Long, heavy steel pipes are a common material used in large-scale construction projects. These massive pipes are too large to be hauled inside a dry van, or enclosed trailer, and instead must be loaded onto flatbed trailers. As is always the case when transporting construction materials, it is vital that drivers understand the importance of proper load securement. Due to their size and shape, pipes present a particular set of challenges. Special care must be taken, therefore, to ensure they do not shift, slide, or otherwise move during transport.
Since the pipes are round, they are prone to rolling sideways when the trailer turns, or navigates a curve in the road. This is why it is of utmost importance that they are loaded in the most stable fashion possible to avoid a high center of gravity, which can prove dangerous. Pipes must be blocked in on each side to keep them in the proper position. They also have a tendency to slide forward when the truck stops, or backwards if the truck brakes suddenly, so it must also be blocked on both ends. Some loads are further protected from shifting with the use of mats that help increase friction, thus holding the pipes in place.
One way that truckers keep their loads of pipe secure is by wrapping a strap around the pipes, tightening it down and securing it to an anchor point on the trailer. This acts to bind the pipes together, making them a more compact unit, rather than individual pipes that want to roll against one another. Other straps, a minimum of one for every ten feet of cargo length, are then placed over t
he load and secured to the trailer as well. In some cases, it may be necessary to use additional devices to ensure the load is, indeed, properly secured and safe to transport.
An important aspect of any securement device, as well as the flatbed’s anchor points, is the working load limit (WLL) it is rated at. Drivers must be sure to only use those with an adequate WLL to handle the cargo. Together, all of the devices must total an aggregate working load limit of at least 50% of the load’s weight. So, for a 20,000 lb load, the aggregate working load limit would be 10,000 lbs. If there are 4 devices being employed, the working load limit of each would have to be a minimum of 2,500 lbs to meet the aggregate limit.
Knowing all the facts and figures pertaining to proper securement of a load of steel pipes is great, but nothing beats experience. CT Transportation has been serving the construction industry for more than seven decades, and we welcome the opportunity to serve you as well. Contact us to get more information about flatbed construction material transportation, or to receive a quote for flatbed trucking services.