On The Level: Step Up Your Truck Loading Game
On The Level: Step Up Your Truck Loading Game

Step Up Your Truck Loading Game

Learning proper truck loading techniques can help you save time and be more productive on the job. The Caterpillar experts share their tips.

CAITLIN MADDOCK-BAHR | Social Media & Digital Strategy Manager

A productive day on the jobsite starts with working effectively. We sat down with Caterpillar experts Ryan Neal and Amy Vincent to get their tips for proper truck loading, whether you’re using a large or mini excavator.

Proper Truck Loading Position

Efficient truck loading starts with proper loading position, which really depends on the size of the machine you’re using and how much visibility you have into the truck bed. For example, if you’re loading an articulated truck with a large excavator, you might load front to back since you have a better line of sight into the bed. If loading a tandem with a medium excavator, you don’t have the same visibility when it comes to the truck bed, so it’s easier to start in the center of the bed and load out in either direction.

With smaller equipment such as mini excavators, you would likely be loading something like a dump truck, so visibility into the truck bed is lacking. Because of that, you’d most likely load starting in the middle and work your way out.

Load More Safely

There are a few things you can do to make truck loading a safer process:

  • Bench loading: Bench loading is one of the best ways to help make your truck loading more efficient and safe. Depending on your jobsite and the size of your machine, you may either need to build a bench or, if the pile you’re moving is big enough, use the pile you’re moving as your bench. When using a bench, it’s best practice to make the top of the bench reach rail height on the truck you’re loading. This gives you the visibility you need and saves you from wasting time as you would if the bench was too high.
  • Make use of in-cab visibility features: All sizes of Cat excavators have a skylight, which improves your visibility, especially on mini excavators. If you’re operating a mini excavator, the skylight can give you greater visibility to your high booms and trucks.

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Load More Efficiently

Besides bench loading, there are other features and best practices that can help you with truck loading, depending on the size of your equipment.

  • Truck spotting: Your truck's position is important for efficient loading with any size excavator. If your truck is too far away, you’ll have to move your machine unnecessarily, slowing down the loading process. With mini excavators, truck spotting is even more crucial because you only have 12 feet of reach with your machine. Depending on application and room on the jobsite, the quickest way to load is at a 45-degree angle if you’re able to do so.
  • Proper bucket and machine sizing: Choosing the right bucket and size of machine for the job has an impact on your productivity and efficiency. Check out this article for getting the right truck pass match.
  • Payload technology: Small, medium, and large Cat excavators come equipped with payload technology, an onboard scale system that calculates material weight as you’re working. This helps you load more precisely and reduce load times.
  • Grading technology: Grading technology helps you work off a bench and maintain a specific bench height so you can load from the optimal position. You can use this technology on both mini and large excavators.

Whatever machine you use, make sure you take full advantage of all the technological features found onboard to help you work more efficiently. Remember these tips and you’ll be a truck loading pro in no time.

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Author Photo


Social Media & Digital Strategy Manager

Caitlin Maddock-Bahr exercises her storytelling expertise as a social media & digital strategy manager. In this role, she not only helps Caterpillar connect with their audience, but helps customers connect with the brand.





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