We have all seen it. A floater truck carrying a crane loses control in a blind curve with the heavy equipment toppling small cars. Such a scary thought! Whether you like it or not, this scenario can happen to you. Moving of heavy equipment or machinery is no small feat. Many owner operators of floats know precisely that it only takes one wrong move to expose themselves to such disastrous results. But what are the primary causes of accidents? Can they be prevented? Will a floater truck owner-operator income protection insurance help in times of trouble?
According to experts, one of the major causes of floater accidents is “securement”. This can refer to a host of violations ranging from failure to secure the floater or the equipment/load, damage to the securement system itself, improper securement mechanism, and so on– all pointing to one thing: negligence. As an owner operator, the need to mitigate risks must be foremost on your list. To do so, you need to employ a layered approach to guarantee safety or, at the very least, minimize dreaded accidents.
Pre-Loading. Start safety assessment before loading of the equipment into your float. You may already know the gross vehicle or combination weight rating. So that means you can start checking for any loading requirements for particular equipment. Will you be needing outriggers? How about deck wideners or brakes? This and clearly identifying how to balance an equipment’s weight distribution will help ensure securement. Be reminded also to check for wear-and-tear as well as tyre pressure. This can tell if friction equipment or added tie-downs will be needed. Of course, removal of dirt and debris must also be heeded to prevent reduction of friction when in transit.
Loading Time. It is essential, of course, that you know how to handle equipment loading safely. Find a way to prevent any untoward forward movement which may damage certain components of which the securement is attached to. As much as possible, see to it that edge protection is in place when attaching securements (usually chains) and to follow the manufacturers suggestion. To complete the safety net, place cradles, chocks and wedges on both the front and rear side of the equipment’s wheels to prevent roll-off.
Post-Loading. Consider lowering accessory equipment or any movable parts therein. Have crane arms, hydraulic shovels or booms secured with tie-downs on your float. Keep in mind that hydraulics are not as secured and as such the need to lock or put added restraint will prevent undue articulation while on the move. After placing all accessories and movable parts, verify if equipment or earthmoving vehicle transported is of the same height and weight. A 360-degree check will also help verify if hauled machinery or equipment is in good working condition.
In all these, you need to carefully identify and address required tie-down or securement systems. Keep in mind that different types of earthmoving vehicle or equipment as well as different brands require equally different securement systems. As much as possible, comply with required securement processes. To protect your livelihood from accidents or injuries leading to zero revenues, having a floater owner-operator income protection insurance will help. To learn more, call our contact number or email to request a free quote.
Income protection insurance provides a much-needed buffer should accidents or illness prevent you from functioning as an operator and affect your livelihood.