Step 6: Make sure your load is stabilised
The 6th step in the 10 point checklist is to make sure your load is stabilised.
Unstable and tall loads can tip over under heavy braking or cornering, even if they are restrained properly at the base.
This is a particular risk for forward movement if the length of the base is less than 80% of its height or for sideways movement if the width of the base is less than 50% of its height.
height or for sideways movement if the width of the base is less than 50% of its height.
A load will also be unstable if it’s on a base such as timber dunnage that is narrower than the base of the load.
To increase the stability of tall loads the LRG suggest that you:
- Place unstable loads against a rigid structure (such as a headboard) to prevent them from tipping
- Strap several unstable items together to form a stable pack.
- Fully tension your lashings to increase load stability when using tie-down restraints.
- Use chains to prevent unstable loads tipping where possible as they have a limited amount of stretch.
- Use direct lashings to prevent a load tipping if further restraint is required.
- Rope and webbing straps can stretch and loosen — check them frequently if using these types of lashings to stabilise a load.
- Don’t mix and match chains and straps on the same load. They have different stretch factors and breaking points, which may cause lashing to fail.
- Always assess the restraint to its weakest point (for example, grab hooks may have a lower capacity than the chain ‘strength).