Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hey Grinder Guy, how do I control my traffic flow?

This is a common issue and safety is an issue with it also.
Anyone with a dump site needs a controlled traffic pattern with signage for your new customers. Your customer base that shows up daily knows where to dump and how things work because they are there regularly. But if you accept materials from the general public, they may show up on occasion and not know where or how to unload.  The general joke is that people are like sheep and follow what the previous one is doing. So if one person does the wrong thing, the others follow.
Here are a few ideas to use to keep a controlled pattern and to keep an efficient off-loading of materials:
·         Use as many signs and arrows as possible.
·         If you have the space, keep a separate area for commercial and public traffic. The general public off load by hand whereas most of the commercial vehicles are using a dump truck of some kind. The public vehicles will take more space and time moving around outside of the vehicles and get in the way of commercial traffic that can just dump and go.
·         Use a spotter or other employee to tell vehicles where to off load
·         Fill one area and move to the next while pushing and piling the off loaded materials from previous drop offs.
·         Any site operations should be on the opposite side of the pile being created with new material drop off. Grinding near the disposal area is an extreme safety concern. Everyone wants to see what the grinder is doing and will walk into unsafe areas not knowing any better.
·         Leave a large log or stump near the dump area. Vehicles, especially small landscapers, will pile material on a flatbed trailer and need to hand unload. If they have something heavy to tie off to, they can put a rope around the large stump and around some brush on the bottom of their trailer and just pull away and unload. Watch for vehicles running in reverse and hitting the brakes to unload, this is more than unsafe and you are within your legal rights to bar them from the property if they do not adhere to the rules of the site.
What about using the drop off vehicles to assist in site operations?
·         Pile new materials in windrows and grind next to them to create ground material windrows and keep moving to the next windrow as they are created.
·         Dump in the center of the site and pile ground materials on either side and keep the windrows moving away from the center as you turn and compost them.
·         Separate materials as they are dumped. Have the spotter look at each load and direct traffic to the appropriate pile. This saves on grinding and separating materials with equipment later. It’s easy to keep chip and logs separate for use in mulch later for example.
I’ve given you several things to consider but the most essential and safe things to do regardless of your site size and disposal numbers are:
·         Use Signs or Arrows
·         Use a spotter
·         Keep equipment away from incoming traffic
Hope this helps.

Dave Whitelaw

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