A vacuum truck is a practical and powerful tool for road cleaning and maintenance work. As with all industrial and heavy-duty equipment, it is important to understand all safety features and operate your vacuum truck in a responsible manner to avoid accidents that can injure people and cause damage to property and your truck itself.
At Southern Vac, we sell and rent a wide range of new vacuum trucks with an impressive range of capabilities and performance. Before we hand over the keys to a vehicle to you, we make sure you understand the vacuum truck specifications and are comfortable with the operation of all controls and features.
Get to Know Your Truck
Our best piece of safety advice for responsible vacuum truck operation is getting to know your truck before you put it to use. That can include:
- Certified safety training recognized by OSHA
- Reading the operator’s manual and equipment instructions
- Going over your truck with a mechanic or technician
- Practicing using the features in a safe location (like a parking lot)
- Studying the safety and emergency features
A vacuum truck doesn’t handle like most vehicles on the road due to the added weight when loaded and the extra width of the brushes and vacuum attachments. A vacuum truck also handles very differently when it’s empty compared to when it’s full. Moving water and dirt inside can cause the weight to shift, which is why rollovers are, sadly, relatively common with vacuum trucks.
Don’t become a statistic and add to the belief that operating a vacuum truck is difficult. When you take the time to train your crews on safe and responsible vehicle operation, the risk of an accident is small. When we’re training new employees on vacuum truck specifications and operation, we focus on three main areas:
- Daily pre-start checklist: Before you even fire up your vacuum truck, remember to verify all safety-related items such as tire pressures, mirror position, signs and safety lights, etc.
- Safe driving practices: Once drivers get comfortable with a new vehicle, they often get a bit lax on safe operation. Remind your crews to always operate their vacuum truck with safety in mind.
- Regular training: Do yearly or bi-annual refresher courses on safe vacuum truck operation. If possible, bring in a certified instructor to show the importance of responsible operation.
Using your vacuum truck in a safe and responsible manner not only guarantees the safety of your workers and the general public, but it also means fewer accidents and downtime that cut into your profits. Build your name as a safe and conscientious vacuum truck operator with tips from our team here at Southern Vac.