According to Handy, a tipping trailer is a must-have for a wide range of applications and work environments such as excavation, earthworks, building, gardening, landscaping, and construction. However, you have to be careful when working with them because there are some operational risks when working with such heavy vehicles. Here are a few tips you may follow to be safer when working with your tipping trailer:
1. Follow proper loading guidelines - Be aware of the Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) of your tipping trailer. It is the combined weight of a fully loaded trailer that is not connected to a towing vehicle. When loading the tipping trailer, make sure not to exceed the maximum carrying capacity as it is not only illegal but also unsafe.
It is crucial to distribute the load evenly to make the trailer stable and prevent swaying during towing or unloading. Ideally, you would want to keep 40% of the load in the back half and 60% of the load in the front half to reduce the height of the pile.
2. Follow proper unloading guidelines - Unloading a tipping trailer is a fairly straightforward process but you have to follow a few rules to ensure safety and efficiency. Before raising the tray of the trailer, always check the clearance level to make sure it won’t be obstructed. Position the trailer on an even, flat, and stable ground before unloading. This helps to keep the balance during the unloading process because the center of gravity changes when you raise the tipper tray.
Stand clear when raising or lowering the trailer tray to avoid potential accidents and injury. Before moving the vehicle again, make sure that the trailer tray has been lowered completely to avoid an electrocution incident.
3. Always do proper maintenance - Proper maintenance is extremely necessary to ensure your tipping trailer stays in top condition. Otherwise, you can risk damage to the vehicle and your safety. Every tipping trailer should go through routine maintenance such as the following:
● Repair and inspection of hydraulic lift cylinders
● Daily tire pressure checks
● Cleaning of heavy dust from hydraulic lines
● Inspection and repair of the suspension system
● Checking of the horn, lights, brakes, and fluid levels
● Lubrication of bushings and pins
4. Upgrade your tipping trailer - You can upgrade your tipping trailer with a range of features to suit your specific work needs. For example, you may add larger tires, better breaks, improve the suspension system, improve the ATM, etc. A bed liner can be installed to improve the flow of material when unloading the materials. A slope-detector monitoring equipment can be added to limit the height of lifting over uneven terrain.
Handy suggests that you learn to recognize hazardous conditions related to unloading surface, load distribution, fire hazard due to heavy dust on hydraulic lines, etc. to remain extra safe. It is also a good idea to learn all the safety procedures and hand signals required when working on a two-person unloading operation.