This project is a collaborative initiative with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The project was initiated after fatal accidents involving flat bed vehicles carrying crossloaded 2.0m - 2.5m long timber logs. The Timber Federation and HSE are concerned about the risks of individual timbers being ejected from apparently secure loads. This method of loading can have the effect of significantly raising the vehicle centre of gravity compared with unladen and laden conditions. This will affect the stability of the vehicle, particularly when cornering or traversing rugged uneven terrain. These vehicles are moving timber from logging sites that are normally accessed from unmade roads and tracks, which can increase the risk.
The project objective is to investigate what is safe and what is not safe with regard to vehicle loading practices. The project may make recommendations for change to ensure safe operation is in use on the roads.
The project will:
- review current practice in conjunction with the Timber Federation;
- carry out trials on flatbed vehicles loaded with logs to assess the restraint requirements for this mode of loading;
- establish the load shedding mechanism;
- identify the factors which trigger load movement; and
- consider methods to restrain the load.