Synthetic Sling Accidents on the Rise, According to Poll

synthetic sling accidents, rigging accidentsRigging accidents pose a serious risk and can lead to severe injuries or even death. Specifically, rigging accidents most often occur while crew members are working with a sling. Synthetic sling accidents are especially common in the heavy machine transport industry.

What the Polls Show

In a poll from Industrial Training International, respondents indicated that synthetic sling mishaps are especially prevalent. The compiled data showed that 81% of rigging accidents occur while working with a synthetic sling. That’s far more than the combined instances of accidents involving web slings, chains, and round slings.

The majority of the accidents resulted in cuts and abrasions. Most respondents also indicated that proper sling protection during a lift could have prevented the accident.

Are Synthetic Slings Inherently More Dangerous?

Crew members loading machinery on a trailer do not need to fear when working with synthetic slings. Injury risks are not inherently higher or lower with their use. The higher injury rate is due to lack of competency, knowledge, and experience. If you’re holding a sling on your right hand, for example, you should have sling protection in your left hand. Continue Reading →

Lift Director Duties During Crane Operation

Truck transport container on the road to the port.

Safety is paramount, which is why a heavy machine operator needs a second set of eyes. This applies whether operating a crane, forklift, or any machinery that can cause serious bodily injury. This is where the a lift director’s duties enter the equation when prepping equipment for LTL or dedicated truck transportation.

Lift Director’s Role

A lift director is on hand not only as a vital component of crew safety but also as an OSHA requirement. OSHA outlines this exact mandate under provision 1926.1432, which covers standard operating procedures for cranes and derrick lifts.

The provision states that a qualified lift director must be present during the use of a crane. The assigned director must be identified beforehand and be a direct member of the construction or transport operation.

All safety liabilities lie on the lift director, who shares greater responsibilities than the supervisor. However, the supervisor may also assume the role of the lift director. Continue Reading →

Carriers Now Required to Comply with Electronic Logging Device Mandate

electronic logging device, ELDLawmakers established a new mandate that went into effect December 18, 2017. The new federal law requires machine transport carriers to fit their trucks with electronic logging devices (ELD). Freight companies, whether operating as an LTL or truckload linehaul service, must abide by this new mandate.

What Is an Electronic Logging Device?

Federal law requires an ELD on each carrier truck. The device syncs with the truck’s engine and records the total time and distance traveled. Many freight companies have embraced the new ELD rules, though several feel the implementation is bad for business.

ELDs make it more difficult for drivers to falsify their records. Some carriers pay their employees by the mile. Drivers for these carriers record their total driving hours and mileage on paper logs. ELDs eliminate this age-old practice, which is prone to fraud, especially when drivers are on the road beyond the 14-hour limit. Continue Reading →

Freight Insurance Vs. Freight Liability: What’s the Difference?

freight insuranceWhen you ship out freight, you would be wise to insure the cargo in the event it incurs damage in transit. You ask: “Don’t carriers cover you automatically?” Well, yes and no. We’ll discuss freight insurance and freight liability and how they differ.

Freight Insurance and Freight Liability Explained

Insurance and liability coverage are similar but not exactly the same. Federal law requires all truck transports to have basic liability coverage. Depending on your freight and personal assessment, this may or may not be adequate.

Basic liability coverage differs from carrier to carrier. It covers a specific amount of damage, usually calculated by a dollar amount for every pound of freight. The maximum coverage amount may be less than the monetary worth of the freight. Continue Reading →

Industrial Rigging Safety Tips for Machine Tool Transportation

industrial rigging safetySome companies hire third-party riggers to prep their machine tools for dedicated truck or trailer transportation. Others have their own crew perform this labor-intensive task. If you rely on your own internal team, then their safety is absolutely critical. We’ll cover essential industrial rigging safety tips for you to pass down to your rigging team.

Safety Tips for Industrial Rigging

Rigging Equipment Precautions

1. Know the capacity load of the crane or rigging gear. Excessive overload can damage the crane, causing it to collapse.

2. Periodically inspect the rigging gear. Inspect for bent or sprung hooks, broken strands, frayed slings, and overstretched links.

