If you truck for a living, you’ll learn a few things about how to better secure your cargo. No one wants to have an accident on the road or worse, lose their load. Properly securing your cargo can ensure it arrives in one piece and on time. More importantly, you save your job and your tail. You have more money in your pocket and can keep on trucking. In this blog, we’ll go over the top 10 Cargo Securement Tips that every trucker needs to know.
Follow The Regulations
One of the most well-known organizations that keep truck drivers safe on the road is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Having been around since the early 2000s, the organization outlined a set of rules for cargo securement that truckers must follow. Using the recommended tie-down methods and the right hardware in certain situations can truly increase your level of safety.
Moreover, it’s important for truck drivers to follow local, state and national regulations as well. There’s a wide array of rules that you must abide by, including DOT Chain Binder Regulations. Otherwise, a trucker could find themselves getting pulled over by the police, paying a hefty fine and even lose their job. Read up on the latest regulations in your hometown and follow the FMCSA rules.
Choose The Right Equipment
Part of following the rules also means using the right equipment for the job. By doing so, you can avoid wasting time and hit the road in minutes. There are several different pieces of hardware used to secure and protect a load during a transport. They include everything from Chain Binders, Corner Protectors, Transport Chains to Tarps. The FMCSA can be a great point of reference to use when you’re unsure about what tie-down methods to use and when. Though, these tools mean nothing if they can’t help you complete a job correctly.
According to the FMCSA, truckers must use securement tools that are in “proper working order” to help with the transport of their materials. In other words, invest in high-quality straps, tarps and chains. Purchasing older or used hardware can lead to many issues, such as poor tensioning and losing your materials on the road. In the end, a functioning securement device can make a world of difference in how you complete your hauling job.
Inspect Your Cargo
Another key tip is regularly inspecting your cargo securement. Securing your cargo isn’t a one and done deal. You need to make sure your material stays on your flatbed at all times. Whenever you take a break or go to the gas station, check your ratchet straps, corner protectors and tarps to see if they’re properly placed over your cargo. If not, make the necessary adjustments. Even before hitting the road, do a double check of your setup. Test the straps to see if you’ve added proper tensioning or make sure your corner protectors aren’t sitting askew over your load.
Additionally, you should regularly inspect your hardware and equipment for any type of damage. If you do spot signs of early wear and tear, either make repairs or get a replacement immediately. A torn winch strap may come apart during transit and your cargo could possibly fall off your flatbed truck. Avoid having accidents on the road as much as possible.
Securing your materials also means practicing balance. The term doesn’t just apply to Yoga, but also in instances where weight distribution is needed to stabilize the cargo over your flatbed trailer. As a rule of thumb, always be aware of how the weight of your load affects the dimensions of your truck’s trailer. It’s especially important if you’re hauling an extremely large load. This type of cargo must have its weight balanced out over your flatbed. Otherwise, you could cause a fatal accident on the road. Also, heavier cargo should be placed on the lower deck and right above your truck’s axles. Around half of the load should be on the front of the trailer, which prevents your cargo from moving. In the end, your materials must be balanced and fastened to your trailer.
Always Use Edge Protectors & Other Parts
Corner and Edge Protectors can even add an extra layer of protection for your cargo. In particular they provide optimal security for a Shipping Container during shipping, transportation and while being stored away. Though, Edge and Corner protectors don’t just keep your materials safe.
They also prevent your ratchet straps from becoming damaged during transit. Specifically, the sharp edges of a container could potentially cut into your straps and risk tearing them. Fortunately, Corner Protectors shield your straps from the edges of the Shipping Container and reduce the risk of damage.
Speaking of which, Mytee Products has Corner Protectors as well as other Shipping Container parts that can make your job safer. Our company has everything from Caster Wheels, Corner Castings, Manual Locks and Ramps to help get your Shipping Container from point A to B.
On The Job Training
There’s plenty to learn about Cargo Securement for Flatbeds, especially if you’re a rookie. Fortunately, there’s a number of ways you keep yourself sharp in the trucking industry. By attending online sessions, workshops, and seminars instructed by industry experts, you can get the training and experience you need. In particular, a workshop can help you stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and regulations on Cargo Securement. Knowing how these changes may impact your job can keep you prepared. You should even ask questions during discussions to help you gain a better understanding of Cargo Securement regulations. It really comes down to you being the best at your job.
Keep Your Cargo In Line
The main mission of FMCSA is to ensure that your materials remain secure during transit. Materials that aren’t secured properly can lead to serious consequences for a truck driver. Not only will they risk losing their cargo, but also have a bad reputation. Ensuring your cargo stays on your trailer circles back to using the right cargo securement devices. For example, Chain Binders and Ratchet Straps can keep your freight centered and fixed in place during the transport. Similarly, Cargo Straps are great at strapping down more delicate cargo like plastic piping. However, these straps are prone to tears and may have to be checked from time to time. Following these simple methods can ensure your cargo remains stationary on your trailer.
Double-Check Your Handy Work
As mentioned before, make sure your cargo is secure before taking off. Your straps and transport chains must be properly tensioned and your Chain Binders have to keep your setup in line. Even if your Loading Bar is out of place, it could spell disaster. Unfortunately, common mistakes like this pop up more often than not. Truck drivers should watch out for major mishaps like inadequate tie-downs, loose spare tires, and improper blocking and bracing of a vehicle. Some truckers even make the mistake of not using Corner Protectors at all. Issues like this could lead to your straps cutting into your cargo, instability issues and damaging a vehicle you’re hauling. Improper securement can cause a wide array of problems if you’re not careful.
Be Aware Of Weather Conditions
Proper Cargo Securement especially becomes crucial during extreme weather conditions. While most of your Flatbed Load securement tools are designed to handle weather changes, they do need some adjusting. For instance, snow and ice can increase the overall weight of your cargo and negatively affect loading distribution. In extremely hot temperatures, your load can expand and decrease the effectiveness of your cargo securement devices. Wind can even be your worst enemy. It can cause your materials to shift or fall off your trailer. A severe rainstorm can also cause your cargo to move and slide off.
When instances like this occur, you need everything from extra restraints to waterproofing devices to help protect your cargo. Even reflective devices can improve the visibility of your truck and cargo for other drivers on the road. Securing your cargo involves being ready for anything, especially for dramatic changes in the weather.
Communication Is Key
Networking with other truckers on the road can also help you learn how to properly secure your loads. Talking with an experienced trucker can give you plenty of insight about the job. More importantly, you might learn a thing or two about how best to protect your cargo. Not to mention, you can even learn from other’s mistakes. Networking with other truckers keeps you up-to-date on the latest regulatory changes. Communicating with your colleagues might even help you excel at your job.
Staying Safe On The Road
It goes without saying that Cargo Securement is serious business. Using the proper securement devices for a load and staying in line with trucking regulations can keep your materials safe. Not to mention, following these top 10 tips will help truckers remain safe themselves. No job is worth risking your life.
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