The modern human mechanized society has come to be almost totally reliant on modern material moving machines. These include ocean going ships, trains that snake across the landscape, and the ubiquitous semi-trailer. As cumbersome and sometimes irritating as the technologies sometimes can be, life as we know it would grind to a halt without their presence.
That being said, when these transportation systems sometimes go wrong, the results can be tragic and truly catastrophic. This is especially the case when tractor trailers are involved, as they tend to operate in and around major population centers.
One of the most commonly seen issues with tractor trailers involves improper load distribution or securement. This ongoing problem is responsible for many accidents and fatalities, and knowing how to safely transport loads is a skill that every driver of these vehicles should master.
This article will take a closer look at this subject, and will enumerate some ways in which the dangerous shifting of cargo items can be eliminated, and subsequent accidents prevented before they start.
HOW TO AVOID DANGEROUS SHIFTING OF CARGO LOADS
Preventing dangerous shifting of loads of cargo sounds more difficult than it is. Individuals that take note of and apply the following points will be taking great strides towards improving safety conditions on the open road.
* ANCHOR POINTS
Anchor points are areas on the vehicle that are specially reinforced and are used to anchor securing cables that are meant to contain cargo. The main thing to remember about anchor points is that they should always have a load rating that meets or exceeds the intended force that will be acting on these points. If this procedure is followed, catastrophic failures can be prevented.
* TIE DOWNS
Tie downs are another critical link in the cargo securing chain. Many are of the ratcheting type, though quite a few individuals make use of flexible ones. Whichever one is utilized, the key will be for personnel to have the proper training in terms of deploying these critical items safely and securely.
The main factor involved in preventing cargo from shifting is actually friction. Because of this, friction levels should always be high enough to resist any movement of cargo. Practically speaking, this means that cargo handling equipment such as skids should be designed with a sufficiently high coefficient of friction. Rubber mats are one such tool that have been proven to increase friction levels on many different kinds of cargoes and decking materials.
* PROPER OPERATOR TRAINING
It is also of great importance for individuals that operate vehicles that bear heavy loads to the well trained in how to safely maneuver on the open road. According to dmv.org, several habits should be formed that will serve to increase safety. These include always performing a pre-trip check to make sure that the trailer is connected securely to the hitch, and also that the signal lights are in proper working condition.
In addition to this, prospective trailer operators will want to get used to basic maneuvers such as backups, turns, and even emergency stops. A few minutes of practice can make all the difference in an emergency situation, and can help prevent things like this from happening.
Tractor trailers and similar vehicles are here to stay. That said, who take their responsibility to safely operate such vehicles seriously will be enhancing the safety of themselves as well as their fellow drivers.