Loading of vehicles for fleet operators

Loading, securing and unloading goods safely are essential activities for any fleet operator. DVSA’s Enforcement Sanctions Policy and load securing guidance are useful documents every fleet operator should be aware of, to avoid any load securing issues. Contact the Member Advice Centre on 0370 605 0000* for any queries.

Loading dock safety

Loading docks present a number of significant risks which require careful management. The Logistics UK Logistics Safety Working Group and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Retail and Distribution Group produced a guide to identify these risks associated with vehicle/dock interface for the logistics sector and explore the possible control measures. Download the Loading dock safety guide.

Safety of loads on vehicles

Safety should be your main consideration when loading. You must ensure your drivers or warehouse staff are aware that: 

  • The load must be secured or be in a position that ensures no danger is likely to be caused to anyone. This includes if the load or part of the load falls from the vehicle, or moves on the vehicle. 

  • No vehicle or trailer may be used for a purpose for which it is unsuitable so as to cause danger to anyone in or on the vehicle or on the road. 

DVSA enforcement officers will ask themselves the below questions when examining load security. We recommend you train anyone involved in the loading and unloading process to ask themselves the below questions when loading/unloading a vehicle or trailer: 

  • Can the load slide or topple forwards or backwards? 

  • Can the load slide or topple off the side? 

  • Is the load unstable? 

  • Is the load securing equipment in poor condition? 

  • Is there anything loose that might fall off? 

  • Does the vehicle present an immediate likelihood of causing danger of injury due to its load security or stability? 

Goods requiring particular care

Most goods can be transported safely without the need for specific legislation. However, there are particular requirements for carrying certain types of goods, for example, the brewing and drinks industry. Logistics UK have produced a best practice guide for this industry, which can be found below, which should be used in line with DVSA's load security guidance.

Load securing for the brewing and drinks industry