Dumper Truck Licence
Do I need a licence to drive a dumper truck?
A dumper truck is classed as an exempted large goods vehicle (LGV) meaning that you just need a full category B car driving licence for which you must be at least 17 years of age. For any vehicle over the weight of 3500 kg you will need to be over 18. For heavier vehicles over 7500 kg its best to check with your insurer or hire company as to the relevant restrictions.
Failure to have the correct licence will obviously invalidate any dumper truck insurance you have taken out. To drive on the public highway you will require a minimum of third party insurance, a valid tax disc and a full driver's licence. To drive on a dual carriageway the vehicle will need a flashing orange beacon. If you use the road in a way that is likely to cause significant delays to other motorists you will need to notify the police in advance.
Dumper Truck Driving
Safety boots, hard hat, high-visibility jacket and non-snag clothing are the essential accessories of the correctly site safety trained dumper truck driver. Begin work only after checking the machine and walking the site first. Observe the ground conditions.
When driving a dumper truck its important to be aware of the specific hazards that can arise. Excessive speed reduces braking distances. Speed increases the risk of the load in the skip shifting and can also lead to the dumper "bouncing" which may result in injury to the driver. Hence its best to travel at a moderate speed with a consequent increase of breaking distance, smoother ride and less risk of load shift.
Particular care should be taken when driving dumper trucks on uneven ground and or steep gradients. This is especially true when carrying heavy loads that are liable to shift. Turning a fully laden dumper too sharply on a slope could cause the vehicle to overturn. The roll over protection system will protect the driver only if the seat belt is worn and fitted correctly.
When loading its important that the machine is positioned correctly to receive the load. Hence its vital that the dumper truck driver has sufficient training and experience. Basically the dumper should be as near as practical and safe to the loading vehicle, whilst maintaining driver safety. It obviously best if the loader operator and dumper truck driver can see each other to maintain good communication. The dumper should never be overloaded. Other than that the wind direction might well be worth considering too.
Bear in mind when unloading the possibility of the load sticking in the skip. Its better to avoid tipping on a slope where possible.
Dumper Truck Racing
There are a number of companies that offer Dumper Truck experience days. These include some initial training in safe operation and driving techniques. Some even offer dumper truck racing. This can be a good introduction to dumper driving perhaps before taking up further Training.
Driven incorrectly the dumper truck is the cause of many accidents on site. Dumper trucks are designed to traverse rough terrain not to carry passengers.