When cargo is damaged while in transit, the truck driver, the carrier he works for, and the customer lose. This is why the commercial or owner operator truck driver must take measures to ensure the load is in good condition when delivered. As providers of commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Iowa, we want to share these three suggestions on avoiding in-transit cargo damage:
Check Cargo as It’s Loaded in Your Trailer
You can’t take for granted that the cargo about to be loaded is properly crated, boxed, or palleted. Shipper experience varies widely among customers. Some are experts while others aren’t. Inspect the cargo for damage and that it’s properly prepared for transport.
Fragile items should be boxed. Make sure boxes and crates are secured to their pallets. Common methods for this include shrink-wrap for light loads and plastic or metal strapping for heavy loads. Loads should not overhang the edge of their pallet. These are prone to tipping over. Check the pallets’ condition. Damaged and cracked wooden pallets may fail in transit, causing its load to fall over.
Keep Stability in Mind When Loading Your Trailer
Place heavy loads on the bottom and lighter loads on top. Make sure the weight is evenly spread out in your trailer so that it isn’t prone to tipping when cornering on the road. Fill in gaps between the cargo with dunnage to prevent their tipping and to protect against vibration and shock.
Avoid aggressive acceleration, turning, and braking. The idea is to minimize the G-forces of transport while keeping up with traffic. Avoid hard emergency maneuvers by driving defensively. The road is full of bad drivers, which is why you should maintain plenty of following distance while scanning the road ahead. Avoid excessive road vibration by carefully choosing routes with well maintained pavement.
Finally, you should keep in mind that accidents can happen to even the most careful of drivers. Although cargo insurance isn’t required by law, many companies insist on it. Severe cargo damage from a traffic accident can financially devastate a commercial trucking operation. If your Iowa commercial or owner operator truck insurance doesn’t cover your cargo, get in touch with our insurance specialists to learn how we can help. Contact us today.