It can be a daunting challenge for the uninitiated. Delivering a truss from point A to B is a coordinated effort. That’s why you should always leave it up to the experts, but for those of you too anxious to let someone else take the reins, here are the main pointers that even the pros have to follow.
Can The Truck Carry The Load?
Before even thinking of loading the first truss, you need to calculate how much they weigh collectively. An incorrectly loaded vehicle puts pressure on the brakes, steering, and engine.
The driver of the vehicle will know the maximum weight capacity. But if there is some uncertainty, there are companies that will allow you to drive the vehicle onto their weighbridge.
Also, when the trusses are loaded onto the back of the vehicle, the weight of the trusses needs to be distributed evenly and not isolated in any one spot. Some like to place the weight dead centre over the axles, but this can cause strain on those parts – especially with loads of this size.
Restraints Are Important
While drivers throwing stompies out the window on the highway is infuriating, a truck losing its load is deadly. This ‘danger factor’ also applies to those loading the vehicle in the yard.
According to the 2005 safety guide WorkSafe, Prevention of Falls in the Transport of Roof Trusses And Wall Frames, a 90kg person jumping down or falling from the cab or tray of the truck will hit the ground with a force of over 420kg. So, the forces at play are dangerous and life-threatening.
Restraints should be specifically designed for the job at hand, and have the capacity to bear the weight stresses. Make sure that all the twist locks are secured to the frames.
All straps should be in reach from the ground, and the load should be pre-slung, a sling loop would be the go-to strapping solution.
At no stage should the crew be climbing on the load. Not only is this unsafe for the employees, but it can also damage your trusses and dent the timbers.
Once the trusses are loaded and driven to the site, it’s now time to plan how they will be off-loaded. There are several factors to keep an eye on and to prepare for, such as traffic management, overhead power lines, and manoeuvering in confined spaces.
If you’re using a crane, make sure to mark out pedestrian exclusion zones. Utilising mechanical aids will make it vastly easier.
The loading zone on site where you’re placing the trusses should be cleared and ready. Another factor to consider is that you might need to rent a larger crane to lift the trusses into place. Always double check clamps, jigs, hooks, lifting arms, straps, and chains before performing the operation.
After all, assumptions can lead to accidents and complications to the overarching project plan.
While every job has it’s unique aspects, and requirements, if you tick off the basics mentioned above, your trusses should make it to the job site without an issue.