There are many stresses that come with moving heavy, expensive equipment to a long-distance location,…
How to Ensure Safety in the Transportation of Construction Equipment
Construction equipment transportation is not just a matter of equipment Transport Company. It has to do with equipment safety and operators’ safety also. If the equipment is broken during transportation or should something come off during transportation, it may also be harmful to the equipment operators affecting their ability to work in the future.
Even though the transport company may be required to provide safe equipment handling procedures, the operators need to cooperate with the Transport Company as well. As an operator, you should know the key points in the transportation process. Here are some important considerations to make to ensure safety in the transportation of construction equipment:
1. Choose the Right Vehicle
There are TWO kinds of vehicles to choose from, for the transportation of construction equipment. These are:
- Flatbed/Step deck trailer
- Lowboy trailer
Usually, when making a choice of transportation means, the height of the equipment should be put into consideration. Shorter equipment can be carried by the Flatbeds/step deck trailer, which has a higher platform off the ground whereas the lowboy trailer has a lower platform for the taller type of equipment.
However, the lowboy trailer transportation costs are higher than those of the Flatbed trailer.
The selection of either of the two types of trailers should be made from a well-informed point of view, particularly on the part of understanding the construction equipment to be transported and laws governing the same.
Therefore, your choice of the right trailer for your use and application should be based on the local laws and regulations in relation to the height of your equipment and the transporting trailers available. You should hire a technician or know more about different kinds of lowboy trailers.
2. Things to do Before Construction Equipment Transportation
If your equipment is big in height, width, length or overweight, it is advisable to separate attachments to it, such as tires, bucket and so on to ease transportation. If there is nothing you can do, get means for transporting oversize equipment. It will provide a safe means of transportation despite the high costs involved. Over and above that, here is what you will need to do to make the process swift and secure:
- Place the construction equipment against the structure of the vehicle to make sure it doesn’t move forward unless the distribution of the weight will not allow that.
- Securement devices should be placed in such a way that they will not damage such components as brakes or cylinders and so on.
- Edge protection must be applied to prevent damage happening to the tie-downs or the equipment
- Make an effort to use direct tie downs and that means you should be ready to use many of them than when using indirect ones
- Wedges, cradles, chocks or any other support against the wheels to stop rolling the wheels should be used.
Other important tips to consider include: disconnecting the battery; removing the latch the doors and preventing electric lines and gas lines from being damaged.
3. Tips for Loading Equipment onto the Trailer
There are important considerations to make when Loading Equipment onto the Trailer. You are to:
- Ensure that your equipment is aligned at the center line of the trailers. This is good practice in order to prevent deviation from the center of gravity when turning.
- See to it that the equipment is in a reasonable position to ensure that there is the adequate volume to put the boom or the bucket on.
- Drive the equipment on the low bed from the rear, not front in the event that the transport company only provides the lowboy without removable gooseneck. It isn’t easy because of the big difference in height. However, driving it slowly and ensuring precision are necessary things to do to ensure safe transportation. Use arm lifting equipment (for such equipment as the excavator) properly.
4. Tips for Making Tie Downs on the Construction Equipment
Once the construction equipment has been loaded on the trailer, it must be tied down to avoid fall overs and tippling during transportation. Here are the minimum requirements that you must observe for tie-downs:
- Make sure your trailer deck is clean and all your chains/tie down are unbroken.
- There are two common types of binders: Lever or ratchet binder, ratchet binders are safer, they have a greater mechanical advantage over the lever style.
- If the vehicle loaded on the trailer has wheels or crawler tracks, there should be at least four tie-downs to prevent it from moving side-by-side, backward, vertically or even forward.
- The total working load limits for all the tie-downs should be at least 50% of the total equipment weight. Additional tie-downs should be added if you are not sure of the equipment’s weight.
- Here is the manner in which tie-downs are to be attached either, 1) Close to the rear and the front part of the equipment, or 2) at the designated mounting points on the machinery.
It is important to adhere to the securement processes and recommendations in order to hold the load in position during transportation. This largely minimizes the chances of an accident taking place in an extreme maneuver.
There is a lot of groundwork and minimum requirements that must be met before wheels can be allowed to spin during the transportation of construction equipment. It all starts with making the right choice of the trailer to do the transportation. Once that has been done, details of the equipment to be transported such as weight, length, width, height and so on must be taken in order to help in making the necessary preparations for loading it onto the right trailer. Tie-downs must be securely made before the trailer can be allowed to spin on the road to transport the equipment to the desired destination.