Even in the most favourable weather conditions, transporting heavy machinery is not an easy exercise. Typically, heavy machinery is transported on the back of a large truck or flatbed trailer due to its size and weight. Even though this is regarded as the most convenient and effective transport method for the heavy machinery, there are always major safety hazards involved, especially in the winter days when almost everything gets slippery.
If you need to transport heavy machinery during the winter months, you will need to be extra cautious when it comes to safety. Here are some effective safety tips you should undertake to ensure you maintain the highest safety standards possible.
Handling the machinery
Drivers and everyone else involved in the loading and offloading of equipment must keep an eye out for potential slips and falls when moving around the freight truck or trailer. A slip-and-fall accident can lead to serious injuries that may have long-term or even permanent effects. It is critical that loading and offloading tasks are executed with several hands readily available to help when needed, and that the right personal protective equipment is used. Most importantly, however, those performing the loading and offloading should not do the task at hand hurriedly—they should always take it slow to ensure every step is done safely and properly.
Dealing with the elements
In the cold winter weather, motor oil congeals, metals become stiff, and machinery has a harder time functioning well. The same applies when it comes to securing heavy machinery. It is vital that every chain, cord, strap, come-along, and any other tie-down be free of excess snow and ice so as to work properly. To minimise movement of the load and ensure proper distribution of the load's weight during transport, the elements should also be removed from the machinery being transported, the flatbed of the truck or trailer, and the undercarriage.
If de-icers are not removed at regular intervals, they will wear down the metal parts of safety devices as well as the trailer itself, so be sure to have the snow-melting substances thoroughly removed frequently.
Ensuring safety while on the roads
The size and weight of heavy machinery, combined with wet, slippery roads, is something that should concern every trucker. To minimise the risk of accidents, truckers must be extremely disciplined and alert while on the roads. They should adhere to road and highway laws and also be skilled in defensive driving so that they can make those emergency manoeuvres when necessary.
Most importantly, the winter season is no time for drivers to be speeding on the roads with snow blowing off in all directions—other motorists may have a hard time keeping sight of the road, making the situation dangerous for everyone.
Heavy machinery transport is a job that requires expert handling from start to finish—from the loading, transport and unloading of the machinery being transported. Therefore, make sure to only use qualified personnel throughout all phases of the job.