Q&A - Insecure Load
every week or so, I haul a load of dead fish to another town, in a 53 foot tanker. This trailer is loaded by the fish producers, then it is sealed, brought out to the highway, where I pick it up and begin my 3 hour trip to deliver.
there has been trouble, before I started, with product leaking from the trailer. Because of that, the trailer hatches were reconfigured, and there is containment totes for the main tank to vent into.
When I hook up to the trailer, my pretrip portion, is under duress, as it is difficult to keep your lunch down, while making the appropriate checks. As far as the load goes, I check the hatches and the trap door for ANY leakage. 1 drop is a drop too many, as I must take the ferry to my destination, and I am only allowed on the very last boat, if there is zero leakage.
so this last trip, everything checks out, I did a walk around on the boat, and one about 1/2 way to the unload site. The road is very winding, lots of 20 and 30 km hairpins, so I run with my load lights on (unless someone is following) so oncoming traffic can see where my trailer axles are in relation to their lane. I never noticed anything out of the ordinary until i got to town. I usually stop and grab a coffee at McDicks, about 5 minutes from the place I unload. This night, I got out of the truck and just about gagged, the smell was so bad. One glance and I could see fish waste coming out of the top hatch. Boiling is a better word.
i jumped back in the truck and headed for the drop zone, passing a police officer as I turned into the site. As per normal, I scale in, and tonight I could see there was 2,000 kg more than every other trip. I came out of the scale shack and there is the constable, who issues me a ticket for insecure load.
It it turns out that the main guy who usually loads, was away, and the new guy loaded what he thought was good, but didnt allow for expansion. The enzymes in the fish were activated by the motion of travel, and the tanker became like a pressure cooker. The top hatch was buckled outward, the catch cans were full, and the vents were jammed full of dead fish.
My question: I did all I could do, and then some, in my transportation of this product. I have hauled over 65 loads since 2015, and never had any spillage. There's no way to check the load, nowhere to scale it, and my airbag gauge didn't show anything excessive for weight. Because it was filled a bit too much, it began to eject product, and that had just happened 15 minutes from my destination.
is that an insecure load? It clearly fits the definition, but considering what it is, and how it expands, and that we have been doing it right until now, deals the whole thing some wild cards.
I just don't want that on my license. Could I offer to give the amount of the citation to a charity of the officers preference? Is that acceptable?
thanks for your thoughts.