Travel to any job site in Florida, and chances are, you’ll see at least one dump truck. They haul an incredible assortment of debris, gravel, rock and asphalt around the job site, and across the state. Your dump truck works nearly as hard as you do. Because of that, dump trucks are exposed to a variety of hazards and problems that can lead to costly repairs and can cost you precious project time.
Forerunner Insurance Group understands the need to keep all of your commercial trucks in working order, so you can keep your business running smoothly. After all, we’re Florida’s Top Rated Local® commercial insurance provider. If your business operates a dump truck, it’s vital to insure your commercial truck against any of the everyday hazards it might encounter.
The Job Site
Because dump trucks are designed to haul heavy loads, they are built tough to withstand the regular stressors of a job site. But, their size and use put them at higher risk for frequent accidents and collisions. Because they are a near constant presence on construction sites, and in road work zones, dump trucks are often the victim of regular accidents like overturns and back-up accidents. The occasional ding from kicked-up gravel is one thing, but a crushed bumper from being backed into by another heavy truck is another.
Beyond collision based accidents, dump trucks have their own unique problems. The most common dump truck-related incidents involve not the vehicle itself, but rather its bed. When the bed is raised or lowered unexpectedly, it can put workers at risk. There is the potential for a worker to be crushed by the failure of hydraulic mechanisms. Debris from a load being emptied can also cause harm to workers who are standing nearby.
Additionally, the operation of the bed can present risks. Whenever the bed raises to empty a load, the center of gravity for the truck is shifting. This puts dump trucks at higher risk of tipping or rolling over than other commercial trucks.
Finally, the sheer weight of the vehicle can cause problems at the job site. With the average dump truck weighing in between 55,00 – 80,000 pounds, loose soil can lead to vehicle overturns or crashes. If your job site has experienced a series of rainy days, the loosened soil could collapse under the weight of the dump truck.
Florida is no stranger to impressive weather patterns. Hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods are just a few of the natural hazards the people of Florida navigate every day. While dump trucks are prepared for tough driving conditions, the fact is, weather can impact a driver’s ability to drive safely. Large vehicles like dump trucks require increased reaction times to avoid road hazards and accidents.
Poor weather conditions, like heavy rains and high winds, can impair a driver’s reaction times by limiting their ability to see the road and the other drivers around them clearly. Precipitation on the road, like rain or hail, creates less friction between the road and the dump truck’s tires. This can make it harder to bring the truck to a complete stop. Wind can cause the truck to sway precariously, and in some cases even knock the commercial truck over. Wind can also force the dump truck to tip as the bed is being raised to empty a load.
Because so much of Florida is at, or just above sea level, flooding is a major and often overlooked concern for commercial truck owners. Flood waters can cause major damage to your dump truck, and without comprehensive insurance, your waterlogged vehicle might put you out thousands of dollars.
The reality of being a business owner means that you are always on the move. And your dump trucks are likely not far behind. The roads and highways of Florida are always busy. Dump trucks are designed to be an off-road oriented vehicle, meaning that collisions with a car can have serious consequences. An average of one dump-truck related fatality occurs every week according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. These accidents can impact your vehicle, your drivers, and anyone else caught in the accident.
While collisions and traffic accidents are an obvious risk to your dump truck and driver, there are less obvious risks to operating your dump truck on the highway. Dump trucks are often hauling heavy, loose loads. These materials, like stone, coal, or debris can fall out of a dump truck if not properly secured. This can cause damage to the body and windshields of nearby vehicles, and possibly even the occupants.
Dump trucks are extremely large and heavy. Therefore it is not uncommon for drivers to experience blind spots in their vision as they drive. The front, and side windows, and side view mirrors only allow the driver a limited field of vision. And without a rear view mirror, drivers are often unaware of what or who is behind them.
All of these things lead to accidents that add to the nearly 400,000 cargo truck related car crashes that happen every year in the US.
For Unpredictable Events
Life is completely unpredictable. At any moment, something might happen to your dump truck that you never considered. Leaving a dump truck on a job site for a few weeks, or even a few hours exposes it to instances of vandalism. Your truck might be damaged by paint, rocks, tools, or other objects. Your dump truck is exposed to the risk of theft if left unattended for too long. Demolition, refurbishment, and reconstruction job sites are more prone to fire hazard than other work sites. Your dump truck may be caught in these potential conflagrations.
