2.6 – Understanding the Load – Complex Loads

This lesson provides an introduction to complex loads. There are a range of load types which raise complex load restraint issues. It is beyond the scope of this course to provide detailed advice on how to restrain these loads. The load restraint guide provides more detailed guidance on these types of loads.

All parties to the transport chain are reminded that they have a primary duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities so far as is reasonably practicable.

For many of these complex loads it would be wise to consult an expert and consider using load restraint system specifically designed for the load.

Pipes drums and other Cylindrical loads

There are a range of cylindrical materials used in construction or industrial activities that present particular challenges for load restraint.

Rolls Reels Coils Drums Tubes Pipes Bars

Some of the complications include:

  • The contents of the cylindrical loads and their physical characteristics vary considerably (for example drums containing liquids, rigid cylinders containing gases, long thin cylinders v short squat cylinders, hollow cylinders such as concrete or steel pipes)
  • There may be multiple items being carried on the vehicle at the same time and due to the dimensions of the load and the vehicle, the options for orientation of the load may be constrained.
  • Depending on the orientation, the load may have a tendency to roll in one direction, or to move or topple

One result of this is that some of these items may not be suitable for tie down approaches and may require direct restraint, through attaching, blocking or containing. There may also be a role for chocks, cradles or frames to assist in the restraint of the cylinders.

In many cases operators who regularly carry these items may have a system designed by an engineer to meet the specific characteristics of the load they are carrying.

Because of the complexity of restraining these loads there is significant guidance material in the LRG. Pages 49 to 74 of the load restraint guide describe multiple options for restraining cylindrical loads.

Any operator not using a system engineered for the cylindrical load they are carrying should check with the section of the guide that relates to the specific type of cylindrical loads.

Dangerous Goods

As with all other types of goods, dangerous goods must be restrained as required by the Loading Performance Standards.

However, due to the nature of the cargo dangerous goods are also governed by a range of other legislative requirements.

These regulations often also place requirements on the vehicle and driver transporting the dangerous goods. As a result, some types of dangerous goods such as petroleum products and other dangerous liquids are carried using vehicles specifically designed for that purpose. (in this case purpose built tankers.)

Consignors, loading staff, drivers and operators involved in the transport of bulk and packaged dangerous goods must be familiar with the special requirements of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road & Rail, and any specific requirements that may relate to the specific commodity being carried.


Voice over videos of animals being loaded and/or unloaded
Carrying livestock on road vehicles is complex because:

  • Animals are not static loads – they move
  • The welfare of the animals needs to be taken into account when transporting them.
  • Effluent management needs to be considered when transporting animals.
  • Weather conditions and other unpredictable events can have an impact on the journey.
  • Vehicles are designed for specific animal types and have features designed to facilitate movement of animals of that type.

This training course will not go into depth on the issues associated with restraining animals.

Operators carrying livestock should familiarise themselves with:

  • The relevant sections of the Load Restraint Guide: (pp 133-125)
  • Animal welfare standards Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines – DAFF (agriculture.gov.au))
  • Resource materials available on the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters association Website
    (Resources – Australian Livestock & Rural Transporters Association (alrta.org.au))
  • Relevant industry codes of Practice Registered Industry Codes of Practice | NHVR

Other Large Loads

There are a range of other large loads which the load restraint guide provides guidance on including tanks, bins and skips, bladders and flexible tanks, portable buildings and large castings and fabrications. These are discussed in pp100,102,103 of the load restraint guide and it is recommended that operators carrying these types of loads refer to the guide and also consider using a load restraint system designed for the particular load by a qualified engineer.

If these loads are overlength, over width or over mass they may have other requirements such as movement permits, escort vehicles, traffic management plans or conditions placed on the movement of the vehicle.

Operators carrying these loads should seek advice on the movement controls placed on these types of loads. Some examples of the types of loads that may be encountered include

This image shows a skip bin directly restrained using dedicated mounting points on the bin and on the truck and the bin is mounted on dunnage to improve the friction between the bottom of the skip and the truck bed as recommended by the LRG

Mouseover ( this image shows a skip bin directly restrained using dedicated mounting points on the bin and on the truck and the bin is mounted on dunnage to improve the friction between the bottom of the skip and the truck bed as recommended by the LRG)

This portable building has been restrained in each corner and blocked from forward movement as recommended by the LRG
This casting is sitting on non slip matting and restrained within a custom frame designed to restrain it
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