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4 Flatbed Driver Safety Tips To Help Keep You And Your Cargo Safe

Monday, September 17th, 2018
truck driver safety tips

There are many dangerous situations truck drivers can experience that can be prevented before they actually happen. No person wants to spend time in a hospital or healing from their injuries at home. Instead, truckers want to report to their job each day and provide for their family. Even though basic safety concerns may seem minor, following every step can prevent serious injuries. Here are four flatbed truck driver safety tips that can help keep you and your cargo safe.

Roadside safety

These days it has become harder to avoid being distracted while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Most people have seen other drivers texting or talking on their phone, then drifting between lanes. The worst case scenario is getting into an accident because of their dangerous driving. At other times, avoiding an accident by swerving away from these drivers can cause your load to shift.

If your flatbed load has come loose, it is important to remember roadside safety. Avoid trying to tarp or re-secure the load while on the side of the road. Rest stops and parking lots are better locations to complete this task.

If you must stop on the side of a road, try wearing light-colored or reflective outer clothing. This is more visible and makes you a less likely candidate to be hit by a distracted driver. Often, they will catch a glimpse of your outerwear that allows them to steer away from hitting you.

Securing loads

Regardless of what type of cargo you’re delivering, it’s smart to properly secure the load before you start your travels. Pre-trip inspections may seem to be a tedious task, but they’re necessary. Don’t go through the motions because you may overlook a worn tension strap or cord that could break or fall apart at any moment. The broken pieces could cause harm to innocent bystanders, so it’s better to secure the load with a heavy tarp first. Then, keep it in place with straps or cords. Be sure to hook them facing away from the tarp to avoid damaging the cargo with a broken section of the strap or cord.

Slips, trips, falls

Performing any task repeatedly can cause many workers to tune-out during this part of their job assignment. But, failure to go through all safety precautions will put people at a high risk for injury. Pay close attention to detail, especially when inspecting or working near a flatbed truck.

Invest in non-slip footwear because the majority of injuries sustained by truckers occur due to slipping and falling off their trailer. When using a flatbed trailer ladder, never skip a step as this reduces the chance of falling and injuring yourself. Never try to jump off a trailer of a flatbed truck either. Jumping down is a major cause of sprained ankles, broken bones, and other major injuries. You should also avoid stepping onto all narrow ledges to avoid slipping and falling off the back end of your flatbed trailer.

Loading and unloading safety

It is important to properly load and unload cargo off a flatbed truck. This task will often take up the majority of a typical workday. Never try to load or unload a flatbed truck on an incline and remember to consider all possible shifts that can occur during the process. It helps to know your surroundings, especially the surface ground area. This will come in handy if you plan to use machinery to place the cargo on or off your flatbed truck.

Use a flatbed trailer ladder for safety

A trailer ladder can help you access your flatbed loads safely and efficiently. Whether you are checking your load during transport or verifying it is secure before taking off, safety should always be your priority. These ladders can be hooked onto any side of your trailer and should come with non-skid steps to prevent slips. You should look for a ladder that is strong, portable, and approved by safety organizations like the U.S. Department of Labor. Other safety equipment that you can use includes harnesses and ramps.

Gateway Supply in Pampa, Texas is the U.S. distributor of the Deckmate Ladder, a safety device that offers you an efficient way to access your cargo. This ladder hooks onto the rub rails of many different vehicles like flatbed trailers, train cars, vans, and straight trucks. Call us today at (806) 440-1126 or Contact Us by email with any Questions you may have about our Products and how they help keep truckers safe.