|Photo of the month – February 2022
|To welcome in the new year, we are pleased to bring you two columns.
|A chain is only as strong as its weakest link!||A burning container carrying cellulose.|
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link!
In principle, it is perfectly possible to secure chains using belts, but in this example, the belts are clearly the weak link.
Figure 1 [Wolfgang Jaspers]
The facts: 22,560 kg of steel chains in 20 bundles loaded onto a trailer with a loading bed constructed primarily from textured, coated board.
Figure 2 [Wolfgang Jaspers]
11 belts had been used as tie-down lashings to “secure” the load.
Figure 3 [Wolfgang Jaspers]
The belts were simply draped as a “tight fit” over the chains in a manner reminiscent of cooked spaghetti – with no pretensioning force whatsoever. And with a load as flexible as this one, it would be difficult to achieve any pre-tensioning force that would last for more than a couple of kilometers into the journey.
At least we can say something positive here. Someone tried their best! Figure 1 shows that the chains were loaded in single bundles at the front and in pairs of bundles further back. We do not know the exact dimensions, and the trailer was not weighed, so we can only conjecture that things may just have been okay – or not, as the case may be.
Although 11 belts were resting across the load, they were serving no purpose beyond making a good impression.
Questions and answers:
- Is it actually possible to secure chains such as these?
No! At least not without proper packaging and on an open vehicle.
- What is needed to be able to transport loads like this safely?
The bundles can either be loaded in mesh crates, which can in turn be secured in the same way as any other item of general cargo, or they can be loaded into suitable containers (which can be covered if the steel chains are to be protected from moisture).
- What sort of container is appropriate?
It has to be able to handle the weight of the load and the load has to be able to form a tight fit to all sides.
- How does the cargo need to be loaded?
As a tight fit, but without forming heaps or mounds. It must form a level surface for the tight fit to be effective. With a load as heavy as this, any heaps that tip over can have a negative impact on the braking and cornering behavior of a truck, semitrailer or trailer.
- How do mesh crates need to be secured?
We recommend placing them on anti-slip mats, taking account of the pressure per unit area. They can then be secured with direct lashings, which are generally easy to attach to mesh crates. If load distribution considerations permit it, it is wise to employ a tight fit to the end wall.
Your load securing columnists as always wish you a safe and secure journey!
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