Dump trucks come in all shapes and sizes and are generally found around construction sites. When thinking about a dump truck, the image generated is generally of a large vehicle with a deep tray on the back that can be tipped to empty the load. The tipping action gives rise to the use of the word ‘dump’ in the truck’s name. However, they are not the only vehicles used – there is one vehicle that is very important in construction, especially when it comes to road building, and that is the water truck.
Water trucks, while different in shape and size to dump trucks, are no different when it comes to operating skills. Dump truck drivers need to learn how to ‘dump on the go’ – this is the process of tipping back the tray then driving down the road as the contents are spread behind them. Water trucks, whilst not tipping, are required to operate at a steady pace as they ‘water’ the road. Why water the road?
There are several reasons why water is used on new road constructions – or general construction for that matter. One is very simple – dust control. Wet ground does not kick up dust. The second use of water, particularly in road construction, is the damping, holding and lubricating effect it has on certain soils. By wetting the area before running a heavy roller over it, the soil compacts better thus providing for much harder and more stable surface to lay the finishing surface too.
Because the skills used to operate a water truck are similar to those used by dump trucks, experienced drivers can often move between the two vehicles. You will need a commercial drivers license to operate either vehicle and this will require training. Dump truck driver training covers both vehicles and should prepare students for their commercial drivers license tests. Look for a truck driver training program that includes plenty of hands on driving experience, especially in areas such as reversing and driving in traffic. Dump trucks may be the backbone of most construction sites, but water trucks ensure they are as dust free as possible.