FAQ: understanding what dump truck training entails

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 27 October 2022

Published 9 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In modern towns and cities, there are some professionals holding roles that go unnoticed and work behind the scenes. Whilst many people don't pay much attention to these positions, they remain an integral part of the day-to-day life of anyone using the infrastructure of a city, town or village. The most common example of this is refuse collectors and their high level of dump truck training. In this article, we discuss what dump truck training entails and some of the key aspects of the rubbish truck training process.

Why do refuse collectors go through dump truck training?

Dump truck training is a key aspect of the beginning of a professional waste management career. This is because the most important tool any waste disposal professional has available to them is the dump truck. A dump truck enables the mass collection of waste from a city's population and makes sure that the refuse collectors have a means of collecting and processing as much waste as feasibly possible from members of the public.

Using a dump truck in the most effective manner possible relies on a significant level of training. Not only is the dump truck a heavy vehicle that requires manoeuvring through thin residential streets, but the machinery on the back of the truck is highly complex and potentially dangerous if used incorrectly. Having a high level of rubbish truck training means that waste collection expert uses the equipment to the best of their abilities whilst keeping everybody as safe as possible.

Related: 18 skilled trade jobs that are in demand (with salaries)

What does rubbish van training entail?

There are several aspects to the process of dump truck training. Each teaches an important aspect of using a dump truck and assists members of staff with having a comprehensive idea of what to do in a range of different unexpected circumstances. Learn more about the different aspects of rubbish truck training and why they are important below:

LGV licence

One of the most important aspects of completing your dump truck driver training is completing your LGV licence, or large goods vehicle license. Operating a vehicle weighing 7.5 tonnes or more means that you need a specific driving licence that ensures that you know how to drive a large goods vehicle safely on residential streets. This entails both a practical test and a theory test and taking an LGV licence test that you hold a standard driving licence. Depending on your employer and your current employment contract, you may have support during the LGV licence qualification process from them.

For example, this is common if you already work for the employer as a refuse collector and becoming a dump truck driver is an expansion of your existing skill set. In these instances, your employer sets time aside for you to work on the theory for the license, and pays your entry fees for the exam.

Related: What is a Class C licence and how to qualify for one

Certificate of Professional Competence

A Certificate of Professional Competence, or CPC, is another key aspect of training for people seeking a career as dump truck drivers. There are no refresher courses for holding a CPC, so once you complete the exam, you hold a CPC for the rest of your life. A Certificate of Professional Competence demonstrates a high level of competence in the transportation industry and means that holders understand traffic management pertaining to large vehicles. A CPC holder also keeps track of all changing road rules and regulations.

This is a necessity for anyone holding a role as a dump truck driver. Due to the stop-start nature of driving a dump truck, understanding how traffic flows around a stopped vehicle is key, and starting off safely can help prevent accidents on residential roads. Although having this knowledge is not the case for all dump truck employers, holding a CPC is a necessity in many workplaces. In the event that a workplace does not necessitate a CPC, holding one anyway is an ideal qualification for future career prospects.

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Equipment training

In addition to completing your LGV licence and CPC, having specific training on the waste collection equipment at the back of the vehicle is key. This means that you fully understand some of the most dangerous pieces of equipment in your workplace, preventing potential incidents and working as effectively as possible when collecting any waste from residents. Prior to working as a dump truck operator, whether as a driver or as a passenger, completing this training is key for establishing that you understand the equipment and can practise safety in your time in the role.

In most cases, an employer provides dump truck equipment training prior to the first day a member of staff has on the job. This ensures that the staff member knows what to do prior to getting started in the role, and has a full understanding of what every button and system does before entering a high-pressure waste collection environment. Waste collection professionals remain as safe and secure as possible, whilst their employer benefits from the team on the truck working as efficiently as possible in accordance with their schedule.

Related: Vocational training: definitions, careers and examples

Organisational training

Although less specialised in working as a waste collector, organisational training is present in the vast majority of roles. This ensures that new staff members have a thorough understanding of an organisation's culture, what the organisation expects of them and how new employees interact with the company's systems. This may include timesheet explanations, the organisation's rules for interacting with customers and daily tasks. Implementing and conducting this training is an important aspect of the onboarding process.

First, this process ensures that all the company's staff interact with customers appropriately, improving the perception of the organisation to those outside the business. Also, it ensures the administrative side of the organisation is as efficient as possible, preventing disputes over issues such as timesheets and pay. The majority of organisations feature training regarding the way the organisation itself works.

Related: On-the-job training examples (with benefits and tips)

Why is dump truck training important?

Rubbish truck training is important for a range of different reasons. There are benefits to the employee, the employer and the customer due to the improvement in service stemming from a greater level of training. Below are some of the key benefits of completing dump truck training as a waste collector and dump truck driver:

Safety

As in any role with heavy machinery involved, safety is an integral part of completing the role to the best of your ability. By having a full understanding of the way the equipment works, members of staff use the systems in the manner in which they are intended. This means that employees use systems in a less dangerous manner, staying as safe and secure as feasibly possible when working in a waste collection role. Understanding equipment means understanding the risks and avoiding them where possible.

Related: The importance of health and safety at work (with tips)

Efficiency

Another key benefit of completing dump truck training is an increase in the level of efficiency of members of staff. Working as efficiently as possible means that a company cuts down on the amount of time a waste collection teams spend on each resident, and therefore each street. This means that waste collection teams cover more ground and a waste collection company needs to do fewer runs and shifts throughout the week. Efficiency is key to companies in every industry, and waste collection is no exception.

Related: Effective vs efficient: definitions, differences and tips

Reduce maintenance costs

When using heavy equipment, controlling the cost of maintenance is an important job. Maintenance costs due to poor usage practices are avoidable, and training members of staff to a high standard means that the people using equipment know how to do so in a safe and reliable manner. Implementing and completing training that focuses on keeping both operator and machinery as safe as possible is key to working effectively in the waste collection industry.

Related: What is maintenance management and why is it important?

Tips for completing dump truck training

Before completing training as a dump truck driver, there are several tips to abide by. These ensure that the process of training as a dump truck driver is as simple as feasibly possible. Learn more about the tips for becoming a better dump truck driver below:

  • Be healthy: Working as a waste collector is a very physical role. Staying in good physical condition gives you the best chance of working successfully.

  • Work with an employer: Working through your training and qualifications with an employer means that you have a job available at the end of the process.

  • Complete your education: Completing education, at the very least to a GCSE level, means that you have the best chance of understanding fundamental maths.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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