Cowra Freightlines on the importance of load restraint

A Cowra-based operator has had enough of workplace injuries caused by the use of traditional load binders and is moving to retrofit his entire fleet of semi-trailers and rigid vehicles with a safer and more effective alternative.

“Our problem – it’s an industry-wide problem – is that drivers get injured when trying to put extreme pressure on the old conventional load binders using a bar,” said the owner of Cowra Freightlines, Phil Beer.

“I’ve had many cases of drivers injuring themselves when the bar has slipped out or kicked back when they were trying to exert sufficient pressure to restrain loads securely,” said Beer. “My son and I have also been injured using bars to tighten load binders.”

Beer said since installed TransKing Tightwinders to his trailers and rigid trucks and has not had one driver injure themselves while restraining loads.

“When you use the Tightwinder you put the bar on the side and turn the handle so you’re out of the road and when you’re putting weight on the bar you’re not throwing yourself in towards the vehicle,” said Beer.

Beer is preparing to purchase additional units to replace all the old load binders on his curtain-sided trailers and rigid trucks, as well as a B-double flat-top set.

“It’s a good design and they’re easy to retrofit onto the trailers where the old ones were fitted,” said Beer.

Cowra Freightlines operates 12 semi-trailers pulled by Kenworth prime movers primarily hauling wool to Sydney and general freight back to Cowra.

“The wool bales need to be strapped really tight and then re-tensioned about 50km into the journey due to settling, so having the Tightwinders enables the drivers to carry out this task in a much safer and more efficient manner,” said Beer.

The company was started in 1997 with one courier truck and has been progressively expanded to its present size, now employing 25 people and running a mix of mainly Kenworth T409 and T609 prime movers and Isuzu rigid trucks.

New to the fleet are a Kenworth T610 SAR and a DAF CF 450hp prime mover, the latter employed pulling a semi-trailer on a local return run from Cowra to Young each day.

Earlier this year, TransKing released the Quickstrap MK II.

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