When moving heavy equipment between worksites, it is important that it has been secured properly to avoid some pretty severe consequences. These include: vehicle accidents (other drivers can be injured or killed if struck by a falling load), money loss (damage to loads can cost millions of dollars each year) and fines for the driver and company (safety ratings can also be affected).
According to enforcement officials, proper load securement is a simple concept. In any expected situation (such as a hard turn on a steep mountain grade or a sudden hard stop in peak hour traffic), the load mustn’t move on the deck. The only circumstance that should ever effect a load’s securement is a crash – and even then, a properly secured load should remain intact with the deck.
How can I eliminate violations during heavy equipment transport?
Drivers who don’t know – and follow – the rules of properly securing equipment are not only putting their licenses on the line, they’re potentially endangering lives. In the following list, we have outlined some best practices that will help you to conduct transport as safely as possible:
- Know the weight of the equipment your transporting. All equipment weighing 4,500kg or more must be secured using a four-point tie-down method. Equipment weighing less than 4,500kg must be secured using at least a two-point tie-down method.
- Ensure all load securement gear is rated for the necessary working load limit (WLL). Make sure that every chain, binder, strap, quick connect and other device is properly marked with the WLL (if it hasn’t been marked, inspectors will use the lowest WLL on the chart).
- Inspect every truck and trailer deck for damaged anchor points on the deck and side rails. Ensure that you repair any damage quickly and remove the truck or trailer from service until the anchor points are back in optimal condition.
- Secure all hydraulic attachments. Ensure that drivers lower attachments all the way to the deck and release hydraulic pressure before securing. Don’t forget about skid steer buckets, trencher arms, mini excavator buckets and other smaller gear with attachments.
- Dirt and rocks are the enemy. Every vehicle should be equipped with a broom and small shovel. Drivers should knock off as much dirt and rock as possible on the jobsite, then sweep the deck before rolling the equipment on. This will help to avoid all sorts of accidents.
- Always use designated tie-down points. Never secure forklifts across their floorboards. Never secure the roll over protection system (ROPS) on mobile equipment. And never secure chains across the rubber treads on tracked equipment.
We hope that the information provided in this article has given you some idea of how to properly secure heavy equipment for transport. If you have hired another company to handle this process for you, they must adhere to all of the points we have outlined above (plus a whole lot more). This is why it can be useful to familiarise yourself with the specific regulations that apply to your job.