Heavy haulage truck drivers work in challenging work environments. Safety precautions can help prevent accidents on the road. The excerpt below discusses how truck drivers can safely prepare and execute heavy haulage.
Survey the Route
A route survey will help you identify hazards such as slippery roads and narrow bridges. Conduct some research to determine areas with heavy traffic or poor weather. For long-distance haulage, determine where you will refuel the truck and spend the night. Do not overwork yourself. Fatigue could cause drowsiness when driving.
Understand the Load
Oversized loads may require specialised loading equipment such as forklifts and cranes. If this is the case, the pick-up and drop-off points should be spacious enough for the machines to work. Fasten the load using chains, ropes, nets or straps. Lower the truck's centre of gravity by packing heavy loads at the bottom. Irregularly shaped loads should be dismantled to ease loading and unloading. Do not overload the truck.
Inspect the Truck
The heavy haulage truck must be in good condition. Below are a few tips to help you inspect the truck:
- Examine service and maintenance records to know if you need to service or replace some of the truck's parts before heavy haulage.
- Check that the tyres have sufficient tread.
- Check that the brakes are fully functional.
- Check the engine for leaks. Besides, conduct a road test to evaluate the truck's performance and detect any engine noises.
- Inspect the hooks that will be used to tie down the loads. Chains and straps should be damage-free.
Meet Your Team
Acquaint yourself with all members of the planning team. Decide on a suitable method of communication. For instance, you could use walkie-talkies to communicate with the pilot drivers and reconnaissance team. The transport team should have a command structure. For example, who will be your contact person in case of incidents such as a breakdown? Local police are a vital component of the heavy haulage process as they will help direct the traffic in urban areas.
Safety During Transport
Below are a few safety tips to observe as you drive the heavy haulage truck:
- Do not exceed the required speed limit.
- Increase your situational awareness to help prevent accidents on the road. For instance, you must beware of your blind spots. Adjust the side mirrors and seat position to have a better view of your rear.
- Make regular stops to inspect the position of the load and the condition of the fasteners.
- Beware of overhead hazards such as low-lying bridges, electrical cables and service station canopies.
Heavy haulage truck drivers should survey the route, understand the load, inspect the truck, liaise with the planning team and observe the recommended safety tips during heavy haulage.
To learn more, contact a company that offers hauling services.