Speeding is one of the easiest ways to cause an accident in a truck yard. It doesn’t improve efficiency, and a collision of any type with a large vehicle (even at slow speeds) can cause massive damage to your property, injury, or even death. In general, a yard truck shouldn’t go over 10 MPH.

The ‘TUG test’ is simple, but if you need a refresher, this is straight from Kalmar Ottawa‘s T2 owner’s manual:

“After you have obtained adequate ground clearance at the trailer landing gear, place the shift selector in REVERSE, release your foot from the brake treadle and back FIRMLY into the kingpin jaws until you feel full engagement. REMEMBER, the latching jaws in the fifth wheel MUST BE FULLY IN THE OPEN POSITION BEFORE attempting kingpin engagement. Place the transmission shift lever into a forward drive gear and give a “TUG” at the kingpin to ensure positive lock of the jaws around the kingpin. BE PREPARED to stop if the fifth wheel jaws have not fully latched to avoid pulling out from under the trailer and dropping it.”

If you own a car, then you know that an oil leak is never a good thing. Small leaks can easily become big ones, and if this happens while you’re driving, it could lead to serious engine damage. Oil that has leaked onto the ground can also create slippery surfaces in truck yards or roads that are dangerous to others, as well as damage the environment. A simple pre-operation leak check can prevent thousands of dollars of damage.

Get out and look! It’s imperative to use your senses to make sure the environment around you is safe to operate in, as well as safe for others to be in! Things like using flashers, horns, backup alarms, checking both mirrors, knowing the vehicle’s blind spots, rolling the windows down to hear, backing up slowly, and using a spotter can all dramatically reduce accidents and injuries when using a yard truck.


Yard Trucks. That’s Our Business.™

By Mike Howell & Sarah Maness