How to Operate a PTO on a Dump Truck

The PTO on a dump truck is used to open the tailgate and raise the bed of the truck, dumping its contents. Common problems dump truck operators encounter involve elevating the bed of the dump truck too high, the material not dumping out the back of the bed and the dump truck rolling. Using a PTO on a dump truck involves following procedural steps in the proper order, because if the PTO is operated out of order, you can put yourself and others at risk.

Using the PTO on a dump truck requires several precautions.

Step 1

Back the dump truck to the area you want to stage your material. Put the truck in neutral and set the emergency air brake.

Step 2

Flip the tailgate release switch and listen for the gate to release. If you do not hear the tailgate release, exit the cab and check the gate release hooks. If they have not released, return to the cab and flip the tailgate release switch closed, raise the rpm until the air pressure gauge indicates that the tanks are full, then re-engage the tailgate release switch. If you raise the truck's bed without opening the tailgate, you risk rolling the truck.

Step 3

Push in the clutch and engage the PTO. Slowly release the clutch until you hear the PTO catch and begin raising the bed. To speed the rise of the bed, you can press down on the accelerator, but do not raise the bed more than halfway if you do not hear the material begin to slide out of the bed. If the material is not unloading, put your foot on the brake pedal and put the truck in gear. Release the emergency brake and release the clutch. The inertia of the truck moving forward should release the material. If it does not release the material, find another means of removing the material, such as a backhoe for example.

Step 4

Disengage the PTO once the bed is unloaded. Gravity will return the bed to its resting position. Latching the tailgate with the tailgate lever will end the dumping process.

Ryan Hotchkiss

Ryan Hotchkiss began writing professionally for a local newspaper while in college. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in English composition, then worked for five years at an online education company. Hotchkiss continued his writing career composing bid proposals for an architecture firm until moving to Costa Rica.