A Guide to Load Restraint

A Guide to Load Restraint

It’s a dismal fact that incorrect or non-compliant load restraints can cause fatalities. The National Transport Commission together with the RTA (NSW) has compiled the Load Restraint Guide to assist drivers with mitigating the risk of carrying loads.

The Guide outlines essential, basic principles that all drivers, operators and anyone included in the chain of responsibility need to understand.

In most simple terms, loads need to be secured to prevent movement during any operation. According to the NTC, the restrained system used meet the below criteria:

  • The load should not become dislodged from the vehicle.
  • Load movement should be limited, ie. any movement may not adversely affect the vehicle’s stability and weight distribution, or become dislodged from the vehicle.

There is minimal leeway for movement within loads, that are effectively contained within the sides of a vehicle or enclosure in the vehicle body, such as:

  • Loads that are effectively restrained from moving horizontally (limited vertical movement is acceptable).
  • Very lightweight items or loose bulk items (limited horizontal and vertical movement is acceptable).
  • Bulk liquids (limited liquid movement is acceptable).

Method of load restraint must be capable of withstanding the forces that would result if the vehicle was subjected to each of the following, separately:

  • 0.8 g deceleration in a forward direction
  • 0.5 g deceleration in a rearward direction
  • 0.5 g acceleration in a lateral direction
  • 0.2 g acceleration relative to the load in a vertical direction

 For more information about load restraints and to find out how to obtain a copy of the Load Restraint Guide, visit the National Transport Commission here.



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