Lack of load securing on car trailers not a trivial offense
A trailer behind a car is a practical alternative for transporting loads. In the trailer can be transported most things that private individuals need in everyday life. But you must not underestimate the load securing in the trailer, because many drivers assume that they are not liable as private person. But this is far from the case: regulations and laws on load securing apply equally to the professional trades as well as private individuals. Unsecured loads are dangerous for you and other road users. In addition to the load securing in the car trailer, there are also requirements for the total weights and axle distributions. The trailer load securing follows certain laws that must be observed. In our guide, we explain where you can find them and which aids are available for securing loads in trailers, such as trailer nets.
Laws about securing loads in trailers
Trailer load securing is neglected by many car drivers until penalties and fines are incurred. To prevent this from happening, the relevant laws should be observed. In principle, load securing in the trailer in the § 22 paragraph 1 of the road traffic regulations regulated. It is written here that:
- loads must be stowed in such a way that they cannot slip, fall over, roll back and forth, fall down or generate avoidable noise during emergency braking or evasive action.
- In addition, § 23 states that visibility must not be impaired and that traffic safety must not suffer.
However, since the laws do not provide any information about the actual securing of loads, the authorities make use of the guidelines from the association of german engineers, the VDI guidelines 2700 ff. Here are all the rules and techniques for securing loads in the trailer. Actually, the guidelines are intended for professional load securing on the truck, but the regulations for load securing also apply in road traffic among private individuals. The driver, the vehicle owner, the loader and the shipper of the goods are all responsible for securing the load in the trailer. However, the driver has a duty to check the load securing and load distribution. In addition, the driver must make any necessary adjustments and adapt his driving behavior during the journey.
trailer load securing in practice
During a journey with a trailer, strong forces are exerted on the load, which are especially noticeable during braking and starting. The weight of the goods must be multiplied by the impact speed to calculate the mass weights of the load.
A bag of potting soil with a content of 50 kg can reach a mass weight of unbelievable 2 tons at 40 kilometers per hour.
The consequences of an accident would be devastating. In such cases, the load exceeds the frictional force and becomes an uncontrollable projectile. It is advisable to drive in an appropriate manner, but driving carefully or braking lightly is not a solution, as this does not eliminate the laws of physics. Transport with the trailer should be secured at all times. In the DIN EN 12640 it is described that lashing points must be available on commercial vehicles for the transport of goods. However, this only applies to vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tons. Nevertheless, it is a clear recommendation to equip even smaller trailers with lashing points, which should apply at least to the 4 lashing points in the corners of the floor panel. These lashing points can already be used to secure the load properly. Loads can be secured with
- lashing belts lashing down so that the load is secured tightly in the trailer.
- In addition antirslip mats (anti-slip materials) use of lashings that prevent slippage.
- With form-fitted load securing, it must be ensured that heavy objects down loaded and that the load distribution plan is adhered to.
- In addition, the load must be seamless, whereby individual objects cannot fall onto others. This also applies to gapless loading at the headboard, which should be done by empty pallets or a head lashing if necessary. This is the case when, for reasons of load distribution, it is not possible to load the vehicle without gaps at the end wall. By positive loading a large part of the trailer load securing can already be covered.
aids for securing loads in the trailer
There are numerous aids available for adequate load securing in the car trailer.
- The most important measure for load securing is the lashing down the load. For this purpose lashings and lashing straps needed. Since very many smaller trailers do not have a safety barrier, these should be urgently retrofitted. Retrofitting is not difficult and only in this way can a sensible load securing be made with lashing straps. Every owner of a trailer should have sufficient lashing straps at his disposal. care must be taken to replace them regularly. Damage to the yarn of more than 10%, deformation due to heat and chemicals, or corrosion on the ratchets must result in replacement of the lashing straps.
- A further aid is the trailer net. This is particularly suitable for bulky goods such as shovels, rakes or branches. The trailer net is placed over the goods and attached to the trailer eyelets. This prevents parts of the load from falling off the trailer.
- An aid which, in combination with lashing belts, secures rather heavy loads, is the anti-slip mat. This prevents the load on it from slipping, which can reduce some physical forces.
- For bulk goods such as sand or grain, tarpaulins are suitable, to prevent the load from blowing away. care should also be taken to ensure that the load is not piled into a steep cone.
- If higher articles are frequently loaded that are above the drop sides, it is worthwhile to purchase a body, ensuring that the load is slip-proof even in the upper area. Aids for car trailer load securing are thus available for every occasion.
Penalties and liability for violations
There are numerous regulations and appropriate aids for securing loads in car trailers, so you are advised to take all the necessary measures to do so. If you break the law, you may be fined and have points on your driving record, depending on the offense. If the authorities notice an offense during a traffic check, they can prevent the vehicle from continuing its journey until the load has been properly secured. In more serious cases, direct administrative offences may also be imposed. If an accident occurs in which people are even injured, a report is filed in every case, which can ultimately be punished with a custodial sentence. There may also be problems with liability, as the insurance company may refuse to pay if the car trailer load is not properly secured. The permissible total weight of a car with a trailer is important. With a class B driver’s license, a trailer with a total permissible mass of 750 kg may be towed. Depending on the overcharging, the penalty is. If more than 5%, it is 10 EUR. If the trailer is more than 15% overloaded, the fine is 35 EUR and if the trailer is more than 30% overloaded, the fine is 235 EUR plus one point. Otherwise, there are numerous penalties that apply to the length and width of the vehicle and thus also to the trailer. Insufficient load securing in the trailer resulting in an accident is punished with 75 EUR and one point and is the highest offense in this context. The smallest penalty is due as soon as noise is caused by inadequate trailer load securing. In this case it is 10 EUR.
Driving with a trailer
Finally, a few words about the actual driving with a trailer behind the car. The maximum speed is 80 km/h, although in exceptional cases a sticker can be applied for driving at 100 km/h. A trailer may not be parked in the public area for longer than two weeks. In addition, in the event of parking, wheel chocks must be placed under the wheels so that the trailer cannot roll away. With every trailer, care must be taken to ensure that the permissible weights are observed. Both the actual load of a trailer and the support load must not exceed the maximum weights specified in the vehicle registration document under any circumstances. In such a case, the trailer can quickly start to lurch, which would negate the efforts made to secure the load in the car trailer.