There’s a lot of focus put on injury risk and driver health relating to truck cabs, but one common task carried out by truck drivers can prove just as problematic.
We’re talking raising and lowering trailer landing gear.
But there’s now, potentially, a safer method that you might want to keep in mind next time you’re hooking up or dropping off a trailer.
A study by Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and North Carolina State University looked at the best ways for truck drivers to crank trailer landing gear.
And it was determined that strategic positioning can reduce the risk of injury.
Safety and Health Magazine reports that the researchers observed 12 male drivers during cranking operations, with a focus on 16 muscles that affect shoulder movement.
They then measured both the truckers’ scapular range of motion and shoulder muscle activity during cranking.
The researchers determined that when raising a trailer, standing parallel to it while cranking – known as sagittal cranking – is safer.
This is because it uses more full-body strength and lessens the workload on the shoulder.
When lowering a trailer, which involves less resistance, drivers are safer facing the trailer and cranking the handle perpendicularly – or frontally – to the crank rotation.
This method mainly involves shoulder rotations. With frontal cranking, researchers said the truck drivers experienced more rubbing and grinding of the ligaments, causing increased wear and tear and leading to injury.
Check out the full study in the journal Applied Ergonomics.
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