Properly loading the trailer of a semi is both art and science, but science alone will carry the driver as far as they need to go for safety purposes. Through proper training, any person can learn to perform this skill competently, arranging the load in such a way that it is properly secured and balanced. Balance is of primary importance, because an improperly balanced load will affect the handling of the truck, increasing the risk of the driver losing control and an accident occurring.
One key element of balance is ensuring the weight is properly distributed over the axles of the vehicle. Putting too much weight over one axle can cause the axle to crack in worst-case scenarios, but can lead to improper braking and steering even in the best cases. Recognizing how the weight is distributed throughout the cargo is important, and though grouping things for easier loading and unloading is tempting, it should never be prioritized over weight distribution.
Improper loading is always dangerous, but the danger level is exacerbated by certain driving behaviors. Speeding can have a drastic effect on the cargo, particularly if mixed with sudden changes in acceleration, which is more likely to result in shifting of stored items. Speeding also is more likely to result in overly aggressive turns and lane changes, both of which are associated with shifting loads.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a semi-truck related accident, knowing the ins and outs of trucking well enough to determine whether or not proper protocols were followed can be difficult. Please consider consulting with an experienced attorney regarding your case. A qualified lawyer can help you find the right experts to evaluate the circumstances of the crash and determine whether or not the truck driver put safety first.