If you’re in the business of loading and delivering cargo, load restraint should be a familiar concept to you. However, managing load restraint safely is another process altogether and requires understanding the science behind carrying heavy loads. The transportation industry, when handling heavy loads, is also required to meet certain standards to ensure safe and hazard-free delivery of cargo.
Whether you’re loading and moving furniture, vehicles or any other type of large goods, you’re required to follow load restraint laws. Meeting performance standards for safe and risk-free transportation of heavy loads could include using a top-quality buckle strap and understanding weight requirements.
if you want to ensure your load restraint is managed safely at all times read on as we share five useful tips. This way you can rest assured your heavy loads will be loaded and delivered efficiently in one piece!
5 Useful Tips to Managing Load Restraint Safely
1. Legal Compliance – Understanding Load Restraint Laws
Before you even start loading any heavy loads, make sure you understand what the law says about load restraint. Most countries have their own set of legal requirements for the safe loading and restraining of heavy goods for both commercial and private use.
The National Transport Commission in Australia provides a load restraint guide specifically to help you in understanding the legal requirements and performance standards. Everything you need to know about load restraint is included in this guide. By previewing this document, you’ll be able to load knowing you’re complying with the law.
2. Load Restraint Practices for Different Vehicles
When looking at load restraint laws make sure you comply with the ones stipulated for the type of vehicle you’re using for loading and transporting goods. Load restraint practices differ for heavy vehicles compared to light vehicles. Light vehicles are classified as any car, truck or trailer with a gross vehicle mass of 4.5 tonnes.
The load capacity of your vehicle will determine how much you can carry safely and what type of load restraint you need to put in place to ensure risk-free transportation. Using the right load restraint equipment is key to safe loading and delivery of cargo.
3. Use Top-Quality Load Restraint Equipment
To meet the load restraint performance standards stipulated by the transport industry, you need to use equipment that’s been approved to meet these regulations. Load restraint equipment such as buckle straps, ratchet tie-downs and load chokers should be made with top-quality materials meeting these high standards.
Manufacturing of this equipment should also be monitored to ensure they meet all load restraint laws. If you want peace of mind you’re using the best load restraint equipment, deal with suppliers who ensure all their products are well-designed and of the best quality. Ask for proof that their products are compliant with load restraint standards.
4. Load Restraint is Key for Stability
The key purpose for load restraint is keeping the cargo stable on the vehicle during transportation. At no time should your load be able to shift or worse, dislodge from your vehicle. Should this happen, your vehicle will become unstable and a hazard on the road. When heavy loads dislodge or move around too much, the vehicle could tip or even fail to brake properly.
While it’s not possible to restrain a load so it’s completely immovable during transportation, load restraint should ensure the following:
- 80% of the load should be sufficiently restrained in a forward direction.
- 50% of the load restrained for both backward and sideway directions.
- 20% of the load restrained for upward direction.
By ensuring your load is properly restrained according to the above requirements, you’re abiding by the law as well as keeping your cargo and vehicle stable.
5. Use the Right Load Restraint Method for Loading
There are two common load restraint methods used for restraining loads and each one has its pros and cons.
Tie-Down Restraint Method
The tie-down restraint method uses lashing to tie down your goods. The lashings need to be tensioned correctly according to the size and weight of the load as well as the direction requirements mentioned above. This will prevent your goods from moving around too much during transportation.
This method isn’t suitable for fragile goods or cargo loaded on the side of the vehicle. You also can’t use this technique for goods that will slide around beneath the lashings.
Direct Restraint Method
The direct restraint method entails attaching your goods directly to the vehicle. This is the best way of restraining goods that are slippery or have wheels. This method can be done by using any of the following:
- Placing the goods in a container which is then secured to the vehicle.
- Placing goods such as logs or pipes within gates or barriers which have been attached directly to the vehicle.
- Attaching the load directly to mounting points on the floor of the vehicle using direct lashings or twist locks.
To ensure your load restraint is correct you need to know what cargo you’re loading, its dimensions and the weight. Always use the right vehicle and pick the best load restraint equipment for the job. Position your load correctly and pick the right method so your cargo is safely restrained. And always ensure your load and vehicle is stable during transportation for safe delivery.
Your decisions keep everyone safe on the roads!