Proper load security is required to be used by drivers who driver commercial motor vehicles. The process of transferring things from one place to another with a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) can be tedious and dangerous. Although, to the average drivers of America, some may believe that it is an easy task. However, the process of loading, transporting, and then unloading cargo could cause serious injuries or even fatalities if the driver of the CMV is not careful. The drivers of large CMVs are exposed to many dangers when loading/unloading their vehicles. They have the risk of heavy objects hitting or even falling onto them if they do not follow the proper procedures in securing loads.
Drivers could cause serious accidents if they do not drive safely while carrying heavy loads. The very same thing could happen if the weight of the load is distributed unevenly throughout the cargo box. This can cause the driver to easily lose control.
The thing that makes transporting goods from one place to another so dangerous is the possibility of risking the lives of other drivers on the road. This can happen when the cargo is not properly secured to the CMV and the load itself ends up rolling into the road and hitting other vehicles or things in the way.
There are certain guidelines that must be met while loading cargo onto a CMV. Here is a list of those guidelines:
- The lighting in the loading area should always be equipped with good lighting. The CMV should also be away from both pedestrians and other vehicles.
- The loading area should be free of potholes and other obstructions that could cause the loader to slip or trip.
- Always inspect the CMV and make sure that the horns, reflectors, lights, and other safety features are in proper working condition.
- Provide guards for the dangerous parts of the vehicle such as chain drives, power take-off and exposed exhaust pipes.
- Always make sure that the vehicle is braked and stabilized before loading.
- Ensure that the loading dock is free of any junk or loose materials such as crates, cables, wires, chains, and bins.
- A common rule to obey is use one tie-down for every ten feet of cargo. However, use a least two tie-downs for any cargo loads regardless of its length.
- When a load is oversized, meaning it extends more than three feet beyond the body of the vehicle, be sure to use a red flag to mark the end of the extended cargo. If it is night time, rather than a red flag, use a red light.
- Use at least four binders for loads, like pipes, and logs that are 27 feet long. Ensure that the spacing between all the binders are equal.
- Unsecured items on the backseat or rear window of the car should never be loaded. This could cause the objects to hit other passengers should the driver make the CMV come to a sudden stop.
- It is wise to use a compartment, tool box, or a small tarp, that is properly secured with ropes or straps, to keep small items secure in the vehicle.
- Lastly, while on the road, stop frequently to check the cargo load. This is necessary when traveling long distances.
Unloading cargo can be just as dangerous as loading and securing it. This is why it is important for the drivers to always remain cautious of their surroundings. However, should they be properly trained, or have had lots of experience, this should come as no problem to them.