This post was updated Nov. 2, 2020
There are a lot of scary things in this world. For instance, working from the basket of a bucket truck can be petrifying, especially if you are afraid of heights. However, it’s even more terrifying to experience a bucket truck tip over. Did you know that 70% of MEWP accidents are due to bucket trucks? Read on to learn how to safeguard yourself and your coworkers against becoming a statistic.
Bucket trucks and workers have to follow the laws of gravity. Therefore, knowing how to keep a bucket truck stable is important for workers to avoid tip-overs. If you take safety precautions, you have a better chance of returning home safely.
6 Tips to Avoid A Bucket Truck Tip Over
- Understand the principle of stability. Balance and leverage are important for maintaining stability. For something to stay balanced, the leverage on one side has to equal the leverage on the other side. Because the machine side of the pivot is shorter, it needs more weight to hold the longer lift.
- Always use outriggers. Outriggers provide more stability by “widening the stance” of the machine, so to speak. This helps immobilize the truck to the ground and distributes the weight of the load more evenly. If you have outriggers on your bucket truck, be sure to always deploy them. Click here to learn what OSHA has to say.
- Avoid windy weather. Bucket trucks are meant to operate on stable ground in normal weather conditions. Windy conditions are especially dangerous, so avoid raising the lift if wind speeds are over 30 miles per hour. With lower wind speeds, exercise caution since a bucket truck tip over can happen even at 13 miles per hour.
- Abstain from uneven terrain. Even with nice weather, wet and uneven soil will destabilize your truck and cause a bucket truck tip over. Never drive near holes or cliffs. Make sure to survey the area beforehand to avert a preventable catastrophe.
- Don’t overload the platform. Many bucket trucks post the carrying capacity on the basket. Going over the load limit will change the balance of the lift, sending the load tumbling to the ground. Learn other factors affecting overloading with Hard Hat Training’s Bucket Truck Training.
- Keep your tires well-inflated. Having inflated tires can make the difference between an upright bucket truck and an overturned bucket truck. Though a simple concept, you should always check your tires for wear and tear because workers’ lives could depend on it.
Prevention is always better than learning from your mistakes. This is especially true when it comes to bucket trucks and aerial lifts, which can be useful but dangerous. Knowing how to plan ahead will make you not only good at your job, but someone people can trust with their lives. You can learn how to be that person with Hard Hat Training.