Safely Transporting Your Lumber For Building Projects

Transporting building materials can be a challenging task, and it requires some effort and attention to get it home safely. Keep safety and security in mind when loading your vehicle with lumber, as well as when you drive down the road.

Keep the following in mind:


The most important thing to keep in mind when you are transporting lumber is to maintain safety. When lumber is mishandled or inattentively transported, dangerous mishaps can occur. Stay safe and be realistic when transporting your building materials, particularly lumber, home from the home improvement retailer.

Tips for ensuring safety during transport of your lumber include:

  • Whenever lumber extends beyond the rear bumper 12-inches or more, flag it. Attach a bright red flag to the piece of lumber to warn other drivers and pedestrians. Ask the retailer to flag your lumber before you attempt to transport it anywhere.
  • Choose the slowest route home, and avoid any sudden stops whenever possible. Pull over a few minutes after hitting the road to ensure your load of lumber hasn't shifted and to verify that the wind hasn't loosened any knots holding it down.
  • Avoid using the front windows of a vehicle to extend lumber through. These dangerous spears can be problematic to others, and may be difficult for other motorists to see.
  • Many drivers forget to check their roof racks before loading it up; if the roof rack is loose, transporting lumber may become a dangerous task. Give the rack a firm tug from all sides to ensure it is secured and ready to use.


The security of the lumber as you transport it is key in making sure that you aren't in danger during the ride home, and to keep others safe, too.

Ensure security of your load of lumber with these tips:

  • For the most secure transport, invest in a couple of elastic tie-downs, such as the heavy-duty rubber ones found in automotive stores. Rubber will grip the wood securely, helping you to get your lumber home safe.
  • Avoid slippery rope such as nylon or plastic when tying down lumber. If  you are going to secure the load with rope, invest in a good quality hemp rope, which will hold a knot better, too.
  • Test your knot-tying skills before you rely on these to secure bulky loads of building materials. Take time to practice and learn at least one solid knot before attempting to secure loads to your vehicle with rope.
  • Secure lumber sideways to be sure that it can't slide off and away from your vehicle. This may require bungee cords or tow straps.

Make the effort to ensure your lumber is safe and secure before transporting it home for your repair or remodeling projects. Flying objects, including your lumber, can create dangerous conditions for you, as well as other drivers, pedestrians, and property. Use these tips to keep lumber securely in place and to get it to your destination safely. (For information on general contractors, contact Dawson Construction Ltd)