned work area:

i. sound your horn two times if driving forward;

ii. sound your horn three times if backing up; and

iii. in both instances, wait 15 seconds, and then release the park brake, shift transmission into desired direction.

iv. Pull away slowly and cautiously from park-up area – do not speed.

General Safety Precautions for Haul Truck Operation

Operators should obey traffic rules and site signage at all times:

i. drive on the correct side of roadway only;

ii. be cautious and observant at intersections and obey signage – never assume the other driver will;

iii. reduce speed at intersections – there is absolutely no need to speed through intersections;

iv. look in all directions at intersections – always check and obey who has right of way;

v. halt completely at “Stop Signs” – never perform a rolling stop;

vi. remain within the limit of all speed signs – do not speed.

Always practice safe driving behaviors i.e.:

i. drive to conditions – slow down when on slippery, dusty or rough roads and be prepared to stop if it starts to rain heavily.

ii. slow down and follow other vehicles at a safe distance – most haul trucks require at least 40 meters to stop. Do not tailgate;

iii. stop in a safe area when visibility is obstructed for any reason – advise the Supervisor and other road users;

iv. be observant of changed traffic arrangements and new signs;

v. be observant of other equipment at all times;

vi. keep doors closed while driving;

vii. look around / behind before and while reversing – do not reverse without sounding your horn and looking behind you in your mirrors.

viii. drive at speeds slow enough to ensure you have complete control at all times. Travel slowly over rough ground and on hillsides;

ix. be aware of your surroundings, including the loading unit, other mobile and fixed equipment and established traffic patterns;

x. be aware of traffic movements in front of, behind, and to either side of the truck.

xi. Always adhere to speed limits of (20kmph) or as otherwise indicated.

Operators are not allowed to smoke in the cabin of the truck or to read, wear Walkman and use mobile phones whilst operating a haul or dump truck.

As a general rule, haul trucks are not to pass each other or be passed by other vehicles while they are travelling on roadways. The main exception is when the haul truck in front is having difficulties and the operator is aware of you and has given you permission to pass.

Loaded trucks have the right–of-way on haul roads and in the pit but may have to give way on certain occasions and should not always assume the right-of-way.

f) Descend inclines safely – when travelling on descending roads or ramps, the truck is to be driven slowly and in the lowest gear possible.

g) Do not coast with transmission in neutral.

Haul Truck Loading Procedure

a) All operators must be familiar with project-specific loading practices. Your Supervisor should advise you of the direction taken by haul trucks around operating digging units – the general rule is for all haul trucks to travel in a clockwise direction.

b) Any changes to established traffic pattern will be communicated to all relevant personnel by the Supervisor.

c) Until it is your turn to be loaded, wait in a safe part of the loading area where you have good visibility of the loading operation – avoid reversing when waiting in the queue.

d) When queuing to load, remain far enough behind the truck in front of you so that the operator can see you in their side mirrors.

e) When the truck in front of you leaves the excavator / loader, you may pull around and prepare to back up to the excavator / loader as soon as it has stopped with a raised bucket to show you where to reverse.Haul Truck Dump Truck Safety, Loading and Dumping Procedure

f) When reversing to the excavator / loader, back slowly and cautiously – use you mirrors to check what is behind you. Excavator / loader operators will either sound their horn for you stop or dump material in your truck bed for you to stop.

g) Request excavator / loader operator to first clean up any rock piles if they are in your pathway – keep vehicle as level as practicable for loading.

h) Never leave or enter cabin while truck is being loaded – wear dust mask, if appropriate, and keep windows wound up.

i) Observe horn / light signals from excavator operator – a constant horn signal from the loading unit indicates a serious situation.

j) Always obey Spotters/Banksman to ensure at all times that they travel alongside the truck making sure they have eye contact with driver and vice versa. Never walk behind the truck.

Dumping Procedure of Haul Truck

a) All operators are to be familiar with project-specific safe dumping practices.

b) Dumps are made of loose material creating many hazards to equipment operators – be observant of any cracks, sloughing and bulging at the dump / stockpile area and report them to your Supervisor.

c) Haul truck operators should dump their load in designated areas, which are determined by either the Supervisor or dozer operator. Always follow the dozer operator’s directions for dumping unless you feel the directions are unsafe – discuss your concerns with both the Supervisor and dozer operator.

d) After a truck has dumped its material, it should pull forward until the truck bed is clear of all material then stop and lower the bed all the way down – do not operate the truck with the bed in the raised position.

e) When queuing to dump your load, remain far enough behind the truck in front of you so that the operator can see you in their side mirrors and so they have adequate room to unload safely.

f) Use windrows on dumps / stockpiles as a guide – they are not to be used to stop the truck.

g) Protect the safety of any spotters, refer to the instructions related to Truck Spotting/Dump Man.

h) Do not attempt to tip over an edge or dump a load in an area that is inadequately illuminated (at night) – advise the Supervisor who is responsible for arranging adequate lighting.

i) Further details about safe dumping operations can be found in the procedure for Safe Dump Operations.

Tyre and Equipment Wear Protection

a) Avoid running over rocks that may cause damage to tyres. When avoiding rocks or other obstacles in your path, slow down and make sure no other vehicles or persons will be danger when you drive around them. Inform your supervisor so road obstacles can be removed.

b) Avoid spinning your tyres and excessive idle time.

c) Slow down for curves and rough spots in the roadway. If your truck is loaded, rocks can fall onto the road causing safety and tyre hazards.

d) Operating at high speeds on curves and rough spots can cause damage to the truck and driver – slow down!

e) Do not overload truck causing spillage.

Haul Truck Shut-Down Procedure

a) Operators are required to shut-down the engine in a way that is safe and protects the truck from damage.

b) Shut-down the engine in accordance with training and manufacturers requirements.

c) Conduct housekeeping – keep the cabin clean for your co-workers.

d) Allow engine to idle for specified time before shutting it down.

e) Engage transmission into “Neutral” and apply braking system.

f) Turn engine start switch to “Off”.

g) Test supplemental steering system, if applicable.

h) Turn disconnect switch to “Off”.

i) Use three points of contact to dismount the machine. Always step to the ground – never jump!

j) Make sure supervisor has received all paperwork and defect / repair information – do not forget!

k) Do not exit and leave a truck that is idling.

Park-Up Procedure

a) Operators are required to park-up in a manner that is safe and protects the truck from damage.

b) Park in designated heavy vehicle parking areas and keep apart the safe distances specified at the project.

c) When parking in non-designated areas, park in a safe and orderly fashion and in an area that does not endanger pedestrians or compromise safety – also park away from light vehicles.

d) Where possible, always park so that the truck can be driven away in a forward direction.

e) Park in such a manner that the truck will not roll away in the event of brake failure i.e. flat ground, wheels in “v” drain at Go-Line or wheels turned towards berm.

f) Wait to be picked up at the designated / pre-arranged area – do not wander about.

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