Imagine looking in your rear review mirror and seeing your cargo spill onto the roadway. A scenario like this could result in a serious accident. A vehicle might swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting the cargo. Or, perhaps a car runs over your spilled cargo, which causes the driver to lose control. Either of these scenarios could happen if you fail to properly secure your load.
Aside from causing accidents, improperly secured loads can hurt your vehicle’s performance. It can affect your braking, speed, and steering control. It can make loads shift or roll back and forth in your truck. We’ll go over some common loading problems and how to properly secure your load.
Common Loading Problems
Here are some of the most common loading problems. Knowing about these issues in advance can help you properly secure truckloads for safe transport. This will help ensure that you get your products to customers safely and securely.
High Center of Gravity
Cargo that is arranged too high can affect the driver’s ability to maintain control when making sudden maneuvers or tight turns and lead to roll-overs. Secure your cargo properly to prevent truck roll-overs.
Overloading your trucks can lead to brake and equipment failures. A truck that is hauling loads in excess of gross vehicle ratings will have greater stopping distances. Things like steep downgrades and poor weather can exacerbate the problem even more. And these things can lead to an accident, and that accident could raise your commercial truck insurance rates.
You must have a special permit to haul oversized loads. These types of loads require greater driving skill. You must also have the necessary lights, signage, and escort vehicles. Failing to follow the rules for oversized loads can lead to collisions with tunnels and bridges as well as damage to roads.
Loads that are off-center or not properly balanced can cause a variety of problems, including damage to the tires and vehicle. It can lead to handling problems and can also affect a driver’s ability to safely turn. Too little or too much weight can impact traction. Once again, this can lead to an accident.
Improperly Tied Cargo
Failing to brace, block, and tie down the load correctly can cause it to fall from the truck. This can result in a road hazard for other drivers and ruined cargo. Improperly tied cargo might also slide around or shift, which can affect the driver’s ability to handle the vehicle.
How To Secure Loads For Safe Transport
Fortunately, it is easy to avoid a disaster by properly securing your load. Here are some tips of things that you can do to help securely load your cargo for safe transport.
- Place and evenly distribute heavier cargo more underneath lightweight cargo.
- Carefully plan your routes to avoid obstructions and hazards.
- Ensure tire inflation and ratings are compatible with driving conditions and loads.
- Make sure the suspension ratings are correct for the load being carried.
- Inspect cargo several times throughout the trip.
- Reduce speeds around sharp turns and curves especially if hauling heavy loads.
- Try not to hit curbs or drive onto the shoulder.
- Be aware of the truck’s height and plan routes in advance. This will help avoid clearance problems and collisions with obstructions like bridges.
- Have written procures in place to handle oversized loads.
- Perform regular audits to ensure that drivers are following the loading and cargo securement procedures that you have in place.
- Make sure drivers are all properly trained in loading and transporting cargo. Ensure that they are aware of legal load limits, weight, and balance requirements and cargo securement procedures.
- Make the necessary changes to policies to prevent overloading from occurring again when it does happen.
- Ensure that drivers make pre-trip inspections to ensure that cargo is secured and balanced correctly.
Following the above tips will help ensure that your load gets to its destination safely. And the above tips can help you avoid accidents, too. Accidents can raise a trucking business’s insurance rates by quite a bit, so by taking care to secure your load properly, you can manage your commercial truck insurance rates. Stay safe out there!
If you’re looking for truck insurance quotes, we can help. Our agents can help you shop for great coverage at a great rate. Get started with your quotes by filling out our quote form or giving us a call today.