Trailer Loading: Make it Safe and Heavy


53ftThere's a bit of an art to effectively loading recyclable commodities into your semis. Because the cost per trip is fixed, you want to maximize the weight in order to lower the transportation cost per ton. With a lower transportation cost per ton, you can negotiate a better price on those commodities from your hauler. A better price = more value, and more value = improving your bottom line.

So when loading bales, do everything you can to minimize air space. You absolutely want to avoid paying to haul air. We've found this is the best method of loading to stay under your weight limit while maximizing available space:

Best bale loading method:
  • A typical downstroke bale measures is 60" - 72"W x 48"L x 30"D. Most people load them onto 53' trailers in stacks 3 high and 1 wide, getting about 13 bales in a load. However, a 53' trailer has an interior width of 100", so you are left with 28" - 40" of space along the side.  
  • To maximize your weight to get more value from your load, we recommend rotating the bales 90 degrees to keep your stacks 3 high by 2 wide, leaving only about 4" of air space along the sides. You'll get 20- 60" bales or 16-72" bales in the same truck. Watch out, because you can actually overload the weight of a semi with this method.

Other notes:

  • If you're transporting gaylords, always double-stack them.
  • It's almost never cost-effective to transport loose recyclable commodities.

Now that your trailer is heavy, please keep truck drivers safe and ALWAYS make sure they are CHOCKED!!! Creep is dangerous and happens when the forklift going in and out of an unchocked trailer cause it to slowly move away from the dock. A separated trailer can cause serious accidents. 

Do you weigh and grade all your recyclable commodities? To find out why and for more tips on increasing your recycling revenues, download our free white paper today:

7 Proven Ways to Increase Recycling Revenue