Equipment Transportation Safety Tips
A large number of fatal accidents occur while loading and unloading heavy equipment from a trailer. Whether you are loading your own machine, or transporting rental equipment, it's important to follow these safety tips.
Drivers Must Be Well Rested
Operators that transport equipment must be well rested and should take occasional breaks. Breaks are especially important on hot days. To avoid getting too hot, workers should dress in clothing that is appropriate for the temperature.
No Drugs or Alcohol
The machinery must never be transported by someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also, those who are taking medications that might affect their ability to operate heavy machinery should not transport equipment.
Use a Vehicle That Can Pull the Trailer
The transportation vehicle must be rated to pull the weight of the heavy equipment trailer. For example, it'd be more appropriate to use a pickup truck to pull lighter equipment, but heavier equipment would require a commercial truck.
Do Not Ride on the Machinery
While transporting the machinery, no one should ride on the machinery itself. Also, if the machinery is in operation, no one should ride on the machinery except in the location that is intended for transport, such as within the cab.
Use the Appropriate Sign
When heavy machinery must be driven on public roads, use a Slow Moving Vehicle emblem so motorists know that the vehicle cannot move very fast. The emblem is an equilateral triangle and needs to be visible from 1,200 feet.
Inspect the Taillights
To make the equipment visible, the trailer needs to have the appropriate taillights to convey the appropriate signals. The taillights need to be wired properly so they will blink when changing lanes. Also, the equipment itself needs to have lights that are on at all times when the equipment is in operation.
Prepare the Soil
Depending on the weight of the equipment, the soil might not be compacted well enough to support the load. This can lead to the load becoming unstable and sliding off the trailer. Therefore, the site must be properly prepared before bringing the equipment.
Secure the Equipment Properly
The load must be secured properly so it does not shift and slide off of the trailer. The methods used to tie down the load must be inspected a second time before transporting the heavy equipment and the motorist should drive slowly and pay close attention to any shifting weight. There should be at least four load securing devices used before the driver can transport equipment. Improperly secured loads are not only a concern when transporting, but also when unloading equipment. The equipment can slide or collapse during the unloading phase and cause injuries. Before loading or unloading, the load must be inspected.