Owning and operating a dump truck, or dump truck fleet is an expensive endeavor. Most dump trucks cost above $100,000 and even used dump trucks can set you back $30,000-$50,000. Dump truck maintenance can be costly as well, typically costing nearly $13,000, with more labor-intensive repairs boosting the price to almost $27,000. Tires alone can cost up to $1,000 a piece. On top of all of this is the cost of paying the driver. Only qualified drivers should be behind the wheel of a dump truck or commercial truck. These qualifications come with a cost, drivers are typically paid $25-$40 per hour. All of this adds up quickly. The average service life of a dump truck is 7 years. Over time, owners and operators can expect to pay almost $800,000 to keep their commercial truck in working order.
But there are costs beyond the owning and maintaining of the truck itself. The immense size of dump trucks means that accidents and damages caused by one can lead to immense costs. Repair costs for your dump truck or other vehicles in an accident can mount quickly depending on the severity of the damage or accident.
Beyond the cost of vehicle repairs, there is also the issue of maintaining the health and safety of your drivers. If your employees are harmed in a dump truck-related accident, you’ll need insurance and workers comp to ensure their swift recovery.
With all of these costs, any smart business owner is sure to look for ways to save money and keep their investments safe.
Who Needs Dump Truck Insurance?
Whether you have one dump truck or a fleet, it’s vital that you have insurance for your commercial truck. Commercial dump truck insurance is necessary for:
- Motor carriers who use dump trucks
- For-hire dump truck drivers
- Independent dump truck owners and operators.
The fact is, if you work with a dump truck in any capacity, you need insurance for your commercial vehicle. The type of insurance and the amount of coverage you need will change based on a variety of factors.
The right insurance company will provide you and your commercial truck with the comprehensive coverage you need to keep your vehicle safe. This coverage can change based on the size of the business and its fleet.
Typically, individual commercial dump trucks need liability insurance. This protects others if your dump truck is the cause of their damaged property. Liability insurance typically covers bodily injury accidents, as well as property damage.
Physical damage coverage takes care of the everyday risks associated with owning and operating a dump truck. If your commercial truck is vandalized, tipped over, or experiences a collision, the insurance company will pay for the repairs.
By design, dump trucks are meant to haul materials of all sizes and values from job site to job site. As a result, the owner and operator of the dump truck assume responsibility for the cargo they are hauling. Motor truck cargo insurance covers the materials you haul. Whether its sand, gravel, asphalt or mulch, with motor truck cargo insurance, if your material is lost or damage, the insurance company relieves the driver of this responsibility.
Having medical protection like workers comp and personal injury protection means that having an injured driver will not force you to choose between ensuring their health and the financial success of your business.
If you own a fleet of trucks, in addition to the insurance options above, you’ll want the added benefits of general liability insurance. General liability insurance is insurance for your business. If you own a fleet of commercial trucks and dump trucks, it’s likely that you aren’t always behind the wheel. If one of your drivers is involved in an accident, or if their cargo is damaged, this type of insurance covers you, the business owner, from any damages that occur when you aren’t driving.
But your dump truck or commercial truck fleet isn’t always in danger of being damaged or totaled. Great insurance goes beyond just the financial aspects of covering your dump truck. Insurance can help cover other important aspects like truck rental. If one of your dump trucks is out for repairs, you might need an additional truck to meet your work demand. If one of your fleet vehicles experiences mechanical issues at a job site or on the side of the road, you’ll want your insurance to help you cover the cost of towing your dump truck to a repair shop. Cargo insurance can relieve the stress associated with hauling construction materials or debris for long distances.
The right insurance can bring you the peace of mind you need when you’re operating your dump truck or commercial truck fleet.
Dump trucks are an investment. The average purchase price for a new dump truck ranges between $100,000 to $150,000. These prices reflect the various sizes and capabilities of each particular dump truck model. With this in mind, commercial truck insurance costs vary as well. The cost of insurance for your dump truck is dependant on factors like:
- Types of materials being hauled
- Distances materials are hauled
- Driving records of the dump truck operators
Forerunner Insurance Group also takes into accounts the dump truck itself when creating commercial truck insurance quotes. This includes aspects like:
- Value of the dump truck itself
- Type of dump truck (2, 3, or 4 axle vehicles)
- Age and condition of the vehicle
Forerunner Insurance Group
It’s tempting to choose your insurance coverage based on price alone. As a business owner, we know you want to protect your commercial truck investments, and get the most out of your vehicles and drivers. But choosing your insurance based on cost alone might end up costing you in the long run.
One of the biggest factors in operating commercial trucks like dump trucks is managing insurance. At Forerunner Insurance Group, we’ve assembled a team of experts that specialize in long haul and local trucking insurance. We work to provide you with the best coverage and carriers in the state. Let us take the stress out of filing for commercial trucking insurance, and help you write the properly structured policy to keep you and your trucks on the road. Contact us today for a free quote, and get immediate answers to any of your commercial truck insurance questions you have.