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Tips on avoiding tips

DUNNVILLE, Ont. - Anyone who has spent any amount of time working in the construction or aggregate business has quite likely witnessed at least one "tip-over" during their career.And drivers who have ...


WELL-BALANCED: TST's class helps ensure dump drivers keep their rubber pointed in the right direction.
WELL-BALANCED: TST's class helps ensure dump drivers keep their rubber pointed in the right direction.

DUNNVILLE, Ont. – Anyone who has spent any amount of time working in the construction or aggregate business has quite likely witnessed at least one “tip-over” during their career.

And drivers who have actually been through one can never forget the sick feeling in the stomach as they felt their truck slowly coming off the ground.

Although its not a problem long-haul truckers spend a lot of time thinking about, tip-overs are an ever-present danger for drivers who make their living by hauling and unloading unstable loads on uneven terrain.

Tipping-over is still rare enough that neither government agencies nor industry associations bother to keep statistics on it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an area of concern. When tip-overs do occur, there is almost always a big price to pay in terms of damaged equipment and personal injuries, sometimes even fatalities.

Unfortunately, says trucking industry consultant Fred Vander Heide, many drivers don’t learn that lesson until it’s too late. Vander Heide’s Dunnville, Ont.-based company, Transportation Safety Training, provides tip-over prevention training courses across the province.

“We are seeing some companies being pro-active about training their drivers now,” Vander Heide says. “But most of the time we are called in after the company has had an accident where someone got hurt. Then they can’t get us in there fast enough.”

Vander Heide ran a gravel hauling business himself. He says he realized there was a need for this kind of training when he went looking for a course for his drivers to take and came up empty handed. He and his partner Peter Claussen spent two years developing the course before they began to offer it.

TST can be reached at 905-701-4000. n


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