Vehicles engaged in the construction trades, including electricians, plumbers or carpenters, must carry large pieces of equipment that are necessary to perform their duties, which is why following a few ladder rack safety tips is critical. Large ladders should never be carried in the bed of a pick-up or in the back of a panel van without being secured, something that is not necessary when a proper ladder rack is installed on the vehicle. However, even if the vehicles have a ladder rack installed, there are several ladder-rack safety tips to follow.
Carrying ladders in the bed of a pick-up truck or unsecured in or on a van is extremely dangerous, as the objects can become missiles, especially during accidents, even those that are minor. The objects can become airborne, possibly injuring passengers in the vehicle with the ladder or those riding in other vehicles on the road. One good ladder-rack safety tip is to use tie down straps that are rated for the weight of the ladder to be sure they remain stationary, even during accidents. Never place loose ladders in the bed of a pick-up or the back of a van, especially if the ladder must extend past the vehicle.
Often, painters and plumbers use service vans to visit job sites, and they present unique ladder-rack safety challenges. Loaded ladder racks on service vans can change the handling characteristics of the vehicle, which makes it critical to consider weight distribution when loading the wide variety of tools that are often attached to service van ladder racks. In fact, for many who use service vans in the construction trade, ladder racks carry much more than just ladders, as rakes, shovels and other tools sometimes need to be attached as well. It is important to remember that items are properly distributed, will not shift while you are driving, and that the vehicle is not overloaded. Overloaded vehicles have a higher risk of rolling over, as well as a significantly increased stopping distance. As a reference, you can check out a pdf of Vehicle Safety for Small Businesses in the Construction Industry which is put out by the state of Oregon:
Long and Awkward
It is important to remember that ladders are often long and awkward to transport. Always have two people carry and load the ladder onto a ladder rack to avoid injury. When transporting an extension ladder, be sure that the fly section is completely retracted before attempting to move the ladder. Another important ladder-rack safety tip is to secure both ends of the ladder after placing it on the vehicle. This will avoid the fly section from sliding out and possibly injuring others.
Anyone in the construction trades who must transport ladders or other extended equipment should invest in safe, secure ladder racks for their company vehicles to ensure the safety of their crews as well as others who are traveling on roads with them. Ladder racks provide the best option for safe transport of all types of equipment that cannot be safely carried within a service van or pick-up. Ladder racks are available for many different types of vehicles, and that will carry a wide variety of equipment, not just ladders. Whether your company must transport pipes, ladders, garden equipment or lumber, Tuff Racks has the rack you need for the vehicles you use. Visit us online or call us today to see what options are available for your needs.