Salvo Solution Prevents Unscheduled Drive-Aways and Offers Wide Range of Trailer Compatibility

Salvo Solution Prevents Unscheduled Drive-Aways and Offers Wide Range of Trailer Compatibility

The Transportation of Cargo

The transportation of cargo is a vital part of the global economy.  It is what allows products to be delivered to their consumers. As you can imagine, there is a great variety in the cargo that is transported across the globe. Automobiles, metals, lumber, food, furniture, and clothing are just some examples.

The Range of Trailer Types

Cargo often requires specific ways of being transported to ensure the quality of the good when it arrives to the consumer. When cargo is transported via truck, a wide range of trailers are used depending on the type of cargo being transported. Each type of trailer serves a unique purpose and is designed to transport specific goods.

Below are some of the most common trailer types:


Container Chassis Trailers: These types of trailers are specifically designed to transport intermodal containers between ports, terminals, and warehouses.



Tanker Trailers: Tanker trailers are closed trailers that usually carry liquids or small granular particles, such as plastics or grain.



Reefer Trailers: Refrigerated Trailers commonly called “Reefers” are used to keep goods at a consistent temperature during travel.



Flatbed Trailers: Flatbed trailers are open without sides or a roof and are often used to carry industrial equipment.



Lift Gate trailers: Lift gate trailers contain a lift on the back of the trailer to assist in unloading or loading goods to a specific height level.



Standard Van trailers: Standard dry van trailers are enclosed box trailers that do not have temperature control and move the largest amount of the world’s cargo.


Safe Unloading/Loading Affects All Trailer Types

In the US, more than 25% of all industrial accidents occur at the loading dock, and for every accident, there are about 600 near misses. No matter the trailer type, safe unloading/ loading is equally important. Risks associated with loading docks and other loading platforms are prevalent in all industries and affect all vehicle types. One of the most common risks at the loading dock is unscheduled drive-aways or departures.

Unscheduled drive-aways occur when the driver unexpectedly pulls away from the loading dock while the loading or unloading is in process. This drive-away creates a gap between the loading dock and the trailer resulting in a hazard for the forklift operator loading the trailer.

For example, the driver is in his cab and may think that loading has been completed. He puts the truck in gear and begins to pull forward. Meanwhile, the forklift operator has just dropped a pallet in the front of the trailer and is backing up towards the loading dock. As the driver pulls forward and the forklift operator continues to reverse, a gap is formed between the dock and the trailer. The forklift operator falls between the gap and sustains serious injuries. The situation becomes even more severe when the truck driver becomes aware of what has just happened. The driver begins to reverse to correct his mistake, unaware that the forklift operator and forklift have already fallen off the trailer and traps the operator between the reversing trailer and the loading dock.  Not only has the forklift operator sustained serious injuries from failing off the trailer but now is at risk of being ran over by the reversing trailer.

However, while most trailers are typically unloaded/loaded at a loading dock using a forklift, not all trailer types are. Unscheduled drive-aways are still a safety risk with other trailer types. For example, tanker trailers typically unload/load using an elevated loading platform or gangway system. Unscheduled drive-aways can still occur if the driver believes that the unloading/loading process is completed and pulls away from the platform while the tanker’s hoses are still attached to the platform. This not only damages equipment and property but also could prove hazardous to the environment if the tanker is unloading/loading flammable or corrosive liquids.

Trailer Compatibility

It can be difficult to find a solution compatible with a variety of trailer designs. Fortunately, systems with a wide range of compatibility exist to prevent these incidents from occurring.  The Salvo Loading Dock Safety System is compatible with a wide range of trailer types, providing safe unloading/loading across several industries.

Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems prevent drive aways at the loading dock by interlocking the trailer’s air brakes with the dock door. This ensures that the trailer cannot depart until loading/unloading is completed and the dock door is closed.

Salvo’s gladhand lock, a component within the system, was recently redesigned to be compatible with container chassis trailers, expanding the solution’s range of compatibility. (Read the Press Release here)

Compatibility with container chassis trailers is essential, with 95% of global manufactured goods being transported in a container at one time or another. (HilcoGlobal)

“One of our large Salvo customers came to us with the need to safely unload/load a large fleet of ocean container chassis with recessed gladhand couplings at the loading dock. Our previous gladhand design fit most but not all the recessed coupling positions on intermodal chassis. As a company that is always striving to innovate and meet our customers’ needs, we adapted the design and developed a tough new product that allows for all trailer types and containers to be safely unloaded/loaded at the loading dock.”

– Pierre Balson, Kirk Key Interlock Vice President of Sales


In conclusion, safety at the loading dock affects all trailer types, including container chassis trailers. Accidents can occur quickly and without warning. Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems are a viable solution that is compatible with a wide range of trailer types and prevent unscheduled drive aways from occurring – keeping personnel, equipment, and property safe.

For more information about Salvo Loading Dock Safety Systems, click here.

Additional articles around specific types of trailers and loading platforms can be found through the links below:

Gangway Platform Loading

Lift Gate Trailer Loading


Emily Smith

Logistics Segment Manager