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How to Operate a Garbage Truck

by Kenneth W. Michael Wills

There are a few types of garbage trucks, each designed for a specific type of garbage collection. The main standard types are the front loader, rear loader and side loader. Operation of the garbage truck will depend on the type of truck you are driving, with the main difference being how to position the truck. All three types of trucks make use of a loader to pick up the trash bins and a compactor with a packer blade inside to compress the garbage when loading into the hopper.

Drive or back the garbage truck squarely in front of the trash collection bin. If using a side loader, bring the truck parallel with the garbage bin on the side with the loader. Leave about 12 inches between the truck and the bin.

Activate the loader so it can grab the trash bin. Look at the dashboard in front of you to accomplish this. This will vary according to the make and model, but in general search for a lever that allows you to lower and extend the arms of the loader. Extend the arms of the loader and firmly grasp the trash bin. If you are unsure of the appropriate lever on your model, consult the user's manual.

Raise the hopper up and over the truck in a slow, smooth motion and dump the bin into the compactor. Do not jerk the lever up and down or back and forth. Doing so could cause the loader to drop the bin.

Maneuver the lever to lower the bin back to the ground. Make sure you operate the lever smoothly so you don't drop or slam the bin on the ground.

Activate the compactor to compress the trash so you can pick up your next load. Accomplish this by pressing the corresponding button on your dashboard. This will vary according to make and model and if unsure, you should consult the user's manual.

Tip

  • A garbage truck is designed to carry heavy loads but not for speed. To prevent accidents, take your time driving the truck and always slow down for turns as the truck is top heavy when fully loaded.

Warning

  • Always use your mirrors to confirm nobody is in the hopper before you start the compactor. If you have a helper with you, visually confirm the helper's whereabouts before starting the compactor. Many accidents involving garbage collection involve someone in the hopper when the compactor is activated.

References

About the Author

Kenneth W. Michael Wills is a writer on culture, society and business. With more than 15 years of experience in sales, public relations and written communications, Wills' passion is delighting audiences with invigorating perspectives and refreshing ideas. He has ghostwritten articles on a diverse range of topics for corporate websites and composed proposals for organizations seeking growth opportunities.

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