Have you ever driven behind a truck carrying a large load? You may even find yourself nervously surveying the vehicle to see how secure the cargo is. The problem with unsecured cargo is it can fly off the back of the truck striking other vehicles behind them. According to the FMCSA, 4% of accidents are caused by improperly secured cargo.
As a result, the FMCSA has put cargo securement standards in place for all commercial vehicles. This law mandates truck drivers to take certain precautionary measures to ensure that their loads are safe and secure throughout their route.
So, if you’re a truck driver wanting tips for properly securing your cargo then you’re in the right place!
3 Tips for Securing Your Cargo
As per the FMCSA, there are a few requirements that you need to follow to avoid costly or deadly accidents.
Follow Tie-Down Requirements
The first thing you need to check is whether your tie-downs are secure before going on the highway. You also need to implement corner and edge protectors so sharp cargo doesn’t fray or cut the tie-downs. The protectors create a safe buffer between the cargo and the straps so neither gets damaged.
Here’s a set of requirements on how to secure cargo depending on its size:
- One tie-down if the cargo is 5 feet or less and weighs 1,100 pounds or less
- Two tie-down if the cargo is 5 feet or less and more than 1,100 pounds
- Two tie-downs if the cargo is 5 to 9 feet long
- Two tie-downs if the cargo is longer than 10 feet, and for every additional 10 feet you need another tie-down
Meet the Requirements for Special Purpose Vehicles
Special purpose trucks are used for hauling concrete beams, steel, and other irregularly shaped goods. Depending on what type of cargo you specifically haul, you have to follow certain guidelines. If you haul one of the listed items below, the FMCSA has specific cargo securement standards listed on their website:
- Intermodal containers
- Metal coils
- Concrete pipes
- Large machinery/equipment
- Crushed vehicles
- Paper rolls
Make Sure Your Cargo Can Withstand Force
You can’t control the weather or the types of routes you have to travel. For example, there may be strong winds one day or you may have to take a switchback up a mountain. The point is, your cargo needs to be able to withstand these different forces. Even just the basic accelerating, slowing down, turning, or riding on a bumpy road needs to be taken into consideration.
With that, we conclude the article and hope you have a firm understanding of properly securing your cargo. By following these tips, you can comply with the rules set by the FMCSA and complete your journey without any hassles.