When transporting loads, it’s vital that the appropriate checks and procedures are followed to ensure a safe journey. Loading and unloading cargo bring serious danger risks, whether it’s heavy objects falling onto people or cargo coming lose on the roads. In this blog, we’re going to look at the loading safety checks and measures you need to take before setting off on the road.
- Loading areas should always be firm, flat and free from any potholes or obstructions that could cause people to slip or trip over.
- Ensure that the loading area has good lighting so that you have a clear view of what is around you. You should also make sure it is far enough away from vehicles and pedestrians.
- Check the vehicle before loading and make sure that all horns, lights, reflectors and other safety features are in good working order.
- Before loading your cargo, check that the vehicle is properly stabilised and braked.
- If there are any dangerous parts of the vehicle, cover them with guards. This includes exposed exhaust pipes and chain drives.
- Make sure that any junk or loose materials are cleared from the vehicle before loading cargo into it, this includes any cables, crates, wires or chains.
- When securing cargo remember to use one ratchet strap for every ten feet of cargo you have. Regardless of the length of the cargo, at least two tie-down straps must be used.
- If your cargo extends more than three feet beyond the vehicle, use a red flag to mark the load. If you are driving at night, switch to red lights.
- If transporting logs or pipes that are over 27 feet long, use at least 4 binders spaced equally along the load.
- When loading cargo, never place unsecured loads on the backseat or rear window deck. If the vehicle needs to come to a sudden stop, this could cause injury to the driver or passengers.
- When transporting your cargo, make sure you schedule stops to perform checks - especially if travelling long distances.
One of the most important things to consider when loading and unloading cargo is that training is provided to all those undertaking the tasks. This includes training for both drivers and loading assistants and should cover everything from emergency procedures to driving style and vehicle configuration. At UK Ratchet Straps, we supply high-quality ratchet straps and load restraint products to make your journey easier, speak to a member of the team today to find out more.