Oz Wide Trailers – Strap Down Your Load
Tips for strapping down your box trailer load
At Oz Wide Trailers we think it’s vital keep safety in mind when using your trailer. Whether you are running a load out to the dump or heading off to a job, you must make sure your load is secured properly.
We have gone through the National Transport Commission’s Load Restraint Guide of 2018 to pick out some handy tips to help you safely secure your load. Keep in mind that this is only general advice and it is best to check with your states specific guide lines to make sure you are staying within the law.
Use Rated Equipment
It is super important to use rated equipment to restrain your load. While it might seem like a good Idea to use grandpa’s old collection of occy straps from the shed, it will cost you. Wear and tear vastly diminishes the strength of restraint equipment. The last thing you want is your straps to give way and you lose your load all over the highway. Rated equipment has been tested by the manufacturer to restrain a certain load weight. The equipment will state the capacity it can restrain. Use rated equipment and make sure you get your trailer, with your load still intact, to the destination safely.
A load can move forwards, backwards or sideways on your trailer. As such it must be restrained in each of those directions. You must also ensure any upwards movement is limited as far as possible. Light and heavy loads move just as easily, don’t assume a heavy load will be held down by its weight: it won’t. Braking forces are typically higher at low speeds – don’t assume because you are travelling slowly that you don’t have to restrain your load correctly. For unstable loads it can be useful to bundle several items together and strap them so that they are reinforced by each other. Each load is different; consider the restraint method that will work best for your individual load.
Choose Your Restraint Method Based on Your Need
Each load that you carry on your trailer is going to have differing restraint requirements. From mowers to rubbish to furniture, there is going to be variety of weights, shapes and materials for every different load. As such it is important to identify which restrain method will be appropriate for which job. Each job is going to require either tie-downs or direct restraint, or a combination of both.
Tie-Downs – Tie-down load restraint equipment includes rope, wire rope, webbing, chain, strapping and the associated tensioners and attachments used to secure loads on vehicles. The most common way of securing any load and it works well with variety of materials and shapes is Tie-downs. Tie-downs combine the weight of the load and the tension from the straps to hold everything in place. When using tie-downs it is important to constantly test that they are staying tight. They will lose tension over the course of your journey and can potentially let loads slip loose when this happens.
Direct Restraint – Direct restraint can be used for most loads, it is especially effective for especially those that are difficult to tie down, such as: unstable loads, crushable/fragile loads, offset loads and slippery loads. There are four types of direct restraint:
Attaching – direct lashings such as webbing straps, chains and twist locks directly attach the load to the vehicle; attaching is especially suitable for slippery loads and loads on wheels –
Blocking – headboards, side gates and tailgates, etc., block the load from moving in each direction respectively. Very common for most trailers as the main source of direct restraint.
Containing – the vehicle structure restrains the load, e.g. a load in a tipper truck, or equipment in a ute. Again, this is very common for box trailers and alike.
Keep In Mind How Angles Effect Tie-Downs
One factor that is usually misunderstood or completely unknown is the effect angles have on tie-downs. It is important to understand this if you are lashing down a significantly heavy load to your trailer. Refer to the diagram above to get a visual of how this works, it is quite unintuitive. Essentially tie-downs are most effective at 90-degree angles. Anything higher or lower has diminishing returns, and is especially less effective the closer you get towards horizontal. This is important to keep in mind when strapping your load to your trailer.
Beware of Wear and Tear
Wear and damage on load restraint equipment can significantly reduce its strength and function. Worn or damaged equipment can fail suddenly causing injury to workers or loss of load during transit. The Load Restraint Guide states that load restraint equipment should be inspected regularly and if there is any doubt about its safety, the equipment should be repaired or replaced. If the minimum breaking strength is reduced by 10 per cent or more the equipment should be replaced.
Safety is Crucial
At Oz Wide trailers we are passionate about providing quality galvanised trailers to punters across Australia. We believe that it is crucial that everyone abides by the rules when using their trailers, so that everyone can get about their job safely and make it home at night. These are just a few small tips on how to secure your load properly, this list does not contain all the requirements of securing your load. Check out the full the National Transport Commission’s Load Restraint Guide at: (https://www.ntc.gov.au/Media/Reports/(EF72371E-CAE4-D691-C502-076DDEFE53C0).pdf)
Make sure to check out your states laws and abide by them. If you are in the hunt for a new trailer, get in touch with us at Oz Wide Trailers. We have a great selection of galvanised trailers for all your needs, all backed by our 12 month warranty.