Tips For Carrying Lumber On Your Vehicle's Roof Racks Safely

When you're planning some work around the house or yard, one of your first stops will likely be to a lumber supply store to pick up some pieces of lumber. Unless the products you buy are cut to length in the store, they'll often be too long to store inside your vehicle for the ride home. The best way to transport lumber easily and safely is by investing in a pair of roof racks. Whether you have a compact car, a truck, or an SUV, you can easily carry a supply of lumber attached to the roof racks. Here are some tips for doing so safely.

Position The Lumber Evenly

When you hoist the lumber up onto your roof racks, your first order of business is to position it. Each vehicle's shape is different, but it's generally advisable to position the planks so that they extend equal distances from the front of the roof and the back of the roof. You want to position the wood so that as much as possible of each plank is on the roof racks, rather than suspended off the roof; in this latter scenario, the lumber can warp under its own weight.

Secure It In Place

Don't rely on bungee cords for securing the lumber to your roof racks. While bungee cords are valuable for a wide range of jobs, they're not reliable enough for making sure that the lumber doesn't slide while you're driving. Instead, it's ideal to use a series of ratchet straps. You should always secure the lumber with ratchet straps to each roof rack individually. If the lumber is long or made up of pieces of varied lengths, it never hurts to use additional ratchet straps to hold the pile of lumber pieces together.

Be A Smart Driver

There are plenty of things to do once you're behind the wheel that will make your journey home safer. When possible, try to take back roads instead of the highway. Doing so will allow you to travel at a slower speed, which will reduce the amount of vibration in the lumber. If the trip from the lumber store to your home is lengthy, it's advisable to pull over in a safe area partway home. Climb out and check the visual appearance of the lumber to make sure nothing has shifted. If necessary, tighten up the ratchet straps again for the remainder of the trip home.

For more information on how to transport lumber, talk with the lumber supply company, like Henning Building Supply Co Inc. Some supply companies may deliver or have trailer rental options that you may not be aware of.