Protecting the Motoring Public Should Be Safety Job No. 1

We share tips to secure bulky equipment for delivery to construction sites and special events.

Protecting the Motoring Public Should Be Safety Job No. 1

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Question: Our fall special event season will be busier than usual since spring events have been rescheduled to the fall as well. With the demand for many more sinks and hand-sanitizing stations than normal, I am concerned about transporting loads made up of various equipment types. Can you share some tips as to proper load securement in these circumstances?

Answer: Each of these tips will be general in nature as each PRO’s equipment will vary quite a bit. Flatbed trucks and delivery trailers are the transport methods we will discuss.

Generally Accepted Standards for Securement of Units Only

1. Always have units double-strapped for transport. This was one of the first lessons we learned when we entered the portable restroom industry. If one strap loses tension completely, the second strap will continue to secure the units.

2. Always use the skids of the units as one point of securement. This is the strongest part of the unit and the 90-degree angle formed with the unit wall is the best point to create tension with a strap.

3. Never have units hanging over the available space on a delivery truck or on a delivery trailer. Again, depending on the specifics of your delivery equipment, the design may be such that the ends of the skids may overhang the trailer, but the unit itself does not.

4. Have the doors of units securely closed with a properly functioning latch.

5. Position units on a delivery trailer with the doors facing inward. This eliminates the possibly of wind blowing the doors open.

  Additional standards would include inspecting all straps, ensuring all units are in good working order and all hardware is present and tightly secured.

Generally Accepted Standards for Securement of ADA Units

1. Always double strap.

2. The base of most ADA units is a flat, single sheet of plastic so any outside handles become the primary point for one strap. Some ADAs sit on skids with ramps that are attached once the unit is placed on site. These skids can be strapped.

3. Doors facing inward, or if not possible depending on specifics of delivery truck or trailer, position the doors such that when opened the door hinge is closest to the front of the vehicle. The force of the wind would keep the door tightly closed if the door latch failed to secure the door.

Generally Accepted Standards for Securement of Sinks

1. Always double strap.    

2. Since most sinks are not perfectly square, always keep it in its upright position so that the base fully contacts the floor of the truck or trailer.

3. Depending on the type of sink, the type of restroom unit, and the quantity of each that is to be delivered, store sinks, where possible, inside restroom units. The previously described standards for the securement of units would then apply.  

Hand Sanitizing Stands

1. Store inside of units or ADAs. Due to a wide plastic base, a narrow support tube and, depending on the type and model, perhaps a plastic ring with the hand sanitizers attached, there are no reliable areas for straps to secure.     

Examples and Tips to Consider

Keeping these generally accepted standards in mind will help to develop loading plans with various equipment combinations. Here are several examples with tips to consider in loading and securing the assorted equipment for delivery. Please keep in mind that each PRO will have various designs, models and combinations of both delivery trucks and trailers as well as various manufacturer’s types and styles of equipment that will need safe transport to the special event.

   More sinks to deliver than will fit in the number of units ordered.

Tips:

1. If the number of units and sinks are close in number, say six units and eight sinks on a truck that will hold eight units, consider the possibility of adding two extra units on the truck to contain all the sinks inside units. 

2. If the number of sinks is 10 and the number of units remains at six, consider loading an ADA unit on the truck — if six units and an ADA will normally fit on the truck — and use the ADA to secure the extra four sinks inside.

Key Point:

Consider extra equipment, if and where possible, to assist with extra equipment that could be more safety secured inside of other equipment. Sinks were used in the above example, but the same thought process should be used if hand sanitizers were ordered instead.           

   All types of equipment — units, sinks, hand sanitizers and an ADA — are ordered and must be loaded onto a single delivery trailer — perhaps a vacuum truck is all that is available to pull the trailer.

Tips:

1. As discussed above, first try to put all sinks in the units and the hand sanitizer stands into the ADA. What if that will not entirely work and there are two sinks left? Consider loading the trailer with the units in the front of the trailer, the two sinks so one each faces each other from both sides of the trailer and the ADA is in the rear.

2. An even number of sinks loaded on a trailer between units in the front and the ADA in the rear is one way of helping to minimize wind on lighter pieces of equipment. 

3. Another consideration would be to load the two sinks at the very front of the trailer with the units next and the ADA at the rear. 

Key Point:

Consider the aerodynamics of the delivery trailer. Depending on the size of the sinks your company uses, one of the two options described above could be much more favorable. Remember, all pieces of equipment are double strapped so that always helps in the plan for loading equipment.

   Odd numbers of various types of equipment that can only be loaded on a delivery trailer.

Tips:

1. Adding an extra piece of equipment to give an even number of pieces that can be securely double strapped is always a possible option provided there is space on the truck or trailer.

2. If adding another piece of equipment is not an option, put the odd piece in between the even number of units. Then, if an ADA was also ordered, put it behind the units. In this example, say seven units are loaded beginning at the front of the trailer and then the ADA at the back. The “odd unit” will then be contained between the six units and the ADA. Also, this seventh unit will be double strapped as is standard procedure.

Key Point:

Loads will not always have equal amounts of equipment on both sides of a trailer. Try to have unequal numbers of equipment contained between evenly matched equipment wherever possible.    

FINAL THOUGHTS

Securing equipment for delivery is of paramount importance. Safety is the No. 1 priority. Take the time to plan, the best you can as to how the equipment will be loaded and securely double-strapped. After delivery, evaluate the chosen plan and make note of what worked and what can be improved upon. 

You will face an overwhelming number of loading scenarios as the busier than usual fall event season unfolds. While it is impossible to have precise recommendations based on every possible situation, we hope you can use these ideas to help in your final loading and delivery decisions.    



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