The safety aspects of a self-dumping hopper is an important consideration when deciding on any type of hopper. A self-dumping hopper is a smart way to improve productivity for work sites and warehouses in a variety of industries. However, it’s imperative that you keep your workers safe while on the job. This is important whether your industry is agricultural, commercial or industrial in nature. Self-dumping hoppers are safer than ever. They have durable construction, tight fitting lids, seamless welding, self-balancing features, and secure latches and locks. Purchasing one is also a great step toward enhancing worker safety. It eliminates the need to manually manipulate heavy loads, particularly in precarious situations. As with any piece of equipment, proper techniques must always be practiced to protect the user. Review and remember these top safety tips to get the most out of your Roura hopper.
Safety Features of Self-Dumping Hoppers
Working safely starts with innovation. Our self-dumping hoppers employ features designed not only to reduce unnecessary effort but also an unnecessary risk:
- The inclusion of trip lever latches provides protection against accidental discharge. Trip level latches ensure materials remain securely in place even during transportation over bumpy and uneven surfaces. This is especially handy when your forklift is traveling over the rough or tricky terrain. Keeping the hopper from falling is of paramount importance. This could cause a huge mess at the least or hurt or kill someone at the worst.
- Strategically placed release handles ensure optimal safety for the operator when dumping loads. Some release handles systems allow the forklift operators to release the latch from where they are seated in the machine — even when at elevated heights. This offers a convenience factor in addition to safety so that operators do not have to leave the vehicle to perform the job, keeping them out of harm’s way.
- Additional chains and latches may be employed to add stability when transporting and clearing hoppers. Secure chains and cables are typically available as well to ensure the hopper doesn’t slide off the forklift forks when being transported or discharged.
Initial Inspection and Preparation
Before utilizing your self-dumping hopper, inspect the unit thoroughly for any signs of damage or excessive wear. Make sure to inspect its core components such as the trip lever handle, flat spring, and back pad pin, plus all aspects of the base and body. If any damages are observed, discontinue use of the hopper until repairs can be made. For more detailed information on component integrity, please reference your product’s Operation and Safety Sheet.
Securing and Transporting
Take care never to overload or overfill hoppers, which can result in equipment failure and pose risks to nearby personnel. Similarly, do not elevate a hopper without knowledge of a forklift’s load center and weight capacity. It’s important also to understand the nature and characteristics of the materials being handled, as their weight will shift forward when hoppers move to the dumping position.
When securing the unit to a forklift, keep these self-dumping hopper safety tips in mind:
- Forks should be placed within fork pockets, spaced apart as widely as possible. Place them as far forward as allowable, but make sure they don’t protrude from the front of the hopper’s base.
- The hopper should be lifted 2-4” from the ground, and the forklift’s mast tilted back completely before moving.
- Ensure that workers are never positioned near or in front of a raised hopper.
- Forklifts should travel at low speed, driving in reverse if clear forward visibility is unavailable.
Dumping and Other Tips
Dumping can be performed from an elevated position or from the ground level, as for use with loading docks or lower-elevation areas. It’s crucial to ensure the hopper’s body front will not strike the ground when dumping. In the absence of a forklift, a hopper must also be chained to the ground or a point of comparable stability before use.
If dumping from a raised position, remember these key safety tips:
- Do not touch any part of the hopper aside from the trip lever handle.
- Keep forks about 6” above the receiving container, and be sure that the front end will not contact the receptacle as it tilts forward.
- Sloped surfaces are not recommended for elevated dumping, as they can result in imbalanced loads.
- Always ensure that the trip lever latch securely connects with the back pad pin after the hopper returns to its upright position.
The accessories you can purchase to work with your self-dumping hoppers should also feature the same dedication to safety. Caster wheels are generally manufactured to operate smoothly and resist catching, particularly when rolled over trash, objects, and dirt. Maneuverability is the top goal here, as a smooth rolling wheel ensures seamless operation of your unit. Covers should be watertight, offering drain channels to allow for water runoff so rain does not accumulate on the lid or inside, posing a safety hazard. Chains and snap hooks should be mounted to the covers of the self-dumping hopper for securing the movable lid when dumping. Pull down cable systems and hopper release systems for multiple self-dumping hoppers present an additional safety feature for forklift operators who don’t have to risk their safety climbing onto the forklift trucks to make adjustments or activating the trip lever to dump the unit.
Safety is number one when it comes to the handling and operation of your self-dumping hopper. Ensure that all users and operators of a self-dumping hopper understand all safety operations and protocol instructions of this equipment as it pertains to his and her plant, yard or facility before using any product associated with the self-dumping hopper.
Start Working Smarter
From refuse and recycling to food processing and construction industries, the range of applications for self-dumping hoppers is wide and varied. They serve as a sound strategy for turning difficult, laborious tasks into simple, manageable work, and it’s a difference you’re sure to notice immediately.
When it comes to upgrading the safety and efficiency of your operations, there’s no time like the present. Learn more about our line of self-dumping hoppers.