Load Restraint - National Transport Commission (NTC) updated load restraint guide now available

Why is load restraint important?

To be safe

Loads that aren’t restrained properly can injure or kill and can cause significant property damage. If the load falls off it endangers the lives of other road users through a direct collision or by causing other drivers to swerve to avoid it.

  • If the load moves forwards, it can pierce the cabin and injure or kill the driver or passenger.
  • If the load makes the vehicle unstable, it can cause an incident - especially when taking corners

It’s good for business

Your corporate reputation and your financial position can suffer if you’re involved in a load restraint incident due to:

  • Adverse publicity
  • Loss of contracts due to damaged goods
  • Insurance excess payments
  • Increase in insurance premiums

Unrestrained loads may move

Forces from changes in speed, direction or slope may cause a load to shift.

These forces result from normal driving conditions including braking, accelerating, cornering, road surfaces and air flow.

The weight of a load is not enough to hold it in place. A heavy load is just as likely to fall off as a light load because the heavier the load, the higher the force it experiences.

Chain of Responsibility (CoR)

Under CoR, all parties who have control or influence over the transport task are deemed responsible for complying with, and for breaches of Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) loading requirements. All parties must take reasonable steps to prevent breaches of loading requirements. An example of a reasonable step would be seeking advice about your load restraint systems from a suitably qualified person.

Further information on CoR can be found here.

Download a copy of the 2018 Load Restraint Guide

The NTC has recently completed the review and update of the Load Restraint Guide in close consultation with stakeholders.

Click here to download a copy.

A complimentary guide to help light vehicle drivers safely restrain their load is also available - to access a copy, please click here. A light vehicle is any car, ute, van, truck or trailer that has a gross vehicle mass up to 4.5 tonnes.