The 2017 version of the annual CVSA safety blitz was cargo control. Between federal authorities, police, and industry trade groups, a tremendous emphasis was put on safely securing cargo in order to not only pass roadside inspections, but also remind drivers and motor carriers of the importance of safe cargo control throughout the year. It turns out that there is a new global emphasis on secure cargo as well. A lot of attention is being paid to heavy haul cargo in particular.
Heavy haul cargo includes things like construction cranes and heavy-duty road equipment. Hauling this kind of cargo is by no means an easy task. Perhaps the most difficult part of the task is securing a piece of heavy equipment to a trailer that may or may not be ideal for the situation. Truck drivers really have to know their stuff to do this kind of work safely.
At Mytee Products in Ohio, they sell the supplies and equipment that drivers need to keep their cargo secure. But having the equipment on hand is just the start. Knowing how to use that equipment is what makes the difference between safe and unsafe loads. Such is the emphasis of many of the new initiatives now being seen around the world.
Cargo Control in Europe
KHL’s International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine says that “the subject of load security is becoming increasingly critical issue for the heavy haul industry.” In a rather lengthy story published in August 2017, the magazine highlighted some of things going on in Europe, Australia, and the U.S.
In Europe, government agencies are monitoring cargo control and safety standards more strictly than ever before. Cargo control has always been a priority in Europe, at least for the last several decades, but a new emphasis is being placed on heavy haul companies and the equipment they transport. One German representative interviewed by the magazine said he expects the same stringent standards now in place in Europe to expand elsewhere in the world in the future.
In Australia and the U.S.
Authorities in Australia are working with industry trade groups to remind motor carriers and drivers of their need to be safety aware. Apparently, Australia has very strict rules relating to axle loading and tread width contact when transporting heavy equipment, like cranes. The rules lead construction companies to transport their cranes and associated equipment in rather interesting ways. However, not all of them are taking the necessary precautions to make sure their loads are secured properly.
Here in the U.S., DOT and FMCSA regulations pertaining to heavy haul loads are very clear. Understanding the practical application of the regulations is another matter though. As a result, a number of companies have recently released safety videos aimed particularly at helping drivers understand how to secure heavy haul equipment.
The videos include step-by-step instructions alongside detailed explanations of the regulations. Drivers and motor carriers new to heavy haul loads can benefit greatly from these videos. In the absence of such videos, drivers and motor carrier should be studying safety manuals and documents published directly by the DOT and FMCSA.
All About Safety
This new global push to raise awareness about cargo control is, at the end of the day, all about safety. The last thing anyone wants is for a piece of heavy haul equipment to break loose during transport. Any such incident would very likely lead to tragic consequences that could include damage to roads surfaces, damaged equipment, personal injury, and even loss of life. The safety push is well worth it when viewed in those terms.