Do you need to rent a flatbed truck in Seattle area for a specific job or move? If this is your first time renting a flatbed truck, follow these safety procedures to complete a successful and stress-free move.
Use Experienced Personnel
Only experienced drivers and loaders should be in charge of any large truck rental. While these workers don’t necessarily need to have a CDL driver’s license if the truck body type doesn’t require it, the drivers should have relevant skills. These include maneuvering a large load through municipal areas, handling it in any weather you expect to experience (such as high winds or snow), and parking the vehicle safely.
Any drivers and those loading the truck should know how to safely use ratchet straps or chains (depending on the load) and should adhere to the highest quality standards. Your driver should never use a cell phone while loading or operating the truck, and they shouldn’t drive while tired or distracted. In other words, your driver should be professional and focused when moving such a large load.
Never Move Anything Unsecured
The most important thing to remember on flat beds is never to move anything while it’s not fully secured. Often, the temptation is to pull the truck forward or backward to accommodate loading or to re-position the vehicle while it’s being prepared.
Don’t give in to this temptation. Be certain that anything placed on the bed — no matter how small, stable, or seemingly insignificant it is — has been strapped down before you move the vehicle at all. Cover the truck bed with a tarp if anything might disengage.
Load Toward the Front
Most flatbed trailers and trucks are designed to carry the bulk of the load toward the front. While most newcomers would assume that the ideal load balance is 50/50 to the front and to the back, the ideal is actually more of a 60/40 balance.
If you have multiple items to load, start with the weightier, and place the heavier ends of specific items toward the cab. This positioning will cushion and balance the load and help prevent unnecessary shifting.
Check Your Load
Loads invariably shift a little once you get on the road. That means your best bet is to stop a few miles down the road to check how your load is secured. While this step may sound like an unnecessary delay, you’ll save time and money by preventing the load from coming loose on a highway. Stop the truck and check each strap or chain for tightness. Be willing to replace or re-secure some of the chains.
If possible, have a vehicle follow behind you to ensure that the load is stable. If you aren’t operating in a caravan, have another driver follow your truck for a mile or two — or onto the highway — to see how the cargo appears when traveling. If it’s secure, then after you check the load to verify safety, you should be good to finish the trip cautiously.
Even for experienced amateurs, backing up when renting a flatbed truck can be a challenge. Large, rented trucks are not familiar to most driver. Most may not be able to rely on instincts and familiarity to help them get into tight spots. Your best bet is to treat a long rented truck like a trailer and avoid situations where you need to put it into reverse. Such avoidance requires good planning, but it will save time and stress.
At Del’s Truck Rentals, we have experience with all types of flatbed trucks and equipment rentals. We can help you create a safe and successful move no matter what you transport. Learn more by calling us today to talk to a moving pro.