Don-Bur launches VOSA-compliant load restraint 26 September 2013

Since VOSA's launch of its load restraint 'Enforcement Matrix' at the beginning of 2012, Don-Bur believes there is still much confusion in the industry about what is, and what is not, compliant.

According to Mark Horton, senior traffic manager at VOSA, there have been 1,269 load restraint defects detected since 1 April this year, 1,190 of which resulted in prohibition.

Recommendations for a compliant load restraint solution fall on the shoulders of the manufacturer, and Don-Bur says it has spent considerable time and effort ensuring that it understands both the recommendations and, perhaps more importantly, VOSA's interpretation.

Some operators believe they can simply retro-fit EN12642-XL rated load-bearing curtains, for example, but Don-Bur points out that these do not exist – as the rating refers to the bodywork as a whole.

However, even EN12642-XL does not fully comply with the C&U requirement of 50% load retention through the sides. If you do have EN12642-XL rated bodywork, you will need additional load restraint to be compliant, insists a spokesperson.

What if your load is lightweight – under the 400kg per pallet threshold mentioned in the VOSA enforcement matrix? Regrettably, says Don-Bur, this merely affects the rating of the 'defect' and whether you're issued with an advisory or a prohibition. It does not negate the need for a "suitable load restraint".

Don-Bur is offering Load-Fix, a fully compliant system, it says, that provides rave-to-rave strapping or sheeting, depending on requirements. The firm claims it is suitable for multiple height payloads and even variable height stillages.

When not in use, the system simply retracts up into the dead roof space and can be moved from front to back and vice versa. The solution can also be used on double decks.

Load-Fix can be specified on trailers or rigid bodywork, as part of a new build programme, or retro-fitted to an existing fleet.

There is, surprisingly, one concession. Provided that a curtainsider has both curtains and roof-mounted nets tapered in toward the top (so that they touch and applies inward pressure on the load) and that the combined strength of both curtain and nets retains a minimum 50% of the load weight, this is compliant.

This method is 'positive fit' and known to many in the brewery industry as a 'load-hugger', advises Don-Bur. When using this method, a supplementary transverse net must be used at the rear of the load. The same method can also be applied to double decks, ensuring that independent nets are provided on both decks.

That said, Don-Bur also states that this system may not be considered compliant in the future, "so those who have a long-term compliance plan should opt for a rave-to-rave method".

John Challen

Related Companies
Don-Bur (Bodies & Trailers) Ltd

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