Truck loading unloading procedure

The loading and unloading of trucks remain crucial stages. These operations must obviously be carried out in complete safety. Specific rules and procedures have therefore been put in place to ensure the smooth running of truck loading and unloading operations and the safety of the driver, those around him and of course the goods.

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What are the conditions for loading a truck?

Loading a truck must follow a certain procedure. This is the guarantee that the goods arrive in good condition and that their transport can take place under good security conditions.

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1- Truck control

Prior to the truck loading operations themselves, a vehicle check will be carried out. This is to ensure that the truck is in good condition, that it has all the safety elements in working order.

The control will in particular cover the following elements:

  • Compulsory safety organs and equipment.
  • Light signaling.
  • Markings on the body.
  • State of the box, tray or skip intended to receive the goods to be transported.
  • Tire wear and suspension condition.

The transport documents will also be checked to ensure that they are in order. All the information necessary to identify, in particular, the sender, the recipient and the nature of the products transported must be present.

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2- Load balancing control

Distribution of goods or materials

Balancing the load by distributing the goods in particular is particularly important. Indeed, a poor distribution of loads in the truck can easily unbalance it. The consequences can be disastrous. If the truck is unbalanced when it is already traveling at a certain speed, its inclination can increase in a curve to the point of overturning it.

It is therefore important to ensure that the load is correctly and evenly distributed over the entire bed or throughout the body. The objective is to obtain for the whole truck a center of gravity which is as low as possible.

To achieve satisfactory load balancing, certain rules must be observed. The largest and heaviest loads should be placed along the centerline of the truck. The weight should be distributed as much as possible over the available surface. The heaviest goods must be placed under the lightest goods.

Unloading the truck during the trip

It must also be taken into account that the truck may be partially unloaded during its journey. It is of course necessary that the goods to be unloaded first are loaded last in order to remain accessible. But it is especially necessary to avoid that following a partial unloading, the truck finds itself unbalanced. By removing or moving goods, the center of gravity of the whole will be shifted and the balance degraded. When partially unloading the truck, it may be necessary to redistribute the remaining goods in order to rebalance the transported load.

Respect of the size of the truck

You must also be careful to respect the size of the truck. Under no circumstances should the transported load overhang the side or the rear. It must also not exceed the regulatory height. If the lorry is equipped with a tarpaulin, it must be able to be correctly and solidly fixed, not protrude, not drag on the ground and be airtight so as not to present any air intake which could unbalance the lorry.

The loading of the truck must at all times comply with the rules indicated in the Highway Code:

  • Maximum width: 2.50 meters.
  • Maximum length for a single truck: 12 meters.
  • Maximum length for an articulated truck: 15.50 meters.
  • Maximum height: 4 meters.
  • Maximum load per axle:
    • Single axle: 13 tons.
    • Tandem axle: 21 tons.
    • Tridem axle: 27 tons.

If the truck’s load exceeds the dimensions authorized by the Highway Code, it is then an “exceptional transport”. Prior authorization must be obtained from the Ministry of Transport.

3- Securing of goods

The movements of the truck, acceleration, deceleration, sudden braking, bends, road conditions, must not cause the transported goods to move. This would cause the truck to become unbalanced which could cause an accident.

It is important to choose a mooring device suitable for the cargo being transported. The load must be immobilized in all directions and must not be able to move during transport. Several mooring systems can be combined depending on the situation. The objective is to find the device that will allow the goods to be fixed without damaging them.

When transporting goods with sharp edges, care should be taken on the one hand not to stretch the straps or mooring cables too much and to protect them so that they do not deteriorate during transport.

If the goods or materials are transported in bulk (sand, gravel, rubble, waste, etc.), it will not be possible to secure them. The truck will then have to be equipped with a tarpaulin to ensure that the contents cannot escape or move when it rolls. This cover will prevent the truck from being unbalanced by the loss of part of its load. It will also protect other road users.

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What are the conditions for unloading a truck?

The conditions for unloading a truck are substantially the same as those for loading.

The driver must first maneuver his vehicle in order to place it in the right position for unloading. This may involve approaching a dock or ensuring that there is enough room around the truck to maneuver a forklift.

The unloading of the truck always takes place with the engine off. Once the truck is in position, the driver must wait for authorization from the dock manager or consignee before starting unloading operations. If the loading is done under the responsibility of the sender, the unloading of goods whose total weight exceeds three tons is the responsibility of the consignee. The driver prepares the vehicle, uncovering, opening the doors… Then, the unloading is carried out under the supervision of the recipient by his teams.

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To conclude on the truck loading unloading procedure

Both when loading and unloading a truck, the covering and uncovering operations are the responsibility of the driver. Loading and unloading generally having to be done in a limited time, it is important to simplify handling of the tarpaulin by the driver.

Our automatic tarpaulin system ensures a closing in less than 45 seconds without any intervention from the driver. Thanks to an optimized manufacturing process and high quality materials, our tarpaulins are resistant to all weather conditions.

Do not hesitate to contact us to determine the most suitable solutions for your fleet of vehicles.

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