Hauling oversized loads can be a challenging activity. In most cases, heavy haulage drivers are exposed to various risks when transporting oversized loads. Below is a blow-by-blow account of how heavy haulage truck drivers manage to move oversized loads across the Australian road network.
Once a customer contracts a haulage company, the company deploys a team to assess the load. Typically, the team's primary objective is to establish whether the company's trucks can transport the cargo. For instance, are its weight and dimensions within the acceptable limits? The company considers various strategies to overcome the hauling challenges. For example, some machines, such as windmill rotors, are too long to be transported by a single truck. In this case, the company could use two trucks. Conversely, houses could be wider than the standard road dimensions. In this case, the company could cut the house into two to ease transportation.
The company's next task is to determine if the road conditions allow the transportation of the oversized load. For instance, heavy rains could slow down transport. On the other hand, steep slopes could overwork the truck's braking and transmission. The company develops a transport plan that details how the haulage team will safely transport the load. For instance, tow trucks could be used to pull the truck as it descends steep slopes. This way, the truck's brakes, and transmission do not overheat. Besides, the haulage team could opt to transport the load at night when the roads are open. It prevents traffic snarl-ups and ensures safety during transport. If the preferred route has low-lying electric cables or streetlights, the haulage company asks the utility company to disconnect these amenities as the haulage truck passes.
The company also develops safety protocols to prevent accidents while transporting the oversized load. The safety of other road users takes priority. Therefore, the haulage company installs signage and warning lights on the haulage truck to ensure it is visible to other road users. Moreover, the haulage convoy utilises pilot vehicles to forewarn other drivers of an incoming heavy load. The pilot drivers also inform the truck driver of sudden changes in the road conditions. For example, an accident could slow down haulage. If this is the case, the haulage convoy considers alternative routes.
Haulage companies understand that the unexpected could happen during transportation. Therefore, the heavy haulage crew stays in contact with local traffic police and other emergency services to ensure quick response in case of incidents during transport. Besides, the companies keep spare trucks to be used if the primary truck breaks down.