Safely Securing Loads during Transport

Large quantities of freight are transported on our roads daily. To share roads safely and responsibly with other road users there is an onus on the operator to ensure that these loads are safely secured during transport.

But what are the Rules of the Road on Securing loads during transport, what do fleet owners do to secure freight during transport and can technology contribute towards increased safety?

The Law / Rules of the Road and Securing Loads during Transport

The only specific provision in the National Road Traffic Act is regulation 246. Section 49 makes it the responsibility of the operator to ensure he conducts his business safely.

The manner in which goods to be carried

Reg 246. No person shall operate on a public road a motor vehicle carrying any goods-

  1. in such a manner as to come into contact with the surface of the public road on which the vehicle is being operated but a chain, known as a “static chain”, may be carried in contact with the surface of such road;

  2. in such a manner as to obscure the driver’s view of traffic to the front or on either side or his or her view in the rear-view mirror or mirrors of traffic to the rear;

  3. which are not-

    1. safely contained within the body of such vehicle; or

    2. securely fastened to such vehicle, and which are not properly protected from being dislodged or spilt from such vehicle;

  4. on the roof thereof, in the case where such vehicle is a motorcar, if the height of such goods measured from the highest point of such roof exceeds one-half of the height of the motor car, measured from ground level: Provided that the provisions of this paragraph shall not be applicable in respect of pedal cycles being transported on the roof of a motor vehicle; or

  5. in any container, which has provision for fastening by means of “twist locks”, unless such container is securely fastened by at least four “twist locks” and the provision of this paragraph are also applicable to empty containers carried on a motor vehicle, but two “twist locks” may be used to fasten a container which, measured parallel to the length of the vehicle, is at least one comma five metre in length and less than three metres in length.

Sec 49. Duties of operator

The operator of a motor vehicle shall-

  1. notify the registering authority concerned within seven days of any change in the circumstances in relation to his or her registration as the operator of such vehicle and return the operator card in respect of that motor vehicle to that registering authority;

  2. keep safe and protect from theft an operator card issued to him or her and, if any such card is lost, stolen or destroyed, he or she shall notify the nearest police station within 24 hours and the registering authority within whose area the holder is ordinarily resident within seven days after having become aware of such loss, theft or destruction or after it could reasonably be expected that he or she should have been aware of such loss, theft or destruction, whichever event occurred first;

  3. exercise proper control over the driver of such motor vehicle to ensure the compliance by such driver with all the relevant provisions of this Act, in particular, the provisions regarding-

    1. the requirements in respect of the professional driving permit referred to in section 32; and

    2. the loading of such vehicle as prescribed by or under this Act;

  4. ensure that such motor vehicle complies with the fitness requirements contemplated in Chapter V;

  5. conduct his or her operations with due care to the safety of the public;

  6. if dangerous goods or substances are conveyed, ensure that all requirements for the conveyance of such goods or substances, as prescribed in-

    1. any other law in relation to such goods or substances; and

    2. this Act, are complied with; and

  7. take all reasonable measures to ensure that such motor vehicle is operated on a public road in compliance with the provisions for the loading and transportation of goods as prescribed by or under this Act.

The Fleet/ Logistics Manager and Securing a Load

We approached Barloworld Transport with a few questions on how loads are secured during transport:

What are the most prominent ways to protect loads during transport?

To ensure that our cargo is protected, any cargo transported on Flatdecks is covered and secured with tarpaulins or nets, corner plates and straps.

Cargo transported on Tautliners is secured with corner plates and straps.

What are the characteristics of loads which would determine the manner in which such load is to be transported?

The manner in which cargo is transported is determined by its weight and size dimensions, and it would be product-specific to ensure that loads are adequately secured.

Which loads are transported by Barloworld Transport and are their specific loads you would rather refer to other companies?

Due to our diverse fleet, we have no preference and are able to move any loads up to 4.8 meters wide and weighing anything up to 350 tonnes. Our fleets range from lowbeds to tautliners. 

What are the most likely factors that might cause a load to shift during transport?

Poor packaging, poor strapping are the most likely factors that could lead to a load shifting during transport. 

Does the driver have specific duties during travel to monitor the load on his truck?

It is the driver’s duty to monitor their loads during transit.  In some cases, especially with bagged products (such as cement), drivers will need to re-secure the straps as the product settles while in transit.

In the event that a load has shifted and gets detected- what is the protocol and how does head office assist?

In the event that a driver detects that a load has shifted, it will be reported to the Operations Manager whom in turn reports to our workshops, who then arranges service providers nearby the truck to assist.

If I am a client and I have cargo to move- how does the process work- who do I approach and is there a consultant to point me in the right direction?

Should a new client wish to approach us and get information on having their cargo moved, our account managers are available to answer any questions and provide quotes.

Telematics and Technology in Securing Safe Transport of Loads

How can fleet management technology assist in securing a load? We asked Hein Jordt, MD of Ctrack Fleet Management Solutions to share some insights:

Tracking cargo

GPS fleet tracking systems focus on the tracking of vehicles and drivers. Not much attention is paid beyond this requirement, especially to the cargo being carried on a particular journey (which is indirectly the purpose of fleet tracking in the first place!). This disconnect results in delayed Proof of Delivery (POD), operational losses through pilferage and negligence for the shippers, insurers and fleet operators.

Something set to revolutionise the global cargo and fleet monitoring business is active RFID Asset Tracking. This offers customers further control on the status of their cargo’s journey – from the planning phase to loading, tagging, reconciling, delivery and issuing of instant POD’s to customers as proof of delivery.

Active RFID Asset Tracking is an integrated active RFID monitoring system powered by Ctrack fleet management. The RFID tags are active once shipped from the factory and can’t be disabled. These tags are reusable for up to three years, with two-minute interval reporting. Each tag has a unique identification number, which can easily be traced on the Active RFID Asset Tracking Inventory system running with Ctrack Online or Ctrack MaXx tracking software. 

Tamper alerts are received in real time using GPRS, along with a 360° view of the fleet, driver behaviour, driving conditions, business intelligence reporting, accident analysis and fleet efficiencies.

Measuring driver behaviour

Ctrack has developed a number of solutions designed to help fleet owners to improve the driving behaviour and techniques of employees. Our driver monitor solutions analyse performance factors such as harsh acceleration, harsh braking, harsh cornering and excessive speeding.

Our online reporting system allows the fleet manager to very quickly and easily compare driving performance by individuals and groups of employees. This enables him to effectively identify the best and worst performing parts of the business, along with areas of improvement. As a result, underperforming drivers can be targeted with the appropriate training, whilst supporting driver incentive and reward schemes.

Camera technology

With new advancements in data storage and wifi, mobile video surveillance is now more accessible than ever to small and large fleet operators alike. These surveillance cameras can corroborate details of an incident – such as a hijacking - accurately to track or give a trusted account, recordings, and snapshots of the interval before, during and after the incident.

Ctrack’s Integrated Camera Solution consists of up to four cameras that can be mounted forward-facing, facing towards the driver and with views from the inside front and back of the bus. This enables critical surveillance and remote monitoring that’s ideal for most fleet operations.

CTrack onboard camera surveillance

The mobile video recording (MVR) system consists of real-time video monitoring, snapshot and video remote search and download, voice capabilities and multi-screen reporting. To ensure complete operational efficiency, the footage is automatically downloaded to the media device recorder (MDVR) via Wi-Fi once the vehicle enters the client’s depot. For more information, visit www.ctrack.com/za.

Also view:

Fleet Management, Logistics and Road Safety

Find information on Trucks and the Freight that they carry in South Africa

Overloading and Road Safety

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