Hauling furniture, lumbar, or equipment may seem like a simple task if you own a truck. However, without proper loading and safe driving, you can place yourself and other drivers at risk. Considering an estimated 25,000 accidents happen each year due to road debris, learning how to properly load and haul bigger items is smart. If you are planning to haul a large item, use this guide to avoid lost items and potential accidents.
Whether driving a truck with a short or long bed, a few accessories and updates are essential for hauling larger items safely. Unfortunately, each make and model of truck has its own standard bed length, so consult your truck's manual for detailed measurements. However, before driving off with bulky, long items, consider adding the following to your truck for safety:
- Bed Extender – Short bed trucks range in length between 5 to 6 feet and up to 6.5 feet for a full-size short bed truck. While the sizes seem sufficient, hauling longer items can be challenging and dangerous. Fortunately, installing a bed extender adds a few inches to your bed length, which will be beneficial for long pieces of lumbar, furniture, or machinery.
- Bed Liner – A bed liner protects the interior lining of your bed, but it also prevents cargo from moving during transport. Invest in a rubber or vinyl liner to ensure it is weather resistant.
- Anchors – Your truck should already have anchors installed around your truck bed. Used along with tie down straps, the anchor points allow you to secure cargo tightly into your truck bed without any movement. In addition, you can anchor a tarp over items that may become loose during transport.
Equipping your truck with the hauling essentials is a smart investment, but you also need to secure the items once they are in the actual bed.
Since you already have anchors in your truck bed, be sure to have a few sets of rope or bungee cord to tie down cargo. Visit your local home improvement or automotive parts store to purchase tie downs. If possible, purchase a set of good quality ratchet straps. These straps are perfect for securing heavy-duty items in your truck bed and locking them in place using the ratchet system.
Covering your cargo prevents smaller parts and pieces from flying out of the bed while driving, which may create accidents or cause damage to other vehicles on the road.
If you are hauling multiple pieces of long lumbar, wrap the wood using cling plastic. The plastic wrap will prevent wood chips or splinters from flying out of the truck bed.
A tarp or net is a great option for covering equipment, stones, or smaller items. By covering this type of cargo, you are stopping pieces from flying out of the bed.
Your truck's cargo weight capacity and the speed you travel all play an important role in safe equipment hauling. Since cargo adds additional weight to your truck bed, your truck will handle in a different manner. Adjusting your speed, brake time, and acceleration is imperative.
Turning and driving up hills and steep driveways will require a higher level of acceleration. This speed is necessary, but also dangerous when it comes time to using your brakes. With heavy cargo, your truck will need additional time to stop. Drive below the speed limit, allowing yourself extra time to stop your truck. Also, do not travel too close to other vehicles on the road.
Without proper precaution, you are increasing your risk of dangerous accidents.
Hauling lumbar, furniture, and heavy equipment is possible in your pickup truck. However, safe driving and the correct truck equipment is essential. With these tips, you can safely haul the big items without harming yourself, other drivers, or cargo.