|Photo of the month – December 2011
The transport industry frequently appears to suffer from a communication breakdown between the load and vehicle on which it is being transported. In the case in hand, the vehicle failed to inform the load of a bend to the right in good time. Unsurprisingly, the load continued straight on. Since communication between the load and the loading area is a matter of physics, it would be worth having a look at the loading area to find out where the communication problems arose.
Figure 1 [R. Lausberg]
But before we have a closer look at the loading area, let us analyze the damage that we see. And it does, indeed, appear that the load has continued traveling straight on. Because the load was not adequately secured, it was not able to stay with the vehicle round the bend and was thrown in the original direction, i.e. a tangent to the arc of the bend. It appears that the load was bundled together only unilateral direction. And, from what we can see of the damage, there seem to have been several packages.
Figure 2 [R. Lausberg]
The trailer (a curtainsider) was indeed loaded with two stacks, each containing four packages of sheet steel. The load was secured with two tie-down lashings over each stack of sheet metal. The weight of the load was approximately 26,000 kg.
Figure 3 [R. Lausberg]
It is clear to see that, despite all the other inadequacies in the load securing, the inadequate packaging and missing longitudinal strapping had a huge influence on the securing of this load. Despite the lateral strapping, the contents of packages have started to slip internally. Looking at it from our perspective, we are unable to assess the friction. It is possible that the sheet metal had been coated with oil to prevent corrosion. If this was the case, the strapping would have played an even more crucial role. We can also clearly see that the belts were cut through by the sharp edges when the sheet metal slipped as if they had been cut with a knife.
Confronted with this foolishness and the complete lack of thought that went into this load, it is certainly difficult to look at the inadequacies of this load in respect of packaging, the formation of load units and the securing of the load and still remain objective.
Improving the load securing:
As always, at this point we ask ourselves how it would have been possible to transport these steel sheets safely and effectively.
Firstly: We already talked about improving the packaging above.
Secondly: It always makes sense to use anti-slip mats, whether tie-down lashings or direct lashings are used.. When using anti-slip mats, it is important that anti-slip material is also used with the interlayer dunnage, as the "friction chain" must not be broken. This, however, requires that the packages of sheet metal are loaded individually and that the anti-slip material is used both on top of and underneath the wooden dunnage. Loads such as this can be secured effectively using loop lashings to the sides, to the front and to the back. Two tie-down lashings per stack are always helpful to ensure that the high levels of friction achieved by the anti-slip materials are upheld throughout the journey.
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