Cranking the landing gear up and down is a routine part of the job for truck drivers in Mississippi. This activity strains your shoulders, and many truckers eventually experience on-the-job injuries as a result. To reduce the risk of shoulder injuries, ergonomic researchers have identified the safest techniques for raising and lowering trailer landing gear.
Raising the trailer
As you know, resistance is greatest when you crank the landing gear to raise the trailer. The mechanism has to overcome the force of gravity on the load. To protect your shoulders, you should stand parallel with the trailer.
This position makes it possible to use the full strength of your body to turn the crank. Other positions focus the forces on your shoulders, which raises the risk of job injury and the need to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Lowering the trailer
Resistance will be less when cranking down the trailer, but the task still requires multiple shoulder rotations. To protect yourself from injury, you want to adopt a different position for lowering a trailer. Face the trailer instead of standing parallel with it as when raising it. Your perpendicular orientation to the crank helps to limit soft tissue strain.
Why shoulders are so vulnerable to injuries
The complex anatomy of shoulder joints presents many opportunities for something to go wrong. Your shoulders connect with shoulders blades that shift up and down. This differs from most joints that sit in a stable socket. Adding further to the complexity, the joints also connect to your chest muscles and arms.
On top of the floating platform of shoulder blades, these joints also have a large range of motion. A wide range of motion combined with a moveable platform introduces many ways to tear ligaments or strain muscles.