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Texas Department of Insurance
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Dump truck driver safety tips

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 536 dump truck-related deaths and 7,270 serious injuries occurred in the U.S between 2015 and 2020. Many of these resulted from tip-overs caused by unbalanced loads. These tips can help drivers recognize unsafe conditions and prevent rollovers.

Dump trucks being loaded at a construction site


1 Never overload the upper portion of the truck bed.

When a large amount of material is loaded in the upper portion of a raised box, the truck becomes off-balanced and unstable. Always load material evenly in the bed of the truck.

2 Dump on level ground.

Check that the vehicle is on a level surface before dumping. Even a slight slope can cause tipping. When dumping and spreading material from a moving truck, make sure the entire length is level.

3 Avoid soft surfaces.

Never dump when surfaces are loose or soft. When operating off-road, choose a spot to dump that will not shift the load’s weight.

4 Do not exit the cab while dumping.

Stay in the cab with your seatbelt on during dumping. Never attempt to jump from an overturning truck.

5 Never dump near people or other vehicles.

Many dump truck-related deaths happen to people close to a bed that tipped. Avoid dumping when trucks are parked side-by-side or when workers are in the dump area. Warn dozer operators, surveyors, spotters, and other workers to never gather in areas where dumping is underway.

For more dump truck safety information, download DWC-Workplace Safety’s Dump Truck Tip-Over Prevention Fact Sheet or stream any of DWC’s free safety videos.

DWC’s Texas Occupational Safety and Health Consultation (OSHCON) Program professionals are also available to provide companies free, confidential, on-site, or virtual help to identify and eliminate workplace hazards and comply with OSHA standards. For more information contact an OSHCON consultant at or 1-800-252-7031, option 2.


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Last updated: 3/13/2024