If you’ve got a project you’re working on at home or at a job site, it’s important you get the lumber there safely. After all, according to AAA, a significant number of crashes related to debris on the road are caused by items falling off of a vehicle. You must make sure you secure your lumber properly before driving off. In many cases, the lumber you’re using is going to be too long to easily fit into the back of a truck bed without hanging over, and even if it can, you still need to make sure it’s held in place.
The team at Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. does offer delivery services to make life easier on you. But if you intend to bring your lumber back yourself, here’s what you should know about how to safely haul lumber in Seattle.
Extend the support base
You can provide much more support to the lumber by extending the base as far as possible. You can lower the tailgate on your truck, and use an extension ladder as an extra platform if you have a relatively small bundle of lumber. You can also invest in tailgate extenders, which are designed to fit into the tow hitch on the back of your truck. There are also special lumber racks that can elevate the lumber over the truck’s cab, which can help you prevent some of the most common dangers that can occur when you’ve got boards hanging out of the back of the truck bed.
Use the proper tools
Any time you’re hauling lumber or other heavy materials, you need to make sure you have the proper tools to keep them in place. It’s a good idea to have at least four heavy-duty ratchet straps in your truck at all times, with at least a 1,000-lb load limit and 3,000-lb break strength. Get them at least 15’ long and at least 1.25” wide. These are more reliable than ropes or bungee cords, which may feel secure but are actually more likely to fail upon sudden swerves and emergency stops.
In addition, you’re going to need to make sure you have strong anchor points to lock your ratchet straps down. The ratchet straps will get you only so far without a sufficiently strong anchor point.
Alert other drivers
You might think it’s obvious to other drivers that you’re hauling lumber in your truck bed, but you can help other drivers out on the road even more by attaching some red flags to the overhanging load, which will provide even more notice to other drivers that you have a large load in back. There are some states that will require you to do this by law, but there are plenty of people who are either unaware that this is the law or simply don’t care. Ultimately, though, it’s a great way to prevent an incident in the event that something does happen and your load comes loose.
For more information about how to safely haul lumber in Seattle, or to schedule professional lumber delivery, contact the team at Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. today.