Tips & tricks: Load security
Regardless of what you’re transporting, whether it’s sand or heavy machinery, load security is absolutely vital.
1. Planning and preparing
When loading your truck, consider the order in which your cargo will be unloaded, as this will prevent unnecessary re-securing later. Make sure you’re using the right truck for the right cargo, the most suitable fasteners, and ensure your cargo is held firmly in place. It is also important to arrange cargo to ensure the lowest centre of gravity possible. Too much weight on either side will further increase the risk of a rollover, while too much at the front or back might overload any of the truck’s axles.
2. Quick inspection
Before you set off on a trip, take time to inspect your truck and your load. Does the weight and dimension of the truck allow for the planned route? Are you compliant with all rules and regulations that apply where you will be driving? In many countries the penalties for non-compliance can be prohibitive, so a quick pre-trip inspection is a worthwhile investment of your time.
If necessary, contact the receiver before arriving so that they are ready to help unload with all the right equipment. Be careful when opening up, as any item that may have come loose during transit could fall out. Once unloading is completed, take care of all straps, fasteners and any other aides used for load security, and inspect them for damage before putting them away in a safe place so they’re ready for next time.
4. On the road
Anticipation is the key to safe and efficient truck driving, especially with high vehicle weights. By looking well ahead, you could envisage any obstacle and thereby avoid sudden and unwanted manoeuvres such as braking and swerving. Fuel savings will come as an additional reward for good anticipation!
Approach corners and roundabouts at a slow cautious speed, especially if you have a top-heavy load. When braking, the full weight of your cargo will add to the resistance and sudden braking will also increase pressure on any straps or fasteners, so allow for extra braking distance.