Lock Your Loads Down Before You Go

When a vehicle loses its load on a motorway, the impacts can be pretty dramatic – leading to major delays for everyone on the road and, potentially, crashes between other vehicles.

No one expects a load they’re carrying to come loose, but it’s been happening more and more on our Queensland roads, creating safety hazards and increased congestion. During the past year, we’ve responded to around 1,500 lost load incidents across our roads and tunnels. That’s almost four incidents every day – with most happening on the Gateway and Logan motorways.

Any debris on a high-speed road can be a hazard to motorists and can lead to traffic delays as we often need to close lanes to clear the road. Debris can also cause secondary incidents as motorists change lanes quickly or swerve to avoid a collision.

Our General Manager Assets, Angelo Lambrinos, said Transurban’s traffic control room operators are seeing loads coming loose from vehicles every day as tradies, truck drivers and other motorists transport unsecured items – everything from mattresses, kayaks, tyres and camping equipment.

    How to secure your load

    The best way to arrive at your destination with everything still on board is to make sure your loads are firmly secured. What looks stable when parked in your driveway could look very different when you’re travelling at 80 km/h or more. Make sure you:

  • securely tie down any cargo – including building materials and tools – using straps, cargo nets
  • check your trailer is properly hooked up
  • check your tool boxes and storage compartments are locked shut and secured
  • make sure your vehicle is safely maintained and suitable for carrying your load
  • stick to the speed limit.

Angelo says motorists who lose their load should never try to retrieve it from the motorway. “We know it can be tempting to get out of your car to retrieve something that’s fallen onto the road,” he says, “But this only puts your life and the lives of other drivers in more danger. Please, leave it to the experts.”

The same applies if you spot debris on the motorway. Allow plenty of braking space between you and the vehicle in front, and don’t leave your vehicle and attempt to remove it. Our crew will likely already be on their way to the site and will have the necessary vehicles and equipment to deal with the situation.

You can report debris sightings to our 24/7 control room by phoning 13 33 31, taking note of the location and direction of traffic – using your phone safely and only in accordance with the law.

We’re all about getting drivers where they want to go quickly and safely, and we have more than 1,500 CCTV cameras on our Queensland roads. This means we always have eyes on the road, looking out for drivers in need of help. We also have systems to automatically detect stopped vehicles, and a fleet of rapid incident response officers to clear debris from the road.

/Public Release. View in full here.