Tips for Truck Loaders
Truck Loaders are a team. Work together at all times.
Ask the driver whether to break straps in the middle or at the wall.
Try to stay on the truck at all times, but if you have to jump off to help with something or get out of the way, DO NOT disappear. Your job is not done just because you had to step off for a second.
Stacking and un-stacking should be done with a man on each corner whenever possible. It works best when the bottom case is against a wall so that it doesn't wiggle around too much.
When something is stored up high, use the tallest person near the Attic to control the pipe or object, and then shorter people to catch the end as it comes down.
Know how a Ratchet Strap Works
A ratchet strap can secure a load in a variety of ways. Some are made for semi-trucks and the ends snap into the walls; others are made for general purpose and have hooks of various shapes.
Knowing how to operate the ratchet is tricky, but essential for a good stagehand.
You can practice at home; small ratchet straps are only 15 dollars or so at stores like Harbor Freight.
Pushers are very important in 193, especially in the Peoria Civic Center Theater, because we unload on ramps in the street in all kinds of weather and it can be very dangerous.
Here are some tips:
Pay attention and communicate
Never start a case on a ramp unless there are plenty of people to assist. Make sure everyone is ready
Beware of slippery conditions of the ramp or sidewalk.
Do not pull up a ramp from the front of a case unless absolutely necessary. If you lose your footing, either you will be trampled or the case will have to go back down and potentially trample someone else.
If a case is the least bit top-heavy, make sure there are hands for the top and bottom of it.
When pushing a stack, make sure you are moving the bottom and top together; usually pushing/pulling the bottom case only is best.
Never let go of a heavy case or rack until it comes to a complete stop. People can be crushed by their partner letting go of their end of the case too early.
When changing inclination with a stack or top-heavy object (i.e. coming onto or off of a ramp, however small, or going over a cable ramp), you should either:
Diamond the case - point a corner toward the incline
Or Push the narrow side of the case toward the incline
Know the spots on carts that are safe to put your hands; Some spots will get your fingers crushed or pinched