Heavy vehicle load restraint

Transporting concrete panels

If you're transporting heavy tilt-up precast concrete panels you must ensure the panels:

  1. Are carried in a near vertical or angled orientation.
  2. Have a total restraint system that is fit for purpose.
  3. Meet the Load Restraint Guide.

Load restraints may be comprised of any of the following:

  • chains
  • webbing straps
  • a fastening and locking component of an engineered frame
  • a combination of any or all of these.

The suitability of the restraint will depend on the type and size of concrete panel being transported and the type of vehicle being used.

Load restraint diagram. Diagram notes below. 

The load restraint system must be capable of withstanding these forces:  

  • 0.8 'g' deceleration in a forward direction (80% of its weight in forward direction)
  • 0.5 'g' deceleration in a rearward direction (50% of its weight in rearward direction)
  • 0.5 'g' deceleration in a lateral direction (50% of its weight in a sideways direction)
  • 0.2 'g' acceleration relative to the load in a vertical direction (20% of its weight in a vertical direction)

'G' (the acceleration due to gravity) is taken as 9.81 metres per sec per sec (9.81m/s2).

General considerations


Checker-plate steel decks can be just as slippery as smooth flat steel decks.

You must not loading directly onto steel decks or steel A-frames without appropriate friction material in place.

Always consider increasing friction between concrete panels by using wood or rubber material.

When loads settle, the lashings may loosen and cause a large reduction in tension. The tension in lashings should always be checked soon after moving off, and then regularly during the journey.

Consideration should be given to using step-deck trailers when transporting tall concrete panels to reduce the height of the centre of gravity of the load.

Using A-frames to carry concrete panels

A-frames must be designed to withstand the loads and forces which may act on the frame system during loading, transportation and unloading.

If it doesn't have the right design, you may have to get engineer certification for your A-frame.

A-frames must be separately secured to the vehicle - independent of the concrete panel restraint system - and appropriately blocked to ensure they cannot move around on the deck.

The support feet on the A-frame should have high friction rubber between them and the trailer floor - except when secured using twist-lock systems.

Ensure that the A-frames are not twisted or placed on an uneven floor otherwise the load may become unstable and dislodge.

Diagram of a truck carrying concrete panels using an A-frame. Diagram notes below

Diagram notes


Corner protectors under all restraints for both the load and vehicle body as required.

Suggested top strap to hold up safety chain at two thirds the height at front.

Safety chain at two thirds of the height of the load.

Any support frame must be independently restrained (separately to panels) preferably via trailer twist lock system, but may be by other means.

High friction matting is recommended when using steel on steel as well as between the frame and the element being carried.

More information

For more information, get a copy of V84 Transporting pre-cast tilt-up concrete panels (488.9 kb)

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Last updated: 20 February 2017