Traveling through the outback

Heavy Haulage Safety Tips

Heavy haulage companies and truck drivers must conduct safety assessments to identify and limit hazards that might lead to accidents on the road. Below is a guide on the various safety measures you should observe when planning and executing heavy haulage.

Conduct a Road Inspection

Some of your concerns when conducting the road inspection should include: 

  • Does the proposed route have sharp corners? If yes, can the heavy haulage truck navigate the corners safely?
  • Inclines and steep slopes may pose a challenge to the heavy haulage truck. However, you can overcome this by hauling or pulling the truck to prevent straining its engine, transmission or braking system.
  • Some parts of the Australian outback do not have tarmacked roads. When using such roads, conduct a weather forecast to avoid rainy weather and flooding. You should also check the weight limits of the bridges on these roads.
  • Consider alternative routes to avoid traffic jams and undisciplined drivers in urban areas.
  • Check the height of overhead bridges. Self-propelled modular transporters have an adjustable suspension that can be lowered when passing through low-lying bridges. 

Transport Plan

The primary objective of the transport plan is to minimise the possibility of an accident on the road. The haulage truck should be serviced before the trip. It is a sure way to avoid problems such as overheating and broken clutches.

You could opt to transport the oversized load at night when there is minimal traffic on the road. Pilot vehicles and police escorts will warn other road users of an oversized load. Stopovers should be areas with adequate space. It ensures the convoy does not distract other drivers on the road.

There are cases when you need to work with the local power companies. It is especially so if you will pass through an area with low-lying electrical cables. The power company will shut power temporarily to allow you to move the load.

Emergency Crew 

How will you handle emergencies? The transport team should comprise engineers, mechanics and medical staff to deal with any emergencies on the road. The mechanics and engineers should inspect the truck and trailer to identify problems such as leaking brakes, faulty suspension or hydraulic systems. For long-distance haulage, you should have a spare truck on standby to haul the load if the current truck breaks down. Besides, you should have at least two drivers working in shifts. The team should have emergency contacts to the fire brigade, ambulances and local police. 

When hauling oversized loads, conduct a road inspection, create a transport plan and carry an emergency crew.