Safe Load Guidelines for Plant and Machinery

Vehicles carrying loads in a public place should ensure that the load weight is evenly distributed and evenly packed. Vehicles should not carry a load with excessive weight. Consideration should be taken with regard to the overall condition of the vehicle. Vehicles should be in good working order with extra attention to tires and brakes.

Vehicle Stability

A vehicle’s stability will be at risk with loads that have a high centre of gravity. For these loads, use vehicles with a low platform height. This ensures the centre of gravity is kept as low as possible making the load more stable and easier to maintain.

Plant and Machinery Load Risks

Loads should be anchored properly to ensure they do not shift during transport. Risks include:

  • The load sliding forward, sideways, backwards or falling off the vehicle endangering traffic and pedestrians.
  • Driver losing control of the vehicle due to an unstable load.
  • Danger to drivers and/or unloading personnel who handle an unstable load.

Restraining a Load

Direct Lashing – photo credit: HSA

There are two types of restraining methods: tie-down and direct restraint.

Tie-down: prevents the load from moving at all. An indirect restraint method.

Direct restraint: preventing the load from moving by attaching, blocking or containing the load to the vehicle.

Use the Headboard (gooseneck) of the vehicle. Securing a load against the headboard of the vehicle blocks the load from shifting or moving forward during emergency conditions where braking needs to be applied suddenly. Caution: do not load above the height of the headboard.

For more detailed information on safe load guidelines, click here.

Other information sources include: Loadsafe,  the European Standard EN 12195 (1-4), and the HSA.

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