Equipment I Trailers
Prior to securing equipment,
determine the appropriate size and
number of chains required based
on the load weight.
It’s up to you to know how to properly tie down your equipment.
By Kim Berndtson
s an owner, manager lives and safety of the people in the or procedure, which can make it dif- weight can be obtained by running
or driver, you are immediate area, says John DeGeorge, ficult to maintain vehicle control or, it over a certified scale or referencing
responsible for the national sales manager, Eager Beaver in the worst-case scenario, [cause it the owner’s manual.
load on your trailer. It’s as simple Trailers. So slow down and take the to] flip. If you have to make a sudden This information is needed to
as that. time to load equipment safely. weight shift, this could change the ensure you fall under the legal load
“It’s your responsibility to tie down The consequences of not properly entire handling characteristics of the limit, which is 80,000 lbs. in most
your load properly, securely and legal- securing equipment — especially vehicle combination.” states. Heavier loads, as well as those
ly,” says Jim Ladner, national sales heavy construction equipment on a that are physically oversized (over-
manager, Landoll Trailers. “When you lowboy, flatbed or large tag trailer — Know the limits dimensional loads), will require spe-
transport equipment, you accept the prior to transport can run the gamut Securement specifics will be dif- cialized trailers and permits.
responsibility for any accident that from a small workman’s comp claim ferent for each piece of equipment It is also needed to ensure you don’t
may occur on your site, at a custom- to an all-out securement failure that you haul. But in general, there are overload the trailer or any of its indi-
er’s site or on a public highway.” results in serious injury or death. certain factors to consider to safely vidual axles, which can cause a number
Yet, there can be many factors that “All trailers are designed with a and legally tie down equipment. of problems. Some relate to equipment
distract you from properly securing certain amount of bend or flex,” says For starters, you need to know life; others relate to the safety and
a load. Maybe it’s raining, it’s cold or Terry Campbell, general manager/ the load rating of the trailer and the legality of transporting equipment.
you’re only moving that excavator a director of operations, Transcraft weight of the equipment you’re mov- Overloading the trailer can cause
few miles down the road. But while Corp. “But if you don’t have the load ing. The load rating can be found on tire damage, as well as premature
you may be anxious to get done in secured properly and firmly, it can the trailer identification plate or in axle and bearing failure, indicates
a hurry, you are responsible for the shift during an emergency maneuver the operator’s manual. Equipment DeGeorge. Plus, it can seriously
12 EQUIPMENT TODAY • November 2008
Equipment I Trailers
affect acceleration, braking and can weigh loaded and what the truck Avoid damage
handling. Overloading the axles can can weigh,” says Ladner. “If you’re over- during tie down
result in heavy fines for carrying too loaded on the trailer, but not on the To minimize damage to the
much weight. State and local regula- truck, you will need to move the load equipment you’re loading, pay
tions can be more restrictive than forward and equalize the load between attention to securement points
those at the federal level, so make them, then secure the load.” located on the machine.
sure you know the rules and regula- Also consider weight distribu- “It’s more than simply running
tions for all the areas into which tion over the axles. “It is important a chain through a D-link on the
you’re traveling. to keep loads placed so weight is trailer and hooking it to a back-
The Federal Motor Carrier distributed evenly between the semi- hoe,” says Ladner. “On trailers, it
Regulations’ Aggregate Working tractor drive axles and the trailer might be easy to identify where to
Load Limit also uses equipment axles,” says Brent Hohman, Western tie equipment. On equipme