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If you’re in the business of transporting heavy cargo then this article is for you. We all know that though driving might appear pretty basic, there are a lot of considerations you need to keep in mind if you expect to reach your intended destination. This can be anything from observing road rules to having the necessary documentation.
Now imagine driving a heavy haulage truck. The task is by no means easy. If anything you need to practice extra caution because of the extra cargo you’ll be carrying around. If you’re part of the heavy haulage transport Melbourne drivers often see, they’ll appreciate you following the tips below. We’ve put together a few pointers to increase your awareness and make your journey a safe & successful one. Let’s keep you and other drivers safe.
Plan for the Job
There’s a lot of planning and preparation that must take place before embarking on your journey as this will greatly reduce any risk during the way. We recommend that you liase with your client so that you’re aware of their expectations and specifications.
Basically you need to have a clear consultation with the clients so that they provide you with information regarding the type of cargo you’ll be carrying. This way you’re in a better position to know how to load and handle the cargo. Not only that, but you must put the necessary measures in place for a safe trip from start to finish.
Use the Right Vehicle
After you’re clear on your client’s expectations, the next step is to use the right vehicle for the task at hand. The vehicle you pick will depend on the cargo you intend on transporting. Below are a few examples:
- If you’re going to be transporting a load that’s long and heavy, then you’ll need to use a truck with an extendable trailer.
- When transporting wet cement, you’ll need a revolving cement mixer Truck to avoid the cement from drying up and forming chunks.
- Moving frozen or cold material will require a truck that’s designed to maintain the product’s temperature and keep it frozen or chilled. This means using chiller trucks and refrigerated containers.
- When transporting dry goods you can consider using box or curtainside trucks. Alternatively you can uses high sided containers.
- If your line of business includes transporting different materials like concrete pipes of various sizes, then you’ll need a versatile truck. A good idea is a flatbed truck because it’s known for its versatility
- If you drive furniture trucks then you must ensure that you have a separate prime mover and trailer for easier lifting.
Secure Your Cargo Properly
Selecting the right vehicle for the job is the first task. The next thing you need to do is to ensure that you invest in the necessary load restraint systems. Make sure you pick the correct equipment for your intended load. Below are a few examples:
- Ratchet straps: These straps are the most popular and are known for securing a wide variety of loads.
- Cam buckle straps: These straps are relatively cheaper options and are the best when transporting fragile or delicate goods.
- Load binders: Load binder kits offer a solution for lifting the heavier loads. The kit consists of heavy duty chains but note that it will cost you a lot more than some other products.
Restraining your cargo isn’t enough; you must ensure you do so properly and securely. This will avoid any tilting, shifting or tipping over of the load. If any of this should happen it can result in serious accidents and in extreme cases deaths. Luckily there’s a lot you can do to avoid these problems.
Even after securing your Cargo, make sure you conduct periodic inspections en route to check for any load shifting. Sure, it might sound taxing, but you’ll agree; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Comply With the Law
When transporting heavy cargo, it’s not only about your client, your cargo and your vehicle. It’s also about the people who’ll be travelling near and around you. As such, you need to comply with the necessary load regulations in your area. This includes:
- Familiarising yourself with the legal requirements in your state—and adhering to them.
- If you’re in the business of transporting dangerous chemicals, you must double check whether you’re allowed to carry certain chemicals in the area you’re venturing into.
- Have the necessary documentation and permits.
- Adhere to the necessary height restrictions.
You must find out the above mentioned factors well in advance so that you can plan your route.
Ask for Help
If your haulage company is relatively new, chances are you might not necessarily have a fleet of heavy trucks at your disposal. If that’s the case and you realise that the pending job is too big for you to handle, it’s smart to ask for help.
You can consider:
- Hiring an extra truck suited for the job
- Outsource the services of a company that may be able to assist
- Subcontract part of the load to another haulage company
Sure, you might wind up splitting profits, but on a positive note, you’ll be forging new relationships that may come in handy in the future.
A Final Thought
Incorporating the above tips is in the best interests of your haulage company. But above all, remember to take care of your drivers. Make sure they’re well fed and rest between trips. A healthy and focused workforce is worth investing in if you want to grow your business.