Load Restraint Guide is a Guideline and Performance Standard for the Safe Carriage of Loads on Road Vehicles
The safe loading of vehicles is vitally important in preventing injury to people and damage to property. There are economic benefits to all if the load arrives at its destination intact and without damage.
This guide provides drivers, owners, operators, freight consignors, vehicle manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers with the basic safety principles that should be followed to ensure the safe carriage of loads.
The information is based on proven principles and the ability of load restraint equipment to apply the necessary restraint forces. It takes into account the performance of vehicles and towed trailers. The guide is in two parts. Part 1 is for Drivers and Operators and Part 2 is intended for Engineers and Designers although it may be of interest to other readers. It contains greater technical detail and information on how to test and certify a load restraint system.
The pages of Part 1 have a blue border and Part 2 has a red border. An Appendix and a Glossary of Terms and other information are at the back. The borders on these pages are colored yellow.
The Performance Standards in Section F1 are referred to in the national Road Transport Reform (Mass and Loading) Regulations 1995. These regulations have been approved by the Australian Transport Council for adoption by the States and Territories since Comparable requirements apply in all States and Territories and readers are advised to check the relevant legislation.
In addition, it must be remembered that the common law imposes liability for negligent acts that cause injury or damage to others and there are other legal requirements that impose a duty of care in the workplace.
- Loads must be restrained to meet the Performance Standards of Section F1. The remaining contents of this guide are intended to be treated as recommended practice only, except where ‘must’ is used indicating that the design meets Australian Standards or similar recognized standards, a manufacturer’s standard, or the load restraint system described meets the Performance Standards.
- The principles described in this guide apply to loads of all sizes and types.
- Performance Standards apply to all vehicles. However, in situations where extremely large loads have been permitted to move only when the road is closed to other road users, relaxation of one or more of the Performance Standards may be accepted provided the operators of the vehicles moving the load and the escorting personnel is not put at risk.
- Alternative load restraint methods to those referred to in this guide may be used provided they have been shown to meet the Performance Standards outlined in Section F1.
- Requirements for the safe transport of dangerous goods such as packages, unit loads, or bulk loads are covered by this guide, but without reference to their ‘dangerous goods’ characteristics. References to the specialized requirements of the ‘Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail’ (see Section J.3) are included where applicable.
The security of your load,
your life and the life of others
relies on proper load restraint
Did You know?
- A load that is restrained so it doesn’t shift is required to withstand forces of at least:
- 80% of its weight in the forward direction;
- 50% of its weight sideways and rearwards, and
- an additional 20% of its weight vertically.
- Some industry practices have been tested and the forward restraint found to be only half what is required.
- There is often a greater chance of losing a load when braking at low speed than at high speed as it is easier for the brakes to grab at low speed.
- Ropes are extremely ineffective for restraining loads.
- Even though a rope might feel tight, the amount of tension in it is very low.
- The tension in a webbing strap is generally about 5 to 10 times more than a rope.
- Short chains are difficult to tighten properly with a ‘dog’, because they won’t stretch as much as a long chain, to allow the handle to be pulled down. Turnbuckles are better.
- If a load is properly restrained, on a stationary tipping truck or trailer, it will not dislodge, even when the deck is fully tilted.
- Just because a load has been carried in a particular way for many years does not mean it is properly restrained.
- A ‘curtain-side’ cannot restrain a load properly unless it is part of a certified load restraint system.
- The weight of the load alone cannot provide enough friction to restrain it during normal driving. Additional restraints must be used.
- A heavy load is just as likely to fall off as a light load. The same ‘g’ forces are acting on both.
- If a load falls off a vehicle traveling at 100 km/h and is hit by a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction at 100 km/h, it has the same impact as the load traveling at 200 km/h and hitting the vehicle when it is stationary.
- Most headboards and loading racks are not strong enough to fully restrain heavy loads.
- Any load that is properly restrained will not come off a vehicle in normal driving including the most severe braking, swerving, and cornering.
- Most load restraint accidents occur at low speeds in city areas and often only after a short distance. The same amount of restraint must be used for every journey.
- When the load settles, the lashings loosen and cause a huge reduction in tension. The tension in the lashings should be checked soon after moving off and then regularly during the journey.
