KSL TRAFFIC

Ogden Canyon crash raises concerns about large load safety

Jul 10, 2024, 5:00 AM

Lifetime Products CEO and President, Richard David Hendrickson was killed in a crash in Ogden Canyo...

Lifetime Products CEO and President, Richard David Hendrickson was killed in a crash in Ogden Canyon, along with his daughter, on Saturday. (Utah Highway Patrol)

(Utah Highway Patrol)

OGDEN, Utah — The fatal crash in Ogden Canyon over the weekend that killed Lifetime Products CEO and President Richard Hendrickson and his daughter is still under investigation.
 
The accident occurred when a bulldozer reportedly fell off of a trailer and into oncoming traffic. This has left many questioning the safety of large cargo loads on the road. 
 
In fact, the number one issue that Utah Highway Patrol gets calls for is unsecured debris on the roadways.
 
“I wouldn’t say that it’s an every day thing, but it is fairly common to have load securement issues with heavy equipment,” said Corporal Justin Cloward, with Utah Highway Patrol Motor Carriers.

How to legally secure loads

There are federal regulations for transporting heavy machinery. For example, heavy loads require a four-point secure tie-down system.  But the regulation that seems to get most drivers in trouble is accounting for the weight distribution.
 
“And that’s usually where we see the deficiency, is the way that it’s hooked to the machine,” said Cloward.
 
50% percent of the weight of the machine must be covered with a securement.  But it gets a little more complicated than that.  If the securement is attached directly from the trailer to the machine, that only counts for half of the weight value. 
 
If someone needed to account for 10,000 pounds, but they had it attached directly to the trailer, then they’d really only be covering 5,000 pounds. 
 
At that point, they would need another securement.
 
While it has not been confirmed that the Ogden Canyon crash was caused by an unsecured load, it does show how dangerous cargo can be.
 
Corporal Cloward recalls a time that something smaller caused a huge issue. 
 
Several years ago, a car was hauling a unsecured barbeque.  It fell onto the roadway causing a huge accident involving two other cars and five semi trucks.
 
“All because we couldn’t take just a second to throw a tie-down strap on our barbeque,” said Cloward.

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Ogden Canyon crash raises concerns about large load safety