Securing barrels, IBCs and kegs – today’s challenge

There are rules and regulations about cargo securing both in normal road traffic and particularly in the transport of dangerous goods. These rules require the cargo to be secured either by blocking, supporting or lashing.


Fig 1. Support from construction acc. to EN12642

Many trailer manufacturers have different levels of strength in their construction of walls, doors and bulkhead depending which standard they rely on. EN12642 describes two levels (code L and code XL) for strength of the walls, doors and front bulkhead.

National requirements might have been also applied for trailer construction, but if none of these are mentioned in trailer’s type label, then the trailer construction does not offer any support in cargo securing. The level of strength in the construction that can be used for blocking cargo is depending on the payload of the trailer, but cargo securing requirement levels in EN12195 are higher than any of these.

Additionally if trailer construction is to be relied on as load securement the load has to be uniform, loading the walls has to be even and almost none empty space is allowed. The gap between cargo securing requirement and possible support gained from the trailer construction has to be covered with proper cargo securement. These are explained in European Best Practice Guidelines 2014 (fig. 1 and 2).

The standard plastic IBC is one of the most common ways to transport chemicals over the road. The challenge is how to secure these as their construction does not allow high surface pressure. If you tighten, for example, a strap over the cage, you might bend it and if you try to secure the container by threading the strap through the cage, you could damage it.


Fig 2. Required by EN 12195-1

Placing plywood sheets on top of the containers would solve the problem, but it is rather difficult to do and requires personal safety gear as you need to climb on to the cargo space. Finnish company NWE suggests using a fabric to cover and tighten the load.

NWE’s Fix Road is a woven polypropylene sheet of fabric with sewn connection points for tensioning. It covers the entire load and divides the tension caused by tensioning devices evenly. Then the surface pressure is a fraction of what it would be with chains or straps, but the overall surface pressure can even be higher without damaging the load. The fabric also forms itself around the shape of the cargo and keeps every single item on the place. This is particularly beneficial for securing round objects, paper coils, barrels and kegs.

FIX Road is tested by Dekra and TÜV in Germany and approved to be used as load securing in road traffic and sea freight. Breaking strength is 50kN and lashing capacity is 2500daN for every lashing point. In a normal trailer there are 12-15 lashing points per side. With 12 points per side FIX Road can secure higher weights than a trailer of the same length can carry.

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