Strict policing of loads and load restraints is standard practice in the Heavy Transport sector. More recently the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has turned its attention to light commercial, trailer and other general vehicle users carrying loads.
In February 2005 the LTSA (now NZTA) published the ‘Glovebox Guide to Safe Loading and Towing’. This new publication illustrates determination to educate the general public about the dangers of insufficient and incorrect load restraint. It also emphasizes that the driver of any vehicle carrying a load is fully responsible for the safe and secure restraint of that load. It has become all the more important that drivers of load carrying vehicles use quality restraints they trust to do the job.
Some important points from the LTSA’s guidelines and key aspects to consider when securing loads with tiedowns can be summarised as follows:
All loads including those carried on trailers should be properly restrained so they cannot shift around while the vehicle is moving. The number of tiedowns used will be determined by the type of load being restrained. Several items grouped together will likely require more tiedowns than a single solid object to ensure stability during travel.
All objects restrained by webbing tiedowns should be securely attached to appropriate anchorage points (rails, hooks or eyes) on the vehicle. If your vehicle doesn’t have suitable anchorage points, investigate whether these can be fitted to your vehicle or use a vehicle that does have suitable anchorage points.
Note: Tiedowns should not be used for towing, lifting or as personal restraints. Other specifically designed products are available for these applications.
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