How to Secure a Load
What items are needed to help secure a load?
- Chains – Used to secure odd shaped commodities where a typical flat strap will break.
- Load Binders/Ratchet Binders – Used to tighten a chain down on a load.
- 4 inch Straps – 4-inch wide strap mounted to the side of the trailer to be placed over the load to hold the load down.
- 2 inch Portable Straps – 2-inch wide strap not mounted to the trailer that can be placed anywhere on the trailer.
- Wench Bars – Used to tighten 4-inch strap ratchets and chain binders.
- Load Bar/Load Locks – Typically an Aluminum bar that hooks inside the van from one side of a trailer to the other to prevent loads shifting.
- Tarps – Heavy, thick material used to protect a load from weather conditions throughout its trip Bungee Cords: Used to secure the side of a tarp against a load.
- 5th Wheel Locks/King Pin Locks – Used to protect a trailer from being stolen by preventing it from hooking up to a 5th wheel plate.
- Dunnage – Miscellaneous wood used to secure by blocking or bracing cargo to the trailer to prevent movement forward or backwards.
- V-Boards – Plastic, aluminum, or wood that is made in the shape of a “V,” used to disperse the weight of a load to keep it from shifting.
Why do you tarp a load?
Tarping is generally required by the shipper and is used to ensure the quality of the commodity once it arrives at the consignee. The commodities that tarps are used for vary due to the specific nature of the commodity and its intended use.
What is some common Tarping advice?
When in doubt, secure the tarp more than requested by the shipper: if you have any doubts about keeping it in place, try to secure it better, because if you think it might blow loose, then it CERTAINLY will. Remember to pad sharp corners or edges or else they will cut through the tarp and allow the environment to get in. Be careful to stay out of the path of the end of a bungee cord if it slips loose or breaks because the bungee cord can cause serious injury.. If you can avoid putting a strap or chain over your tarp, then avoid it, as they will cut/tear your tarps.
If there is any possible way to get moisture under a tarp it will happen, so ALWAYS make sure that sensitive loads are waterproofed before you put your tarp on because you can NOT guarantee that the tarp prevent water from getting in. Plastic sheeting can be used on top of the load to reassure no water can get on the load if it slips through the tarp.
Keep duct tape close by, as when you are folding/rolling them up cover holes from the inside to help stop the holes from leaking and spreading further you can get it repaired. It is more cost effective to repair small holes and tears than replacing an entire tarp.
Last, but not least, critically look at each load before, during and after tarping. Then assess to see if there appears to be a way wind and water can get in and re-position.
How to Secure a Load Properly:
For complete guidelines of all commodities hauled please reference the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Pocketbook section 393.
For more additional information, please contact us.