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Tips for Safe Loading and Transportation of Heavy Equipment

Anyone handling heavy equipment on a regular basis knows how challenging it is to ensure safe and legal transportation of these massive machines. The only way to deal with this is to adhere to a protocol for loading, transportation, and unloading. In this brief discussion, you will find some useful guidelines for loading and transportation of heavy equipment. 

Prepare Your Equipment:

Here the tasks involved in preparing your heavy equipment for transportation. 

  • As pre-emptive compliance documents, risk assessments provide an opportunity to showcase the completeness of your fleet management processes. This document should contain the entire operation and transportation timeline, weight loads, and all potential project risks how they have been addressed. 
  • One of the most important safety standards across all construction operations is to ensure that a complete set of personal protective equipment is used by the crew. 
  • While preparing for heavy equipment transport, thoroughly inspect the tires, brakes, lights, tie-down points, and working load limits of your trailer or truck.

Safe Loading: 

For safe loading operations, consider following these guidelines carefully. 

  • Designate duties before the loading starts so that the all the team members have a clear understanding of deliverables and responsibilities. 
  • As much as possible, keep the trailer decks and ramps free of debris, oil, and dirt. This will provide high traction to the loading equipment while it moves up the ramp. 
  • Choose an even and uninhabited place for setting up the ramp and performing your loading operation.
  • Please remember that the machine’s centre of gravity gets shifted during ramp movement, making it the most dangerous task in the loading process. Therefore, move slowly and steadily to avoid any risk.
  • Once you start chaining down the equipment, prevent its shifting en route by ensuring that there is no movement or no wiggle room with your chain.
  •  Prevent equipment damage by tying down your equipment at appropriate points.
  • Be sure that the chain and hook binder grades have been adequately matched. 

Safe Transportation: 

  • Plan your designated transport route ahead of time to avoid unpleasant surprises. Keep an eye out for bridges and road widths. 
  • To secure the equipment wheels and prevent them from rolling, consider using cradles, cocks, or wedges against them.
  • Equip your transport vehicles with flashing lights and signs. Don’t forget that in some extreme cases, escort vehicles may also be required. 
  • While on the road, follow the check-ins and inspections as per your industry norms.  

Safe Unloading: 

This is the last step of a compliant transportation process comprising of multiple key steps and risk-mitigation strategies.

  • Level and clear the entire unloading site.
  • After guiding the vehicle to the unloading area, be extremely methodical while lining it up with the trailer bed’s rear end. 
  • Be extremely careful while freeing the load, making sure that the chains and tie bounds are unleashed one at a time starting from the rear end. 
  • While moving the equipment back down the ramp, keep safe distance between the spotter and the equipment. Rest of the personnel should stay away from the site. 
  • Finally, wrap up the process after carrying out a final inspection of the transport vehicle, equipment, tools, and anchor points.   

For any other tips related to your heavy equipment, please feel free to contact our experts at K and G Machinery.