When it’s time to pickup or drop a trailer, you’ve got to crank the landing gear. Sometimes putting the landing gear up-or-down is no easy task. It could be a lack of lubrication, damage to the assembly, or just not enough space between trailers.
Even if the landing gear is maintained and undamaged it can still injure a driver’s shoulder, wrist, back, or face. Therefore it is critical to take safety precautions to avoid injury. Proper posture and technique can help reduce the potential for injury. When manually cranking the landing gear, use these tips to make the job safer:
- Visually inspect before cranking and report any problems to the maintenance department. It’s important to document all defects on the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR).
- Maintain good posture - brace yourself against the trailer with your non-cranking hand.
- Avoid twisting your back while applying force as it can increase the likelihood of a back injury.
- It’s important to be in the correct gear. There are two "gears", high and low which are selected by sliding the crankshaft in or out. Check for a decal showing direction for raising and lowering and how to engage gears.
- When coupling, the trailer should be slightly lower then the fifth-wheel. This will cause the trailer to lift and relieve the pressure of a loaded trailer.
- Keep your face away from the handle swing.
- Do not “speed” spin the crank. Patience will significantly reduce your chances of hurting your shoulder.
For more information, visit a great website called www.keeptruckingsafe.org which has many safety practices listed on their site.
Otherwise, contact Safety - they’re always happy to help!