Did you know Global Power Technologies has two manufacturing locations? Both locations are within the province of Alberta, one in Calgary and the other in Bassano. Our locations are about 130km apart and we often have items to transfer between sites. A simple solution to this problem is using a cargo trailer, which usually travels between our locations several times per week.
The well-being of our staff and the public is of paramount importance here at GPT. I would like to share a few best practices we use when loading our cargo trailer to ensure its load is secure and the trailer is stable while in transit.
The Global Power Technologies team completes pre-use inspections before any trip in a company vehicle. These inspections are especially important when towing a trailer. Pre-use inspections provide an opportunity to verify important items including tire condition, lights, and brakes and ensure the trailer is properly secured to the hitch of the tow vehicle. Tip: it is much easier to address any maintenance issues before your trip than in the middle of it.
We always load items into our cargo trailer following the 60-40 weight distribution rule. This means 60% of the weight of the items inside of the trailer is placed in the front, or ahead of the trailer’s axle. The remaining 40% of the cargo’s weight is placed behind the axle or towards the rear of the trailer. This balance helps to prevent issues like fishtailing and swaying while towing. Here is a link to a short video that helps to visualize how weight distribution can affect the stability of a trailer. Tip: it is important to note that certain trailers may have different weight distribution requirements. Always consult your owner’s manual.
Working within Rated Capacities
Travelling with an overloaded trailer or tow vehicle is asking for trouble. Familiarize yourself with the rated capacities of your vehicle and trailer to ensure you are never overloaded. This information can usually be found within your owner’s manual.
Always Ensure Your Load is Secure
It is always best practice to store heavy items as low as possible. This helps to keep a low centre of gravity and provides optimal stability. Securing items to ensure they do not shift while in transit is equally important. Tie-downs or ratchet straps are all useful tools to help secure your load. Always secure straps to engineered anchor points. Also, make sure weight is distributed evenly between the right and left sides of the trailer. Familiarizing yourself with requirements within your jurisdiction is another best practice to avoid potential legal complications.
We all share roadways, and we all have a collective responsibility to ensure they are safe. The information shared here is a helpful reminder of some of the best practices we should all use when using a cargo trailer. Remember the goal of every journey is to arrive safely at your destination.