All dump truck companies understand the importance of driver safety. These operators transport sensitive materials. They also operate heavy machinery in risky situations. Therefore, they need protection. Both trucking companies and independent operators can benefit from commercial auto insurance. Still, they must abide by a variety of safety procedures to keep driving risks low. Where do you start, however? Let’s discuss some of the safety procedures that might prove critical to your business.
At the end of the day, your actions as a commercial dump truck operator must remain accountable. With a security-minded approach, you can often make your business more successful.
Start with Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto coverage protects drivers who operate a vehicle for commercial purposes. Still, commercial vehicles vary widely. Your dump truck is at one end of the spectrum, while a realtor’s vehicle might be on the other. As a result, the specific coverage you need will vary. Most truckers can find their coverage by working with a specialty trucking insurer.
Some of the coverage to ask your agent about includes:
- Liability protection. This coverage will pay for damage you cause others if you are at fault in an accident. Most states require this coverage. Most trucking insurance policies will include it automatically. Still, increase your limits to your satisfaction.
- Physical damage coverage: Can pay for damage your vehicle sustains following wrecks or other hazards.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage: Some states require this protection. It’s advisable for most drivers, regardless. If you have an accident caused by the other driver, they might have a responsibility to pay for your losses. However, they might not have the right liability coverage for your needs. This coverage helps make up for those losses.
- Medical payments coverage: Drivers who get hurt in a wreck can use this coverage for their medical bills. Keep in mind, certain operators might qualify for workers’ comp through their employer.
- Cargo protection: Materials in your dump truck stand a chance of damage. This coverage can extend to certain items.
- Pollution liability insurance: Some truckers will need this coverage. If materials in the truck contaminate a location, coverage might pay for cleanup.
Every dump truck operator will need to tailor their coverage to their personal risks. The limits and deductibles on your policy should reflect the value of your vehicle and cargo. It also should reflect your ability to pay. You'll want enough coverage to protect your financial stability. Still you don't want too much so you wind up paying an unnecessary price for coverage.
Keep in mind, individuals and companies will likely need different elements of coverage. Some companies might fully insure their drivers. Others might only provide liability coverage, while operators must obtain supplementary coverage. Independent operators often need to provide their own coverage. Your agent can make sure you choose a policy that completely aligns with your needs.
Regardless of how much insurance you carry, it’s worth very little if you don’t adhere to proper safety on the road. Truckers have to realize that driving poses risks not just to themselves, but to others. As a business, safety should be your top priority.
- All drivers should receive appropriate licensing to operate dump trucks. Most will need endorsements or other qualifications on their licenses.
- Drivers should learn the special functions of their particular vehicle before operating on dispatch.
- Those hiring drivers should vet candidates thoroughly. Those who have a history of driving infractions might not qualify for a position.
- Register the vehicle with the state, and keep it active. Operators should carry licensing, registration and proof of insurance in the vehicle.
- Do not attempt to drive without an active trucking insurance policy.
- Do not allow drivers to transport items not suited for a dump truck.
Monitoring Driver Progress
Once a trucker starts operating, they subject themselves to everyday road risks. Any problems drivers experience could also impact the business. Therefore, those who drive should always operate under the tightest regulations.
- All trucks should include a comprehensive security system. Alarms, multi-step locks, and steering wheel jams might all prevent theft, vandalism or damage to cargo.
- Truckers should face scrutiny of their actions behind the wheel. Some trucks include speed monitors, surveillance cameras or GPS trackers. On one hand, these items can help the company ensure their drivers follow the rules. However, they can also help protect and recover the items in the event of theft or vandalism. Some commercial auto insurers even offer discounts for including these items on your vehicles.
- Any driver who breaks the law or causes an accident should face disciplinary action. This might include an investigation or temporary revocation of driving privileges.
Regardless of the size of your trucking business, make sure it has appropriate insurance coverage. Still, enforce safe operations at the same time. Together, your policy and practices can make a better business.
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