5 LOADING AND UNLOADING A DUMP TRAILER Improper trailer loading causes many accidents and deaths. To safely load a trailer, you must consider: 82 Overall load weight; Load weight distribution; Proper tongue weight; and Securing the load properly. To determine that you have loaded the trailer within its rating, you must consider the distribution of weight, as well as the total weight of the trailer and its contents. The trailer axles carry most of the total weight of the trailer and its contents (Gross Vehicle Weight, or “GVW”). The remainder of the total weight is carried by the tow vehicle hitch. It is essential for safe towing that the trailer tongue and tow vehicle hitch carry the proper amount of the loaded trailer weight, otherwise the trailer can develop an undesirable sway at towing speeds, or the rear of the towing vehicle can be overloaded. Read the “Tongue Weight” information in Section 4. The load distribution must be such that no component part of the trailer is loaded beyond its rating. This means that you must consider the rating of the tires, wheels and axles. For tandem and triple axle trailers, you must make sure that the front-torear load distribution does not result in overloading any axle. Towing stability also depends on keeping the center of gravity as low as possible. Load heavy items on the floor and over the axles. When loading additional items, be sure to maintain even side-to-side weight distribution and proper tongue weight. The total weight of the trailer and its contents must never exceed the total weight rating of the trailer (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or “GVWR”). 5.1 HAZARDS FOR DUMP TRAILERS A dump trailer is specifically designed for hauling cargo that is to be dumped, and equipment or palletized loads, not for transporting livestock. The major hazards associated with dump trailers are: Overloading. Improper weight distribution; both side to side and front to back. Getting under a raised dump body. Not using, or improperly using the body prop. Modifying or altering hydraulic components. Modifying or altering dump controls. Not dumping from a solid and level foundation. Not fully opening rear doors when dumping. Jerking the trailer, or hydraulics, to loosen the load. Trailer coming near or contacting overhead power lines when body is raised.
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