01482 778 463
Established since 1997
No Win No Fee
Award Winning Specialists
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | How to save lives (& avoid fines) by properly securing loads on curtain sided vehicles

How to save lives (& avoid fines) by properly securing loads on curtain sided vehicles

Lorry cover


Using curtain-sided lorries or trailers to transport goods requires a very different skill set from driving a standard heavy goods vehicle (HGV), as professional drivers will know only too well.

Trailers and curtain-sided vehicles not only need to be driven in a different manner, they also require different methods of load restraint and containment. Some loads may need a combination of both to prevent the vehicle from shedding or rolling over – minimising the risks of causing an accident.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1991, a number of offences can be committed for not properly securing loads on curtain sided vehicles and HGVs. The law states that loads MUST be secured to the vehicle bed to prevent 100 per cent of forward movement, 50 per cent rear movement and 50 per cent sideways movement.

Failing to comply with these load containment measures can result in BOTH a driver and their employer being prosecuted if an accident is caused by an improperly secured load or shifting cargo. If the loading process was carried out by a third party, they may also be held responsible.

A driver, employer or load handler is responsible in the event of:

  • Loads being shed which are not covered properly
  • A shed load because an unsafe vehicle was in use
  • Potentially hazardous loads being improperly secured
  • Objects flying from an old or ill-maintained vehicle
  • Unsecured loads or cargo falling from a vehicle
  • Poorly balanced loads causing a vehicle to tip or swerve

To ensure that all or part of a load cannot be ejected from the vehicle, it is important to plan how secure the load will be as this can highlight potential issues before they become an on-the-road problem.

The person responsible for loading should always prepare a written load plan to the driver so that they understand how the load has been secured. This information should also be made available to those who will be in receipt of the delivery.

Who enforces the law and what is the penalty for unsecured loads?

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the Police are responsible for enforcing the law concerning all aspects of goods vehicle loads – and the punishments are severe.

If a goods vehicle causes danger because of its load or passengers, the maximum penalty is a £5,000 fine, three penalty points on the driver’s licence (remaining for 4 years) and a disqualification.

A £100 fixed penalty notice can be issued to any driver carrying an insecure load and, depending on the severity of the offence, they may also have endorsements added to their licence.

Six steps to help properly secure loads on curtain-sided vehicles

When travelling at high speeds, even the smallest object falling from a vehicle can cause a serious incident, often because it triggers a series of events which are hazardous to other road users.

To minimise the chances of an unsafe situation occurring, the DVSA says drivers of curtain-sided vehicles should:

  • Not expect heavy loads to remain in place under their own weight.
  • Never use the curtains or weather-protection structure to secure a load.
  • Always secure loads of 400kg in weight or less with internally fitted straps.
  • Over-strap the load where possible, but only if suitable for the load type.
  • Use a blocking or locking load restraint technique to directly restrict the load and ensure a positive or tight fit to the trailer bed.
  • Place loads against the trailer headboard. If this is not possible due to uneven weight distribution, any gap to the headboard should be filled or an intermediate bulkhead could be used.

The best way to prevent an accident caused by an unsafe load is to follow the six steps outlined above and keep up to date with any suitable training. Doing so may mean that you never need to use the services of a specialist solicitor like myself

Thankfully, the fatality rate for HGV lorry drivers involved in accidents stands at slightly over 1 per cent – due to vehicle improvements and rising Health & Safety standards. Unfortunately, incidents of load shift do still happen and usually account for most of the major accidents involving professional drivers – particularly those who operate curtain-sided vehicles.

If you have been injured as a result of an improperly secured load, we would always recommend seeking legal advice. Hopefully, you’ll never need to do this. But if the worst does happen, you may be entitled to receive substantial damages for any pain, suffering and loss of earnings you’ve experienced.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Jane Woodcock

Senior Legal Executive and Head of Personal Injury

jw@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request a callback from a solicitor

 I am an existing client.










The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on…

"They made me feel that I wouldn’t be on my own after my experience. They… "

Mrs Melinda Diane Tovey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

The service was excellent and Lauren…

"The service was excellent and Lauren Cartwright kept me well informed and gave good advice… "

Mr Roger Harrison

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Recommended company

"Excellent service, fully recommended. Efficient communication and reliable."

Mr R Taylor

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell took over my road traffic case…

"Hudgell took over my road traffic case from a different solicitors and successfully negotiated a… "

Mr JSW

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell Solicitors made my personal…

"Hudgell Solicitors made my personal injury claim so easy, they got me the treatment i… "

Mr Nick Todd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I have never used solicitors before

"I have never used solicitors before, my dealings with Hudgell have been excellent I have… "

David Varley

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful

"Very helpful"

Ethan Ferguson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

First Class service

"Hudgell Solicitors are currently working on my case and I must say so far the… "

Emma Jeeves

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always kept me up to date on all…

"Always kept me up to date on all correspondence concerning the case and acknowledged any… "

Mrs Anne Marie Wells

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent solicitors kept us informed…

"Excellent solicitors kept us informed at all times and since it’s been a lengthy case… "

Anon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Professional staff

"Professional staff They keep me updated all the time Very good service Definitely recommended"

Mr Daniel Pantiru

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Straightforward and efficient

"I had the pleasure of having Sarah Colgrave as my solicitor. She was very accomodating,… "

Miss Rhianna Higham

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

An absolutely brilliant team of people

"An absolutely brilliant team of people! So kind a and helpful. Always putting their clients… "

Miss Chloe Ahad

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

very helpful & understanding

"very helpful & understanding"

Mrs Pauline Elliott

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great firm to deal with

"Great firm to deal with, attentive and on the ball, everyone was always pleasant and… "

Karen Barnard

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Quicker than expected

"They were friendly, helpful when needed. Everything was done as expected all in black and… "

Mr W

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent Company.

"I would like to thank Hudgell Solicitors for a very professional approach and caring attitude… "

paul baker

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Would highly recommend

"Would highly recommend"

Toyah johnson

Rated 9.3 out of 10 based on 445 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90