Belly dump trailers are used for transporting certain materials from places like sand and gravel pits and asphalt plants to job sites or other sand and gravel pits. These materials are usually sand, gravel, dirt, rock and asphalt. But, you have to be careful when cleaning them.
Belly dump trailers have their gates on the underside of the trailer. These gates open to unload the trailer. The gates are controlled by air. There are open and close buttons and an on/off switch in the cab of the semi. There are open and close buttons on the trailer as well. In order for any of these buttons to work, the switch in the cab of a semi needs to be on. and air in the tank needs to be full. Hitchcox, A. 1999, April 1. Air Valve Commands Bottom-dump Trailer. And here is a video showing how to unload asphalt from the back of a belly dump trailer from the outside buttons. YouTube, 2011, June 5. Dumping Asphalt.
The trailer needs to be checked for safety issues before use. The doors and the rest of the trailer needs to be greased. The air lines need to be checked for leaks and they need to make sure the connections are good going to the cab so that the air can build in the tanks. Once the air is built, you can turn the switch on in the cab and open the gates to see that they are working properly, assuming that the trailer is empty.
With belly dump trailers, there is the possibility that the gates can shut without warning. There can be times when a person is standing inside these gates for spraying, maintenance, or to clean. Before he stands inside these gates, all safety bars have to be in place. He then needs to disconnect the power and release the air. He is now safe to properly enter the inside of the trailer.
There have been injuries and fatalities with belly dump gates. There was an OSHA investigated accident in 2008 that resulted in a fatality. This was found in OSHA’s website as a publication dated 12/09/2008. This employee was cleaning dirt on the inside of his trailer when the gates suddenly shut and he was then crushed. This fatality happened due to not following procedures for entering and cleaning the trailer. He did not lock the gates in the open position like he should have. To sum it all up, knowledge of safety procedures of any equipment should be followed.