Loading cargo into trucks is not as simple as meets the eye. Despite the available machinery that enables efficient transferring of heavy items from one point to another, cargo operators do more than operating these. They are more involved in analyzing the positioning of these items so that they’re space-saving and not prone to falling from the truck. That can pose risks for the vehicle and those that surround it while in transit. Here are just some specific measures relating to this.
Best Loading Practices
It is best to know the contents and the total weight of every load before their shipment. That way, staff can be prompted to prepare the loading site, including adequate space for the safe movement of people and heavy objects. The same area and the truck’s flatbed should be cleared of obstructions such as potholes, puddles of any slippery substances, and other debris. For deliveries unloaded in the evening or in an enclosed warehouse, functional lighting must always be ensured.
In the course of loading, the truck must be on a complete brake. Therefore, items must be placed strategically to maintain the center of gravity of the entire load. As a rule of thumb, a single tie-down should cover every ten feet of loaded items, and a minimum of four binders should hold items at least twenty-seven feet in length, ensuring these binders are placed at equal distances from each other.
The hoists of a truck play a big role in the safe loading and unloading of goods, and so regularly maintaining them and avoiding loading beyond the truck’s capacity are non-negotiable observances. In addition, of course, to assist in the transfer of items are forklifts for lighter boxes and crates and cranes for relatively bigger shipping containers. These should likewise be kept in their tip-top conditions, for one, by carrying within their capacities, too.
Before driving off, the truck’s signal lights, reflectors, and horns are working. If items stick at least three feet out from the truck’s body, these should be marked with a red flag. If the load is transported in the evening, a red light should be used in the flag’s stead.
No Such Thing as Too Many Restraints
Many SUV drivers share the same practice of avoiding tailing trucks carrying huge amounts of industrial materials, knowing several instances in history when a passenger in a tailing vehicle got lodged to the body with things like steel beams. That said, truck drivers should keep onboard objects from slipping off or falling from the vehicle while it is running by using durable restraints. It would also be best to pay special attention to unevenly shaped cargo that may break loose from the bind during transport.
From time to time, the ability of straps and chains to hold objects down should be checked. Immediately replace these if they are already showing signs of breakage. The truck’s tie-down anchors and hooks should likewise be constantly checked for any signs of corrosion and that its weight pull capacity equals that of the chains.
Follow Loading Capacities
Containers, big or small, have maximum storage capacities. The same is true for trucks and those that carry shipping containers. One of the most crucial considerations in transporting goods from one point to another, whether on water or land, is to ensure containers are not overloaded.
Operators know better than to overload their trucks because they can be pulled over for allowing this potential hazard on the road. With this, they are only ever allowed to operate upon being oriented before determining the combined weight of their vehicle, its passengers, fuel, and auxiliary parts, also known as its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). This aids in knowing how much they can load onto their vehicle and whether it is cleared for transport on public highways.
In other instances, manufacturers are responsible for providing this information by printing it on the truck’s plate. By no means should a truck driver guess your vehicle’s capacity. This only sets their vehicle up for accidents, leaving them with property damage, injury, and casualty to be prosecuted on. Unless the operator hires a lawyer specializing in truck accidents, it can cost them time, money, and energy.
Cargo transportation is a high-liability job requiring speed and precision, so truck drivers should be careful. Aside from the thorough job done in the loading site, drivers make it a point to make frequent stops on the road to check how well the items are holding as placed. Foremost of all, not overloading is a lesson that most know need not be learned the hard way, in other words, by putting lives on the line.