Safety First

Equipment Transportation Safety Tips

Sep 22, 2022, 13:12 PM by Cindy Ellis

Equipment Transportation Tips

Many accidents happen when crews are loading and unloading heavy equipment before and after transport. Whether you are loading your own machine, or transporting rental equipment, it's important to follow these equipment transportation tips.

Drivers should be rested and alert
Operators that transport machines have to be well rested and should take occasional breaks in order to remain focused and alert. They should also never work under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs that may affect their motor skills.

Inspect your trailer and tow vehicle
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), drivers preparing to transport equipment must closely inspect their hauling vehicle and be satisfied that it is in good working order before driving. Drivers are also required to inform the owner of the hauling equipment of any damage, defects, or deficiencies they found. Drivers should inspect the following before hitting the road:

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  • Service brake components that are readily visible to a driver performing as thorough a visual inspection as possible without physically going under the vehicle, and trailer brake connections
  • Lighting devices and reflectors
  • Tires
  • Coupling devices
  • Rails or support frames
  • Tie-down bolsters
  • Locking pins, clevises, clamps, or hooks
  • Sliders or sliding frame lock

Follow trailering rules and regulations
When it comes to equipment transportation, you have to understand trailering regulations. The FMCSA lays down the rules for transporting heavy equipment on trailers. Here are some of the most critical ones:

  • When securing equipment over 10,000 lb, you must use a minimum of four tie downs.
  • For machines less than 10,000 lb, two tie downs are required, one in the front and one in the back.
  • Your tie downs must be rated to support a minimum of half the weight of the cargo. That means that if you use four tie downs to secure a 30,000 lb machine, those tie downs must each have a working load limit of 3,750 lb, for a total of 15,000 lb.
  • For boom loaders and excavators, an extra tie down is required for the arm.
  • If your equipment extends 4″ over the side of the trailer or 4′ beyond the rear, then oversized flags and lights at night are required.

Never ride on machinery
No one should ride on the machinery itself during equipment transportation. Also, if the machinery is in operation, no one should ride on the machinery except in the location that is intended for transport, such as within the cab.

Ensure the ground can take the load
Depending on the weight of the machine you’re transporting, the soil might not be compacted enough to handle the load. The result can be load instability and the machine sliding off the trailer. Therefore, the site must be properly prepared before bringing the equipment.

For more information on equipment transportation, contact the Columbus Equipment team!

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