Heavy vehicles / Safety / Load restraint guide

The safe loading of vehicles is an important way of preventing injury to people and damage to property

Load Restraint Guide

Every year Australians are injured and killed in crashes caused by unrestrained loads.

The Load Restraint Guide (LRG) provides transport drivers, operators, and other participants in the transport chain of responsibility with basic safety principles which should be followed for the safe carriage of loads on road vehicles.

Load restraint system basic requirements 

Loads must be restrained to prevent unsafe movement during all conditions of operation. The load restraint system must, therefore, satisfy the following requirements:

  • the load should not become dislodged from the vehicle
  • any load movement should be limited, such that in all cases where movement occurs, the vehicle’s stability and weight distribution cannot be adversely affected and the load cannot become dislodged from the vehicle.

Loads that are permitted to move relative to the vehicle include loads that are effectively contained within the sides or enclosure of the vehicle body such as:

  • loads which are restrained from moving horizontally (limited vertical movement is permissible)
  • very lightweight objects or loose bulk loads (limited horizontal and vertical movement is permissible)
  • bulk liquids (limited liquid movement is permissible).

To achieve this, the load restraint system must be capable of withstanding the forces that would result if the laden vehicle were subjected to each of the following separately:

  • 0.8 g deceleration in a forward direction,
  • 0.5 g deceleration in a rearward direction,
  • 0.5 g acceleration in a lateral direction, and to
  • 0.2 g acceleration relative to the load in a vertical direction.

Get a hard copy

You can purchase a hard copy of the Load Restraint Guide online via Canprint.

Next steps

In June 2017, the NTC sought feedback on the revised Load Restraint Guide.

An improved Load Restraint Guide and a complementary guide specifically for light vehicles will be available from early 2018, following endorsement of the guides by transport ministers in November 2017.

This is the first time a version focusing on light vehicles has been available, specifically for vehicles under 4.5 tonnes.

Find out more

For operational queries about load restraint for heavy vehicles in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania and South Australia please contact the NHVR on 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487).

For Western Australia please contact 138 HVO (138 486).

For the Northern Territory please contact 1300 654 628.

For further information, contact the WorkCover agency in your state.


Last Updated: 13/12/2017