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29 May

Flatbed Physics 101

When it comes to loading a flatbed truck, it is important to secure the load before you move the truck. We mean before you move it at all, even a tiny bit. Even if you just want to move it just a little and very, very slowly to get it out of the way. Let´s say your vehicle is blocking a loading area.


Don’t do it! Not even if someone is pressuring you to move!

Why?

Newton’s First Law of Motion, that’s why.


In case it’s been a while since you studied physics, much less flatbed physics, let’s take a bit of a refresher.

Flatbed Physics 101

Newton’s First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.

Okay, so that unsecured load, is a body at rest, as long as the truck isn’t moving. It will remain that way unless an outside force acts on it.

What kind of outside force you ask? Oh, like you foolishly decide to move your truck before securing the load just to get out of the way, for example.

When you do that, your unsecured load is not going to remain at rest. It’s going to move. And even if you are going very slowly, that movement can shift your load right off the flatbed. Happens all the time.

Why, you ask?

Flatbed Physics

It’s that second part of Newton’s First Law of Motion, the part that says “a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.”

Well, when you decided to move the truck before securing the load onto the flatbed, you set that load into motion. And that motion, even if it is very slow, is going to remain in motion even if you hit the brakes. Yes, that load may remain in motion until it moves in a straight line right off the flatbed, and it will remain in motion until it is acted upon by an outside force.

When your load falls off the flatbed that “outside force” is called gravity. You’ll notice gravity when your load hits the pavement.

So, unless you want to deal with finding your load on the ground, secure it before you move your truck. Secure it even if you plan to move slowly, and just a little bit. Newton’s First Law of Motion is a law after all. And you should always obey the law.


If you don’t understand physics, or you would rather leave the driving to professionals who do, we strongly suggest that you give us a call. We’ll make sure your load not only stays on the flatbed, but that it gets delivered safely and on time. Give us a call.

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