Why can't dump trucks be pushed?

I see this notice stenciled on the back of almost every (but not every) dump truck I find myself driving behind. What is so special about them that they can’t be pushed? The rear gate swings outward, not inward, so that’s not the reason. Why don’t we see this notice on vehicles we’d really want to make sure nobody pushed around like gasoline tankers or tractor trailers? I don’t want anybody to push my car, but I don’t think I need a “do not push” bumper sticker… I expect that people will pretty much know that I don’t want my car pushed without the warning.

I would suspect that pushing put stresses on the dump mechanism that were unintended by the designers.


As you said, you see it on some trucks, not all. Some trucks can be pushed, and are. To avoid pushing of trucks that shouldn’t be, they put the stickers on there. The pushing occurs when material is loaded, typically in facilities not owned by the truck operator. Most people working those type jobs don’t figure they’re being paid to think about stuff, so putting the sticker on the truck is actually a wise thing to do. You don’t see the sticker on tank trucks, because there are none that could be pushed and thus invite mistakes. Putting the sticker on your own car would not prevent it from occasionally being pushed anyway, if you were to drive in Miami, FL

Does the sticker refer to the rear gate or the truck?

I suspect it refers to the gate.

I’m still currious.

The warning does not address the fact that the truck cannot be pushed, it’s meant to prevent damage to the lift and other mechanisms due to the common practice of front-end loader operators bumping or pushing the truck (with the bed raised) in an effort to dislodge the rest of the load.

It’s also to prevent injury to a truck driver who may be asleep at the wheel; it’s really his responsibility to dislodge the load by creeping forward and tapping the brakes repeatedly. (I’m sure many of you have seen them do this; the tailgate swings wildly and slams into the box, the concussion sends the rest of the sand or gravel or whatever cascading out). When the heavy equipment operator waiting to move the pile gets impatient and performs the service unannounced, the truck driver may have the emergency or regular brakes set, or better yet, might be inspecting the underside of one of the front tires.