When it comes to hauling heavy loads, there certainly is little room for mistakes. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just hauling furniture from one end of the city to the next, or you’re transporting an ATV on a trailer for your next outdoor adventure. Big loads can lead to big losses, and one slight miscalculation could cause an accident or at worse, a fatality. Needless to say, there is a need to observe road safety measures and other factors to avoid any unnecessary dangers.
And it’s not just your own life and property that’s at stake. You’re also risking the lives and property of other drivers on the road. Obviously, it’s good to give yourself a checklist of things to look out for when transporting large or heavy items.
Here are safety tips that you should consider when transporting heavy cargo:
Before the start of the journey, take time to carry out an inspection of the load and see that the load is properly held down. A second set of eyes could prove helpful in case you miss anything so get a colleague or friend to assist.
The size of the load should also be taken into account. If the load is too large for the trailer, this may affect vehicle stopping distances and acceleration thus compromising on the safety issue. Ensure the load and the trailer are a fit. Make use of cargo blocks, which are shaped to fit between the cargo and secure it tightly preventing cargo movement.
Weight balance and placement should be observed. Poor weight balance will make vehicle handling unsafe. Too much weight on the axle will cause hard steering leading to damage to the steering axle and wheels.
Horns, lights and reflectors as well as other safety features should always be in good condition before transport. Most importantly the brakes should be in top condition as the vehicle relies heavily on them working at full capacity. It is essential that you choose the right heavy equipment trailer in relation to the cargo. This will go a long way in ensuring that the load is secure during transport.
It is imperative to drive at the speed limit. Where possible it is advisable to drive at a lower speed. This will keep you well focused on everything that is around you including fellow drivers, and gives you more time to react to unexpected scenarios. Some of the factors that contribute to a great extent on traffic related injuries are unsafe equipment, distracted driving, fatigue and unsafe vehicle operation. Maintaining alertness and avoiding factors such as fatigue by taking time off from driving. Pulliling over and parking in a safe area when necessary will help avoid any traffic related risks.
The weather can affect driving conditions. Before setting out on the journey, always make sure you are aware of the current weather updates. This will help plan on how to drive, and where appropriate not to drive at all if the conditions are adverse.
During winter added measures such as snow tires and chains will keep the truck on the road and greatly reduce the risk brought about by unstable driving conditions. In fact in many areas in the US such as west of the Rocky mountains, snow tires and chains are mandatory and failure to observe regulations may result in heavy fines.
Always stay safe!