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What All Flatbed Truck Drivers Should Know To Stay Safe

Friday, February 16th, 2018
flatbed truck driver trailer safety tips

Almost every profession has the potential to expose you to some level of risk for injury. Unfortunately, these injuries are often preventable. You never want to find yourself in a hospital or at home unable to work due to an injury that didn’t have to happen. If you are a flatbed truck driver, you should know about these safety tips to keep yourself safe and working efficiently.

Make sure your loads are secure

No matter what you are transporting, you need to make sure you’ve secured your load properly. You should routinely check all your gear to make sure it is in excellent condition. Always watch the load in your mirrors when traveling and examine your shipment before you set off.

Use heavy tarps, bungee cords, and tie-down straps to secure your loads. If you choose to use bungee cords, make sure they face away from your tarp, so they aren’t likely to be damaged. Recheck your load and straps to ensure they are secure at each stop you make during your trip.

Follow proper unloading and loading methods

Loading and unloading your flatbed trailer is a task you perform every day. Aside from driving, this probably consumes the majority of your time. Before you begin to unload your flatbed trailer, make sure it is on a flat surface and not resting on a grade. This means the trailer should be level from front to back, as well as from side to side.

Being aware of what is around you is also important. Make sure you are aware of where any machinery is located as it unloads your trailer. You should also check the ground to make sure no debris or garbage is lying around that you might trip over.

Practice safety while on the roads

Distracted drivers are causing more and more accidents on roadways each year. Everyone risks coming across a distracted driver making a call or messing with their radio at any point on the road. Be aware and look out for drivers that may unknowingly drift into your lane. This danger is also present if you have to stop along the road to check your load or have an engine malfunction.

Keep your eyes on the traffic that is approaching while securing your flatbed to mitigate the chances of someone hitting you. Wearing high-visibility outerwear is also important while performing roadside checks or maintenance on your flatbed. This type of clothing can catch the eye of even a distracted driver to help keep you safe. The safest thing is to check or correct your loads at rest stops or parking lots when they’re available.

Stay alert at all times

Loading and unloading your flatbed may become a tedious task, as it is something you will do many times. Even though it is repetitive, you must stay alert every time you perform loading and unloading tasks. Pay attention, take your time, and keep yourself mentally present to reduce your risk of injury.

Wearing non-slip footwear will increase your stability and safety. Many injuries happen when drivers lose their footing and fall from their trailers. When getting up and down from the flatbed, use every step available. Using all the steps will reduce the risk of you slipping and keep your shins safe. It may go without saying, but it is important to mention that jumping from the flatbed trailer is extremely dangerous. Always use the steps when mounting or dismounting from your trailer.

Use a flatbed trailer safety ladder

If your flatbed trailer does not come equipped with steps, you have more options than jumping from the trailer and injuring yourself. By using a trailer safety ladder, you can greatly reduce the risk of falls and injuries. These tools are portable, sturdy, and able to support hundreds of pounds. Most trailer ladders will come with non-stick steps and a support bar so you can climb up and down properly.

Looking to increase your safety on your flatbed trailer?

Gateway Supply in Pampa, Texas is the U. S. Distributor of the Deckmate Ladder. This ladder has been designed with your safety in mind. It will easily hook onto your rub rails without sliding or tipping. We also offer a bolt on bracket for trailers without rub rails. Call Us at (806) 665-7990 or Contact Us by email today to learn more about how the Deckmate Ladder can keep you safe.