Many workers are injured or killed at the workplace every day in the US and Canada. It’s becoming more and more common to see news scenes of a large crane at a construction site in an urban setting that has toppled over, killing some and injuring many others. In hindsight, safety procedures were carelessly overlooked. There are several other mobile trucks and trailers that represent potential safety hazards, raising important questions, such as what is a safety hazard, how trucks are kept reliable, when it’s appropriate to drive a half-ton pickup, what are potential problems, and what are solutions to those problems?
A hazard is the potential for harm, often associated with an action or circumstance that could result in injury or illness if left uncontrolled. Ideally, once an uncontrolled hazard has been identified, steps will be taken to eliminate or reduce the safety risks.
All the commercial vehicles used at a construction site must follow certain bylaws set by the Department of Transportation for your region, province, or state. If followed, these protocols ensure the safety of every vehicle and its operator working at the jobsite.
Of course, there are also common-sense practices that you won’t find in any safety manual or hazard analysis. Nevertheless, these concerns should be addressed by the site supervisor. These are concerns that could not only compromise truck safety but also truck reliability. At the very least, a broken-down truck represents an unnecessary cost to the builder.
Trucks used on the site need to be kept clean, free of contaminates, and well maintained. If proper care and attention is not paid to these vehicles, production will be slowed and eventually brought to a complete halt.
USING A PICKUP
Smaller vehicles such as vans and SUVs are generally used by subcontractors such as plumbers and electricians. It stands to reason that a van would be the logical choice for a service vehicle simply for security reasons. But the site supervisors need a light-duty vehicle that serves many uses. For instance, the use of a half-ton pickup involves things like:
- Hauling loads
- Towing trailers
- Navigating rough, off-road terrain
- Moving people and supplies to other locations
- Running errands
And it makes sense that the operator of a half-ton truck should pay attention to the truck’s ongoing maintenance requirements. Left too long at the jobsite without proper care and attention, the half-ton will eventually cause problems and slow production.
A POTENTIAL PROBLEM
It may be small, but the half-ton pickup fills a big role by ensuring that the project moves forward. Most of what is listed above involves the suspension. Hauling loads, towing trailers, and navigating rough terrain require a suspension that is in good working order and able to manage various load requirements.
Sometimes your pickup will be loaded to the max—we’re talking about its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)—and, ultimately, the suspension will squat. You might even experience body roll and sway. If this happens, you run the risk of losing control of your vehicle because your steering has been compromised. (When the back end goes down, the front end goes up causing you to lose steering control.) If you’re experiencing body roll and sway, you run the risk of endangering not only your life but the lives of those around you.
AN EASY SOLUTION
Even though it’s a huge problem, the solution is not complicated, and there’s no need to run out and buy a bigger truck. In fact, you don’t even need to install a new and bigger suspension.
Adding more stability and carrying capacity to your suspension can be something as simple as installing a Timbren SES kit, which usually takes 30 minutes or less. A Timbren SES kit is designed to replace the factory bump stops that are normally located on the frame above the rear axle. Sometimes a Timbren’s SES upgrade doesn’t require any tools (except maybe a flathead screwdriver to pry the rubber bump stops out of their cups).
Those pushing their half-ton truck’s suspension to the max would benefit from installing a Timbren SES upgrade. The benefits far outweigh the time taken to install, not to mention the minor expense: kits for half-ton pickups cost less than $270.
Maybe you don’t work at the construction site of a giant high rise, but it’s likely you do depend on your half-ton pickup to keep things running smoothly at your jobsite. There’s a good chance that you might need a Timbren SES upgrade even more. Safety and reliability of your pickup is imperative to keep the project rolling along smoothly.
Consider installing a suspension product that will ensure your half-ton truck performs to full capacity without sag or sway, providing you a safe, smooth ride no matter what you require of your half-ton pickup—on or off the jobsite.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Find out more about suspension products that increase the performance of your half-ton pickup truck, visit www.timbren.com.