Flatbed trucking plays a crucial role in transporting oversized, heavy, and uniquely shaped cargo across the highways. While it offers flexibility and versatility, ensuring safety throughout the process is paramount.
New flatbed drivers on the scene need to prioritize safety measures- here’s how to stay vigilant on the road!
It goes without saying that securing cargo safely is paramount. The thing is, there are so many possibilities and tools to do it, and every load is different. That’s why it makes sense to fully understand the dimensions of your load and what is the best method for securing it.
Use quality straps, chains, and binders to prevent shifting during transit. Regularly inspect and tighten these restraints to avoid accidents.
Having load weight distributed evenly across the trailer is another factor for safety. Improperly balanced loads can lead to instability, affecting the truck's handling and braking.
Conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections to identify any potential mechanical issues. Check tires, brakes, lights, and securement devices to ensure everything is in optimal condition. A breakdown is not fun, not only because it causes disruption, but also because it can lead to an accident.
Stay informed about weather conditions along the route. Wind, rain, and snow can impact the stability of the load and the truck's handling. This is especially important for heavy haul!
You can download weather apps to watch the forecast. it ‘s also a good idea to pre-plan routes, with backups in case the weather gets feisty.
Use reflective tape, flags, and lights to make your load clearly visible, especially during low-light conditions or nighttime driving.
Many times heavy haul drivers have an escort to warn other drivers and give them plenty of space and time to make room on the road.
The more properly trained flatbed drivers there are, the safer our roads can be. They should be well-versed in load securement, defensive driving techniques, and emergency procedures.
That means also refreshing skills, no matter how many years of experience you have.
Flatbed trailers have a higher center of gravity, making them prone to tipping. Avoid sudden lane changes and sharp turns to maintain stability.
A good way to do this is by minimizing speed, even if that means going below the speed limit.
Due to their weight and size, flatbed trucks require more stopping distance. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead to allow for sudden stops.
This is where speed control is always so important! Take it slow…
Establish clear communication between the driver and the team involved in loading and unloading. Everyone should be on the same page to ensure a smooth and safe process.
True Carriers Group is a non-asset based group of carriers that has been helping drive America’s supply chain for over 40 years. We offer a full range of logistics services, including Intermodal, Reefer, Van, Flatbed, Brokerage, LTL and Heavy Haul.