Grain Trailer Safety
Grain Trailer Safety
Posted on July 27, 2020
Grain trailers are trailers pulled by a semi-tractor and used to haul bulk commodity products, such as grain, from one location to another. They are used extensively to transport agriculture products and are designed for easy loading and unloading of the product, as well as protection of the product during transport.
However, the use of such as trailer is not as easy as it looks. It is important to keep safety in mind while loading and unloading grain trailers, especially for those not as experienced in the process.
Grain Trailer Safety Tips
There are several things to consider when using a grain trailer. Remember, safety should always be a priority.
The grain trailer should be in good operating condition and maintenance performed regularly. A clean and well-maintained trailer will keep the product safe as well as reduce the chance of accident or mishap for the driver. A clean trailer will allow drivers to spot any potential issues earlier and easier.
Extreme caution should be used when driving a grain trailer. Drivers should use hazard flashers as necessary, be aware of all overhead wires, and slowly travel up and down hills. Proper weight distribution will make it easier to drive grain trailers, as well as avoid potential rollover situations.
Loading and Unloading
Drivers should always know the manufacturer's specifications and limitations on the trailer's capacity, as well as the tow vehicle. The trailer or tow vehicle should never be overloaded--this could cause serious issues on the connections and inhibit safe driving practices.
During loading, it is important to remember to set the tow vehicle's brakes and to chock the wheels. This prevents tipping and movement of the trailer during loading, which not only results in spilled product but also potential harm to the tow vehicle, trailer, and people working near them.
For safe loading, it is important to ensure that weight is properly distributed throughout the trailer. A trailer that has proper weight distribution will follow the tow vehicle well, in addition to having good traction and steerability. Proper weight distribution can be ensured by having 60-65% of the total load placed in front of the trailer axles.
Once the load has been deposited into the trailer, ensure that the product will not fall from the trailer or move during transportation. Tarps can be used to secure the load, but they should not be placed near sharp edges because of possible tearing. In addition, ensure that wind cannot get under the front edge of the tarp--this could cause flapping.
If the grain trailer has a hopper bottom, unloading is a fairly simple process, but it is always important to have more caution than not. If the grain trailer needs to be backed up, drivers should have a spotter on the ground to safely guide them, so as not to endanger other personnel.
From Ontario to Edmonton and across all of Canada, grain trailers are necessary for hauling agricultural materials, but they should be used with caution by those who are properly trained and have built up driving experience. Please keep these safety tips, and others, in mind when loading, driving, and unloading a grain trailer.