Transporting oversized loads exposes you to a variety of risks on the road. In this excerpt, you will learn the various safety precautions you should take during heavy haulage.
Choose the right truck.
Always use the right truck for the right job. Goods transported during heavy haulage are heavy and exceed the standard dimensions. As such, involve a team of experts to help you determine the best truck to carry the load. Long and heavy loads are transported using modular trailers. In other cases, you may require some trucks to push or pull the load to balance gravitational forces and rolling friction. Service the trucks before transport to ensure that they are in excellent mechanical condition.
Conduct a road survey to determine the best routes to use during heavy haulage. Poor weather conditions, sharp corners, slopes and low-lying bridges may present a challenge during transport. You are better off using a long and safe route than a short route with a variety of transport risks.
Drivers navigating the trucks must be experienced in conducting such work. They should avoid consuming alcohol and any other drugs that may alter their judgement on the road. It is best that you have two drivers for each truck to prevent driver fatigue.
Below are a few ways in which you can improve situational awareness on the road;
- Use pilot vehicles to warn other drivers of oversized loads. The drivers of the pilot cars should be in constant communication with the truck driver to inform him or her of changing road conditions, such as traffic jams and ongoing construction works.
- Use police escort services when passing through towns and busy highways.
- The truck drivers must observe traffic rules on the road.
- Avoid driving in poor weather conditions or at night as you will have reduced visibility on the road.
- To increase the truck's visibility on the road, mark it with warning signs, lights and flags.
Emergencies during heavy haulage include burst tires, engine failures and road accidents. Therefore, you should have an emergency crew comprising of medical personnel, mechanics and engineers. The team should have a standard line of command to prevent confusion when responding to emergencies. Preferably, they should hold a seminar before the journey and decide on how they should react to the various incidents. They should also maintain contact with emergency responders, such as firefighters and the police.
To ensure safety during heavy haulage, choose the right truck, conduct road surveys, hire experienced drivers, be aware of changing road conditions and have an emergency response team.