This page provides guidance on how to load trucks to prevent injuries.
get your load anchorages certified
carry only those loads that suit your vehicle's loading space or deck
secure animals to the vehicle with a suitable harness, carried behind the front seat, in appropriate crates, pens or cages or behind a cargo barrier (or tethered to the rear of the cab if they are carried on the open deck of a ute)
fit your vehicle with suitable clamps to hold the load or anchor points (hooks, eyes or rails) to hold any lashings (straps, ropes or chains) that you need to use
push the front of a load of goods against the cargo barrier, headboard or front rack – or use extra lashings or clamps to prevent the load moving forward
have enough clamps or lashings that are in good condition and are strong enough to hold your load to the vehicle to prevent it shifting forwards, backwards, sideways and upwards (when going over bumps)
secure the lashings to your vehicle's load anchorage points
tighten up the lashings
use wedges and chocks so that your load cannot move
cover loose bulk or fragile loads so that they can't fall or be blown off your vehicle
check your load:
before you move
after you have travelled 25km, and then regularly after that
whenever you check your tyres
whenever you add or remove items
after emergency braking or an excessively sharp or violent manoeuvre.
overload your vehicle (keep within the manufacturer's maximum laden weight or the maximum legal weight on its individual axles
load your vehicle too high, which could make it unstable. Trucks with a high centre of gravity are particularly unstable when overloaded, especially when operating on uneven surface, barges and small vessels
use rope hooks to restrain heavy loads – check in The official New Zealand truck loading code [PDF, 4.1 MB]
forget that the size, nature and position of your load will affect the handling of your vehicle
move the vehicle if any part of the load is not secured
leave loose wedges, lashing, chocks or dunnage lying on the vehicle deck after removal of the load.
See more basic safety information on carrying loads:
The Guide to safe loading and towing for light vehicles – advice for cars, vans, station wagons, utes, 4-wheel drives and light trailers (vehicles whose maximum laden weight is less than 3.5 tonnes) or load weights less than 500kg.
The official New Zealand truck loading code [PDF, 4.1 MB] – for trucks, heavy trailers or loads of more than 500kg.
There are maximum dimensions and weights for nearly all vehicles. See:
Heavy rigid vehicles (including trucks and buses)
Light rigid vehicles (including cars, vans, utes, 4WDs)
Trailers (full, simple, semi, pole, A- and B- train)
Light simple trailers (light simple trailers)
Want to carry a load or operate a vehicle that exceeds these dimensions? Find out more about the requirements you'll need to meet.