Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Tetris, Jenga good practice for loading

link Audra Brown

Local columnist

Let’s tie down!

Words that you may or may not be pleased to hear. Words that are heard quite often on, around, and on the way to, the farm.

Perhaps the most common is when it’s time to secure a relatively simple and homogenous load. Hay bales, pallets of feed, or sacks of seed. In such cases, strapping down a load involves repetition and quantity.

Many straps with a couple of rounds of tightening and all in rather linear formation. Straight up and over the items, repeat until everything is cinched down. Easy.

Square bales load quite neatly. Beyond the obvious issue, round bales are straightforward enough. Pallets of 50-pound bags ride well if a properly excessive amount of shrink wrap is applied — otherwise, they have a tendency to slide around and fall off — and there’s never enough straps.

But not all loads are so nice and neat. Trailers get loaded with more stuff than they should and things that are never intended to be loaded.

In chaos-transport situations such as auctions and the ccasional transport expedition to another piece of property, the tying down is secondary to the particular puzzle that is the loading in and of itself.

It’s akin to a deadly combination of three-dimensional Tetris and Jenga, where the pieces are rarely intended to fit together, everything is heavy, sharp, and you and/or your fingers are never far away from the descending blocks.

Then there is the consideration of fragility and there are always things that are so physically awkward to load that it seems impossible until at least a couple of minutes after it is successfully loaded.

Greatest hits include, but are far from limited to, loading three bobtail trucks, grain-beds and all, onto a couple of semi drop-deck flatbeds. The first two weren’t so bad, one big forklift and a hefty skid-loader on one side, and a good-sized CAT loader on the other and you can lift rather large things up into the air.

A bobtail with its bed loaded with dirt is not one of those things. For that, only one end at a time can be lifted, and just barely. But it can be done.

Audra Brown treats every trailer like it’s loaded. Contact her at [email protected]