Trucking accidents are not unheard of in North America. Half a million trucking accidents occur in Canada every year, leaving thousands dead and thousands more injured. For this reason, it is highly essential to know the safety tips for trucking and cargo shipment, especially when it comes to heavy equipment hauling.
Heavy equipment hauling is the transportation of over-dimensional cargo that exceeds the standard and legal weight limits that a truck can carry on a specified portion of the road. It is one of the most challenging and dangerous professions out there. It requires precision, detailed planning, and coordination to minimize collision, accidents, and injury.
Safety precautions must be taken when transporting heavy equipment to reduce the likelihood of injuries and monetary loss that a company has to bear in case of damage to the items. Some of the safety tips for hauling heavy equipment are as follows:
Use The Right Vehicle And Trailer
Every trailer is different and has its own load capacity. So, if you have a trailer available that is large enough to carry the load, but is not strong enough to lift the weight of the shipment, then it might be best for you to utilize it.
Therefore, before using a vehicle for hauling heavy equipment, always check its load capacity, safety rating, axle design, and load configuration. Also, ensure the vehicle has sufficient power to pull the chosen trailer.
Selecting the right vehicle and trailer for the freight is essential to minimize any risks. Moreover, the right kind of truck will easily overcome the stress of bumps and uneven terrain, and rough patches on the road. The trucks used to ship oversized cargo are; flatbed trucks, lowbody, drop deck, or gooseneck trailers.
Double Check The Equipment
Specialized equipment is required to ship heavy hauls safely. Proper investigation and safety checks must be performed on these pieces of equipment to ensure things don’t take a turn for the worse on the road. Double-checking the performance of the equipment is necessary before departure.
Every piece of equipment should be in working order, including lights, reflectors, tires, brakes, hydraulic hoses, horns, and more. Tie-down equipment should also be inspected thoroughly for signs of breakage and wear.
These safety checks are essential to ensure that everything is working properly, and there is no room left for errors.
Properly Load The Trailer
Getting your hands on the right kind of trailer and truck to ship your heavy load is not the only thing you should be worried about during your heavy haul transportation. Properly distributing your load over the trailer is equally important. Most trucking accidents occur due to improper and unsecured loads.
Therefore, it is essential to consider your items’ placement so that their weight is equally distributed throughout the trailer’s size. Uneven distribution of the load can increase the risk of tipping. It also makes it hard for the driver to keep control of the vehicle and the trailer.
Moreover, everything should be appropriately secured to reduce the risk of the load shifting during transit.
Ensure The Driver Is Experienced And Trained
Putting an inexperienced driver behind the wheel to transport a heavy load could be a costly and dangerous mistake. Before shipping your heavy haul, always make sure your driver has the necessary training and experience in the field. He should be well experienced in securing loads and handling the equipment and should be well aware of road safety protocols.
Furthermore, in addition to the initial training, heavy load drivers should be given regular training to ensure they have updated information on road laws and local regulatory requirements.
Plan The Route Properly
When you’re on the road, no matter if you have taken all precautions to stay on the route and schedule, unexpected things are bound to happen. You could run out of gas or blow a flat tire, or have an unexpected vehicle breakdown. Therefore, to incorporate these incidents, you should properly optimize your route.
Properly planning the route will help you avoid heavy traffic, low hanging bridges, and more. If possible, find a route with roads that can handle your load’s weight, height, and width.