9 Important Safety Tips for Using Your Dump Cart

1000lbs Towed Poly Dump Cart by Plant Craft

Dump carts are a handy tool for hauling heavy material in bulk such as wood, earth, saplings, and tools across large distances. Carts help people avoid the tedious work of making multiple trips transporting material with a small capacity wheelbarrow. They are widely utilized in farms, orchards, and large backyards. In the olden days, wooden dump carts were fastened to horses and oxen, but they have been largely replaced by the more durable plastic and steel types that are pulled by tractors and ATVs.

Dump carts have become an essential accessory to have around. Whether it’s for a small home operation or for a big farm, it’s undeniable that dump carts can save you considerable time and effort that could be used to do other things. But it is also important to observe proper and safe operation to ensure you can derive the maximum enjoyment from your dump cart. Following these simple tips can help you haul heavy loads safely and efficiently.

Check the load

Dump carts are designed to transport heavy material, but not all dump carts are engineered the same way. Check the manual or attached labels for the cart’s maximum load capacity and maximum dumping load capacity -- the two are different. Ensure that the weight of the material doesn’t exceed what your dump cart is designed to safely carry. Failure to follow guidelines might result in the cart tipping over while transport, damaging it and possibly injuring you.

Even distribution

Make sure the load is evenly distributed throughout the tray. Check if there are areas where weight is concentrated, this could impede proper function of the dump cart. Secure discrete cargo such as firewood and large farming implements with a rope. Do not load cargo on the top edges of the tray.

Do not modify

Ricing, or making excessive modifications, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Resist the temptation to modify the pull cart to improve performance or appearance. You might do more harm than good. Modern dump carts are already engineered to provide top performance, and modifications can prevent proper function.

Keep off the road

Dump carts are not designed to be used on public roads, and may even be illegal where you live. Only use a dump cart within your property. Also ensure that your speed doesn’t exceed 9 KPH. Going over that limit will force your cart to overexert itself and might even lead to it (and its contents) toppling over.

Check the terrain

Check the terrain you’re going to drive through before using a dump cart. Avoid areas that are overly muddy or unstable. Your vehicle and your dump cart might get stuck in the mud and you’d be left with a messy situation.

Drive slowly in rough terrain, along creeks and waterways, and on hillsides. There might be loose areas that might give way if driven over. Obviously, don’t drive over large holes and ditches.

When you have to go over a slope, drive up and down, never across its face. The dump cart will tip over to the side, dumping its contents all over the slope. It’s an inevitability, trust me.

Inspect before use

Many people often forget this but always remember to check if the dump cart is in good condition before using it. Check if all bolts and screws are tight, the tires aren’t flat, and the latch is secure.

Check the weather

It pays to check the weather forecast for the day before using a dump cart. While modern dump carts are made from steel or plastic, and thus are resistant to rust or moisture, it’s still considered unsafe to use one during inclement weather. A gust of wind might topple it over, or rainwater will pool in the tray, making it heavier.

Not for people

Dump carts are designed to carry material, not people. Do not use a dump cart for transporting people. Do not let people sit or stand on it, even as a joke. Children should not be left unsupervised near a dump cart.

Avoid sudden movements

Do not make sudden turns or risky maneuvers while your dump cart is attached to your vehicle. Dump carts aren’t designed for fast driving, not that you should be driving fast anyway. Remember the 9KPH speed limit.

Reading and understanding these basic pointers will help you safely and productively use a dump cart. Improper handling of a dump cart can lead to disastrous consequences, and safety should always be your paramount concern. Remembering and heeding safety precautions (e.g. dump carts aren’t meant for transporting people) can go a long way in ensuring you derive the maximum enjoyment from operating dump carts.


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