Keeping Your Cargo Safe in the Summer Heat
Keeping your cargo trailer safe as you travel around Michigan should be a top priority this summer. How you store your load may be the difference between a fire or explosion versus a safe summer. Here are some tips for how to tie down your load to ensure you and your load remain safe.
Why Tie-Downs and Storage Matter
Hauling a cargo trailer around Michigan comes with many inherent risks. One obvious risk is the condition of the roads, and what happens to your cargo when you hit a pothole. The hot summer weather can actually be another significant risk.
When you combine these two risks together, loose cargo on a hot day, you have a recipe for disaster. Keeping everything tied down in the right manner and managing heat will help you avoid catastrophic failures.
Dealing with Heat & Fluids
Flammable fluids are some of the most dangerous cargos you can carry. On a hot summer day, the temperature can quickly exceed what’s needed to ignite these fluids or their vapors.
Whenever possible, transport these fluids on the exterior of your trailer. For large cans of fluid like gasoline, you can mount these to the front over the tongue, or on the roof.
If you must store these liquids inside your trailer, there are a few precautions you can take. First, ensure you have appropriate trailer vents. These will allow the hottest air to escape as it rises.
Next, consider keeping your trailer painted white, which has demonstrated dramatically reducing the heat the trailer absorbs by as much as 20 to 30 degrees.
Storing Large Equipment
Large equipment in your cargo trailer poses several hazards during transport. You run the risk of damaging your equipment if it jostles too much. However, you also run the risk of creating an unbalanced load, which can lead to unusual sway and accidents.
When it comes to tying down larger equipment, you have a few options you can implement in your trailer. If you plan to haul the same equipment all the time, you can mount D-rings to the floor and then use chains or straps.
The other option leaves a lot more flexibility if your load needs change frequently, which is a track-type system. With this option, you have tracks that run the length of your trailer, and you can move mounting brackets along the track where you need them.
Keeping Small Equipment Safe
While you may secure your larger equipment, many people think leaving smaller equipment tucked away in the corners or under heavier equipment is perfectly fine. However, these can not only jostle, but in the event of unusual trailer movement, could become projectiles inside the trailer. This creates a dangerous situation for damaging everything in the trailer or even sparking a fire.
There are many options for storing your smaller equipment and supplies in your trailer. A very popular option is installing a vertical track system so you can change where and how things are mounted to the walls.
You can always install a cage to store some equipment. Large cages may be installed across the entire front of the trailer. Then there are smaller options, all the way down to something you might mount to the wall.
There are also wall mounts that can hold some equipment. If you use a wall mount, just be sure to secure your equipment to the wall, not just hang it.
You may also consider built-in racks or locking drawers. These are perfect for small things from brushes and hand tools to screws and small supplies.
Taking Extra Precautions
Due to the extreme heat we sometimes see in Michigan, you may want to take some extra precautions to protect your trailer. There are several types of trailer vents you may want to install. First, consider installing several vents along the length of your trailer to ensure air can move properly without creating a vacuum.
If you are transporting something extremely volatile, you may want to go the extra step of installing an electric fan to help better circulate hot air out. In some cases, you may want to look at installing a small air conditioner.