When we talk about freight transport, we usually think of big trucks, container ships, and cargo airplanes. But not everything in the logistics industry involves giant carriers. Small vehicles matter, too, especially at the last stages of the logistics chain. For instance, many courier businesses and last-mile logistics services rely on an army of bikers and motorcycle riders to deliver the goods straight to the recipient’s doorstep.
If your business relies on motorcycle riders, then you probably have experienced an accident or two. Maybe the motorcycle gets dinged up a bit, and the rider has a few scratches and bruises, but no one’s seriously hurt. It would seem like these accidents often happen, but not all are completely harmless. Motorcycles are heavy machines, and accidents can lead to serious injuries, not to mention the potential loss of cargo.
A logistics consulting provider can help you sort out issues with your system, but your employees’ safety is entirely up to you. Here are a few tips so you can avoid a motorcycle accident in the future.
With a bit of practice, anyone can learn how to use and drive a motorbike. But they need to start at a slow speed. This greatly reduces the risk of the rider and the motorbike tipping over.
The technique relies on maintaining a steady drive by ensuring the throttle is fixed while slipping the clutch. The rear brake is then dragged to control the speed. While leaning the motorbike, the rider may turn and look over. Engage the outside footpeg for more precise turns.
Keep your speed stable
Inertial and gyroscopic forces keep the motorbike stable while it’s in motion. As the motorbike’s speed decreases, these two forces decline in power until they disappear completely when the rider stops the vehicle.
Increasing the speed by as little as 2 MPH can make the motorcycle more stable. You have to understand, though, that increased speed means the rider has to lean the motorbike a bit more when they need to make a slow-speed turn.
Use a motorcycle lift
After a day’s ride, your employees shouldn’t just park their motorcycle in some random corner. Use a proper motorcycle lift for extra security and stability. Installing a motorcycle lift also allows you to perform maintenance and cleaning within the garage whenever you want.
Square the handlebars
One of the most common causes of motorcycle tip-overs is sudden stoppage while the motorbike is leaned or the handlebars are turned. Do not forget to square the handlebars when slowing down and stopping.
One technique is to straighten the motorbike as the rider slowly engages the breaks, ensuring the motorcycle is completely aligned with the handlebars before coming to a full stop. When the rider needs to stop right away, straighten the orientation before engaging the breaks.
Keep your eyes forward
Always keep your eyes up and forward when driving a motorcycle. Many drivers look down when riding at a low speed or before braking. Keeping the line of vision in a forward orientation allows the rider to maintain their balance and spot obstacles and hazards.
Use the rear brake
Many motorcycles have potent front brakes, which are needed when the rider has to slow down immediately. But when riding at a slow speed, it’s easy to apply too much pressure on the front brake, forcing the motorbike to suddenly stop before the rider has a chance to straighten their orientation. However, some motorcycles have integrated brakes, which means that using the rear brakes activates the front brakes as well.
Push the motorbike
Moving your motorbike around an open space can be a tad difficult. If the rider is relatively tall, they can walk the motorbike out of the garage while still seated. Those who are not as tall have to walk alongside their motorcycle to maneuver it.
When pushing from the side, make sure to hold both handgrips and slightly lean the motorbike against your thigh for increased stability. Lighter motorcycles can be moved backward with one hand on the handlebar and the other on the seat.
Check the side stand
Forgetting to engage the side stand fully is the best way to damage the motorcycle’s plastic and chrome parts. Take some time to ensure that the side stand is fully engaged. Once the side stand has been fully extended, slowly let the motorbike rest onto the stand before disembarking.
Another common mistake is the side or center stand sinking into a soft surface such as soil or asphalt. Place a hard and flat object under the foot to ensure the stand remains stable.
A final word
Transportation and logistics are two especially volatile industries, and thin profit margins can make it difficult to sustain operations. But you still need to prioritize safety above everything else. These four tips will help reduce the likelihood of your riding employees getting into an accident.