Fatality Due To Apparently Improperly Secured Flatbed Load

Topic 26397 | Page 2

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Turtle's Comment
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That's a sad story.

Steel loads are some of the most difficult and dangerous we encounter as flatbedders. Each load is stacked differently. Careful attention must be paid both to securement and securement checks along the way.

I took this load from Houston up to Spokane last week. It was stacked in such a way that metal plates on each beam interlocked with the next beam, creating a very stable unit to secure, a rarity in such loads.

But even with that and a stout headache rack, I still used 15 straps. 81k lbs worth of securement for a load that only weighed 25k total. Once I got to my parking spot a half mile away, I put a bulkhead in front of the bottom stack, and a chain across the front of the 2nd.

I don't play with these loads. An extra few minutes isn't going to kill me.

0022354001566997319.jpg

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Turtle,

What about 8' axle straps around the front ends (yellow in picture) secured to a chain (green in the picture)?

0280035001566998778.jpg

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Turtle,

What about 8' axle straps around the front ends (yellow in picture) secured to a chain (green in the picture)?

0280035001566998778.jpg

Honestly, I've never seen something quite like that. But it looks like it would work well to help prevent forward movement of the stray beam that wants to slide forward in a hard brake. I'd opt for a chain at both green and yellow, though.

That's thinking outside the box. I like it.

I don't have a pic, but what I ended up doing was moving a belly strap, building a bulkhead (white), and running a chain across the front (yellow). Quick and easy.

0645444001567001273.jpg

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Turtle, looking at the photo, I see dunnage towards the front. (two pieces) I've been told that a strap should be at that exact location to eliminate the effect of deflection. Trying to see if what I was told is correct.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Depends on the load and the material. Not much chance of deflection in steel I-beams. Having a strap within 2 ft on both sides of the dunnage is sufficient here.

PackRat's Comment
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I just noticed you have skirts on that flatbed trailer. I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen that before.

Turtle's Comment
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Yup, most of our flatbeds and vans have them. It's said to save fractions of fuel. Makes axle pretrip a PITA. But it does give loader operators something to smash into...

PackRat's Comment
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I’m familiar with them, but I cannot recall every seeing a flatbed equipped. In Cali it’s a requirement on most every trailer, and that’s where the whole thing started from research I’ve done.

JCTrucker's Comment
member avatar

I wonder if a 4 wheeler brake checked him? If they did, I would hope they would be charged with manslaughter. Article said the cause for his hard braking was not known and under investigation. Maybe his dash cam got smashed or they just aren't releasing it yet.

Sad times.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I wonder if a 4 wheeler brake checked him? If they did, I would hope they would be charged with manslaughter. Article said the cause for his hard braking was not known and under investigation. Maybe his dash cam got smashed or they just aren't releasing it yet.

Sad times.

Most trucks do not have a dash cam.

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