According to Dutch traffic laws, you are obliged to secure a load or parts thereof. In any case, the load must be secured in such a way that loads cannot fall off the vehicle under normal circumstances. Normal circumstances also include poor road surface, sudden evasive manoeuvres or hard braking.
In what ways can you secure a load?
If you are going to transport goods in a trailer, for example, it is very important to use good equipment to secure your cargo. There are many companies, such as Lifting equipment expert, which have a wide range for securing a load. Here, you can think of cargo tensioners, lashing chains and lashing straps, for example.
Damage caused by an unsafely secured load to third parties
Should you not have secured the load, damage may occur. The first risk you face is damage caused by the load. Here, you can think about another road user's vehicle. If part of your cargo comes loose and hits another car, it can obviously be damaged. Another carrier's cargo may also be damaged. Of course, you will then also be liable for that, since you caused the damage.
Furthermore, of course, a road user can be injured by an unsafely secured load. This is the most annoying form of injury and an important reason to make sure your loads are always safely secured.
Should a part be damaged while transporting a load because it falls off the vehicle, for example, this can also be very annoying. However, the carrier is not always liable for the damage. If the client did not secure the cargo properly and sent the carrier on its way with this, the client itself is liable. This applies to damage to the cargo, but also to damage caused to third parties.
What do we mean by safe cargo securing?
A load is safely secured if the load will not slide during transport. Because of this, adequate cargo securing is essential for safe transport. This not only means that the door of your truck is properly closed, for example, but also that the cargo stays in place. So make sure you secure your cargo properly with lashing straps, for example. This is often forgotten, but can still cause a lot of damage if not secured properly.
Apart from securing cargo on the road, it is also important to properly secure cargo on water, rail and in the air. Wherever you are going to transport the cargo, make sure you use the right equipment and secure it in a safe way to avoid problems as much as possible.
How do you secure the cargo as safely as possible?
Are you going to purchase lashing straps? To ensure optimum safety, there are a number of safety rules for using these belts. First, it is important to remember that you cannot hoist with these chains. They are only suitable for securing a load.
Tyres should also never be stretched over sharp edges of the load. To prevent this, you can use corner guards or guides. This way, you ensure the safety of the load. Finally, it is also important to only use approved products, or have your new products approved by a certified party. So always make sure you use the right products that have been approved and that they are attached successfully to prevent damage to the load and to third parties!
Would you like to be able to transport your bike by car so you can cycle wherever you want? If so, a bike carrier is the answer. Bike carriers come in all kinds, but how do you know which one is right for you? The tips in this article will help you make an informed choice.
How many bikes do you want to transport?
First, consider how many bikes you want to be able to transport with the bike carrier. One, two or even more than that? On bike carriers (such as the bike carriers from Heuts) that are attached to the car's towbar or tailgate can usually hold one or two bicycles. On the roof, however, several (lightweight) bicycles can often be easily transported.
Which bikes do you want to transport?
In addition, you need to think about what kind of bikes you want to be able to transport. For example, there are bike carriers that cannot handle heavy electric bikes. Bike carriers on the towbar can usually carry the most weight, and are therefore often suitable for electric bikes. Bike carriers on the tailgate and roof can carry less weight and are mainly used for transporting city or sports bikes.
Where do you want to place the bike carrier?
A bike carrier is mounted on the towbar, on the boot or on the roof of the car. Would you like a bike carrier on the towbar? First check what the maximum nose weight of the towbar is. Is it important to keep the boot of the car accessible? Then choose a bike carrier on towbar with a tilt function or consider a bike carrier on the roof. Would you like to transport your bikes on the roof? Be aware that height and air resistance will increase while driving.
How can you connect the bike carrier?
When buying a bike carrier, it is important to pay close attention to the electrical connection of the bike carrier to the car, so that the car lighting continues to function as it should. The connection is usually a 7- or 13-pin plug. Here, it is important that the bike carrier has a similar connection.
What do you need to consider when driving with a trailer? Whether it's a cart, caravan, folding caravan or trailer; before you start driving there are a few things you need to bear in mind. On this page you will find a list of useful tips before going on holiday with a trailer behind your car.
Checklist for the trailer
Is the load properly distributed and secured?
Do you have an extra number plate for the trailer?
Is the trailer tyre pressure correct?
Is the trailer properly hitched and coupled?
Is the breakaway cable securely fastened?
Does the electrical connection between vehicle and trailer work?
Are the trailer lights working?
Have you released the handbrake and turned the nose wheel up?
Have you adjusted your car's rear-view mirrors properly?
Aren't the car's headlights set too high when fully loaded?
Drive with the right towbar
If you are travelling with a caravan for the first time and need a new towbar, you can easily buy one online or through a garage and have it installed. Many vehicles are fitted with a towbar as standard, but this is not the case with all cars. A detachable model is also an option and has the advantage that you only attach it as soon as you want to use it. Want more info on a hitch mounting? Then read on this page.
Driving with a trailer: change in driving behaviour
When driving with a trailer for the first time, you will notice a change in driving behaviour. The car is, of course, overall longer, which means that parking has to be done differently. When turning, the car will swerve and also when reversing, you have to practise driving correctly. When it is windy, tall caravans and trailers can catch wind more easily and start to sway. At such times, the motto is to drive carefully and more slowly. The ANWB offers further tips for driving in windy and stormy weather.
Secure the load
It is important to distribute the load on the trailer evenly and secure the load properly with lashing straps and nets to avoid danger to fellow road users (and yourself, of course!). There is no legal obligation to cover all loose cargo. However, you should prevent loose cargo from causing danger or hindrance by the cargo falling off or blowing off. On the government website in article 5.18.6 section 2 of the Vehicles Regulation state the requirements on how to cover cargo:
"Loose load which by its nature cannot be secured to or on the vehicle shall be properly covered if danger or nuisance arises or is likely to arise due to falling or blowing load."
How fast can you drive with a trailer?
And one of the most popular questions: how fast can you go with a trailer? The maximum speed with a trailer depends on the weight of the trailer. Under 3500 kilos, you are allowed to drive 90 kilometres per hour on motorways. When the weight exceeds 3500 kilos, the maximum speed is 80 kilometres per hour.
If you want to drive abroad with a trailer, always enquire in the country concerned about the maximum permitted speed. So if you are going on holiday with a trailer or caravan, it is important to be aware of this and to look it up and check it in advance for each country. Below is a list per country.
Maximum permitted mass
TUV approved + pace 100
<3500 kg and rain
>750kg and total weight >3500kg
trailer is heavier than car
Oh yes, what driving licence do you need?
To pull a trailer, you need driving licence B, BE or B+. Which driving licence you need for your trailer, caravan or semi-trailer depends on the permitted maximum mass. This is the empty weight plus the maximum load. For example, a trailer may have a maximum permitted mass of 750 kilos. If the trailer itself weighs 150 kilos (empty weight), you may still add 600 kilos of cargo (load capacity). It is therefore not about the actual weight. Check the website of the central government for the official guidelines.
If you follow these tips, you will drive safely on holiday with the trailer behind the car. Enjoy your trip!