How to Safely Load a Screening Plant
Loading and unloading heavy equipment is a critical task that carries a high risk of injuries, making it essential to implement adequate preventative measures. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting, this article will guide you on how to load a screening plant safely.
How to Load a Screening Plant
The first step is to use a scale or weighbridge to determine the exact weight of the screening plant. Ensure that the weight of the screening plant and any additional equipment or materials doesn’t exceed the maximum load capacity of the trailer or truck.
Ensure you load on a surface that is as level as possible. The weight of the screening plant you’re transporting must be evenly distributed. Therefore, it must be loaded on a flat surface. Loading on an uneven surface increases the risk of equipment shifting during transport, tipping, and other handling issues.
When shipping a screening plant, a simple way to prevent movement when loading is to chock the wheels. Chocking a trailer’s wheels entails inserting blocks or wedges behind it to prevent it from rolling or moving when parked or loaded. This provides stability and prevents the trailer from shifting or tipping over, especially when loaded with heavy equipment or materials.
When loading a screening plant, it’s a good idea to have a second operator nearby who can double-check your work and connections and search for anything else you might have missed.
Securing Your Screening Plant
For the safety of you, your cargo, and other motorists on the road, you must adhere to the cargo securement requirements established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). According to these requirements, your screening plant must be “firmly immobilized” or fastened to inhibit opening, releasing, or unfastening. Chocks should be used to secure any machinery that could potentially roll away.
Attach straps or ratchet binders to the screening plant, ensuring they’re evenly distributed, then tighten them to secure the screening plant to the trailer or truck. Ensure the straps are firmly in place so the screening plant cannot shift around.
All tie-downs and other securement systems used to keep cargo in place on trailers with rub rails should be installed inside the rails. Whenever a tie-down comes into contact with a sharp part of your screening plant, extra precautions must be taken to prevent abrasion, cutting, and crushing.
Balancing Weight When Loading a Screening Plant
The most important thing you’ll need to know when loading a screening plant is where it holds its weight. By knowing the actual weight of the equipment rather than going by its perceived weight, you can better balance it.
Always remember the 60/40 rule when loading a screening plant. The rule of thumb is to load the vehicle such that 60% of the total mass is in front of the center axle and 40% is in the back. This prevents you from carrying a disproportionate weight on either the front or back. Also, you should balance the weight evenly between the left and right sides.
Lastly, take a step back and look at the trailer. Does one end of the trailer seem raised or lower than the other? Do all four of your tires appear to have the same amount of air pressure? If any of these is the case, then the weight is not evenly distributed.
Staying Safe During Screening Plant Transport
Regular load checks are a must for driver safety. Inspect the vehicle after the first few miles (about 20) and then again every 150 miles. Truck drivers must do these inspections per the FMCSR and National Safety Code Standard 10.
Ensure your screening plant and trailer are secure by retightening any straps that may have come loose while driving. Verify that the lights, wiring, and tires are all in good working order. These stops also provide an excellent chance to anticipate system problems and make preventative maintenance and repair plans.
Screening plant transport may seem daunting, but with the proper preparation and execution, it can be easy. Following the steps outlined in this article on how to load a screening plant, you can ensure that your screening plant is loaded safely and securely, reducing the risk of accidents and damage.