Best Practices

Tips for Loading Dump Trucks with Wheel Loaders

Whether you fill dump trucks effectively depends on your wheel loader operator and the features of your wheel loaders. Your loaders spend a significant amount of time traveling across the jobsite carrying material from point A to point B. To help you speed up this process and make each cycle count, we’ve put together several important tips for your wheel loader operator that will help boost their efficiency and productivity.

Use the right loading pattern

Critical for improving the efficiency of your wheel loaders is to minimize the distance you need to travel and the number of turns and maneuvers you need to make. One of the most effective ways to load dump trucks is called the Y or V pattern. It works by positioning your dump trucks with the rear of the vehicle just off the edge of the pile. Your wheel loader operator starts at about a 45 degree angle in relation to the dirt pile and the truck. They then pull forward, curving to the right, toward the pile to fill the bucket, reverse back to the 45 degree angle starting position, and then pull forward curving to the left to dump into the truck, before reversing back to the 45 degree angle to begin the cycle again. The path that the wheel loader operator takes during the full cycle looks like a Y or a V, which is where the pattern gets its name.

The important thing is to keep the dump trucks in a consistent position, so the Y cycle isn’t too big or too small. You need enough space to maneuver the wheel loader effectively, but not so much space that it is traveling more distance than necessary, wasting fuel and time.

Choose wheel loaders with advanced features

In addition to the patterns and routes that the wheel loader operator takes, another key factor for improving the efficiency of filling dump trucks is using machines that have the right features. Some examples of these features are boom kickout, return to dig, and auto leveling capabilities.

  • Boom kickout stops the boom at a predetermined height when lifting and is helpful if you are consistently loading a truck at the same height for an extended period of time.
  • Return to dig stops the boom at a predetermined point when lowering, so the bucket starts in the same position with each cycle.
  • Auto leveling automatically returns the wheel loader bucket from a dump or dig to a carrying position.

Together, these three features take a lot of the guesswork away from the wheel loader operator, also eliminating time consuming mistakes and corrections.

Match the bucket to your loader and dump trucks

Your first step before a large loading or material handling project is determining which size bucket is right for your wheel loader. First, you need to consider the capacity of the dump trucks you’re filling, then determine how many loads to move each day. Next, check your wheel loader operator manual to find the maximum capacities and tipping loads for your machine. Once you have all that information, choose a bucket for your wheel loader that allows you to fill the trucks in as few cycles as possible without exceeding your machine’s limits.

If you have any questions about wheel loader operator tips, filling dump trucks, or wheel loaders in general, contact our team today.