Occupational Cranking Operations: the Scapula Perspective

Cranking the landing gear is a common task performed by truck drivers to raise or lower trailers. This task poses a risk to the shoulder joint due to the required forceful exertion and the posture constrained to the hand-handle interface. As a potential occupational risk, there has been no definitive guideline for best practices among truck drivers. An operator can crank perpendicular (frontal) or parallel (sagittal) to the crank rotation. In this laboratory study, the effects of cranking method and resistance on scapular range of motion and shoulder muscle activity were observed in 12 participants. Scapular posture was measured using an optical motion tracking system. EMG was monitored on 16 muscles contributing to shoulder movement. The results show that during frontal cranking, the scapular range of protraction was 28 ± 11.6°, which was more than the sagittal cranking (23 ± 10.4°), indicating a decreased subacromial space and elevated shoulder impingement risk. Seven muscles (all three deltoid muscles, middle trapezius, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor) demonstrated that when the crank resistance was low, the front cranking method resulted in lower activity than the side cranking. When the crank resistance was 20 Nm, the muscle activity on these seven muscles was greater when cranking from the front than from the side. Based on these observations, we suggest that when the resistance is low (lowering the trailer) the driver should stand facing the trailer. On the contrary, it is advantageous to stand parallel to the trailer and crank while raising the trailer to apply the full body strength to reduce the shoulder load.


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  • Accession Number: 01686753
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 6 2018 3:04PM