Written by Toryn Quivers, Occupational Health Trainer 

Many of our drivers interact with load bars and bulkheads daily. There are a few key points that you want to keep in mind while you are handling a bulkhead:

  • Be sure it is secure and in place before turning away
  • Watch for slip hazards while you are in the trailer
  • Re-tag any damaged bulkheads for your safety and others

Proper Bulkhead Handling


  1. Stand behind the bulkhead when opening to ensure product doesn’t fall on you.

  2. Fold bulkhead to slide down the side of the trailer.

  3. When placing in the trailer, open like a book.

  4. Keep head up, stable, and use handles.


    1. Try to pick the bulkhead up and transport it.
    2. Jerk the bulkhead to move it.
    3. Drag it on its side.
    4. Attempt to do anything you feel you cannot do. Get help when necessary.

Along with bulkheads, you will find a load bar. Load bar safety is very important to protect yourself when opening the trailer. Use the door as a shield in case the load bar is no longer secure or has fallen. In turn, be sure the load bar is secure before closing the trailer door. There must always be a load bar on each load. Make sure to red-tag damaged bars for the warehouse to put in the repair bins.

Proper Load Bar Placement


  1. Be aware of all surroundings and proximity to others.

  2. Keep a stable stance with a slight bend in your knees.

  3. Brace your back by engaging your core.

  4. Stay in an upright position.

  5. Secure load bar in trailer horizontally.


    1. Swing trailer door open without awareness.
    2. Narrow stance with locked knees.
    3. Arch at the back.
    4. Twist at the waist.
    5. Leave the load bar insecure, salnted, or vertical in the trailer.

If you have any questions regarding load bar and bulkhead safety, please contact your distribution center’s (DC) occupational health trainer or a member of the Safety team.

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