Millions of Tonnes of Freight is moved around streets and highways in Australia on an annual basis. Loads of every shape and size are shipped around the country during the day and overnight. Much of the freight is moved by professional freight companies and transport operators with very experienced staff moving and securing it, however, the level of skill and knowledge can vary widely across the industry.
So what is involved with securing loads and whose responsibility is it to ensure loads are secured correctly?
The National Transport Commission has published a Load Restraint Guide which provides comprehensive information about restraining loads for every road user, but in particular operators of heavy vehicles. The Guide was first published in 2004 and is under review with an expected update released in 2017.
Freight loaded into Shipping Containers are very secure as the very nature of the steel containers themselves contain the load. Mechanical Twist lock pins mounted on Container Skel Trailers provide a secure and easy method to secure the load to the trailer. This method is used worldwide as a universal method to move freight between different modes of transport.
But other type of freight require different load restraint methods. Several videos showing load restraints for General Freight exist as do videos for steel and odd shaped loads. Worksafe Queensland have posted a very good video on how to use restraints safely. Of course unrestrained loads can simply move and damage the cargo or worse, cause major disruption or fatalities.
If you drive a heavy vehicle, ensure you do some research and undertake some training to ensure you restrain your load properly to avoid embarrassing (at the least) or worse, major or fatal accidents. Heavy fines can occur to a driver who fails to secure a load effectively.