Toolbox Talk – V9 Vehicle manoeuvring

    Toolbox Talk – V9 Vehicle manoeuvring

    1. Aim of toolbox talk

    The aim of this toolbox talk is to communicate this company’s policy to all drivers (including sub-contracted and agency drivers) on vehicle manoeuvring including driving forward, turning, reversing, towing, uncoupling and parking.

    2. How this toolbox talk will help you This toolbox talk covers:

  • The correct procedures to adopt
  • Use of manoeuvring aids
  • Risk assessment
  • The talk will end with some questions so listen up!

    3. Reason why our company goal is to ensure that there is a reduction in the potential to injure people and property through the careful control of vehicles.

    The policy is an effective means of ensuring consistency throughout the organisation and tells drivers how to behave in certain situations.

    Policy can be linked to legal requirements so that drivers are aware of the law and compliance of regulations and rules that aim to reduce the potential for injury.

    4. Safe manoeuvring

    Manoeuvring your truck is a difficult and skilled operation.

    It is important to be aware of the hazards and obstacles that may be in your way.

    As a driver you should always observe your surroundings before carrying out any manoeuvre and use your mirrors.

    There are blind spots around the sides of the vehicle, which makes it more important to be aware of other road users both to either side and at the rear of your vehicle before they enter these blind-spots.

    It’s important to keep a clear view from the driving position and items should not be placed in the windscreen area or in the way of mirrors or monitors, where they might impede visibility.

    The area of the windscreen that is kept clear by the wipers should not be obscured, and nor should the side windows.

    Windows and mirrors will also normally need to be kept clean and in good repair.

    Dirt or cracks can make windows or mirrors less effective. All collisions (minor and major) and near misses should be reported to your supervisor as soon as possible.

    If reversing is unavoidable, use organised routes to minimise the need for reversing. If there is a one way system on the site, use it.

    5. The correct procedures to adopt

    Reversing

    Nearly a quarter of all deaths involving vehicles at work occur during reversing.

    Many other reversing accidents do not result in injury but cause costly damage to vehicles, equipment and premises.

    Most of the accidents can be avoided by taking simple precautions.

    Where possible, the need for reversing should be eliminated, however where reversing cannot be avoided:

  • When visiting sites make sure you are familiar with the layout of the workplace and any site rules. If you have to report to reception on arrival make sure you do
  • Where possible, use the help of a ‘banksman’, whose job it is to keep the reversing area free of pedestrians, and to guide drivers. If there isn’t a banksman and you need help, it’s always better to ask than risk having an accident
  • When using a banksman, make sure you understand their signals before starting the reversing manoeuvre. If you lose sight of him/her, stop immediately
  • Reverse slowly and with caution, minimising the distance. Be prepared to stop instantly
  • If you can’t see behind the vehicle, or you’re unsure of distances, stop, get out of your vehicle and check access before continuing the manoeuvre
  • Parking

    As a driver you should understand the risks of leaving your vehicle badly parked and how to avoid doing this.

    Carelessly parked vehicles can injure or even kill people.

    For example: A vehicle parked on a slope can move if all of the brakes are not used properly.

    Remember it can take very little slope to make a vehicle move.

    Vehicles should be parked on firm and level ground, in a designated parking area if one is available.

    A vehicle must NEVER be left without ensuring both the vehicle and the trailer are securely braked, the engine is off and the key to the vehicle has been removed.

    Also ensure appropriate trailer legs and any mounted equipment is lowered to the ground or secured.

    Remember:

  • Brakes ON
  • Engine OFF
  • Key OUT
  • Equipment SAFE
  • Coupling / Uncoupling

    Coupling and uncoupling should take place on firm and level surfaces and in areas that are well lit.

    Don’t attempt to do it without being properly trained and always make sure you follow a safe system of work involving the use of trailer and tractor unit parking brakes as appropriate.

    Finally ensure you are wearing the appropriate clothing to carry out this task, this can include suitable gloves, footwear, and other personal protective equipment such as high visibility clothing.

