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Travels of a Trucker Seriously! your gonna send it like that??

December 28, 2011

Trucking often is a game of chance. We have no way of how a load has been loaded. We have no way of knowing if the load has shifted or fallen over. We have no way of knowing if the freight inside has been damaged. Whichever the reason the old adage an ounce if prevention is worth a pound of cure is simply too true. Loads that have shifted, loads that have fallen over and unseen can be a serious cause of injury or even death when the driver goes to open the rear of the container and tonnes of material come pouring down, flinging the door open and either injuring the driver with the doors of the container or crushing the driver to death if he could not get out of the way in time. I know this sounds a little too much to be true, but it happens all the time and I have seen it (without the death). I have watched loads of beer that have come in off the rail being delivered to a warehouse push the doors open and fall out. Thousands of cans of beer and shots destroyed in one fall because they are simply unsellable to the consumer at this point that they are recycled and returned. Thousands of Glass Bottles falling over that weakened when one Beer Bottle broke and weakened a corner of the pallet causing the remaining pallet to lean over into the door which was the only thing holding it up until the driver releases the door. I have been there and witnessed the cleanup of thousands of shards of glass from such loads.

I had one such load and I won’t embarrass the company by mentioning them publicly as they were in a hurry to get off a site, but they were literally throwing things into a container and stuffing it as full and with as many things as they could. It was amazing really. I was watching them load reels of cable into this container and they had no disregard as to how it was loaded. At one point they placed 2 Compressed Gas cylinders on the floor and placed a reel (rolling side up) right next to it with nothing more than a desk and a refrigerator to prevent it from rolling back and forth over the cylinder heads. Perhaps it was my fear that this reel of cable would roll over the tank cylinder heads, snap them open and I would have a live ballistic missile coming through the cab of my truck. It was a fear, but one that could happen and a real possibility. I asked them many times if they thought this was the best way to load it and each time they reassured me it would be okay. I did take pictures of the load, but perhaps as I stated earlier, placing 2 compressed gas cylinders to prevent the reel from rolling is not the smartest thing to do…especially if I had to ram on the brakes!

You can see the reel of cable wire at the front is placed in a roll position which is generally frowned upon by any trucking companies without proper tie downs. This roll could easily have come through the tin of this converted container making it unsafe for the general public, but also myself.

Nothing but a fridge and a desk to prevent this from rolling forward.

If you look closely in the dark, you will see a long Green shape which are 2 compressed Oxygen Cylinders used to help in prevention of this reel from rolling. Only problem is the reel is situated almost directly over the Cylinder Heads 😦

I was worried that if I stepped on my brakes this roll could have the possibility of ripping the cylinder heads of the tank off and causing a gas propelled rocket to go through the cab of my truck.

Anyways, you get the point of this message. As truckers, sometimes we have no idea how the freight is loaded and what has transpired. This is especially true when containers or trailers are handled many times before we actually deliver or haul the trailer. It may have been swayed just a bit too much during the ship loading. It may have shifted after leaving the shipper’s. It may have shifted on the ship during a storm. It may have shifted when it was handled at the Ports. Whichever the case, driver’s need to remember these points and use caution when opening the back doors of any trailer they suspect may have small articles that could have easily shifted.

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Thanks for reading and don;t forget to drive safe, drive smart and keep em Sunny side up.



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