Presenting the right risk information to get the best for your haulage clients

Earlier this year, we partnered with expert underwriters – Yutree Underwriting to provide you with a single liability and transit product for hauliers on Marketplace

Yutree are flexible specialist underwriters with many years’ experience in liability, transport and haulage. They cater for owner operators through to the larger fleet operators.

The right risk information

In this article, Yutree have covered some of the important things you and your clients should consider when looking to place haulage risks. 

Do all hauliers need an operator’s licence?

Any firm requires a standard national licence (or an International licence if going overseas) if they are carrying other people’s goods in any vehicle with a gross plated weight over 3,500kg.

There is often a misconception that subcontract hauliers can drive on the licence of the firm that they are subcontracting to. This is not the case, they should always have their own operator’s licence.

Does it matter what type of vehicle is being used?

As an underwriter, we can understand quite a lot about the possible risks and exposures from the type of vehicle being used. For example:

  • Tippers – These vehicles will often visit locations where other haulage drivers wouldn’t, for example sites with uneven ground. This increases the risk of the vehicle overturning. Vehicles can also be loaded unevenly which can result in similar claims. The actual tipping operation can also put drivers at risk if the surrounding area has not been properly assessed for hazards such as overhead power cables.
  • Hiab vehicles – The fact that loads with be loaded and unloaded by cranes means an increased risk of injury to anyone in the vicinity of the operation from swinging objects.
  • Containers – These are generally lower risk because the drivers will often not be involved in the loading and unloading. However, many injuries still occur to drivers who are not in a safe place whilst this operation takes place. It is therefore important to know that companies have a policy for drivers to always remain in the cab or move to a safe area (such as a waiting room) rather than being in the loading area with other vehicles moving around.
  • Transporters – If these are double deck transporters then there is an increased risk of falls from height.
Does it matter that my client uses agency drivers?

Whilst the ability to use agency drivers can be important to a haulier as it allows them to be flexible there is also the risk that they are less well trained and will be unfamiliar with the company’s procedures. Checks that would be carried out on their own staff in terms of experience and competence may also not be undertaken which increases the risk.

What are the risks from loading and unloading?

The majority of deaths and injuries to persons employed in the haulage industry, other than through motor accidents, happen as a result of falling loads, falls from vehicles, or being struck by a moving vehicle. All of these can occur whilst loading or unloading is taking place. There are many practical measures which can be taken such as:

  • Falling loads – Is there a system in place for dealing with loads that may have moved during transit, and all drivers trained in how to deal with them?
  • Falls from vehicles – Securing and sheeting loads with ropes and tarpaulins results in many injuries but the risk is dramatically reduced by automated sheeting systems being fitted to all vehicles. These come in various different forms, but all avoid the need to climb onto the vehicles.
  • Stuck by moving vehicles – These may be other lorries arriving on or departing the site, or forklift trucks involved in the actual loading or unloading operation. Having a safe waiting area that drivers can get to without crossing areas with other moving vehicles is key here, but other measures such as ensuring there are clearly marked pedestrian walkways and a one-way system for vehicles which keeps the need for reversing to a minimum will also greatly reduce the risks. Aids to ensure that handbrakes have been applied have also reduced accidents in loading areas.
What information should I provide in relation to hazardous goods?

As well as understanding how often they carry such loads, we need to assess the hazard the particular goods present - which can be assessed from the UN classes and also their packing groups. Any haulier involved in carriage of such goods should easily be able to tell you this. They should understand ADR requirements and drivers should have received additional training before they are allowed to carry hazardous goods.

Get a liability and transit quote today

It's simple to find out more and to obtain a quote for this specialist haulage product provided by Yutree – the product is listed as ‘Haulage’ on Marketplace, Aviva’s home of hard-to-place risks.”

Alternatively, you can contact Yutree directly on 01638 660651 or by emailing underwriting@yutree.com.

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