How To Load Double Deck Trailers

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Double Deck Trailer Loading

It is important to follow guidelines set by the Government and the Road Haulage Association in order to correctly load double deck trailers

There are rules and regulations that clearly outline how double deck trailers should be loaded to ensure cargo is secure and not at risk of shifting, but in some cases these guidelines are not followed which can lead to incidents where trailers topple over or shed their loads.

Furthermore, there are several reasons why these guidelines are not followed, from logistics and haulage firms being concerned about working at height to secure loads, to customers not allowing the correct straps to be used to secure loads because they could damage their cargo.

Of course, load safety is an absolute must and should take precedence over everything else. In this post, we discuss some of the risks of not loading double deck trailers correctly and explain how we securely load our double deck trailers here at Middlegate.

The risks of not loading double deck trailers correctly:

The greatest risk of not loading double deck trailers correctly is that the load inside will shift and move around, potentially damaging the goods being transported or worse causing the trailer to topple over or fail to stop as it should do when the brakes are applied.

Additionally, This can lead to accidents where the driver of the lorry is injured in the event that the load slides forwards an into the cabin as well as causing serious road traffic accidents or delays in the event that loads spill onto the road.

Government guidelines for the correct loading of double deck trailers:

The British Government actually has guidelines to help prevent this from happening. Furthermore, The Department for Transport Code of Practice requires that the combined strength of the load restraint system must be sufficient to withstand a force not less than the total weight of the load forward.

The reason they have done this is to prevent a) the load moving under severe braking, and b) half of the weight of the load moving backwards and sideways – i.e. a 30-tonne load would be secured in a manner to prevent 30 tonnes moving forward and 15 tonnes moving to the rear and the sides.

Of course, double deck trailers present additional challenges due to the second level but the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has developed some guidelines to help ensure that cargo is loaded correctly and safely and is properly secure during transportation.

It says:

“All trailers must be fitted with side/centre load securing straps and maintained in a good condition. The recommendation is that trailers are equipped with 13 to 16 pairs of straps and that these straps are used at all times.

“Ensure that all vehicles are additionally equipped with an adequate number of load-securing ratchet straps to secure the freight at the bed of the neck and lower deck. Light pallets (<400kgs) on the upper deck only and they must not be stacked.”

The RHA also recommends that hauliers conduct a five-point test to ensure that cargo has been correctly loaded and secured. This means asking and answering the following questions before driving:

  • Can the load slide forward or topple back?
  • Can the load slide or topple off the side?
  • Is the load unstable?
  • Is the load securing equipment suitable or in a poor condition?
  • Is there anything loose that might fall off?

By following these guidelines, and those set the by the Department for Transport, hauliers can be sure that they are correctly loading their double deck trailers which means that cargo is safe and secure, and the risk of damage or accidents drastically reduced.

If you would like to learn more about how to correctly load double deck trailers, please contact a member of the Middlegate team here.

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