Safety Precautions For Transporting Abnormal Loads

Safety Precautions For Transporting Abnormal Loads 

Transporting abnormal loads safely is a highly complex task that should only be undertaken by transportation specialists, like Concord Cranes. There are a variety of abnormal load safety measures that should be taken when hauling an abnormal load across South African roads.

In this guide, we give you insight into what these safety precautions are and why it’s important to include applications like abnormal load escorts, abnormal load signs, and other safety measures into your planning for the trip.

What Safety Measures Should be Taken Before Transporting Abnormal Loads?

Transporting an abnormal load can present a number of safety challenges due to the size, weight, and dimensions of the load. Therefore, it is important to take appropriate safety measures to ensure that the load is transported safely and securely. Here are some of the key safety measures we would recommend taking when hauling an abnormal load in South Africa:

#1 – Obtain Permits

Before transporting an abnormal load, it is essential to obtain the necessary permits from the relevant authorities. These permits will specify the route, the time and date of travel, and any other special conditions that must be adhered to.

#2 – Plan Routes

Plan the route carefully and ensure that it is suitable for the size and weight of the load. Identify any low bridges, narrow roads, or other potential obstacles that could pose a hazard to the load or to other road users.

#3 – Safety Check the Vehicles

Ensure that the vehicle is in good condition by checking that the vehicle and the trailer are in good working condition, and that all brakes, lights, and other safety equipment are functioning correctly.

#4 – Secure The Load

 Ensure that the load is properly secured and that it cannot shift or move during transit. Use appropriate chains, straps, or other devices to secure the load to the trailer.

#5 – Use Abnormal Load Signage & Warnings

Use warning signs and flashing lights to alert other road users to the presence of the abnormal load. Ensure that the vehicle is clearly marked with reflective tape, warning flags, or other devices to make it visible to other drivers.

#6 – Maintain Speed Safety

Never speed when transporting an abnormal load. Drive at a safe and appropriate speed, taking into account the size and weight of the load and the condition of the road.

#7 – Use an Escort

Depending on the size and weight of the load, it may be necessary to use escort vehicles to warn other road users of the presence of the abnormal load and to help manage traffic.

By taking these safety measures when hauling an abnormal load, you can help to ensure that the load is transported safely and that the risks to other road users are minimized.

What are the Different Abnormal Load Signs Used?

Another important safety precaution to use, apart from an abnormal load escort, is the use of abnormal load signs and warning signs to alert other users of the vehicle’s presence. These signs are usually displayed on the front, rear, and sides of the vehicle and trailer carrying the load. There are several different types of abnormal load signs used in South Africa, including:

  • Yellow diamond-shaped sign with the words “ABNORMAL LOAD” in black letters: This is the most common type of abnormal load sign and is used to indicate that the vehicle is carrying a load that exceeds the legal size or weight limits.
  • Red and white striped sign with the words “WIDE LOAD” in black letters: This sign is used to indicate that the vehicle is carrying a load that is wider than the legal limit.
  • Red and white striped sign with the words “LONG LOAD” in black letters: This sign is used to indicate that the vehicle is carrying a load that is longer than the legal limit.
  • Red and white striped sign with the words “HIGH LOAD” in black letters: This sign is used to indicate that the vehicle is carrying a load that is higher than the legal limit.
  • Blue and white striped sign with the words “HEAVY LOAD” in black letters: This sign is used to indicate that the vehicle is carrying a load that exceeds the legal weight limit.

What is an Abnormal Load Escort and Why is it Important?

An abnormal load escort vehicle is a vehicle that travels ahead of or behind a vehicle transporting an abnormal load to help ensure the safety of the load and other road users. The escort vehicle may be provided by the company transporting the load or by a professional escort service. The escort vehicle is typically equipped with flashing lights, warning signs, and other safety equipment.

The role of the abnormal load escort is to help manage traffic and ensure the safe passage of the abnormal load by:

  • Escorting the abnormal load through intersections, roundabouts, and other areas where the load may be difficult to manoeuvre.
  • Alerting other road users to the presence of the abnormal load and warning them to keep a safe distance.
  • Monitoring the load to ensure that it remains secure and stable throughout the journey.
  • Communicating with the driver of the abnormal load to provide guidance on the route, traffic conditions, and any potential hazards.

The use of an abnormal load escort is important for several reasons. First, it helps to ensure the safety of the load itself by providing an additional layer of protection against accidents and other incidents. Second, it helps to ensure the safety of other road users by warning them of the presence of the abnormal load and helping to manage traffic around the load. Finally, it can help to reduce the risk of damage to infrastructure such as bridges and overpasses by ensuring that the load is transported safely and in compliance with all regulations and requirements.

In summary, transporting a large load with the correct abnormal load specifications and safety precautions is essential to the safe travelling of the load and also the safety of the road users around it.

If you have an abnormal load that requires transportation, don’t hesitate to call in the experts at Concord Cranes for help. We have specialists that are trained in every aspect of abnormal load transportation from the permits required to the safety and warning signs required.

For more information on our turnkey solutions and specialised services, or to get a quote, contact Concord Cranes today.

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