The European Union has a special name for certain parties who share highways and streets across the continent. They are the VRUs: vulnerable road users. These pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists account for almost 50 percent of Europeans injured or killed each year in accidents involving vehicles—and 28 percent of those injured or killed in large truck crashes. More than half of these large truck incidents take place at low speeds. In Germany alone this year, more than 20 cyclists have been killed by right-turning trucks alone. The numbers are predicted to grow as governments across Europe promote walking and biking over driving and as more urban construction projects begin.
New highway regulations in Texas have fleet managers looking for ways to equip specific heavy haul trucks with roll-stability systems and blind spot protection. The new regulations, as laid out in Texas Senate Bill 1524, address heavier oversize and overweight intermodal vehicles that carry oceangoing or international trade containers within 30 miles of a port of entry or international bridge. SB 1524 mandates that roll-stability systems and blind spot protection be installed on these vehicles as a precondition of receiving an operating permit from the Texas Department of Transportation.
By design, skid-steer loaders make quick movements in all directions, turning every few seconds. Skilled operators become very efficient, making for quick work. The compactness and versatility has helped make the skid-steer loader a popular piece of equipment across numerous industries.
Due to their design, all skid-steer loaders (SSL) have large blind spots at rear corners created by lift arms and hydraulics. All of this makes the area behind these machines extremely hazardous on the worksite.
It’s no secret that working in the heavy-duty industry is one of the most productive, yet challenging and dangerous professions. Heavy-duty operators need to be nothing short of superhuman. Not only do they need a honed, specific skill-set, but they need simultaneous small- and large-picture awareness, and a game plan for when things don’t go as expected. Heavy-duty operators need to be able to think on their feet in a heightened environment to make the best decisions possible to avoid collision and injury. That’s no small task considering the inevitable risks associated with these jobs.
Refuse and recyclable materials collectors continue to rank in the top 10 in terms of civilian occupations with the highest fatal injury rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2014 and 2015 it was ranked the fifth most dangerous occupation.