Backing-up accidents are among the most common types of accidents in the waste collection industry, representing approximately 25% of all injuries and vehicle damage. Garbage trucks are large, heavy vehicles that can be difficult to maneuver, especially in tight spaces or crowded areas. In addition, residential garbage trucks come across many obstacles, such as parked cars, trees, and utility poles.
To mitigate the risk of backing accidents, fleet managers and garbage truck drivers should take a proactive approach to safety. This includes proper training on safe driving techniques, using technology such as backup cameras and sensors, and implementing safety policies and procedures that prioritize worker safety. Remember that Route Ready Trucks offers a wide range of trash trucks for sale that can meet the unique needs of your operation.
In this blog, we will look at some safety tips and best practices for backing up garbage trucks.
7 Top Safety Tips and Best Practices
- Maintain the vehicle
Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping garbage trucks in good condition. Drivers should perform routine checks before and after each shift to ensure that the vehicle is functioning correctly. Any defects or malfunctions should be reported to management immediately.
- Follow a set route
Following a set route can help prevent accidents and reduce the risk of driver error. Drivers should become familiar with the areas they are working in and develop a plan for how to navigate each location safely. They can also plan ahead to avoid backing whenever possible. Always situate the vehicle in the best possible position by choosing an easy exit space.
- Use a spotter
One of the most effective ways to prevent accidents while backing up a garbage truck is to use a spotter. A spotter is a person who assists the driver by directing the vehicle as it backs up. The spotter should be positioned where they can clearly see the driver and any obstacles in the vehicle’s path. They should also be equipped with a radio or some other form of communication to relay information to the driver.
- Install backup cameras and sensors
Backup cameras and sensors are valuable tools for garbage truck operators. They provide an additional layer of visibility and can help prevent accidents. Backup cameras can show the driver what’s behind them, while sensors can detect any obstacles in the vehicle’s path and alert the driver.
- Beware of blind spots
Drivers must become familiar with the vehicle’s blind spots, such as where the image in the backup camera ends and the mirror begins to pick up a fixed or moving object.
- Windows and mirrors must be clear and unobstructed
Mirrors and windows provide the driver with a critical view of their surroundings when backing up, making it essential that they are always clear and unobstructed. Dirt, grime, and junk lying around can significantly reduce visibility, increasing the risk of accidents. Drivers should also adjust their mirrors before backing up to ensure maximum visibility.
- Get out and look (GOAL)
Before you back up, get out of your cab and walk around your vehicle to see what’s between you and your destination. Look for any potential hazards. It is recommended to stop and recheck your path of travel when backing long distances. Be aware that steep inclines and large SUVs, vans, and trucks make seeing behind a vehicle more difficult.
Scale Up Your Fleet With Route Ready
Backing up garbage trucks is a task that must be done with caution and care. By following the safety tips and best practices outlined in this article, you can reduce the risks associated with backing up garbage trucks. The most important thing to remember is to always pay attention to your surroundings. Take your time and make sure everyone around you is safe before beginning any maneuvers. With careful planning, proper training, and adherence to the rules of the road, backing up garbage trucks can be done safely every time!
Looking to add a truck to your fleet but worried about the high sticker price of brand-new vehicles? Get a reliable, feature-rich used refuse truck that gives you the performance you need at a substantially lower cost. Contact Route Ready Trucks and ask us for a personalized garbage truck quote.