June is National Safety Month. Our industry takes safety very seriously and for good reasons. Operating a yard spotter truck requires precision, skill, and, most importantly, a steadfast commitment to safety. 

When you’re behind the wheel of a terminal tractor, it’s not just about getting from point A to point B; it’s about navigating an environment filled with people walking around, potential hazards, and multiple trucks loading and unloading as quickly as possible. Ensuring the safety of yourself and those around you is of utmost importance.

1. Use a three-point stance when ascending and descending

How you enter and exit your terminal tractor is the foundation of safety. Always maintain a three-point stance when getting into or out of your vehicle. Keep both hands and one foot, or both feet and one hand in contact with the vehicle. This simple but effective practice reduces the risk of slips and falls.

2. Keep the cab free from clutter

Reduce the risk of accidents by keeping your workspace tidy and free of unnecessary items or debris. During sudden stops or sharp turns, loose items in the cab can become distractions or dangerous projectiles. Having a clean cab isn’t just about appearances; it’s so you can stay safe on the road.

3. Maintain a safe distance from other trucks

Yard operations often involve multiple vehicles in a tight space. Giving other vehicles the right of way is important to prevent collisions, especially when another truck is backing up. Never try to cut across the path of a car that is in reverse.

4. Be aware of your yard surroundings

Whether you’re in your yard truck or walking in the yard, constant awareness of the trucks and workers around you is paramount to safe yard operations. Wear high-visibility clothing to make yourself more visible to others. Utilize spotters to guide you in areas with blind spots or obstructed views when needed.

5. Wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Essential PPE, including hard hats, safety glasses, a high-visibility vest, and steel-toe boots, are designed to protect you from potential hazards that may arise throughout the day. Consider the significance of wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the yard or your cab.

BONUS TIP: Before operating your yard truck, perform a pre-shift, daily inspection to discover any risks or maintenance needs. Refer to the yard truck operator manual for a detailed daily maintenance checklist. Get started by downloading our Kalmar Ottawa Daily Inspection Form today.

The safety of your team and equipment is critical to your success. By implementing these safety tips, you can protect yourself and those around you. That is why at Eagle Mark 4, we are committed to promoting safety and providing top-quality equipment.