Safely haul your new roll-off system home

Black pickup truck hitched to a roll-off trailer; dumpsters secured with ratchet straps

Well, folks—we’ve got something stuck in our craw, so we hope you’ll allow us a moment to climb on our soapbox. Okay, here goes…

Your safety matters most. Period.

Unfortunately, not all roll-off manufacturers are completely up-front about what it takes to safely transport your equipment back home.

And here’s the thing—many people starting out in the roll-off business haven’t hauled heavy equipment like this before. Without careful guidance, you could easily make a mistake that puts your safety and that of everyone else on the road in jeopardy.

After all, effective load balancing and cargo securement come with experience. If this is your first time, well, sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know.

It’s why we take the time to advise folks on how to safely secure their new equipment before they even show up at our location—and why we give everything a look-see before they hit the road.

New to transporting heavy loads?

We’ve pulled together a few thoughts to help ensure you have a smooth trip home.

A note on load balancing

If you’re planning to load three brand-spanking new steel containers on your new roll-off system and haul them home, let us stop you right here. This is never a good idea.

That’s because, each time you stack another container, your load gets a bit higher and a little longer. As that happens, you shift the center of balance further away from the axle and lose your tongue weight.

The result: Your trailer is going to get a bit (maybe even a lot) squirrely traveling down the road, especially at high speeds.

And, of course, with that much overhang and your trailer swaying behind you on the interstate, you will be targeted by a state trooper. Expect to get smacked with a hefty ticket.

At the end of the day, this isn’t a weight issue—it’s a load length issue. So, unless you have a gooseneck hitch set up and lots of sandbags to balance things out (not to mention state permits to haul your oversize load), you could be in trouble. This is why we implore folks to limit their loads to two containers at a time. It’s the safest way to haul.

Need to get more containers to your location? If you’re not picking up a rolloff trailer, you can safely haul up to five containers on a hot shot or flatbed trailer.

A few handy load safety and securement tips

Bring ratchet straps
If you’re picking up two boxes, like most people just starting out, be sure to pack three ratchet straps. These boxes will be stacked—and they need to be safely secured before you hit the road.

Intelligently strapping your load
Effective load securement will help protect your new containers from damage and keep yourself and other motorists safe. To start, place two straps over the top of your top container—one at the front and one at the back. This will prevent the containers from bouncing. Then, take that third strap and secure it through the container rails along the back of the container. This will keep your stack from marching its way off the back of your trailer.

Keep an eye out for strap placement to avoid damaging your new equipment
Think to yourself: If I make a hard stop, could the force exerted on my straps cause any bending or breakage? We’ve seen people wrap ratchet straps over the tarping arms of their new roll-off systems instead of wrapping them underneath before.

Left uncorrected, mistakes like these can mean damage to your equipment before you’ve even had a chance to put it into service.

Shut the gas off on your roll-off motor
Why? There’s a float in your engine that will get jostled around on the road. If your motor is left on, excess gas can flood your motor—ultimately allowing gas to get into your oil and seriously gum up the works.

Get the green light on your red lamps
Before you roll out of the yard, grab a friendly soul to act as your second set of eyes—and test the brake lights, as well as the left and right turn signals on your trailer.

Regularly check your ratchet straps on the road
Tight straps at departure don’t necessarily mean tight straps at arrival.

Every time you stop for a break, give those ratchet straps a close look and cinch them up snugly if you spot any slack. This is heavy equipment and you could be traveling some rough road—forces that can loosen those straps over time.

Have a safe trip—and good luck!

Launching a new business venture is always an exciting time. And when you intelligently balance and secure your cargo, you help ensure a drama-free trip back home.

Nothing left but to periodically check those straps and crank the Hank Williams!

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