Dump Truck Accidents
Posted on behalf of Gordon & Partners on Feb 19, 2013 in Truck Accidents
A report recently issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that in the state of Florida, there were 29 large-truck accident fatalities in 2011.
While there are often a number of factors that can contribute to a truck collision, due to the large variety of commercial vehicles that use the roads and highways of Florida, the threat of being injured in an accident involving a truck is always present.
Aside from vehicular injuries, owners, drivers and workers can also be injured by large trucks by the onboard machinery that many trucks possess. An example of this is a hydraulic lift bed on a dump truck, which have been known to collapse due to mechanical and other related failures.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a dump truck accident, the injury victim may be eligible to receive compensation for their injuries - along with any additional expenses for the treatment and rehabilitation of those injuries.
To learn more, simply fill out the "Free Case Evaluation" form located to the right - it's FREE.
Types Of Dump Trucks
Due to the different needs of commercial businesses, there have been a variety of dump truck designs created to address those requirements.
Some of the most common types of trucks include:
Standard Type - a standard dump truck is comprised of a truck-based chassis and a large, bathtub style body attached to that chassis. While there are different bed sizes that can handle a variety of cargo and produce, almost all of the dump tubs are operated by a hydraulic lift that is mounted onto the truck chassis.
Almost all standard type dump trucks have 6 to 10 wheels, with one entire axle assembly being able to be lifted from the ground to reduce wear and tear on vital differential components - most notably wheel bearings, tires and brakes.
Transfer Dump Truck - this design utilizes a separate trailer that is pulled behind the primary mover. In most instances, these secondary trailers are used to haul break bulk types of cargo - rocks, asphalt, sand, wood chips and the like.
By making use of a special design that allows maximum payload capacity while still enabling acceptable maneuverability, certain transfer dump truck configurations can haul more than 270,000 lbs of cargo.
Super Dump Truck - a super dump truck is essentially a heavy-duty version of a "standard type" dump truck. By utilizing a design that stretches the distance between the first and last axles, this increase the amount of weight that the truck and haul and dump - often exceeding 75,000 lbs.
Semi Trailer Dumper - using a tractor trailer and separate dumpster, the dumping unit on a this design is all contained on the trailer itself - including hydraulics and the hoist mechanism. Despite being able to haul considerable amounts of cargo, semi trailer dump trucks are considered somewhat unsafe due to the high center of gravity of the dumper when fully extended and the low overall weight of the trailer.
Bottom Dump Truck - a bottom dump truck uses the same design as a semi trailer dumper, but has an option for the cargo to be dumped from the bottom of the holding unit. The primary advantage of this design, is that the driver can unload the contents of the dump unit into an underground holding vat or vessel.
A primary disadvantage to this design is that it is not good for large or bulky items. It works best with grains, some produce, sand and similar materials.
Side Dump Truck - much like the bottom dump truck design, side dump trucks unload their cargo using a mechanism that pours the material from one side of the holding unit. Hydraulic lifts on each or either side of the trailer chassis elevate one size of the unit, which allows gravity to extract most - if not all - of the cargo.
Articulated Hauler - used primarily in heavy industry, where they are not called "dump trucks" (they are referred to as "haul trucks"), articulated haulers are generally all wheel drive, heavy duty vehicles that have a hinge between the prime mover and the dump box.
However, despite being somewhat similar to a semi trailer dumper, the primary difference between an articulated hauler and the semi trailer variety is that the articulated hauler is permanently attached to the prime mover, with hydraulic systems allowing the dump trailer to be pivoted to help steer the vehicle.
It's important to note that despite a host of safety features being designed into almost all dump trucks, it's important to be aware of all moving parts whenever operating - or around - this type of vehicle.
The Dangers Of Dump Trucks
Due to the large size of these vehicles, most motorists and workers are well aware of their locations whenever they are present however despite this, there are two primary types of dangers that are associated with these types of vehicles.
Automotive Collisions - while the driver of the dump truck is often well protected in the cabin of the vehicle, in the event of a collision other vehicles have been known to fare far worse. The reason for this is due to two primary reasons:
- The height of the dump truck often results in regular cars, SUV's and motorcycles to go underneath the truck in the event of a collision
- The solid construction of the dump truck combined with it's weight advantage mean that in most accidents, other vehicles simply hit the dump truck and crumble
Due to these issues, some designers are working on implementing a bumper that is approximately 16 inches above the ground to help protect other motorists in the event of a collision.
Tipping Accidents - tipping the contents out of a dump truck holding unit can be a very dangerous task, as it involves great pressure (from the hydraulic lifting mechanism), great weight (from the cargo in the holding unit) and great height (when the hydraulic hoist is fully extended).
By combining all three of these factors, the chances of an individual sustaining a serious personal injury can be very high - with any mechanical failure often resulting in:
- crushed or lost limbs
- broken bones
- spinal damage
- facial injuries
... just to name a few.
This threat is also elevated if the unloading surface is unequal, as due to the weight shift that occurs when the cargo is transferred from the truck, any un-level areas may result in an unexpected movement of the truck itself.
Dump Truck Injury? Contact Us Today
A dump truck-related injury can often be a life changing event for all parties involved. The resulting medical, medicinal and mechanical expenses can be crushing for many families, and those that are supported by the injury victim.
Here at the law offices of Gordon & Partners, we are compassionate to accident victims and can provide cost effective, comprehensive legal counsel to help guide you or your loved one through the entire litigation process.
Our team of attorneys have obtained favorable verdicts and settlements for thousands of clients just like you, and are ready to help fight for your MAXIMUM injury compensation.
With our primary office located in Palm Beach, we proudly serve injury victims in:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Pembroke Pines
- West Palm Beach
- Boynton Beach
- Boca Raton
- Palm Beach Gardens
.... and most other town and cities in Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties.
Alternatively, simply fill out the "Free Case Evaluation" form located at the top of this page - it's strictly confidential, 100% FREE and we will contact you shortly after receiving your message.