Whether you work with an established company or you are starting your own landscaping business, transporting equipment and supplies will be a large part of your job. From mowers and shovels to trees, fertilizer, and mulch, the need for a truck to transport your necessities is easy to see. Unfortunately, improper loading and hauling can lead to the loss of your equipment and supplies, which can be costly. In addition, the loss of these items from your truck can affect others on the road.
While surprising to learn, roadside debris can cause more than 200,000 accidents over a four year period. Because of this danger, ensuring your truck is loaded properly is crucial. With these simple solutions, you will learn how to load and haul landscaping supplies in a safe and effective manner.
First and foremost, you need to consider the weight of the items you need to haul, especially since some truck beds are not equipped to carry items that may be over the maximum weight.
If you are moving a significant amount of weight, such as a commercial mower or excavator, you need a truck designed with this in mind. Make sure to check the truck's payload to determine if it can handle this weight. This information can be found in the owner's manual or on a label inside the door of your truck. You can also contact the truck manufacturer for more information.
Hauling items that are over your truck's payload will place excess stress on the engine and shocks, leading to vehicle failure and a higher risk of accidents.
If you are only hauling lightweight items, such as a few landscaping tools, plants, and other supplies, any truck bed should be able to handle this load size.
When loading even smaller items, make sure to distribute the weight evenly. Heavier items should be loaded near the back of the truck bed, or closest to the truck's cab. They can also be situated in the middle of the truck bed. This reduces weight on the back axle, improving the handling of your truck.
Placing items into the truck bed is not the only step you need to take when loading landscaping supplies and equipment. Because there will be a risk of these items moving while you are on the road, you must secure every item properly.
If your truck does not already have them, make sure to install anchors throughout the truck bed. These anchors allow you to use tie down straps effectively, securing any loose items to the truck bed with ease.
A bed mat or liner is also helpful. Constructed out of a rubber or resin material, the mat or liner will help your landscaping equipment and supplies grip the truck bed, reducing any movement. A mat/liner also protects the truck bed from scratches, dents, and dings.
A cargo net or tarp system is one of the most important elements a landscaper needs for their truck. Both items are capable of covering the entire bed, enclosing your landscaping supplies to prevent them from falling out while you are on the road.
Tarps are extremely beneficial for landscapers who need to haul pine straw, gravel, mulch, soil, sand, and stone, which are all sold by the cubic yard. A full-size pickup truck with a tarp system is capable of hauling an estimated 2 cubic yards of soil, 2 to 3 cubic yards of mulch, and a cubic yard of stone or gravel safely. Reach out to a place like Glider Systems Inc for more information.
Safe driving techniques are also necessary when hauling items in the back of your truck.
It is imperative to drive at a safe speed while allowing plenty of space between you and other vehicles. This will give you plenty of notice, reducing any need for slamming on your brakes.
Make sure to reduce your speed when making turns and moving around corners and curbs, as well. Sharp turns and maneuvers can affect the distribution of your truck's weight, increasing the risk of turning over.
By loading, securing, and driving properly, you can transport your landscaping equipment and supplies with ease.