Yard spotter trucks are powerful workhorses in distribution centers, shipping yards, and distribution centers. While operating a yard spotter truck is significantly safer than a semi-truck, they are not without hazards. These vehicles must navigate tight and confined spaces while carrying heavy loads—that aspect already has its own risks.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to improve safety while operating a yard truck or terminal tractor. Let’s look closely at some safety hazards and best practices to avoid them.
4 Yard Truck Safety Hazards
1. Blind Spots
Depending on the brand, yard spotter trucks may have a reduced field of visibility, particularly in the rear and sides of the vehicle. A reduced field of vision can make it difficult to see pedestrians, other vehicles, and objects in your path. As such, make sure you are aware of your blind spots and know your surroundings.
2. Backing Up Hazards
Because yard trucks often need to maneuver in tight spaces, they frequently need to back up. However, operating a vehicle in reverse can increase the risk of collisions with other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians.
To back up safely, don’t rush, take your time, and maintain your idle speed. Use your truck’s inherent safety features, like the horns, lights, and mirrors. It would also be a big help to always get out and look or have someone act as your spotter.
Operators of yard spotter trucks may work long hours, which can lead to fatigue and increase the risk of accidents. Because of this, you should take regular breaks and get adequate sleep at night.
If possible, you shouldn’t drive while drowsy. Driver drowsiness can impair your ability to respond, spot hazards, and increase the risk of an accident.
4. Mechanical Failures
Like any vehicle, yard trucks can experience mechanical failures, such as brake failure, tire blowouts, or steering malfunctions. These failures can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
Fortunately, you can reduce the likelihood of mechanical failure by visually inspecting your truck and having professional maintenance and repairs done.
More Safety Tips When Operating a Yard Spotter Truck
In addition to recognizing and navigating the above hazards, here are more tips you can observe to avoid incidents.
- Always wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE), like hard hats, safety glasses, high-visibility vests, and steel-toe boots, while operating a yard truck.
- Inspect the yard spotter truck before using it. In doing so, you can verify the vehicle is in good working condition. Among the components you should pay attention to include brakes, steering, lights, mirrors, and tires. If you spot any issues, report the defects and have them repaired as soon as possible.
- Stick to the speed limit. When operating a yard truck, slow and steady is the name of the game. Always follow the posted speed limits and drive safely for the conditions. Avoid sudden stops, starts, and turns that can cause the load to shift or tip.
- Do use your horn and lights, which every yard truck has. Use them to alert pedestrians and other drivers of your presence, especially in areas with poor visibility or heavy traffic.
- Don’t drive distracted. Keep your focus on the road and the task at hand. Avoid distractions while operating a truck, such as using your phone, eating, or drinking.
Ensure Your Trucks are Safe with the Help of Renew Truck
At Renew Truck, we do not only sell yard trucks. We also replace or rebuild key truck components to ensure the yard trucks you’ll be using are functioning properly and meet safety standards. We work on Capacity, Kalmar Ottawa, TICO, Terberg, and other leading brands.
Contact us today for all of your yard spotter truck needs. Call us at (903) 231-9002 or drop by our shop at 150 Service Street, New Boston, TX 75570.