The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has issued guidance on load retention that should, if correctly implemented, help operators of curtain-sided vehicles pass DVSA roadside checks without any load safety issues.
The DVSA-approved guidance notes cover the securing of palletised freight on curtainsiders, and include a solution for improved securing of pallets on the upper deck of double-deck trailers.
The notes set out the current requirements of the enforcement bodies in respect of upper-deck load retention and propose the use of an internal curtain-and-strap arrangement, which has been developed by an RHA-led working group, which includes The Pallet Network (TPN) and several vehicle operators.
A working example of the new system, developed with trailer manufacturer Montracon, has been on display at the CV Show 2014 this week.
The benefit of the internal curtain with integral straps is that it contains pallets more effectively than internal straps on their own, the RHA has suggested. It is anticipated the new system, which is pulled in around the base of the upper deck and can be operated from ground level, will be of particular interest to hauliers specifying new trailers, though it can also be retrofitted.
RHA head of technical services Ray Engley said: “Securing the top deck of double-deck curtainsiders has been a challenging issue for the industry.
“I am delighted that the RHA has been able to work with member companies to propose what we hope will be a solution for the future that meets the requirements of regulators and operators.”
He added: “DVSA and HSL [the Health and Safety Laboratory] have agreed that if operators follow this guidance, they should remain compliant at the roadside.”
Mark Horton, DVSA traffic enforcement scheme manager, said: “The RHA has produced a valuable guide to what is required today and a pointer to the standards that will be expected in the future.”
The curtain-and-strap design will now undergo operational trials in pallet network TPN.