Heavy haul route planning is a critical process that requires meticulous attention to detail and a thorough understanding of potential hazards. From estimating how an oversized load will fit underneath a bridge on the highway to considering open roads with high winds, safety should always be the top priority.
By identifying and addressing potential hazards early in the planning stage, heavy haulers can ensure the smooth execution of their logistics operations. Here are 7 essential tips to help in this process.
Before a heavy haul delivery begins, it doesn’t hurt to conduct a detailed route survey to assess road conditions, clearance heights, and weight restrictions. With this, you are comparing your load’s weight and dimensions to see how easily it will move through certain routes.
Identify potential obstacles such as low bridges, narrow passages, and road construction zones that could possibly slow down the move. This will help you plan alternative routes and ensure a safe and efficient journey.
There is so much new and amazing supply chain technology out there to help make the supply chain more visible, it would be a shame not to utilize it!
Embrace cutting-edge technology, such as GPS systems and route planning software, to analyze and identify potential hazards along the route before you drive up on them. These tools provide real-time data on traffic, weather conditions, and road closures, allowing for quick adjustments to the route when needed.
Two (or more) brains are better than one when it comes to decoding the best routes for a challenging load.
That’s why it helps to collaborate with local authorities and stakeholders along the planned route. Their insights can provide invaluable information about potential hazards, ongoing construction projects, and temporary road closures. They might even have local insider tips on alternative routes. Engaging with the community also fosters a positive relationship and ensures smoother passage through the area.
Be mindful of seasonal challenges, such as heavy snow, ice, or floods, that could impact the safety of the route.
Plan your heavy haul operations during favorable weather conditions and be prepared with contingency plans for unexpected weather events. Make sure you’re always prepared with the right emergency equipment in your rig.
Properly securing the load is critical to prevent accidents during transportation. This is also key for when the road gets windy or heavy rain hits.
Conduct thorough checks on load distribution, ensure proper tie-down procedures, and use appropriate equipment, such as chains, binders, and straps, to keep the cargo stable.
Well-trained drivers and escort personnel play a crucial role in heavy haul safety. Provide comprehensive training on route-specific hazards, load securement, and emergency procedures.
Escorts should be well-versed in communication protocols and know how to manage traffic during the transportation process.
No matter how well you plan, emergencies can still occur. Create detailed emergency response plans that outline procedures for dealing with accidents, breakdowns, and other unforeseen events. Train all personnel on these protocols to ensure a swift and coordinated response.