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Motor bike carrying a load of woods

Carrying the Load

Part of doing a project, as a professional or a DIY type, is getting materials to the jobsite. You can pick them up, or you can have them delivered. Failure to use sound judgement when doing this can cause accidents, injury and worse.

Loads come in many forms, as do the vehicles we carry loads in. Your vehicle needs to be able to “handle” the load, you must be able to “secure” the load, and you need to able to “drive safely” with the load. Let us look at those individually.

For a vehicle to “handle” the load, I am referring to the size and weight of the load in relation to the size and weight of the vehicle. A pickup truck has the bed space and load capacity to handle sheets of plywood, drywall, lumber and the like. A typical car does not. A pickup is also rated at ½ ton, ¾ ton, or higher. It has the gearing, horse power and towing capacity to move big loads. Having the right vehicle for the job is crucial. If you have to rent a vehicle to move the load, you may as well pay for delivery.

Securing the load is the ability to anchor it so it does not move during transport. Loads can shift rounding corners, toppling off your car/truck and into the path of another vehicle. Objects can gain ‘lift’ at high speed as the wind gets under them, where they could then come down on another vehicle. Last, if you have to hit your breaks suddenly, you do not want objects in the rear to go hurtling towards the driver.

Securing the load makes sure you do not lose it, but also ensures you and others around the load are safe. And, once you have the load in/on the vehicle and have it secured, you need to be able to navigate safely. Your vehicle, now heavier with your load, takes longer to stop than normal driving. You must leave additional distance between the vehicle in front of you or risk a rear end collision. Also be sure you have adequate vision of those around you once moving.

We all drive different speeds, and it is certainly reasonable to slow down when carrying a heavy load. That said, traveling at half the posted speed limit because you are pushing the load limits of your vehicle is not safe. You can get hit from behind by inattentive drivers not expecting somebody going half the speed limit. Other drivers will take risks to get around you, putting everyone at risk.

If all this just sounds like one more reason not to take on a project yourself, know that Mr. Handyman is prepared to carry the load. Our work vans are designed to carry the load of tools and materials for the work we do. We also have a company pickup, and a dump trailer for both delivery of materials and to haul away demolition debris. And, sometimes, it is easier for all involved to simply have things delivered – which we can arrange for your convenience as part of any work we do for you.

Load control is important. Please take it seriously.