Lesson 2.1.2 Dimensions

The dimensions of a load can have a significant impact on the choice of vehicle and load restraint.
Any staff member taking an order for a transport task should determine the dimensions of the load and whether
there is:

  • A loading plan available, and/or
  • any requirements for the load to be kept upright.

General access vehicles are typically less than 12.5 m long, 2.5 m wide, and 4.2 m high for a rigid truck. If the vehicle and load combined exceed these dimensions, consideration needs to be given to choosing an articulated vehicle which may be up to 19 m long, or a restricted access vehicle (give examples of restricted access vehicles in mouseover eg longer vehicle authorised under the performance based standards scheme or a vehicles required to carry overwidth, over length signs). Restricted access vehicles may be required to travel under a notice, or permit or have other limitations on where it is permitted to travel.

Details of the dimension requirements for different vehicle types is available on the NHVR web site. National heavy vehicle general dimension requirements (nhvr.gov.au)

The dimensions of the load and any requirements for it to be kept upright can also impact on the load restraint requirements.

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The stability of the load is optimised if it can be kept as low as possible. If because of the nature of the load, it needs to stay oriented in one direction (“This way up”) the ratio of the height to the width and length needs to be considered.

Where the length is less than 80% of the height or the width of the base is less than 50% of the height the load is at increased risk of toppling and consideration should be given to rotating the load or using specific strategies to restrain the load which will increase its stability.

These might include using a rated headboard, direct restraint, or attaching loads together. In these cases, consideration of stretching of the restraints needs to be considered when designing an approach to restraining the load.

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