The truck loading code - specialised requirements


Pallets represent a two-fold problem from the point of view of load security. Firstly you must consider the stability of the items stacked on the pallet and then the security of the pallet on the vehicle platform.

Basic safety principles

The pallets should be of sufficient strength to withstand the load they carry satisfactorily and should be in a good state of repair. Full pallets must be constructed and bound so they are able to withstand a horizontal acceleration of 0.5g (half weight of pallet). If there is any doubt concerning this capability then a simple tilt test should be carried out.

The pallet must be able to withstand a sideways tilt angle of at least 26° before showing signs of any significant distortion.

The securing method adopted will depend on the type and size of the vehicle, the position and number of anchor points, and the size, weight and number of pallets in the load. However, the following principles should be followed for whatever scheme is chosen:

  • Vertical and tipping motions should be prevented by securing a tarpaulin across the load and then by a rope placed across the top of the tarpaulin over the pallet load, as shown in figure 20.
  • Forward and rearward movement should be prevented by restraints passed around the base of the pallets, as shown in figure 20.
  • The rope should not be attached to or passed under the strapping or binding used to secure the load to the pallet.
  • Cross lashings must be such that each pallet on the top layer has at least one cross lashing. Any pallet that is above the general height of the load should have at least two cross lashings.

Pallets must not be used for carrying the following:

  • Metal or plastic drums of 50 or 200 litre capacity except where they are secured to the pallet or loaded as specified in General freight.
  • Plastic containers because of the difficulty of preventing sideways movement on the pallet and hence keeping lashings tight so that the load remains secure.
Figure 20

Figure 20

Steel drums - 200 litre capacity

Two-hundred litre drums on wooden pallets must only be carried on vehicles equipped with headboards. Pallets must be placed side by side across the vehicle deck starting from the headboard and working to the rear of the deck. Single pallets must be placed centrally across the vehicle deck.

Drums on pallets are to be secured to the deck by ropes or straps bearing on wooden corner boards. The minimum dimensions of the corner board are shown in figure 21. Drums must be secured by a corner board at each side of the vehicle. At least two ropes or straps must bear on each corner board as shown in figure 22 and figure 23.

Corner boards must rest on at least two drums. There must be at least one rope or strap bearing on the corner board across each row of drums.

Figure 21

Figure 21 Wooden corner board detail - minimum dimensions (mm)

Figure 22

Figure 22

Drums must be loaded on pallets in even numbers. Odd drums must be loaded
singly in accordance with figure 36. Chains are not to be used to secure drums.

Figure 23

Figure 23 Securing method for 4-drum and 6-drum pallets

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Last updated: 27 August 2010