Operating a motor or transport vehicle is risky enough, but the risks rise exponentially when big weights are involved. Whether you’re transporting these across long or short distances, it’s challenging and stressful, and there are numerous factors to consider, such as traffic, road hazards, and weather conditions.
That’s why it’s critical that every operator is aware of and equipped with specific safety recommendations to improve their driving experience. Before hitting the highway with excessive cargo, here’s what every truck driver should know. Here are five must-know tips when transporting a big load.
Road Laws and Local Regulatory Requirements
Make sure you’re familiar with the regulatory standards in each province or state you’ll be visiting. Regulations for moving heavy loads may differ depending on where you are, and you don’t want to end up with any unnecessary penalties or run-ins with the law. Do your research before going out because some places may require escorts. If you’ve never traveled a specific route before, ask someone who has or planned your trip online through online platforms. This measure will keep you from being surprised along the way.
Furthermore, moving large cargoes requires a permit that specifies the shipment’s origin and destination. Driving without proper credentials can result in hefty fines and other penalties, as well as the suspension of the driver’s license. It’s critical to keep all paperwork current before, during, and after transportation especially.
During a large load, the last thing anyone wants is for the truck to malfunction or break down. It’s critical to perform maintenance on the vehicle or fleet before a long journey. Fluids should be examined and topped up, inspect tires spare parts, and thoroughly maintain the truck.
Another aspect of this is to prepare a service plan if something goes wrong. Drivers should constantly know who to call and where to repair their vehicles, and where to go for much-needed assistance. This could be something to look into when creating the initial route plan.
Hauling a heavy load through rush hour traffic in a big city is never a good idea. Therefore, you should take time to plan out your trip and search for prospective obstacles that could cause issues. If at all feasible, plan a route that avoids areas of road construction, heavy traffic, toll roads, low-hanging bridges, or any other potential bottlenecks or delays.
You must ensure that the roadways manage the load’s weight, height, and width. Never presume that all roads are capable of carrying a large load. If the area is unfamiliar, it may be beneficial first to drive the route in a smaller vehicle to identify potential hazards.
Use the Appropriate Securing Method of the Load
It’s vital to keep the products or components tied down and secured when moving loads of any size. Ropes and straps, as well as friction mats and binders, are all examples of fastening devices. They aren’t always interchangeable, and some aren’t suitable for specific loads or equipment. It is up to the drivers to determine which safety tools are most appropriate for a given load. Using inappropriate equipment might have serious consequences, including heavyweight toppling off the trailer or transit such as auto transport.
Furthermore, you should test the equipment regularly to ensure that it is in good functioning and has not been compromised. You should plan all these precautions ahead of time.
Understand the Weather
Whether drivers use their smartphones or listen to the radio, they should always be aware of the current weather conditions and any changes that may occur along. Before the journey, the whole forecast should be referenced and noted. Throughout the trip, any updates or modifications should be well forecasted. Some loads cannot be exposed to severe weather. Therefore, you should avoid wet, cloudy, or muggy conditions.
Except in rare situations, such as an emergency, transporting heavy loads should never be done in adverse weather. Find a rest spot to wait out the weather if possible, and then return on the road when it’s safe to drive.
Heavy-hauling safety is essential for all drivers, not just those doing it for the first time. You should practice serious load safety every time you transport a heavy load. While you’re on the road, consider these tips, again and again, to keep them fresh in your mind.