Securing loads is critical for all forms of vehicles, not only for trucks! Not securing loads poses a safety risk – it can cause loss, injury and even death, due to loss of vehicle control, falling objects, road obstruction, spillage, etc.
Loads must always be secured, even if the vehicle is only travelling a short distance or at low speeds. Loose items, even small ones such as laptops, tools or your pet are potential missiles in a collision or other accident, and can cause serious injury to the vehicle occupants, other road users and pedestrians.
How to do it right – for all vehicles:
- Always secure your load, however short the journey.
- Adapt your driving style to take account of the changed handling behavior of a laden vehicle.
- Observe the load-bearing capacity of the restraint devices used.
- Use the proper load-securing devices depending on the type of your vehicle (passenger car, motorcycle, truck, etc.) and type of your load: lashing belts, nets, friction mats, restraint bars and other load-securing aids.
- Load can fall out when the door is opened if they are not specially secured.
- In an open vehicle or trailer cargo must be secured so that it cannot be blown from the vehicle.
- Always load the heaviest items at the bottom.
- Avoid gaps in the cargo load. If this is not possible, make sure that they are filled.
- Always secure high loads against the danger of tipping.
- Remember that a bulkhead cannot replace the adequate securing of a load.
- Secure hazardous goods with particular care (for example fuel canisters)
- Exercise particular care when securing loads on the roof of the vehicle.
- Only carry loads in the load compartment, not in the cab/passenger compartment.
- Always make sure that the load is evenly distributed.
- Make sure that you secure your pets, for example with proper nets between the load compartment and the passenger compartmetn.
- Secure your load when driving in the desert!
- Follow the same procedures when securing loads on a trailer as when securing loads on a vehicle.
How to do it right – for trucks:
The following is a short list of important basic rules which are always valid whatever the cargo transported.
- Before the vehicle is loaded, check that its load platform, bodywork and any load securing equipment are in sound and serviceable condition.
- Secure the cargo in such a way that it cannot shove away, roll-over, wander because of vibrations, fall off the vehicle or make the vehicle tip over.
- Determine the securing method(s) best adapted to the characteristics of the cargo (locking, blocking, direct lashing, top-over lashing or combinations of these).
- Check that the vehicle and blocking equipment manufacturers’ recommendations are adhered to.
- Check the cargo securing equipment is commensurate with the constraints it will encounter during the journey. Emergency braking, strong cornering to avoid an obstacle, bad road or weather conditions have to be considered as normal circumstances likely to happen during a journey.
- Each time cargo has been (un)loaded or redistributed, inspect the cargo and check for overload and/or poorly balanced weight distribution before starting.
- Ensure that the cargo is distributed in such a way that the center of gravity of the total cargo lies as close as possible to the longitudinal axis and is kept as low as possible: heavier goods under, lighter goods above.
- Check the cargo securing regularly, wherever possible, during the journey.The first check should preferably be done after a few kilometers drive at a safe place to stop. In addition the securing should also be checked after heavy braking or another abnormal situation during driving.
- Wherever possible, use equipment which supports the cargo securing such friction mats, walking boards, straps, edge beams, etc.
- Ensure that the securing arrangements do not damage the goods transported.
- Drive smoothly, i.e. adapt your speed to the circumstances so as to avoid brisk change of direction and heavy breaking. If you follow this advice, the forces exerted by the cargo will remain low and you should not encounter any problems.
Please note, that this list is not self standing – it must be complemented by the more detailed explanations that can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/vehicles/doc/cargo_securing_guidelines_en.pdf
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