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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Check Your Dump Truck Daily!

When dump truck schedules are tight, it is easy to forget the importance of daily routine inspections and not perform them. If an operator skips daily inspections, they need to realize that routine examinations are crucial for keeping the vehicle safe. Driving a defective dump truck while hauling heavy loads and driving on busy roads is extremely dangerous and risky both to the driver and to the other vehicles on the road.

It would be easy to miss a simple tire flaw without conducting the proper inspection. If that tire ruptures on the highway because of a flaw, it could result in property damage and injuries. So before taking a dump truck on the road, always perform regular, daily inspections. The following is a checklist of some of the most important truck components that need to be checked on a daily basis:

Tires- The vehicle's traction depends heavily upon its tires. They are the one part of the vehicle that come in contact with the surface of the road and are prone to damage. Regular inspections should be conducted on all the tires on a daily basis.

During a tire inspection, check the pressure to make sure that all of them have equal pressure. A slight difference in pressure can cause drag on the wheels and increase the wear on the tire. Pressure can also affect the truck's handling as well. Also check each tire for punctures and cuts. It is important to not ignore small cuts and punctures as they could increase in size and rupture at any moment. Wheel alignment should also be examined as misalignment can create drag and cause uneven wear on the tread.

Undercarriage- Another part of the vehicle that needs to be checked regularly is the undercarriage. It is the part of the vehicle that is the closest to the ground other than the tires. The undercarriage takes a considerable amount of abuse during the truck's operation, especially on rough terrain.

Watch out for leaks that may come from the transmission or the engine itself, both of which can result in serious damage to the dump truck. Check for parts that may have loosened from vibration and squeaky joints that could use some greasing.

Lights- Walk around the vehicle to check all the lights. Because dump trucks are often used in rugged conditions, it would not be surprising if there were a cracked or broken tail light that occurred during operation. Although signal lights are only a small part of the vehicle, they have an important role when driving on public highways, as they help alert other vehicles when the vehicle is stopping or making a turn.

Under the Hood - Open the hood to examine the coolant level inside the radiator as well as the oil level in the engine. While performing those tasks, check for any electrical wires and cables that may be displaced due to the engine's vibration and secure them back in place. Loose wiring and cables can easily become entangled in the engine's fan or belt if not properly secured.

After all the visual inspections are done, the next step is to start the engine. While the engine is idling, check all the instruments on the dashboard. Look for warning lights that may signal a problem not otherwise noticeable in all of the other prior inspections. Look at the gauges on the dashboard to see that they are at normal levels. Make sure that the fuel level is sufficient for the trip. Check to see if the battery is charging properly and that the air brakes have sufficient air pressure. Move the truck a little and step on the brakes to verify their functioning.

Once it has been determined that everything on the vehicle is in good working order, then it is time for the truck to roll out on the open road and get the job done! Keep in mind that driving a defective dump truck on the road risks not only the life of the operator but all other drivers and passengers who are there as well. Be cautious and don't skip that daily inspection!

Christopher M. Hunter is an expert in commercial specialty trucks. To find out more about Used Dump Trucks, go to the main website at:

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