Do additional measures need to be taken when securing a truck-mounted forklift truck?
Source: Van der Werff Logistics
A truck-mounted forklift truck (also known as a portable forklift) is a forklift truck which is attached behind a truck so that the driver has his own forklift truck that he can use for loading and unloading cargo. But how do you attach a truck-mounted forklift truck behind a truck safely? And do additional measures need to be taken in order to secure it? Our cargo securing expert Niels Bouwmeester provides the answers to these questions in his December blog.
Every day, I see truck-mounted forklift trucks attached to trucks which, in my opinion, have not been secured properly. These are truck-mounted forklift trucks are being transported without the use of chains or lashing straps, securing aids which would have been provided with the truck-mounted forklift truck as standard. Perhaps people see these as securing aids that they can use if they require extra security – but that’s definitely not the case!
Options for securing a truck-mounted forklift truck properly
If you want to attach a truck-mounted forklift truck behind a truck, you slide the forks of the truck-mounted forklift truck into the tubes of the truck. Underneath the chassis, there are two extendable support bars with a raised edge (the height of which may vary). During transportation, the weight of the truck-mounted forklift truck rests on these extendable support bars underneath the chassis.
Use of the securing aids provided as standard
As already indicated above, chains or straps are provided as standard when you purchase a truck-mounted forklift truck. I asked various manufacturers whether they could guarantee that truck-mounted forklift trucks were secured adequately if no securing aids were used. I received the following clear-cut and also, in my opinion, logical answer:
“Without the use of the chains or straps provided as standard, we cannot guarantee that a truck-mounted forklift truck is properly secured. Therefore we expressly specify this in our manuals. For clarification, the chains are therefore not an additional purchase.”
Not one single manufacturer said that the lashing straps and chains provided were superfluous. That is why it is necessary to use these lashing aids. After all, you always wear a seatbelt for driving – you don’t just assume that the airbag going off will be enough…
Are the lashing points sufficient?
In the Netherlands, a truck-mounted forklift truck is regarded as cargo, which must be adequately secured. This can be done using the lashing points attached on both sides of the trailer and on the portable-forklift. If these lashing points are missing, the combination is not suitable for transporting a truck-mounted forklift truck.
The lashing points on the trailer must comply with the EN 12640 code. Unfortunately, there are currently no requirements on how securely these points need to be mounted on the trailer or the tying angles that need to be used.
Legislation on truck-mounted forklift trucks
Let’s start with the Dutch legislation, Vehicles Regulations Article 5.18.6(4) stipulates the following: By way of deviation from the first paragraph, interchangeable equipment, removable superstructures, standardised loading structures and truck-mounted forklift trucks are properly secured using suitable lashing systems, securing systems and stowing aids. We can conclude from this that truck-mounted forklift trucks need to be reliably secured. So that means also using the chain or lashing strap provided. Unfortunately, in practice that is therefore often not the case.
In Belgium, this is formulated slightly differently. If we take a look at Belgium, Traffic regulations Article 45bis § 5: The stowing facility or the integrated locking facility that is used to lash a load on a vehicle is itself secured in such a way that it cannot come unlocked or loose. The stowing facility or the integrated locking facility that is used to secure a load in or on a vehicle must comply with all the following conditions:
- it has been designed and produced for the purposes for which it is used;
- it is used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and the applicable European and/or international standards.
In Germany, this is described as follows:
Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung (StVO) § 22 Ladung
(1) Die Ladung einschließlich Geräte zur Ladungssicherung sowie Ladeeinrichtungen sind so zu verstauen und zu sichern, dass sie selbst bei Vollbremsung oder plötzlicher Ausweichbewegung nicht verrutschen, umfallen, hin- und herrollen, herabfallen oder vermeidbaren Lärm erzeugen können. Dabei sind die anerkannten Regeln der Technik zu beachten.
Conclusion: use the chains to secure a truck-mounted forklift truck!
It is worth noting that in the Netherlands, there is still a lack of clarity regarding the correct way to secure loads while, in my opinion, Article 5.18.6(4) covers loading. The terms are referred to in the plural: lashing systems, securing systems and stowing aids.
The use of chains is therefore not an extra form of security but rather a standard one! My advice is to use the chains. They are a standard means of securing loads, in the neighbouring countries too. For me, it’s not so much about the penalty that you risk incurring (that you would receive in neighbouring countries anyway) as the safety of other road users.