How To Use a Dump Truck

A dump truck, also called a Mack truck is a commercial truck used for carrying materials used for construction. Dump trucks normally carry loose materials like sand, gravel or soil. There are many types of dump trucks but all of them have hydraulically operated containers that are used to "dump" their contents from behind. Most rental dump trucks, however, come with drivers, so most people don't really worry about it. However, as easy as it may sound to just dump its load, you must have proper knowledge to operate this machine aside from driving it around.

  1. Driving skills - First and foremost, to be able to drive a dump truck, you must have at least the basic driving skills. You must be aware of driver's etiquette on the road and in parking, starting up the vehicle, aware of traffic regulations in the area that you are driving and of the speed limit. You must also know all the controls that your truck will have because it will vary per type of dump truck. Remember to keep the bed down before starting to drive the dump truck to avoid dangers on the road, on other people or yourself.
  2. License - Like all vehicles, you must also have a license to drive a dump truck. Specifically, you must have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). This can be acquired through applying at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) who would process your acquiring of such a license. If you have not undergone any test for your license yet, prepare for necessary medical tests and other forms they may ask you to fill out.
  3. Types - You must also be aware of the different types of trucks that are being used. Dump trucks have various types of equipment to support different types of loads. Larger dump trucks have the capacity to carry large amounts from place to place. These are often used as freightliner trucks to deliver various materials requested by clients. Articulated dump trucks are dump trucks which have a hinge between the cab and the dump bed. These permanent hinges are what differentiate articulated dump trucks from transfer dump trucks, whose dump boxes can be removed from the cab itself.
  4. Dump truckEquipment - You have to be aware of your truck equipment before you start driving. There are variations in the placing of the controls themselves. In most trucks, the handlebar that controls the hydraulics for the bed is found near the bed itself and not in the driver cab. Most other controls in the dump truck are what you find in normal trucks and other vehicles. There might be other switches or levers you have to be aware of, so make sure you acquaint yourself with them before starting to use a dump truck.
  5. Education - The National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Schools in the United States is a professional association of Heavy Equipment training schools. To be able to drive a dump truck, you need to be certified with a Class-A CDL (Commercial Driver's License). Associated Training Services, the oldest training school in the United States, offers 3-week short term courses in how to drive and operate a dump truck.

A person with a Class A CDL may get a job in one of the many construction companies. An operator normally gets $15 – 20 an hour. Class A certified drivers, however, can get as much as $30 per hour. Most jobs, however, also require the driver to be able to maintain the truck as well. 


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