- Checkerplate steel decks are just as slippery as smooth flat steel decks.
- Loading directly onto slippery steel decks, roof racks or A-frames should be avoided. Use wood or rubber to improve the grip.
- The most cost-effective method to tie down many loads is to put a tough rubber load mat underneath the load. Rubber load mats can more than halve the number of lashings needed.
- Conveyor belting may have only half the grip of a rubber load mat. Its surface is designed to resist wear and is therefore more slippery especially when wet. Rubber load mat or timber dunnage is better.
- Low friction is ‘high risk’.
- In some cases, if the load and deck are both slippery, it could be necessary to use four 50 mm webbing straps (each 2-tonne lashing capacity) to tie down a half tonne load.
- If you have enough tie-down lashings and the load does not shift when cornering or braking, the tension in the lashings always stays the same. It does not increase even under heavy braking because the load has not moved.
- The driver could lose control if a trailer or caravan begins to sway sideways because it is poorly loaded. Make sure the drawbar always pushes down on the towbar.
- The headlights on some vehicles should be adjusted when they are loaded.
The content of the Load Restraint Guide
- PART 1
- SECTION A GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF LOAD RESTRAINT 17
- 1 LOAD SHIFT ——————————————————————————- 18
- 2 HOW TO CARRY A LOAD SAFELY ————————————————– 21
- 3 LOAD RESTRAINT METHODS ——————————————————– 22
- SECTION B ARRANGING LOADS ON VEHICLES 33
- 1 SELECTING THE VEHICLE ———————————————————— 35
- 2 POSITIONING THE LOAD ————————————————————– 37
- 3 RECOGNISING UNSTABLE LOADS ————————————————- 43
- 4 USING DUNNAGE———————————————————————— 46
- 5 LOADING AND UNLOADING ———————————————————- 48
- 6 DOs AND DON’Ts ———————————————————————— 48
- SECTION C RESTRAINING LOADS ON VEHICLES 55
- 1 HOW MUCH LOAD RESTRAINT?—————————————————- 58
- 2 TIE-DOWN METHOD ——————————————————————- 60
- 3 DIRECT RESTRAINT METHOD ——————————————————- 68
- 4 VEHICLES AND LOAD RESTRAINT EQUIPMENT ——————————- 73
- 5 TENSIONERS —————————————————————————– 81
- 6 USING LOAD RESTRAINT EQUIPMENT ——————————————- 84
- 7 WEAR AND DAMAGE ——————————————————————- 91
- 8 DOs AND DON’Ts ———————————————————————— 92
- SECTION D DRIVING LADEN VEHICLES 105
- 1 VEHICLE DYNAMICS ——————————————————————- 107
- 2 CHECKING THE LOAD —————————————————————- 108
- 3 HIGH AND WIDE LOADS ————————————————————– 108
- 4 DOs AND DON’Ts ———————————————————————– 108
- SECTION E LOADS 117
- 1 GENERAL FREIGHT ——————————————————————– 119
- 2 PACKS AND PALLETS —————————————————————– 121
- 3 ROLLS, REELS, COILS, AND DRUMS ———————————————- 125
- 4 PIPES, TUBES, LOGS, RODS, BARS, AND BILLETS————————— 128
- 5 SHEETS AND FLAT LOADS ———————————————————- 137
- 6 BALES, BAGS, AND SACKS ———————————————————- 138
- 7 CONTAINED LOADS ——————————————————————– 140
- 8 LARGE LOADS ————————————————————————— 145
- 9 VEHICLES AND MOBILE EQUIPMENT ——————————————– 152
- PART 2
- SECTION F CALCULATING RESTRAINT REQUIREMENTS 185
