Hauling livestock is one of the most difficult loads a trucker can deal with. Not only is it a challenge to keep the livestock healthy while in transit, but the load is constantly shifting without warning. Whether the stock belongs to you or you’re simply contracted to transport the animals, safety is crucial.
The Art of Livestock Hauling: Essential Tips and Tricks
Animal injury or death during travel is unfavorable for every party involved. Implementing comprehensive guidelines can help ensure that you and your load make it to the destination without harm or injury.
Let’s explore these guidelines in detail:
- Thoroughly check the truck before loading any livestock to eliminate any potential hazards. Remove any protruding nails, boards, or other anything that could endanger the animals during transportation. It’s critical to provide a secure and safe space for the livestock.
- Use bedding material such as straw or rubber mats to prevent the livestock from slipping on the trailer’s slick floors. This will enhance their stability and reduce the chances of injuries due to falls or sliding.
- In unfavorable weather conditions, such as extreme heat, cold, or precipitation, take measures to protect the livestock. If possible, cover the trailer to shield the animals from harsh weather elements. This will help maintain their comfort and overall well-being during the journey.
- 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 truck.
- Make sure different classes of livestock are separated using partitions.
- Remove all equipment (such as halters) from animals before loading, and dehorn cattle for their safety and the safety of the other livestock.
- If you are driving a double-deck truck, make sure the weight is distributed evenly between levels.
- According to a recent study, fatigue is the leading cause of accidents among livestock truck 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 are continually shifting in the trailer. This leaves significantly less room for driver error, which could result in jackknifing, tipping, or loss of control.
- Learn the industry regulations for the number of animals that can be safely loaded into a truck of a specific size. Following these rules ensures that the load stays within acceptable weight limits, preventing overloading and the risks that come with it.
By following these comprehensive guidelines, you can significantly enhance the safety of livestock hauling. Remember, the welfare of the animals is paramount, and their well-being directly contributes to a successful and accident-free journey. Prioritize safety at every step of the process to ensure a positive and secure experience for both you and the animals you transport.
Additional Transportation Resources:
- Intrastate vs interstate commerce information
- What is the FMCSA? Everything you need to know
- Information on the new entrant safety audit