Acceleration tests are an essential tool for improving the safety of goods transport and load handling. The accelerations and decelerations to which the load is exposed can cause damage to the transported goods or even cause an accident.

In this article we will explain how to perform an acceleration test for load securing during transport.

Importance of load acceleration test to achieve cargo securing

According to data from the European Commission, 1 out of 4 truck accidents are caused by problems in securing the load. In this regard, in 2014 the European Parliament provided for Directive 2014/47/EU by which commercial vehicles circulating in the EU are obliged to meet a number of conditions regarding load securing.

Acceleration tests are the best way to prevent these accidents caused by load stability problems. In other words, its implementation translates into greater safety for drivers and a lower economic loss due to both load damage and accidents.

These stability tests are able to replicate very closely to reality the acceleration conditions to which the load is subjected during transport, so that the stability of the load and the protection capacity of the packaging can be studied prior to its preparation for transport.

Benefits of load acceleration test for business

The benefits of acceleration tests clearly justify the investment in them. The following are the main ones:

  • Reduction of accidents caused by pallet stability problems, load securing, etc.
  • As a direct consequence of the above we have a reduction in personal injuries, which can range from minor to fatal depending on the accident.
  • Also, as a consequence of the reduction of accidents there is a reduction of direct costs (material cost of accidents, loss of goods, etc.) and indirect costs (accident insurance, sick leave, etc.).
  • Increased productivity, by having fewer accidents, delivery times will be improved, there will be fewer process interruptions, less time spent on repacking, etc.
  • Compliance with European directive 2014/47/EU and EUMOS 40509 standard.
  • Contribution to greater safety on our roads, which is important considering that in Europe traffic accidents are one of the main external causes of death (not due to disease).
  • Increased sustainability by optimizing the use and reducing the waste of packaging materials through process improvement, as opposed to overuse of packaging as a solution to achieve more securing cargo.
  • Increased customer satisfaction by ensuring safe, reliable and smooth transportation of goods.

How to perform a load acceleration test

In order to carry out these acceleration tests, it is necessary to select the appropriate machinery (in this case a horizontal stability tester) and the methodology to be followed to perform the test. In the following sections we are going to deal with both points.

> Methods to perform the acceleration test for palletized loads

When performing the horizontal acceleration test, the most widespread practice is to follow the method described in the EUMOS 40509 standard. That is, the load is subjected to acceleration and deceleration tests similar to those it may undergo during transport.

The objective is to quantify the rigidity of each unit load, understood as the indivisible load that is protected by the packaging, for example a pallet. The steps to be followed in the acceleration test are as follows:

  1. The load to be tested is placed on the platform of a horizontal stability machine.
  2. The load must be secured as it will be during transport in order for the test to be representative of reality.
  3. The corresponding acceleration is applied to the platform in the direction in which the load is to be tested for at least 0.3 seconds and then decelerated. The transition from rest to acceleration should take a maximum of 0.05 seconds.
  4. If necessary, a support with a maximum height of 2.5 cm can be placed to prevent the load from slipping during the test.
  5. Once the test has been performed, both elastic deformation (using high speed cameras of at least 80 frames/second) and permanent deformation will be measured for comparison with the relevant limits. In addition, the packaging must not be damaged during the test.
  6. If the deflection is less than the set limits, the load shall be considered to be rigid for that acceleration in the direction in which the test was performed. Once the pallet stability is certified, such certification should be accompanied by a label showing the test information.

The maximum deformation limits are: elastic deformation of 10% and plastic deformation of 5% of the load height, being the elastic deformation the one that is recovered when the acceleration ends and the plastic deformation the one that remains permanently.

If you want to know what would be the maximum acceleration that can withstand that unit load, you only have to repeat the test with a higher acceleration/deceleration until you find the desired value.

  • EUMOS 40509

Eumos 40509 is the standard that describes in detail all acceleration test conditions, including deformation and pallet stability criteria as well as test certification specifications.

This standard is included in Annex 3 of the above-mentioned directive 2014/47/EU, thus being the globally most accepted method for cargo stability testing during transport.

Load acceleration testing equipment

Now that we have discussed the methodology, let’s move on to the other pillar necessary to perform the acceleration tests: the test machines.

> Horizontal Stability Tester

The horizontal stability tester is the reference option for this type of acceleration test. At Safe Load we have innSlide, our horizontal stability tester, designed to perform horizontal acceleration and deceleration tests according to the main international standards.

In addition, Safe Load can customize the machine to adapt it to the weight or length you need, being a very interesting option for both laboratories and companies with specific requirements.

Horizontal stability Tester Safe Load Testing Technologies

Horizontal Stability Tester installed at Trioplast facilities

innSlide can also perform more complex tests with combined accelerations and allows for flexible and precise acceleration time settings.

> Boomerang Horizontal Stability Tester

At Safe Load we also have our worldwide patented solution, the innSlide Boomerang, a very compact machine that allows acceleration test based on EUMOS 40509. The small size of this machine allows it to be easily transported, as it is easily loaded onto a truck using a forklift.


innSlide Boomerang Horizontal Stability Tester acquired for Stretch AB for its Mobile test engineering lab.

> InnVision

Both units are equipped as standard with the innVision ST vision measurement system, which includes a high-speed camera and software for measuring the load deformation of the unit. This system, after data capture, allows to generate results report useful to verify the pallet stability.

In addition, it is possible to install the most advanced system, innVision Pro, which incorporates a high-speed machine vision camera capable of measuring load deformation in real time and generating reports completely automatically.

innVision Pro - Safe Load Testing Technologies

innVision Pro and Boomerang Stability Tester installed in Samuel Grant’s pallet testing lab.

Specialists in acceleration test

At Safe Load TT we offer multiple solutions for the performance of acceleration tests. Our horizontal acceleration teams have helped many companies to improve securing cargo and optimize their packaging system.

If your company is looking for a solution like this, whether for acceleration testing or otherwise, do not hesitate to contact us so we can start working together.


ebook load stability guide