3. Replace all defective gear, even if they only appear minimally worn.

4. Only assign rigging duties to trained personnel. Never assign an untrained staff member simply because you’re one person short. Continue Reading →

Manufacturing Industry Hacking is on the Rise

manufacturing industry hackingCyber-threats are a fact of life in the modern digital era. Significant targets include the banking, retail, and healthcare industries. While attacks on the manufacturing sector aren’t as commonplace, the industry isn’t safe by any means. In fact, manufacturing industry hacking incidents are on the rise.

More Hackers Targeting Manufacturing Companies

Obviously, Machine Transport isn’t in the cybersecurity business, but we have coordinated with many manufacturers over the years. Many have reported increased IT measures in the wake of concerns over ransomware and other malware attacks. Even the linehaul shipper and carriers we work with are increasing IT security.

Often, manufacturers and suppliers aren’t a hacker’s ultimate target. Rather, cyber-criminals use the industry as a point of entry to access the more lucrative targets. In this case, they exploit manufacturers to gain entry to retailers that receive their inventory from the suppliers. Continue Reading →

Freight Shipping Seasons—When Is Freight Transportation at Its Peak?

freight shipping seasonWith the holiday season here, you may think that this is the busiest time of year for the freight industry. This actually isn’t so. We’ll break down the freight shipping seasons by industry. Knowing when shipping is at its peak will help you plan shipments accordingly.

Shipping Breakdown by Season

Winter: January through March

This is the slowest freight shipping season of the year. We like to think of this as a hangover for the industry. Carriers were extremely busy during the holiday season. With that out of the way, the trucking sector sees a drastic decline in shipment placements.

For the customer, this is also when carriers and linehaul shippers have flexible availability dates. Rates are also lowest during this time.

Spring/Early Summer: April through July

This is when businesses begin picking back up. This is also harvest season for many types of produce, so agricultural shipment is high. Continue Reading →

Parcel and LTL Shipping: What’s the Difference?

parcel and LTL shippingA parcel refers to any small package. How small does a package have to be to classify as a parcel? At what size does a package require LTL shipping? We’ll go over the difference between parcel and LTL shipping.

When to Choose Parcel Shipping

Every carrier has its own classification for defining a parcel. Typically, the package cannot exceed 150 pounds, though some services cap that weight at 70 pounds. Dimensional limits apply as well. The parcel must also be small enough for a single person to haul it by hand.

For parcels, you can make shipping arrangements with nationally recognized carriers, such as UPS and FedEx. These companies also offer overnight and weekend delivery. LTL shipment usually doesn’t offer expedited services since your freight is one of many in the truck. Continue Reading →

Preparation Tips for Heavy Haul Freight

heavy haul freightIn the transportation industry, the term “heavy haul freight” refers to an exceptionally large and wide load. Machinery, warehouse vehicles, and manufacturing equipment fall under this category. Due to the freight’s extraordinary size, weight, and dimensions, special preparations are in order.

Arrange the Appropriate Carrier

LTL is likely insufficient for transporting heavy haul freight. Depending on the nature of the freight, the cargo may require a certain type of trailer with a flatbed. In some instances, the carrier may classify the heavy haul freight as a “super load.” The definition of a super load differs depending on the region. In any case, you will need to acquire a state oversize permit. Visit this site for specific definitions of a super load by state. Continue Reading →

Warehouse Slot Optimization 101

Slot OptimizationDoes your warehouse adhere to any sort of slot optimization practice? Slot optimization refers to the strategic placement of inventory to minimize loading times. Remember, time is money; more time in the loading dock means more overhead spending and, possibly, surplus fees from the carrier. We’ll go over some best practices for placing inventory in your warehouse.

Why Slot Optimization Matters

Here are some eye-opening statistics: staff spend 55% of their time traversing the warehouse. They waste another 15% searching for items. These are fairly large percentages that can be drastically reduced with slot optimization. Strategic slotting comes into play regardless of the carrier or line haul shipper you use. Continue Reading →