Lessons In Load Restraint

Here is a series of mishaps on the road from people who need lessons in load restraint. They either don’t know about, or don’t care about good load restraint. One of the first things to note is how few of those involved were trucks. Both instances involving trucks look like they are the result of sheer laziness.

In one instance the truck has two stacks of board on the dropside body with virtually zero load restraint. In the second instance the tarping of the tipper load was inadequate and the load fell off the front of the tipper under harsh braking.

Now running around on the roads without a strap holding down stacks of boards is unforgivable and the driver deserves to be hauled over the coals for creating a situation which is potentially very dangerous and, in fact, makes a big mess, holds up traffic and makes the driver look like an idiot.

In the case of the tipper, the tarps could well have been worn or broken. Unfortunately, this would not be that unusual in some parts of the tipper world. Again, the load restraint is inadequate and dangerous.

They should have referred to the the Load Restraint Guide which will show them how to secure their load. In fact, it is being amended as we speak and a new version will be available in 2018.

Responsible truck owners will download the new one, when it becomes available and use it to inform their loading and securing techniques if they are unsure of the way to handle a particular load. It is always worth a look, as it is a useful reminder of the forces at play when many tonnes of goods are sat on the back of a vehicle running at 100 km/h.

Probably more worrying for the general public is all of the scenarios we see in this video where it wasn’t a truck involved.

There is some regular policing of load restraint when trucks are pulled over for roadside checks. However for the vast majority of offenders on this video, the first time they may attract the attention of the authorities is when their load is spread down a kilometre stretch of some motorway causing mayhem.

The load restraint guide’s rules only apply to all loads over 4.5 tonnes. There are rules for light vehicles about making sure a load is safe but it is not policed. Some planned rules for load restraint may only apply to vehicles under 2.5 tonnes. This leaves the utes and trailers of this world largely unregulated.

On the evidence of this compilation, from Dash Cam Australia, the vast majority of incidents involve utes and small trailers. Somebody needs to educate and enforce at the lower end of the weight scale, as well as keeping an eye on the heavies.

See the next issue of Diesel magazine for a guide to the new load restraint guide rules and interesting news on the topic.