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Avoiding The Dangers of Shifting Cargo

Saturday, January 4th, 2020
Flatbed truck shifting Cargo

Proper cargo management is what prevents a bad scenario from happening on the road. A ‘bad scenario’ could be cargo that’s lost, collisions, bodily injury. It’s no secret that there have been many catastrophic failures leading to death when it comes to securing loads. The speed and momentum of traveling on the road is what poses such a high danger. 

Securing Cargo Loads to Your Trailer

Flatbeds are tricky when it comes to securing loads. Unlike other trucks, they lack sides or tops that would help with securing a load in position. The lack of sides and tops makes it easier to load and unload cargo, but there is a fine art to ensuring cargo stays on the bed while traveling. 

As a result, unsecured cargo is a much greater risk when it’s on a flatbed. There is nowhere for cargo to go on a flatbed truck except off and onto the road if it is poorly secured. Whether the result is lost cargo or injured motorists, it’s undesirable for all truckers. 

In order to secure a load on cargo trailers such as a flatbed involves several tools: 

  • Cables
  • Winches
  • Webbing Straps
  • Chains
  • Load Binders

Selecting the right tool is especially important. For example, webbing straps can work for many items, but you’ll want to use chains for bigger objects. Furthermore, if you use chains to die down cargo, always use load binders to tighten them. Doing it by hand simply isn’t enough to keep the load secure. 

In fact, you may want to invest in what’s called “V boards”. These act to protect your cargo from the pressure of tight straps. Because tighter is usually better when it comes to securing loads on a flatbed, these could very well be worth the investment if your goal is a truly secure load. 

Another key component of securing cargo to a flatbed trailer is to decide if a tarp is needed. Tarps are not meant to be used as a means to secure loads. It is more of a protective containment factor. Tarps can protect some types of cargo from being scattered by high winds as you travel along at high speeds. There may also be inclement weather that the tarp can serve to protect your cargo from. 

Avoid Shifting Cargo

If you’ve secured your cargo correctly, then chances are you won’t have much to worry about aside from periodic checks while on the road. However, the movement of the road can cause anything that is on the trailer to move as well. 

While this movement could cause damage to some cargo, the true risk is how it can impede your driving. The sliding force of moving cargo could make a turn dangerous (you could tip over!).

Proper Weight Loading

Weight distribution is a key aspect of transporting cargo on trucks. Weigh stations look at the weight load of each axle along with total weight. If the weight load is skewed, then it could be caused by improper loading. Poor loading of your truck increases wear and tear, leading to high maintenance costs and less profit for your company overall. 

Safe Loading And Unloading

Since flatbed trailers have no sides or tops, there is more ease in loading and unloading cargo. But, as it is with securing loads, the absence of sides can work to your disadvantage. The process of loading and unloading a flatbed truck can be inherently dangerous and there’s a high chance you could fall and injure yourself. The best way to prevent this is to use a secure ladder such as the Deckmate Ladder. This provides you with a totally secure on-and-off ramp access to the truck bed.

Put Safety First With Gateway Supply

For more information about the Deckmate Ladder and how it reduces risk of injury for flatbed semi truck drivers and other employees, get in touch with Gateway Supply LLC. Since 2005, we have been supplying our ladders to trucking, railroad, power, and oilfield companies and to the United States government, including every branch of the military. Click on the About Us tab to learn more about our company or complete our request form to get the details that you need. You can also talk to our staff directly by calling (806) 665-7990 if you have and questions about our portable ladders.