Mobile shredding equipment

Preventive maintenance program

Mobile shredding trucks will have manufacturer manuals on recommended scheduled maintenance. Contractors should have documentation available that shows all units have been maintained per manufacturer recommendations. Most manufacturers will have daily, monthly and annual maintenance “checks” that need to be complied with.

Manufacturer training should be taken by in-house mechanics and/or service personnel to become familiar with proper operations. All users should be provided with daily documented inspection requirements and understand safe operating temperatures and general cleaning/maintenance requirements.

Lubrication of bearings and other metal components that could throw a spark if dry should be of primary concern. Belts should be tight so as not to overheat.


Trucks and trailers should be parked near buildings as company personnel retrieve document receptacles. Company policy should require locking vehicle doors and having company personnel nearby if the vehicle is left running. Drivers should be fully trained in proper security measures since contents can be of a sensitive nature to clients. King Pin, or other locking devices, should be used to prevent trailer theft. Ball/ring hitch locks used when trailers are parked.


Some smaller fleets may use shredding trailers towed behind other vehicles. Towing vehicles should be of proper size based on manufacturer requirements which typically require trucks of at least 3/4 ton. Trailer hitches should be inspected daily to ensure all connections are tight and lights are working properly. Safety chains should be attached and tires inflated to the proper level. Generators should be securely attached and operators should inspect electrical connections as required by manufacturer. Trailers should be on scheduled maintenance for lubrication and bearing inspection.

Vehicle damage

Vehicles will be parked near client buildings in a variety of settings. Designated loading areas should be determined prior to arrival to ensure drivers are aware of potential hazards such as nearby public streets and loading docks where forklifts and other material handling vehicles may be operating.

Safety cones should be available to operators who should be instructed on when and where to place cones to alert traffic. Drivers should be instructed to look for overhead obstructions and low clearance overheads. Vehicles with movable parts on bin tracks should be placed away from buildings to ensure they do not strike them. Placards inside of vehicles should be present that show maximum heights of a truck’s body.


Some vehicles will have fire suppression system as standard equipment and may be either automatic (sensor detection) or manual (operator detection). Operators should be familiar with how to read temperature gauges in order to ensure proper operating temperatures are not exceeded in hydraulic systems.

Remote camera systems should be constantly monitored by operators, to ensure foreign objects not designed to be shredded are not present in receptacles and to look for evidence of smoke or fire. Shredding hardware and documents together should not occur due to the potential for sparks igniting paper dust. Vehicles should be emptied before parking for the night or over weekends. Client personnel who may place materials to be destroyed into bins provided by the shredding company should be informed not to mix materials. Easily legible placards or color codes should be placed on bins to inform customer what can and cannot be placed in bin.

Operators should be trained in identifying hazardous locations that could produce excessive heat, sparks or other hot processes/areas where flammable/combustible vapors and liquids may be present. Shredding operations should not take place near these areas as paper dust could result in an ignition source and sparks may be produced when shredding metals.

Fire suppression systems should be inspected and tested on a scheduled basis, typically twice per year, by a professional firm trained to service the suppression system in use. A compliance certificate should be provided and maintained on file. Operators should have received training on the use of fire extinguishers and the proper methods to suppress fire.

Fixed storage facilities

Forklift training

Most storage facilities will use forklifts to move and stack pallets of documents. Damage to equipment can result in losses due to repair, replacement and loss of productivity. Properly trained operators are of primary importance when forklifts are used in any facility and all operators should be trained upon initial employment. If newly hired operators indicate they have already been trained, an evaluation of their ability should still be conducted by the facility owner, regardless if they provide documentation. All operators should be reevaluated at least every three (3) years or when conditions change within the facility (such as newly constructed facilities, or changes in the layout of aisles/passageways).

Forklift maintenance

Forklifts should be inspected and maintained to ensure their safe operation and ability to handle loads. Inspections should be conducted daily by each operator to ensure all controls, brakes and steering are working properly. A visual inspection should be made of the mast, forks and hydraulic system to ensure there is no obvious damage such as cracks or leaking hoses. Tires should be inspected to ensure they are in good condition and can safely support the machine.

Forklift operating areas

Operating areas should be clearly marked to indicate any sloping areas, drop-offs or other conditions that could cause forklifts to tip. Operators should be trained in and observe safe driving speeds and procedures when turning corners, driving down ramps and when driving outdoors.

When loading or unloading trucks/trailers, procedures should be in place to secure the trailers with either dock locks or the use of wheel chocks. Forklift operators should be instructed to inspect that trailers are properly secured before driving into them. Additionally operators should visually inspect trailer floors and the underside of trailers to ensure sufficient support. Missing, rusted or damaged trailer supports could fail and cause the forklift to fall through the trailer bottom. Proper procedures should be used and operators should be trained when working on or near loading docks with drop offs. Forklifts should be operated in reverse until a pre-determined point before turning and driving forward.


Material handling equipment should be stored in designated areas that are properly secured. Open yard storage of equipment should be within fenced areas that are well lit. The use of security devices such as cameras and alarm systems should be considered, especially in neighborhoods that have higher crime rates.


Fueling areas for forktrucks and other material handling equipment should be in specified well-ventilated areas and performed by trained personnel only. Standard procedures should be in place to ensure equipment is turned off and cool prior to fueling. Proper grounding and bonding of all containers used to transfer flammable liquids should be in place to minimize the potential for static discharge.

All mobile shredding trucks and trailers should be cleaned each night of all paper or other materials that could catch fire. Each driver should be made accountable by requiring that a “sign out” system is used. They should state that they have cleaned out all mobile equipment prior to parking it for the evening.

Any hot work such as welding should require the use of a hot work permit authorized by a supervisor or other management. All welding equipment using compressed gases should be subject to frequent inspections of cylinder gauges, hoses and torches to ensure good condition.

Storage racks

Racks used to storage documents should be clearly marked with maximum loading capacity to minimize overloading. Rack supports on ground level should be protected from damage due to contact with forklifts which could cause rack failure. Damaged sections should be unloaded and “no storage” warning signs posted until repaired.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC JAN 2019 12‐83
171-0975 (01/14)