3.3 – Understanding Load Restraint Equipment – Side Gate and Side Curtains and Uprights

Insert video of side gates – needs to be loaded onto vimeo

Similar to headboards and barriers, rated side gates side curtains and uprights are used to provide blocking forces to contain loads. The difference between the two categories is that side gates, side curtains and uprights are designed to provide sideways restraint rather than restraining against forward movement.

Unrated side curtains are used to provide protection of loads from weather. Unrated side gates have very limited capacity and should be braced.

Some vehicles may have both unrated curtain sides and rated side gates, including curtain sided vehicles with a mezanine floor where it is difficult to tie down loads. Where curtains or side gates are used in conjunction with mezamine loads it is important to check to ensure they have adequate ratings for use in this application.

Side gates
Side gates can be rated and certified to meet the loading performance standard. This rating will typically specify the load type and the capacity of the gates defined in one of three ways:

  • On the bases of allowable weight per pallet space

Pallet space rating systems
  • On the basis of allowable weight per pallet width

Pallet with rating systems
  • Or total payload for an evenly distributed weight
Total payload rating

If a side gate is not rated it should be assumed to be unrated and the side gate will need to be braced, using either chains or webbing straps.

Braced unrated gates

If using side gates it is important to ensure that:

  • There are no gaps and the load is blocked from moving forward and backward

Gaps between the load

Gaps within the load
  • There are no sideways gaps between the load and the gates
  • The load does not extend too far above the side gates
  • Unrated side gates are adequately braced or the load is restrained by other methods
  • The gates are suitably locked into place or tied down

Please read pages 143- 148 of the LRG for more detail on the use of side gates

Side Curtains

As their name suggests side curtains are flexible curtain like side panels that, if unrated, provide weather-proofing or if rated they can be used as part of a load restraint system.

Load-rated side curtain certification

Certified side curtains typically have a certification label attached to them or have a certification document. The certification should specify whether the curtains need to have side gates to achieve their rated capacity. The ratings are also expressed in the form of weight per pallet space, pallet width of total payload for and evenly distributed payload similar to the ratings for side gates.

Caveats for the use of side curtains are similar to side gates in relation to gaps within the load, stacked loads and additional bracing if required.

However, with curtains you also need to consider whether the loads could damage the curtains (because of sharp edges or spearing or cause bulging which may impact on vehicle width compliance.

Please read pages 156-159 of the LRG for more detail on the use of side curtains


Uprights are pins, pegs, stanchions and bolsters that are used with rigid loads to restrain sideways forces e.g. long loads (e.g. Timber logs) and sheets

Uprights should only be used on rigid loads that cannot fall apart.It is important to ensure that:

  • The uprights have sufficient capacity to adequately restrain the load,
  • There is adequate restraint in the forward and upwards directions
  • That gap between the load and the uprights is as small as possible

Gap between stanchion and load

Stanchion and load
  • That the uprights and any mounting structures for the uprights are in good condition
Elongation of locating hole

That the uprights are suitably engaged and if required suitably restrained.

Pins must be fully engaged
Loose-fitting uprights should be restrained

Please read pages 184-185 of the LRG for more detail on the use of Uprights

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