The New Regulations for Load Stowage in Trucks. Explained Easily
The current situation for legislation regarding load stowage.
The load transported in a vehicle, as well as the accessories that are used for its conditioning or protection, should be set out and, if necessary, tightened, in such a way that they may not:
- Drag, fall entirely or partially, or be moved in a dangerous way.
- Compromise the vehicle’s stability.
- Cause noise, dust or any other disturbance that may be avoided.
This was so far from specific that it allowed trucks and vans to circulate for years with hardly any control in this field. And this, evidently, has had consequences. It is estimated that between 25 and 45% of goods transport accidents are related to improper load stowage.
The new regulations, a very important change
On the 2nd of June 2017, Royal Decree 563/2017 was passed. This Royal Decree shall regulate the technical inspections that shall be performed on commercial vehicles in Spain. In its Annex III, it specifies a series of technical regulations, among them is EN12195-1:2010, which should be applied in setting loads in truck. And as such, it is a very specific and quantifiable regulation, against the subjectivism and little precision in the current regulations.
Let’s see with an example how truck carriers shall be affected. Until now, if we had a 12-tonne machine, we were able to put the type and number of tapes we wanted to tighten it. For example, two tapes, with a Standard Tensions Force (STF) of 350 DaN. From now on, an anti-slip treatment and 6 lashing tapes of 500 DaN, or 3 of 1000 DaN would have to be applied.
The new regulations regulate matters such as the number of fasteners to place, its lashing capacity (LC), etc. Specifically, these are the technical regulations whose surveillance is to be verified from now on:
- EN 12195-1: Calculation of the lashing forces.
- EN 12640: Lashing points.
- EN 12642: Strength of the body structure of commercial vehicles.
- EN 12195-2: Lashing tapes from synthetic fibres
- EN 12195-3: Fastening chains.
- EN 12195-4: Steel lashing cables.
- ISO 1161, ISO 1496: ISO Container.
- EN 283: Mobile boxes.
- EN 12641: Tarps.
- EUMOS 40511: Posts–Stakes.
- EUMOS 40509: Packaging for transport.
Even though this Royal Decree is Spanish, it must be said that it applies the same content as Directive 2014/47 EU, whose purpose is to set a specific criteria in this subject at European level. And, therefore, in international land transport, every driver shall find that there shall be a series of national regulations and identical inspections in all the EU countries.
When does it come into effect and how will it be controlled?
It shall come into force in May 2018, so now it is up to businesses and the self-employed to train and prepare themselves for the big change. The General Traffic Directorate has committed to performing more than 15,000 technical inspections per year, but the Civil Guard has also been trained and they have been provided with tools to stop vehicles and check if they comply with this directive.
In the case of an accident, additionally, if it is detected that the vehicle load is not in compliance with that established, it may be considered negligence or fraud and have serious consequences for the driver.
How to prepare in order to comply with it?
At the Institute for Load Safety – iSEC – we have been aware of these regulations for years and, as such, we have been developing a preparation system that has already been tested by thousands of students.
This preparation consists of obtaining a Stowage Specialist Licence for trucks according to EN12915-1, taught by the best and most prepared professionals in the sector, where through an on-line part all the relevant points of the regulations, the consequences, how to interpret them and how to apply all the specific points, are studied, and another part in person, where the different types of lashing are performed on site and specific cases of loading and how to stow them according to the regulations are studied.
In addition to this, and bearing in mind the degree of complication and difficulty that the correct performance of the required calculations may have, we have developed a free app for lashing calculations for your mobile device that will help you in a so easy and graphic way when performing them, guaranteeing that the stowage is being done according to that indicated in the regulations. You can download the CalcuEstibadora for free here.
We are also working on different packs for technical sheets, like this one which you can download for free here. They will provide you with the necessary information regarding how you should perform the lashing process and all the calculations that you need to know.
With all this, a specialist license, a calculation app and personalised stowage sheets, from the ISEC, we guarantee that you may go safely and fulfil the regulations when performing transport on the road.
It must be said that the basic ISEC app is free but it is also customisable, for a low-cost amount, affordable for any business or professional, you may request to personalise the app with your corporate image, put their logo and regular loads, so that the drivers, both their own and external ones, may know the steps and calculations for these loads.
Undoubtedly, a great change requires great effort. There is still time and we hope that by publishing these regulations a year in advance, the typical last-minute rush will be avoided. From this moment, you can now rely on our help to guide you in the process. Safety first.