The concern about rollovers in the ready-mixed concrete industry is nothing new. Producers have been concerned about righting this problem since they began mounting mixers on trucks.
"Every producer with whom I have spoken believes that all rollovers are preventable," says Jim McClure, safety manager for Dallas-based TXI and chairman of an NRMCA task force studying the rollover problem. McClure and others are concerned about a new awareness of this problem, which has led to a zero-tolerance stance—a far cry from the more resigned outlook of bygone days.
Many safety experts suggest that there are two aspects to the increase in rollovers in the concrete industry. First, the ready-mix industry has been growing at a fast pace. Resultantly, producers have had to recruit an increased number of inexperienced drivers. Another common concern is that the new trucks often have the same driving feel as that of sport utility vehicles and give drivers a false sense of security.
In the driver training area, NRMCA has spent thousands of dollars and a lot of industry expert involvement in creating its Driver Certification Program. A task force is investigating the use of a driver simulator that is under development by Lockheed-Martin.
In addition, the Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (TMMB) has been actively addressing the increased need for driver training. Two years ago, TMMB developed a new safety video titled "Operating a Truck Mixer in the Safety Zone."
Finally, many mixer manufacturers are working on designs that feature delivery units with lower centers of gravity.
The article includes a list of the most common driver errors, how to minimize rollover damage, and how to train drivers to avoid rollovers.