- 1 PERFORMANCE STANDARDS ——————————————————- 186
- 2 METHODS OF LOAD RESTRAINT ————————————————— 187
- 3 DESIGN FOR TIE-DOWN————————————————————— 187
- 4 DESIGN FOR CONTAINING OR BLOCKING ————————————– 199
- 5 DESIGN FOR UNITISING ————————————————————— 200
- 6 DESIGN FOR DIRECT ATTACHMENT ———————————————- 200
- 7 DESIGN FOR COMBINED TIE-DOWN AND DIRECT RESTRAINT ——— 206
- SECTION G VEHICLE STRUCTURES 209
- 1 TIE-RAILS AND LOAD ANCHOR POINTS —————————————– 211
- 2 WINCH TRACKS ————————————————————————– 211
- 3 CONTAINER TWIST LOCKS ———————————————————– 212
- 4 HEADBOARDS, LOADING RACKS AND BARRIERS ————————— 212
- 5 SIDE GATES AND DROP SIDES —————————————————– 212
- 6 STAKES, PINS, PEGS, POSTS AND STANCHIONS —————————- 213
- 7 CRADLES, CHOCKS, A-FRAMES AND TRESTLES—————————– 214
- 8 CONTAINMENT BODIES —————————————————————- 216
- 9 TANKS AND TANKERS —————————————————————– 216
- 10 LATCHES, LOCKS AND HINGES —————————————————– 217
- 11 LOADING EQUIPMENT —————————————————————– 218
- 12 STORAGE OF EQUIPMENT ———————————————————– 218
- 13 LOAD DISTRIBUTION ——————————————————————- 218
- SECTION H LOAD RESTRAINT EQUIPMENT 223
- 1 SYNTHETIC ROPE ———————————————————————– 225
- 2 WEBBING ASSEMBLIES ————————————————————— 226
- 3 CHAIN ASSEMBLIES ——————————————————————– 227
- 4 WIRE ROPE AND ATTACHMENTS ————————————————– 227
- 5 STRAPPING ——————————————————————————– 228
- 6 LASHING TENSIONERS AND CONNECTORS ———————————– 229
- 7 INTER-LAYER PACKING —————————————————————- 229
- 8 DUNNAGE, BLOCKING TIMBER, CHOCKS, AIR BAGS AND TYRES —– 230
- SECTION I HOW TO CERTIFY A LOAD RESTRAINT SYSTEM 235
- 1 WHO SHOULD DO THE DESIGN AND CHECKING? ————————– 236
- 2 SUGGESTED METHODS OF TESTING A LOAD RESTRAINT
- SYSTEM ———————————————————————————– 236
- 3 REPORTING —————————————————————————— 238
- 4 RECORDS——————————————————————————— 239
- 5 OTHER ————————————————————————————- 239
- 6 LOADING AND LOAD RESTRAINT PROCEDURES —————————- 239
- SECTION J APPENDICES 245
- 1 GLOSSARY ——————————————————————————- 246
- 2 LIST OF RELEVANT STANDARDS ————————————————– 250
- 3 LIST OF RELEVANT PUBLICATIONS———————————————– 251
- 4 COMMONWEALTH, STATE AND TERRITORY TRANSPORT REGULATORY AUTHORITIES ——————————————————- 253
- 5 COMPETENT AUTHORITIES FOR ROAD TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS GOODS —————————————————————– 254
- SECTION K TABLES 257
- 1 C.3 MAXIMUM WEIGHT RESTRAINED BY ONE LASHING—————- 258
- 2 C.4 TYPICAL LASHING CAPACITY ———————————————- 259
- 3 F.2 AVERAGE PRE-TENSION —————————————————- 260
- 4 F.3 MAXIMUM WEIGHT EACH 10 OR 12 MM ROPE CAN RESTRAINv(USING SINGLE HITCH) ——————————————————- 261
- 5 F.4 MAXIMUM WEIGHT EACH 10 OR 12 MM ROPE CAN RESTRAIN (USING DOUBLE HITCH)—————————————————— 262
- 6 F.5 MAXIMUM WEIGHT EACH 50 MM WEBBING STRAP CAN RESTRAIN —————————————————————— 263
- 7 F.6 MAXIMUM WEIGHT EACH 8 MM CHAIN CAN RESTRAIN ———– 264
- 8 F.7 MINIMUM LASHING CAPACITY – DIRECT RESTRAINT FORWARDS (0.8W) USING TWO CHAINS —————————— 265
- 9 F.8 MINIMUM LASHING CAPACITY – DIRECT RESTRAINT SIDEWAYS OR REARWARDS (0.5W) USING TWO CHAINS ——- 266
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