- 80% of its weight in the forward direction,
- 50% of its weight sideways and rearwards, and
- An additional 20% of its weight vertically.
NSW law states that the load on any vehicle must be loaded in a way that does not make the vehicle unstable or unsafe, be secured so that it’s unlikely to fall or dislodge from the vehicle and be restrained by an appropriate method. Unsecured and overhanging loads can become a flying missile with the ability to kill, and with the offense carrying a $439 fine and the loss of three demerit points per offence, it’s no wonder the legislation is designed to protect drivers and other motorists.
Transport regulations set out the rules for carrying loads on vehicles, so if you manage a fleet, run a small or medium business or duty of care obligations in a larger corporation, it makes sense to ensure your entire workforce and the general public are safe at all times. Not only is this the right thing to do, but under the Chain of Responsibility laws, it is also the legal thing you must do.
Tips to properly secure your load
Different loads should be transported diversely. There are general checks you can do, but the way you carry a load will depend on the load itself. Most headboards and loading racks aren’t strong enough to fully restrain heavy loads, which is why you should choose a suitable vehicle for your load. Plus, it’s important to remember that your load must not exceed the legal limits in relation to the weight, length, height, width and rear overhang of your vehicle.
High and narrow items such as stacks of smaller cartons usually need more than one restraint, and while nets and tarpaulins can be used to restrain lighter items - webbing straps are more effective and simple to use. It’s also recommended that you bundle similar items together, in a more stable single unit. Plus, you can also fill spaces and gaps between piles with other items, so long as these items are restrained as well. Your method of load restraint needs to not only be suitable for day-to-day driving, but must stay in place in the event of sudden breaking or swerving, collision or rollover. Remember, the security of your load, your life and the life of others relies on proper load restraint.
- The security of your load, your life and the life of others relies on proper load restraint.
- Your load must be covered at all times.
- Use a vehicle and suitable restraint equipment appropriate for the type of load you’re carrying.
- Check your load restraint immediately before leaving, and during the trip.
- You’re driving under different, more difficult conditions when you’re carrying certain types of loads.