Does road conditions affect the transportation of special cargoes?

impact of poor road conditions on the transport of special loads

Hauliers are the most affected by the state of the roads in Spain. Unfortunately, the quality of our roads in some specific stretches leaves much to be desired. It is important to note that approximately 95% of national transport is by road, the rest being air and sea transport. This should be a compelling reason for the relevant institutions to take charge and recover the optimal state of the roads. This would avoid a high percentage of the claims that occur in the transport of special cargoes and would also have an impact on delivery times.

Does road conditions affect the transportation of special cargoes?

Yes indeed, the poor condition of a road can be very significant. And these are some of the problems involved:

  • The health of drivers; this is the first point we highlight because it is undoubtedly the most important, since it is the carriers who spend a large number of hours behind the wheel and therefore are the most affected. One of the symptoms of driving on poorly maintained roads is the neck and back pain suffered by drivers, which also leads to lower back problems, acute headaches caused by pain, and even dizziness. It is a risk for them and for the rest of the vehicles on the road, since it is more likely to have an accident.
  • Fatigue while driving the truck; since the roads are in poor condition, the driver must be very attentive not only to his driving but also to potholes and bad pavement conditions. This means a greater wear and tear, since it has to be aware of more factors. This, of course, is reflected in the fact that fatigue manifests itself earlier and can cause drowsiness, especially on long journeys.
  • Deterioration of the vehicle; since the roads are not properly paved, have potholes, breaks, etc. …. causes greater wear not only of the wheels, but also accentuates the breakdowns of the trucks, cutting the useful life of the vehicle, which is reflected in high costs for the companies.
  • Accidents; when we find ourselves on poorly marked roads, with potholes, cracks… it is much easier to have an accident, no matter how careful the driver is. There have been accidents because the truck slipped or because it could not avoid a pothole that was not even marked.

Impact on loads

  • Incidents in the merchandise: When it comes to delicate merchandise, these sudden and unexpected bumps can cause items to suffer breakage.
  • Delivery times: When encountering difficult road sections, the driver has to slow down and stop more frequently, which also has an impact on delivery times. Something that can mean a lot of losses for the company.
  • More fuel is consumed: As the vehicle has to make a greater effort because the asphalt is not in good condition, it consumes more fuel because it needs extra energy to move, braking and more frequent gear changes cause more gasoline to be used.

Many carriers have complained about this situation, with greater detriment to the transportation of special cargoes, and therefore in the last quarter of 2017, the EuroRAP (the european roadside assistance program), developed a report highlighting the poor condition of some roads and the risks involved. However, a definitive solution to this problem has not yet been found. Hopefully, the necessary measures will soon be taken to turn this situation around.

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