Waste Hauler Maintenance Can Improve Safety and Performance

Did you know that the average vehicle crash costs an employer $16,500? Or, when a worker has an on-the-job crash that results in an injury, the cost to their employer is $74,000. [read more] [1] Off-the-job crashes are extremely costly to employers as well.

To be as safe as possible when driving a waste hauler, drivers obviously need to be aware of such conditions as speed, “space cushions,” turns and curves, visibility, and more. In addition, many waste fleet owners require driver to monitor tires, brakes, and other components to make sure they are properly maintained.

We believe the same principle should apply to other important components such as suspension bushings, load cushions, engine and transmission mounts, bumper parts, and more. If your drivers can play a more proactive role in the maintenance of their waste vehicles, they can improve safety, minimize downtime, and keep them on the road longer.

Waste haulers should be on a routine preventative maintenance schedule for servicing and checking of safety-related equipment. Regular maintenance should be completed at specific mileage intervals and should be consistent with manufacturer’s recommendations. Drivers should keep a close eye on all components and ask mechanics to do a thorough inspection of each vehicle on an annual basis.

For example, loose and worn torque rods can cause serious damage to your truck and result in costly downtime as well. Drivers or mechanics should check the torque rod bushings regularly for movement. If there is movement greater than 1/8”, it’s time to replace or re-bush the torque rods.

Other signs that rods need to be re-bushed or replaced are:

  • Torque rod is bent
  • Bushing material is torn or cracked
  • Pin or sleeve in the rod eye is off-center; the pin appears to be “walking out” of the rod eye
  • Pin or sleeve is no longer located in the vertical center of the rod eye
  • Bolt hole in straddle pins is stretched or elongated

If drivers continue to operate a vehicle with worn or loose torque rods, it impacts the truck’s ability to absorb cornering forces, increasing the likelihood of a rollover when the truck makes turns. Worn torque rods can also affect driveline angles and U-Joint wear, contribute to misalignment and tire wear as well as ring and pinion failure, and can cause leaking transmission and differential seals.

Special Report: Torque Rods

The ATRO Difference

When it comes to selecting the right parts, ATRO suspension bushings, load cushions and bolster springs, engine and transmission mounts, bumper pads and other waste truck components all give you the advantage you’ve been looking for. As a result, waste haulers can perform better, stay on the road longer, and operate safely.

[1] NHTSA [2003]. The economic burden of traffic crashes on employers: costs by state and industry and by alcohol and restraint use. Publication DOT HS 809 682.