Towing sometimes requires you to tow really heavy machinery such as forklift equipment or very large trucks, and move them to another designated area. Transporting such heavy machinery is no easy task; you have to be well prepared for the journey and conversant with the various safety measures that you should put in place. The equipment being carried needs to arrive safely, and it's up to you to ensure that happens. So if you've just received your first towing assignment of oversized loads, here are a few safety tips that you need to consider.
Inspect the vehicle
First things first, ensure the towing vehicle is at its best shape. You're going to be handling a lot of weight, so any defects in the vehicle would be amplified. Check the tyres for pressure and confirm that they are fully inflated.
Also, confirm that the lights are properly functioning particularly the ones at the back. Additionally, the heavy load shouldn't obscure the tail light as this may lead to an accident when other cars don't see your towing vehicle.
Use the right vehicle for the job
This is perhaps one of the most important safety aspects of the job, particularly when you're dealing with heavy machinery. You need to review your vehicle's towing capacity before you start the trip. The trailered weight shouldn't exceed the maximum towing capacity as it may result in dangerous handling and damage to the vehicle's suspension and engine.
The tongue weight also needs to be considered. This is simply the downward force applied to the tow vehicle. The hitch should be properly labelled with the maximum tongue and carrying capacities.
Loading the equipment
If you're towing equipment such as a forklift, then one important aspect is tying it down to the towing vehicle. You need to ensure that the equipment is safely secured in case of freight shifting during transportation. Each tie down point needs to be closely attached to the front or rear positions of the towing vehicle for maximum effectiveness. The aim here is to prevent the load from moving during the journey. You can also pull over at a safe distance from the road and check the chains and straps.
Go for an escort vehicle
Another great way of ensuring safety when towing very huge loads is going for an escort vehicle. This is a vehicle that moves behind the towing vehicle and acts as a warning to other drivers, revealing to them that an oversized load is being carried. Going for an escort vehicle may be what saves you from a collision, and it's advisable when working on very busy roads.
For more information, talk to a roadside service professional.