5 Safety Tips for Walking Floor Trailers
The roads are filled with heavy trucks hauling all kinds of products to stores, factories, and warehouses all over the country. Of course, those products are of no use at their final destination if they can’t be offloaded safely and efficiently. A great solution to the unloading dilemma is a walking floor trailer. They allow bulk materials to be hauled in an enclosed trailer and then dumped at the site, which makes them ideal for landscaping companies. Of course, safety is paramount in using a walking floor trailer. Here are five important safety tips for using them properly.
Get Training & Practice
Operating these trailers is fairly simple, but it’s still important to get all your employees trained on proper use. Not only will this prevent accidents, but it will also condition everyone to use the trailer properly so that they don’t create undue wear and tear on its moving parts. When you find a used walking floor trailer for sale, make sure you’re making plans for training everyone before sending it on its first job. Ensure that only trained personnel are allowed to operate it.
Clear the Dumping Area
A dump truck or trailer typically has to move forward to empty completely, but walking floor units are different. That’s part of what makes them better, but it also adds a hazard. Keep everyone clear of the trailer doors when it opens. Contents may have shifted and created pressure on the doors, causing them to open with great force. The rapid, stationary unloading process will allow the material to spread out further, posing a potential hazard to people or items in the offloading area. Make sure that workers and observers stand clear, and verify that things like gas cans and pesticides are not in places where they can be damaged by dumped materials.
Keep Personnel Out
In a related area, personnel must not be inside the trailer as the floor is put in motion, or even when it could be put in motion. Enthusiastic workers may try to jump in with a broom or shovel and help clear the trailer as it unloads, but this is too dangerous. It’s not enough for them to stand on the materials to avoid the moving floor because the pile can easily shift and cause them to fall into an area where moving parts could cause serious injuries.
Disengage the PTO Before Working
The PTO power that moves contents out of the trailer can store energy, potentially spinning freely when materials or floor components are moved. Make sure that the system is fully deactivated before anyone gets inside the trailer or under it. Lock-out and tag-out procedures may be a good idea, particularly if the trailer is a new tool for you or if it’s being used on a busy work site.
Never Work on the Floor While In Use
Every mechanical item has the occasional jammed part or squeaky wheel. Those problems need to be addressed to prevent damage, but they should never be worked on while the floor is in motion or has power activated. Any problem that is detected during offloading should only be
checked out with the offloading stopped and the power disconnected. It’s also important to be alert to the potential for heat buildup on moving parts, especially if something is malfunctioning. Shut everything down and let it cool before doing repairs.
Doing work is all about having the right tools, but that also means you need to use them safely. Walking floor trailers are a great solution for landscaping companies, and with proper procedures, they’re a safe tool too.