It was customary for all sorts of trucks, wagons and carriages to enter the wharfboats. Those bridges served double duty and were used as spars to keep the wharfboat off the bank. The heavy chain in the foreground was used to moor the wharfboat. It was led to a winch so the wharfboat could be pulled toward shore during rises. The bridges were used to push the wharfboat out when the river fell. Often these moves were made with the assistance of the packets.
The river side of the wharfboats was perfectly flat and straight. Gangplanks were laid for rolling hand trucks, dollies and drums aboard the packets.