The United States has a highly developed railroad system that transports millions of tons of goods every year. While railroads are one of the safest ways to move cargo, accidents happen, and everyone in the chain needs to understand how they can help keep their cargo safe.
Below are five safety tips every cargo hauler should follow:
1- Transport at Safe Speeds
Traveling too fast or ignoring signals is not wise when moving a load of freight. But even when traveling at maximum speeds, there are some things you can always do to improve safety on the rails: learn your train’s braking limits, report any problems with your locomotives immediately and be aware of any obstacles that could cause a dangerous derailment.
Each year, thousands of people are injured in cargo accidents. Each load must be adequately secured by trained professionals using the correct equipment and techniques to avoid these incidents. If you’re not sure how to keep your cargo safe on the rails, ask a company like R & H Rigging Inc for help. They will inspect your cargo thoroughly from all angles before moving it so that they can ensure nothing will shift or fall off during transport.
When transporting heavy materials, you need to be especially careful about stability. Some businesses even take it a step further by hiring railcar movers who can do a pre-inspection and make adjustments so that the load won’t shift during transport. If you want to avoid costly delays or deal with harmful spills, this is a good option for you.
2- Ensure Engineering Controls are in Place
One of the most significant issues with train safety is speed control. Despite how often stressed trains should always travel at the maximum speed set by their engineer, accidents still happen when engineers exceed posted speeds or try to get more out of their locomotives than they were designed for. To ensure your cargo doesn’t end up on the bottom of a ravine, talk to your crew about not exceeding operating limits and make sure those limits are spelled out in your company’s policies.
3- Inspect Your Hauler’s Capabilities
While it is common for railroads to require that their carriers meet specific standards when moving freight, make sure you know the full capacity of your haulers before committing. Hauling capacities should match the load your trailers can hold, as well as the length of your train cars and locomotives. Improper hitching or overloading can result in derailment or damage to both cargo and train cars.
4- Ensure Your Crew is Properly Trained
When you choose professionals for your crew, make sure they are fully trained in safety procedures that may be specific to your business. Special training may be needed if any employees are new to driving trains — just make sure they’re qualified before putting them behind the controls!
5- Plan for the Worst Case Scenario
Despite making every effort to keep your cargo safe on its journey, you may run into a situation where it is damaged. In cases like these, make sure you have comprehensive insurance in place that will help with repairs and cargo replacement. Your insurance company can also advise you of any special considerations you should take when moving shipments.
When it comes to transporting freight, railroads have an excellent safety record. However, accidents can happen, and your business should be prepared for anything while hauling cargo. By making a few adjustments to your protocols, you can do all you can to protect both your cargo and the surrounding community at the same time.