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Here are 9 tips to become a great ADT operator

An efficient articulated hauler or ADT operator can provide technical expertise, safety and situational awareness and combine these skills with effective communication and a commitment to productivity.

Scottish ADT manufacturer Rokbak explains how an operator can master the art of driving an articulated dump truck.

Be ready to move

Take control of the dumper and your daily work before the engine is running by making sure you know the truck. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the truck’s controls, capabilities and limitations. This includes knowing how to operate it efficiently and safely in different conditions, such as on slopes, rough terrain or in bad weather.

The ADT inspection

At the start of the day, pre-start checks are essential. A diligent operator performs routine inspections of the truck to ensure the truck is ready for use.

Every day the operator must check for pre-existing damage, including leaks, loose parts and the condition of the tires, and ensure that the lights and flashing lights are working.

Rokbak trucks have ground level test points and a fully tilting cab for quick, easy access during maintenance.

A thorough tour of the equipment before starting a shift can make a big difference, and it doesn’t take much time.

Know your limits

Before you start working, you should familiarize yourself with the elements of the workplace, such as speed, maximum ground load, direction of travel, passing areas, width and height restrictions and prohibited areas. Know your carrier’s capacity and make sure you are aware of your truck’s operating limits regarding payload.

Also monitor how many buckets the loader dumps into the truck to stay within the ADT’s safe operating limits and prevent accelerated component wear due to overloading. Rokbak offers an optional on-board payload system and exterior loading lighting, which makes it clear to both truck and loader drivers whether the payload has reached its destination. This information is recorded and transmitted via the Haul Track telematics system.

Safe operation

Follow all site operating procedures when driving the truck. Stay at speed and under control on slopes and control the slope guides for a safe and controlled descent speed. Use the differential locks correctly; you’ll want to use them when working on soft or slippery ground to maintain traction and control. Also consider what equipment is on your transportation route and what type of traffic you can expect.

Correct use

The Rokbak RA30 and RA40 articulated dumpers have fully closed multi-disc brakes on all six wheels plus a retarder. Understanding the proper use of the retarder can extend the life of the service brakes and shorten maintenance intervals, reducing the total cost of ownership. If necessary, use the transmission lock in range or manual shift mode to maintain smooth ascent or descent on grades.

Stay vigilant

A good ADT operator remains alert to his surroundings, including other employees, vehicles and obstacles on site.

They anticipate potential hazards and adjust their driving behavior accordingly to maintain safety. There will inevitably be challenges, such as navigating tight spaces. An alert operator can quickly assess situations, make informed decisions and take appropriate action to resolve problems while minimizing downtime. Never operate an articulated dump truck if you feel tired or unwell.

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Attention to detail

Operating an articulated dump truck requires attention to detail to ensure proper loading, unloading and maneuvering of materials. While an integrated payload system can take into account the number of loads moved, manually recording progress keeps productivity on track. For better fuel efficiency, minimize heavy acceleration and reduce unnecessary idling whenever possible.

Do not ignore ADT error codes

Critical information is provided when system error codes are activated. If a fault does occur with a Rokbak truck, the operator will receive a warning symbol on the dashboard. Faults should be reported when they occur as continued use may worsen the problem.

Following the truck’s advice means higher availability by preventing possible disruptions. Effective communication with site supervisors, colleagues and other equipment operators is critical to coordinating tasks and ensuring smooth operations.

The closer

Follow the proper closing procedure at the end of a shift. Letting the truck idle for a while at the end of a long work day allows the coolant to circulate through the engine.

This helps to gradually lower the temperature, preventing potential damage from frequent hot shutdowns over time.

Following proper maintenance and start-up and shutdown procedures will keep operating costs low.