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What You Should Know When Handling Specialised Loads

When transport managers have to deal with specialised loads, there are specific procedures that need to be followed. This is needed to keep the cargo safe and ensure you abide by the rules that relate to safe transportation.

A solid understanding of all the techniques used for this type of load is essential, and of the guidelines that you need to adhere to. In this article, we look at the subject in closer detail, analysing how to ensure you’re doing things in a compliant way.

Understanding How to Secure Specialised Loads

There’s a range of different types of specialised loads that need to be understood, with its own set of considerations. The term ‘specialised’ can be further broken down to mean ‘oversized’, ‘fragile’, ‘perishable’ or ‘hazardous’, meaning that the techniques used are outside of standard practices.

These techniques may also require that you use specialised equipment and in-depth knowledge of how to deal with each particular load type.

What You Need to Know to Stay Compliant

The first point of consideration relates to weight limits, as every vehicle has one designated that must under no circumstances be exceeded. Often, specialised loads come close to these limits, meaning that it’s imperative that accurate monitoring of cargo weight is imperative.

Proper classification is also key to remaining compliant with the respective laws, particularly as misclassification can lead penalties being incurred. Also, all the relevant documentation needs to be in order before transporting specialised loads, such as certifications for hazardous materials and oversized load permits.

Something else you need to be aware of is that some vehicles may be under maximum authorised mass (MAM), but still be overweight on axel, which is why expert guidance should be sought if there’s any uncertainty.

Specialised Load Securement Methods

In order to employ the different securement methods that specialised loads require, it’s imperative to use the right gear, such as chains, straps, or blocks. The right choice depends on the precise nature of the load. Furthermore, it’s vital to prevent instability or overloading on one side in transit by ensuring that the load is even distributed on the truck’s bed.

Specialised training serves to make sure that all personnel understand how to properly secure all types of loads with the appropriate equipment. Also, carrying out regular inspections of your securement gear help you to keep it in good condition and able to safely secure goods throughout any journeys in which it’s used.

Making Use of Modern Technology

Thanks to the advancement of technology in the HGV industry, software is no available that can make the job of safely transporting hazardous/specialised cargo easier. For instance, monitoring systems allow transport managers to keep a close eye on consignments throughout their journey.

Load sensors are another option, which can be used to monitor both the weight of a load and how it’s distributed, helping you ensure it remains within permissible limits.

Preparing for Expected Events

As with any type of cargo, unexpected events can occur. That’s why it’s very important to have a defined emergency response plan in place, in case of situations like load shifts, hazardous material spills and accidents.

Communication is also key during the transit of specialised loads, so open lines should be maintained. Your drivers need to be well-informed about the load they’re carrying so they know what steps to take in an emergency scenario.

Ensuring the Safe Transit of Specialised Loads

The safe transportation of specialised cargoes relies upon a blend of the right knowledge, the correct equipment and adhering to laws that govern safely securing loads. When you have a meticulous approach and follow best practices in this regard, you significantly reduce the risks associated with this type of journey.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

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