No matter how many mad stacking skills you may think you have, there’s more to packing up a cargo van than just piling and stacking boxes. Packing up a truck, trailer or van the right way is purpose: fewer goods will get damaged during transport and space is better maximized. And technically, it’s the law! (Per the Road Traffic Act.)
Because the Freight Transport Association cares about how things are unloaded, loaded, and transported, they put together a very helpful guide that talks all about the ins and outs of packing. Unfortunately, it’s 150 pages long! Because Mickey Genuine Parts also cares about how things are unloaded, loaded, and transported – but also cares about our clients and their valuable time – we have highlighted some of the best loading, transporting, and unloading practices for your perusal.
- First, load the large items. If you put the big stuff in first, you can load the little stuff around it. Across the floor surface, be sure to distribute items evenly for a more structurally sound load. Secure breakables (like mirrors or glass) padded, along the wall of the transport vehicle.
- Concentrate on even distribution of the load. Even distribution of your load, and loading from front to back in rows, helps to limit movement of your goods. Large items should be dismantled, and top-heavy items should have their center of gravity lowered whenever possible. Unloading will also be easier this way. By all means, do not exceed the capacity of your van, trailer, or truck.
- Between you and your load, there should be a barrier. Even if your load is secured, which it needs to be, you must protect yourself against items that could fly forward during a fast stop or in a crash. A sturdy piece of plywood, netting, or mesh can be placed between you and the cargo compartment in order to achieve a barrier.
Tips for Transport
- Your goods must be secured. Transporting items that aren’t secured is foolish. Use bungee cords, ratchet straps, ropes, chains, or whatever is necessary to secure your load.
- If something is hanging out the back end, put a flag on it. Ideally, don’t have anything hanging out the back of your van. But if you must, be sure to flag it to increase visibility.
- Pay close attention to your braking and your speed. It’s not like driving a passenger car, after all. Items will shift, fall, and move with fast starts, turns, and stops.
- Choose with care the zone in which you will unload. You don’t want to block traffic or create a dangerous environment in which to unload. And chock your wheels!
- Keep an eye out for items that may have shifted or moved during transport. When unloading, gloves is a good way to go because if something has broken, you won’t be injured. Also, watch out for unbalanced packages that might have shifted.
- And again, regarding the loading zone, familiarize yourself with it and the surrounding area before unloading. Knowing where you’re unloading and where you are unloading your cargo to can help avoid moving it twice.
At Mickey Genuine Parts, we have trailers, vans, and other types of transport vehicles. We even have used trailers for the budget minded hauler. Contact us today to discuss what we have in stock, to schedule service, or with any other questions and comments.