Following on from our last blog article, ‘How to Prepare Your Heavy Machinery for Transportation’ ( https://www.industrialbrake.co.nz/transporting-your-heavy-machinery/ ), we take a look into loading heavy machinery and its safe transportation.
Loading and transporting heavy machinery is more than successfully getting your machine loaded onto the transporting vehicle, securing it and driving from A to B. You want to ensure that you’re not only completing the task legally but achieving it as safely as possible.
To begin, follow the below steps:
- Notify staff –
All staff should be made aware of when a machine is being loaded so that the area is kept clear of staff and cars coming on and off the site.
- Assign duties –
Each team member should have a clear understanding of their role and which aspects of the job they are responsible for.
- Clean the ramp and trailer bed of the transporting vehicle –
This is especially important if you are using metal ramps and trailers. People often forget that this step includes any water on the deck and ramp, in these cases, friction devices are important.
- Clear the area where you will be loading your machine –
Remember to consider the total load weight of your machine and transporting vehicle to avoid sinkage.
- Line up the machine and the transporting vehicle –
Please remember it’s important to have a spotter on hand to guide the driver up the ramp onto the trailer. Once moving up the ramp onto the trailer, the center of gravity will shift, continue moving forward steadily.
- Chain down the piece of Heavy Machinery being transported –
This is one of the most crucial steps in the transportation process. Be sure to know the regulations for the specific piece of Heavy Machinery that you are transporting.
Extra details to check after chaining down your heavy load:
- Are you using at least 4 chains?
- Is your Heavy Machinery tied down at the designated tie down points?
- Can you see any twists, bends or angles in your chains?
- Is there any chain slack?
- Do your chains and hooks marry up?
It takes only one mistake to affect the successful transportation of a heavy load so be thorough in your processes. Simply carrying out the above steps out is not enough if rushed or completed without total focus.
Finally, complete the following transportation tasks:
- Map your route.
- Apply the machines parking brake as well as securing any wedges and cradles where necessary.
- Fit the transporting vehicle with ‘Oversized Load’ signs and flashing lights
- Complete the required inspections while on route.
Once you have reached your final destination you must run through these final steps before unloading:
- Like when you were preparing to load, clear and level out the area where you will be unloading. Do this before the transportation vehicle has arrived.
- Guide the transportation vehicle to the agreed unloading site and be thorough when lining up the ramp.
- Check the condition of the tie downs incase of movement.
- Review roles e.g. who will be the spotter.
- Release chains one at a time.
- Reverse the piece of Heavy Machinery down the ramp as indicated by the spotter.
- Inspect the machine and all pieces of equipment including the transporting vehicle.
- Document your findings.