Moving Safely in Reverse With Your Garbage Truck Fleet

When it comes to driving and operating the waste haulers and garbage trucks, the average drivers spend almost 99 percent of his time moving forward. But the irony of it all is that the remaining time which requires the drivers to operate the trucks backward result to more accidents and costs on the road. Whenever the driver starts to activate the truck in reverse, the risk of meeting an accident increases, putting the operator and the pedestrians in danger. This is a serious issue not just for the driver but also for the fleet manager. Reversing accidents will not just cause costly damages to the garbage trucks; these can translate to lost productive hours, hospitalization and a damaged reputation.

Moving Safely in Reverse With Your Garbage Truck Fleet

So why are backing accidents common in garbage trucks and waste haulers?

Well, there are a number of factors that contribute to the risk, but the primary reason directly involves the drivers. One reason can be attributed to the driver’s inattentiveness and lack of focus when it comes to reversing. Since waste trucks are not driven that fast, some drivers become too complacent and they often let their guards down when reversing. In most cases, drivers fail to check the surrounding environment, which should be a must-do activity before attempting to reverse. The size of the garbage trucks and even its length and attachments also prevent drivers from clearly seeing the sides and the rear, thus increasing the risk for a reversing accident.


What Drivers and Fleet Owners Can Do to Promote Safety

To avoid the accidents associated with reversing, drivers should invest first in responsible driving habits. In fact, responsible driving should be second nature for someone who is operating any type of vehicle. There are a few things to keep in mind when operating waste haulers even when these vehicles are fitted with reversing cameras and other safety features.

PPA 7” QUAD Dash Mount Reversing 4 Camera SystemKnow the blind spots and always check these. The standard mirrors will not always give you the complete picture.

Walk around the garbage truck to check for pedestrians and other tire hazards.

A spotter may be helpful when operating the garbage trucks. The operator and spotter should agree on the use of hand signals.

Use the horn to warn pedestrians when attempting to reverse.


These safety reminders and the installation of reversing camera systems can go a long way in promoting safety on the road.