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How To Safely Strap Down Loads On A Flatbed Trailer

Thursday, September 7th, 2017
truck driver safety tips

Properly securing cargo on a flatbed trailer is of utmost importance, not only to prevent loss of merchandise but also to ensure safety. It is important to understand the basics of strapping down cargo and how to distribute the weight of the load. Truck drivers should also know which tie-downs to use and how to safely access their flatbed trailers.

The basics of strapping down cargo

Being a flatbed truck driver means you need to know more than just the rules of the road. You have to know how to securely strap down the freight you’re carrying. Depending on the nature of your load, you may need to protect against the elements, and you must know the total weight of the products. Using the proper equipment is critical to strapping down the load so it does not move while transporting. Having a combination of tie-downs, chains, and straps is the safest way to haul cargo on a flatbed trailer.

Distributing the weight

This weight of the cargo you are transporting will need to be distributed evenly on the bed of the trailer. Once this step is done, you can determine the number of tie-downs required to keep the load securely in place. Determining the number of tie-downs requires figuring out the capacity of each individual tie-down for the total weight of the load. If you are carrying 35,000 pounds of cargo and your tie-downs handle 5,000 pounds, you will need seven chains to make sure it is secure.

Securing the cargo with the right tools

Ensuring the safety and security of your cargo during transportation is of utmost importance, and utilizing the appropriate equipment and techniques will help accomplish that goal.

To secure the cargo on your flatbed trailer effectively, it is important to use a combination of items. Chain binders, chains, and cargo straps are all valuable tools that will help prevent shifting during transportation. When hauling separate items like lumber, it is crucial to tightly pack them to minimize movement among the individual pieces and maintain the stability of the entire load.

For lumber, straps are a preferred option because they provide security without causing any damage to the merchandise, unlike chains. The straps should be threaded through your trailer winch and tightened until the cargo is securely in place.

When transporting pipes or other metals, using blocks and wedges to stabilize the load is recommended. The blocks and wedges will prevent rolling, and you can further secure the load with chains using the winch. Additionally, if you have delicate products that require extra protection, consider using old pieces of carpet or other cushioning material against the chains or straps.

Consequences of Improper Load Securement

When cargo is not properly secured, it can result in many serious consequences.

  • First, the load can shift during transport, which can compromise the balance of the entire vehicle. This could easily cause you to lose control and get into an accident. It is especially dangerous in situations where the trailer has heavy loads like machinery or construction materials.
  • Besides the risk of accidents, improperly secured loads can also lead to financial losses. This can occur when the cargo falls off the trailer and gets damaged, resulting in replacement or repair costs.
  • Furthermore, the loss of cargo during transport may disrupt supply chains, leading to delays and potentially damaging business relationships. It could also lead to legal consequences, as the driver and the transport company could be held liable for any damage or injury resulting from the lost cargo.
  • Lastly, not properly securing cargo is a violation of the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Violations can result in substantial fines and penalties, tarnishing the reputation of the transportation company. Therefore, it is essential to take all precautions necessary to secure cargo properly.

Safely accessing your flatbed trailer

Climbing up and down a flatbed trailer can be dangerous. Jumping from the height of your trailer bed also puts you at risk for serious injuries. The Deckmate Ladder from Gateway Supply in Pampa, TX is your solution to safely accessing your cargo. This ladder hooks onto the existing rub-rails and will not interfere with the loading docks. With the Deckmate Ladder, you avoid having to jump from your flatbed trailer and eliminate the slips and falls that often occur when accessing cargo.

Gateway Supply in Pampa, Texas is the distributor of the Deckmate Ladder. If you would like more information about trailer safety, call us at (806) 440-1126 or Contact Us by email today.