Playing it safe – Special Precautions for Hauling Animals
May 21, 2014
Safety is especially important when you are charged with hauling live animals. These loads are particularly difficult: the well-being of the animals being transported can easily be jeopardised, and as a driver you are forced to compensate as the weight in the load continually shifts.
Animal injury or death during travel is unfavourable for every party involved. Use these guidelines to ensure you and your load make it to the destination without harm or injury:
- Eliminate protruding nails, timbres or anything else inside the lorry that could potentially harm the livestock during transit.
- Use bedding to prevent the livestock from slipping on the trailer’s slick floors.
- In unfavourable weather conditions, cover the trailer if possible to protect livestock from the harsh elements.
- If you are loading the animals, use two people if possible and avoid leading them into the trailer – it is much safer to herd them into the lorry.
- Make sure different classes of livestock are separated using partitions.
- Remove all equipment from animals before loading, such as halters, and dehorn cattle for their safety and the safety of the other livestock.
- If you are driving a double-deck lorry, make sure the weight is distributed evenly between levels.
- According to a recent study, fatigue is the leading cause of accidents among livestock drivers. Take every possible measure to ensure you are not tired during your drive, especially in the early morning hours when most crashes occur.
- Be especially alert and attentive to the road, as livestock is continually shifting in the trailer. This leaves significantly less room for driver error, which could result in jackknifing, tipping or loss of control.
- Follow industry guidelines indicating the number of livestock that can be safely loaded.