    A coupling procedure for standard semi-trailers is as follows:

  • Slowly reverse the tractor unit in a straight line towards the front of the trailer and apply the tractor unit parking brake, stop the engine and remove the keys
  • Check the trailer parking brake is applied and make any necessary adjustments to the trailer coupling height and slowly reverse the tractor unit under the trailer until the fifth wheel jaws engage
  • Apply the tractor unit parking brake, stop the engine and remove the keys and carry out a visual check that the fifth wheel jaws have engaged correctly and fit the security “dog clip” or other safety device
  • Carry out a second test that the 5th wheel jaws have engaged by selecting a low forward gear and with the trailer brakes still applied slowly pull forward
  • Apply the tractor unit parking brake, stop the engine and remove the keys then connect the service airline (yellow) and electrical connections
  • Connect the emergency airline (red) and watch for any unexpected movement. (If the trailer moves, immediately disconnect the emergency airline (red) and check that the trailer parking brake has been applied)
  • Wind up the landing legs and secure the handle then fit the number plates and check that the lights work.
  • Carry out visual and functional vehicle checks, and release the trailer handbrake before setting off An uncoupling procedure for standard semi-trailers is as follows:
  • Park the combination in a straight line and apply the tractor unit parking brake, stop the engine and remove the keys
  • Apply the trailer parking brake, remove and stow the trailer number plate and lower the landing legs
  • Disconnect all of the air and electrical services and stow safely and remove the security “dog clip” and pull the release handle to disengage the fifth wheel jaws
  • Slowly draw the tractor unit away from the trailer. If the tractor unit has mechanical suspension stop when the trailer is clear of the fifth wheel
  • Apply the tractor unit parking brake, stop the engine and remove the keys. Before leaving the trailer, walk round it to check that it is in a safe condition
  • Towing

    You should check your driving licence to make sure you’re allowed to tow a trailer

  • Towing a trailer will reduce the speed you’re allowed to travel at. Make sure you are familiar with and abide by the correct speed limits
  • You MUST NOT tow more than your licence permits
  • Make sure you have an adequate view of the road behind you
  • Make sure that your lights and indicators are in good working order
  • Remember when towing, you MUST follow the rules and before you start any journey, make sure you are fit to drive and your vehicle is fit for the road
  • 6. Use of manoeuvring aids

    Vehicle based aids can be helpful if vehicles are delivering to sites where reversing cannot be eliminated or where it will not be possible to guarantee pedestrian segregation.

    Systems available include:

  • Closed circuit television (CCTV) – Can help drivers to see clearly behind or around the vehicle and can cover most blind spots. The cost of fitting CCTV systems has fallen since the technology was first developed, and the systems are more reliable
  • Close proximity sensors – Detect the presence of any nearby vehicle, cyclist, pedestrian or object within the blind spots and alert the driver
  • Vehicle reversing alarms – Alert other road users and pedestrians to the presence of a reversing vehicle. They will not detect pedestrians however and rely on the pedestrian responding to the alarm in the correct way
  • Banksman – should be used to help you manoeuvre your vehicle if necessary
  • 7. Risk assessment and its role

    A risk assessment is a systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity orundertaking.

    You should be familiar with and signed this company’s risk assessment on vehicle manoeuvring.

    As part of your workplace transport risk assessment, it is important that you understand the handling characteristics of any vehicles used on site at any time, even if it is predominantly used offsite.

    In addition you should make sure that you follow and sign the risk assessment(s) of any sites you deliver or pick up goods from.

    8. Incentive

    Carefully controlling vehicles and manoeuvring your vehicle safely can result in:

  • Reduced loss through damage, injury and people off work
  • Better insurance rates
  • The company can avoid compensation payments, fines and legal costs
  • Your company’s reputation is protected
  • It improves YOUR morale as an employee
  • A general improvement in working practices from a planned and sensible approach to health and safety, which can lead to improvements in productivity
  • 9. Questions to ask yourself to ensure that the talk has been understood

  • 1. What is the company goal with regards to vehicle manoeuvring?
  • 2. Name three procedures you should adopt when reversing the vehicle?
  • 3. What procedure should you follow before leaving your vehicle?
  • 4. What aids are available to help you manoeuvre your vehicle?
  • 10. Final summary

    To sum up, we need to ensure that there is a reduction in the potential to injure people and property through the careful control of vehicles.

    Manoeuvring your truck is a difficult and skilled operation.

    It is important to be aware of the hazards and obstacles that may be in your way.

    As a driver you should always observe your surroundings before carrying out any manoeuvre and use your mirrors.

    All collisions (minor and major) and near misses should be reported to your supervisor as soon as possible.

    Remember, manoeuvring the vehicle safely, following the correct procedures and using manoeuvring aids will help to keep yourself and others safe and promote a positive health and safety culture.

    Risk assessments are again required by law and are an essential part of identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace.

    They help you decide whether you have covered all you need to.

    Make sure you are familiar with the risk assessment for vehicle manoeuvring and have signed and dated it.

    The consequences of not following the correct procedures could mean vehicles and equipment are damaged and such ctions have the potential to lead to serious injury or loss of life.

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