Over the last two decades, the proportion of goods transported by road has steadily increased. The majority of those loads are transported in heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The average length of haul for GB-registered HGVs has increased over the same time period despite rising fuel costs. Those fuel costs, along with the demands for larger payloads and a desire to see reductions in the number of vehicles on the road, have led to many operators considering or introducing the use of vehicles with more than one load bed. The move towards double or multi-deck vehicles has been partly driven by a change in the profile of goods transported due to economic conditions. The distribution model for these products is suited to use of double-deck vehicles, hauling product from distribution centre to distribution centre or retail stores.
This research has considered good practice in the safe use of this type of vehicle and has identified measures that operators can take to reduce the risks inherent in using double-deck trailers. Safe loading, delivery planning and consideration of issues such as manual handling and working at heights can also improve the efficiency of loading and unloading and reduce economic loss in terms of damaged product and damaged vehicles. Load placement and securing have been identified as issues that can be addressed through load planning, risk assessment, training and communication between all parties in the transport chain.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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