Anyone operating within the lifting gear and lifting equipment industry will know that you will often be working with heavy loads, sometimes huge in size that can come in all manner of shapes.
While it would be nice to have all of our loads fit together nicely in the back of a truck like a real-life game of Tetris, this isn’t always the case, and loads may need to be moved around on the top of vans or around worksites on equipment such as scissor lift tables.
In order to securely fasten loads to protect the safety of everyone around, load restraints are used. We’ve laid out a comprehensive guide on load restraints below.
Quite simply, load restraints are the safest way to ensure that a load is securely fastened down. Regardless of whether you are moving a load a few meters in a warehouse, or across motorways between worksites, if a heavy load isn’t securely fastened, it can run the risk of damaging either the load itself or anyone around.
There are literally millions of different items and loads that are used across dozens of industries, and these always come in varying shapes and sizes. What may have worked to move something safely before may not work again, which is why it’s crucial to have a versatile load restraint that can adapt to the shape and size of the load that you are working with.
A great example of how not to carry heavy loads around!
There are also clear government guidelines on the use of restraints, especially for vehicle operators, titled Load securing: vehicle operator guidance. In these guidelines, it clearly states that not only should restraints be used, but also that you must use adequate restraints too.
They have said that generally, accidents occur when the weight of a load and the restraint needed for it has been underestimated. Dynamic forces are much higher and much stronger than static forces, and this must be accounted for when tying anything down.
We’re going to take you back a few years now (maybe many years!) and give you a quick science lesson.
When your load is static, it will be exerting the same, continuous force at all times. When your load is moving, it will be exerting a changing dynamic force based upon the movement of the structure that it is on.
It’s important to securely fasten loads
With this in mind, you must make the following considerations when using load restraints, as listed out by government guidelines:
”The combined strength of the load restraint system must be sufficient to withstand a forwards force not less than the total weight of the load to prevent the load moving under severe braking, and half the weight of the load moving backwards and sideways.”
It is also worth noting that even slow speeds can be enough to move a load, and that also you can’t rely on the weight of a heavy load alone to hold it in place. Load restraints are the only way to properly ensure that your load is securely fastened and that everyone operating it is safe.
Science lesson over, we promise.
Now that your education is up to scratch, let’s have a look in more detail at the various types of load restraints that we stock here at Lifting Gear Direct:
Cam buckles are fairly simple straps, and you’ll be familiar with this type of design as it bears similarities to the seat buckles that you find on an airplane. A cam buckle involves a webbing sling, where one end of it has been stitched around a buckle, while the other end remains loose.
You simply wrap this loose end around your load, feed it back through the buckle, and then securely fasten it. We safely manufacture and test all of our cam buckles on site, meaning that we can produce them in a variety of lengths for you.
Cam buckles have huge load restraint capabilities, being able to handle up to 750Kg in load weight.
Load binders are slightly more complex pieces of load restraint, and are most commonly used for securing loads in lorries or trucks. We stock two types; ratchet load binders and standard load binders.
Ratchet load binders work by being attached to the load, and then using the ratchet to crank until you have reached the desired tension. The level of tension increases in smaller increments, giving you a good level of control, and the weight is evenly spread over the restraint.
Standard load binders are similar, but don’t have the ratchet. This means that they require much more strength and there is more of a risk of it snapping back, so we would always recommend ratchet load binders.
Ratchet lashings are similar to cam buckles in that they use webbing slings, but the difference is that ratchet lashings can come with multiple end terminations. This makes them highly useful for multiple different situations.
This image shows a ratchet lashing
For example, you can use a webbing loop, a link or various types of hook. Be sure to get in contact with us for more information on what the right type might be for you.
Good old trusty rope still works as well as ever as a load restraint too. We use fibre rope which is stronger, but this type of load restraint still tends to be used on smaller trucks and for lighter loads.
If you want to see some reasons why you should use load restraints, simply have a look at the police’s name and shame list (with pictures) of how not to move loads around. If you now know just how important it is to use load restraints and want to know more about which piece of equipment may be right for your job, simply get in touch with us here.