The transportation of the machinery can occur over a long distance and due to the amount of care and delicacy required with moving the equipment, the movement occurs at a much slower pace. Drivers need to be highly attentive during the moving process. Drivers that suffer from fatigue due to lack of rest, exhaustion or physical changes to the body can impair the driver’s decision-making ability during complex tasks and can lead to occupational health and safety hazards. Employers have a duty of care responsibility to ensure that their drivers are well rested and fit for duty.
State transportation rules
You need to ensure that the transportation company has the right licensing requirements. You will need to check with your local or state department of transport to confirm any licenses that you may need when transporting the machinery. (Although if you are contracting a machinery moving company, they should have processes in place to organize this.)
Rules for removal zones
If you are moving or towing equipment, there will be different rules for the different residential, commercial and agricultural zones in your area. Speak with your local department of transport or machine removal company to identify any permits that you may need to acquire prior to moving the equipment. Also beware of any time limits that the permits may have. (E.g. 48h permit)
Transport of oversized loads on vehicles
Defined as an ‘indivisible load’ (that is a load that cannot be divided without undue effort or expense, including farm machinery carried on a vehicle) is carried on a vehicle where the dimensions are more than 2.5m wide and 19 metres in length. An ‘Oversize’ permit will be required from your local department of transport.
Safety requirements on the transportation vehicle
The vehicle must be well equipped to ensure the safe use of the towed vehicle. Any moving fixtures with the equipment such as folding arms, mechanisms or structures needs to be secured by chains, pins or any mechanical means to prevent them from moving from their retracted positions while the equipment is being transported on the road.
The transportation vehicle needs to be able to brake from 30km/h (or it’s maximum speed) within 15 metres from the start of braking. Also, the braking system that is connected to the towed vehicle needs to be connected. Check beforehand that the braking system is functioning correctly.
Mirrors need to be fitted onto the drivers and towing vehicle to give the driver the ability to see vehicles approaching from the rear. In some cases, an amber light may need to be fitted at the rear as well.
Ensure the locking device meets safety requirements
To prevent the threat of accidental disconnection or to stop the draw-bar from dropping out, the safe pin should use a pin, spring clip or similar device made from robust material or steel which is designed to mechanically retain the coupling.
The lighting requirements vary depending on the load size and the time of day for the transportation. The lights are used to indicate warning signs to other drivers on the road. Some of the lighting requirements include:
· Working rear brake lights
· Rear tail lights
· Signaling lights
· Clearance lights
· Flashing amber lights
By following the safety requirements and the guidance from the local authorities and department of transport, your machinery removal process should be a smooth and successful.