Filtered Content: This photo may not be appropriate for work.

When it comes to carrying bulky loads like commercial vehicles, ATVs, or mechanical equipment, flatbed trucks are quite useful. But, transporting cars or other moving vehicles with these trucks, has its own dangers. Not taking necessary precautions while packing those bulky items or driving on the highway, invites disaster. So, as a flatbed truck driver, here are some things you need to take care of.

Load the items properly

One must follow the right procedure to load moving items on a flatbed truck. For instance, if you want to transport a car, bring it on the trailer and position it properly over the axel. Now, bring the car forward. Make sure you don’t touch the trailer’s front. Apply the parking brake and in case of standard transmission, put the vehicle in gear. Keep a chock block in front of and behind one wheel (the more, the better). Use straps over each tire and also keep a ratchet. If you are using V-Straps, don’t hook them on suspension parts. Don’t forget to run the straps and ratchets before you hit the road.

Use flatbed tarps

Cover your truck with tarps while carrying lumber, machinery or large pipes. Unsecured cargo is one of the main causes why truck accidents happen all over the US. Bulky items are all the more dangerous and can cause fatal injuries & even death if not handled properly. Invest in best quality flatbed tarps and tie-downs to avoid accidents & collisions.

Double-check the brakes

Improper brakes often lead to catastrophic accidents. You would not like to be in a situation wherein you are applying the brakes and still the truck doesn’t stop. Trucks carrying heavy loads and not having proper braking mechanism are highly dangerous.

Knowledge of rules

Understand the rules of the road. Never exceed the pre-defined speed limit on highways. Drive slowly because those heavy loads at the back of your truck can cause accidents when you apply the brakes suddenly. Don’t’ overload your truck and be extra careful while maneuvering at curves. Never drink alcohol or consume drugs while driving, it could prove fatal.

Carry a tool-kit

Always have a tool-kit and spare tires while driving your flatbed truck. You never know when you might have to use them. Safety reflectors are quite handy in emergency situations.

Inspection & maintenance

A regular inspection and maintenance check is a must for flatbed trucks and trailers. Frequent use puts a lot of stress on such vehicles, so it’s better to get them serviced properly at periodic intervals. Never compromise on your and others’ safety.

While driving a flatbed truck, keep checking the load after every 50-60 miles. Inspect the lights, brakes and make sure any item has not moved. If you find any such instance, correct it immediately to avoid stress and inconvenience later on.