The truck loading code - specialised requirements

Pipe loads

Metal pipe

Metal pipe is loaded lengthwise (see figure 71). Spigoted or flanged pipes should be stacked in tiers with 100mm × 100mm hardwood spacers between each layer of pipe. Lateral restraint should be provided by means of four chocks on top of the spacers between each layer. The leading end of the front tier of pipes should be located against the headboard.

At least two chains or webbings and tensioners should be applied to each tier with chains or webbings located over or adjacent to the timber spacers. They should be anchored to anchor points, not to an unsupported section of rope rail.

Parallel pipe spacer arrangements will depend on the length and diameter of the pipe. Also see Structural steel and pipes.

Figure 71

Figure 71 Typical spigoted pipe - loaded lengthwise

Asbestos or plastic pipe

Asbestos or plastic pipe is damage prone and is also loaded lengthwise (see figure 72). Pipe manufacturers usually prepare these pipes for transport by stacking them in tiers with timber spacers between layers and restrained with bands.

The leading ends of the front tier of pipes should be located against the headboard and the tiers restrained by at least two chains and tensioners to each tier. Alternatively, approved webbing lashings may be used.

It is important that lashings are located close to the timber spacers. Lashings should be kept in the same vertical plane, not over tensioned and anchored to anchor points. Unsupported section of rope rail must not be used.

Figure 72

Figure 72 Asbestos pipe - loaded lengthwise

Concrete pipes

Positioning of load

Pipes which can be loaded safely within the legal load width limit or overdimension general permit should be loaded across the vehicle (see figure 73). When the length of the pipes allow, it is preferred that they be loaded barrel to barrel.

Spigot and socket pipes, if only in one layer, should be loaded with the sockets at alternate ends. Where additional layers are loaded sockets should be at the opposite end to those in the immediately lower layer and the spigots should not project beyond the sockets.

To ensure security of the load, before loading commences, wedge-shaped timber should be firmly placed at the front end of the vehicle. The first pipe loaded should be pushed firmly against the wedge-shaped timber and chocked. Each pipe loaded thereafter should be pushed firmly against the previous pipe and progressively chocked.

Pipes longer than 2.5 metres should be loaded lengthwise along the vehicle. Where spigot and socket pipes are loaded the bottom layer should have the sockets at the same end. Where additional layers are loaded, sockets should be at the opposite end of those in the immediate lower layer and spigots should project beyond the spigots by those in the immediately lower layer.

Figure 73

Figure 73 Concrete pipe - loaded crosswise

Note: Where socketed pipes are being loaded, at least two lines of timber, not less than 100mm × 100mm, should be placed along the floor of the vehicle. Where larger timbers are used, the largest dimension should be laid across the floor. The distance between the lines should be approximately, but not less than, half the length of the pipes loaded.

Cartage of pipe - equipment

Vehicle timbers (dunnage)

Condition: All timbers used for supporting loads on vehicle trays must be properly shaped and free of protruding nails. Timbers made slippery by excess oil or grease must not be used.

Timber under pipe loads: To prevent movement and damage to concrete pipes all timber used in supporting them must be of sufficient width and height.


Chocks cut from good quality timber in clean condition must be provided in sufficient numbers for the pipes being loaded. All chocks which are split must be discarded.

Ropse and chains

Each pipe-carrying vehicle must be provided with adequate good quality cordage, webbing, steel wire rope or tested chain for securing the load. Chains must not be knotted, welded or passed around sharp corners.

Minimum recommended sizes are:

  • cordage 12mm diameter
  • webbing 100mm
  • steel wire rope 12mm diameter
  • tested chain 8mm diameter of links.

Cordage that is frayed to any significant extent must not be used. Steel wire rope which is frayed, rusty or sharply bent must not be used. For more information see Load-securing equipment.


Sufficient durable packing material such as belting, second-hand rope or rope ends must be provided in order to protect pipes from damage. Such packing should be placed between the ends of all pipes in the bottom layer to protect the pipes coming into contact with each other. Packing material, preferably in one continuous length over the whole layer, should also be placed between each layer of pipes loaded. For short local trips under good conditions packing may be considered unnecessary.

Securing methods on tray or platform vehicles


For cross-loaded pipes of diameter up to 1300mm, loads should be secured by two parallel chains front and back. Chains to be provided with load binders, turnbuckles or other suitable means of tightening.

For cross-loaded pipes of diameter greater than 1350mm, pipes should be secured by two parallel chains brought down to the vehicle platform between each pipe and evenly tensioned over each pipe.


For cross-loaded pipes of diameter greater than 450mm - where pipe loads are to be roped instead of chained at least two front and back ropes should be used. This should be supplemented by adequate random roping of individual pipes in each layer.

For cross-loaded pipes of diameter less than 450mm - pipes in each layer at random, roped through their barrels as in above, and secured by two chains running front and back.

Pipes loaded lengthwise - timbers should be wedged along the barrels of the outside pipes and the whole load held down securely by ropes passing over the pipes from one side of the vehicle to the other.

Layering of pipes - pipes should generally not be loaded in a greater number of layers than shown below:

Nominal pipe diameter Number of layers
150mm-225mm 6
300mm-375mm 4
450mm-600mm 3
675mm-1050mm 2
above 1050mm 1

Junctions may be placed on the top tier of pipes, and in all cases should be placed in a vertical position and roped to prevent rotation of the complete unit.

Use of tackle

Slings or other tackle should be placed around the pipe or arranged so that the pipe when lifted is in a horizontal position. When chains are used, some padding should be provided between pipe and chain. Steel wire rope or chain slings must never be passed through the pipe for lashing or lifting.

Other tackle that will pass into or through the pipe must not touch the jointing surfaces of spigot or socket, should be rigid and extend far enough beyond the end of the pipe to ensure clearance of lifting wires or chains.

Pipes which have to be laid in one position are marked by a band of black or coloured paint, or by the word ‘TOP’ painted on them. Special care should be taken to lift these pipes with the ‘TOP’ uppermost.

Pipes with a lifting hole provided should be lifted by passing a looped single sling (‘snotter’) through the hole into the bore of the pipe and then around a baulk of timber which should be at least one quarter of the length of the pipe to be lifted and a cross-section not less than the following:

  • For pipes up to 900mm: 100mm x 100mm.
  • For pipes over 900mm: 150mm x 150mm.

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