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How To Safely Strap Down Loads On A Flatbed Trailer

Thursday, September 7th, 2017
truck driver safety tips

Securing cargo on a flatbed trailer is extremely important to ensure you don’t lose the merchandise and for safety reasons. 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 weather 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.

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

You can use a combination of items to secure the cargo on your flatbed trailer. Chain binders, chains, and cargo straps will all help you keep the freight in place and not allow it to shift during transportation. If your load is comprised of separate items such as lumber, you need to make sure it is packed tightly. Doing this eliminates shifting among the individual pieces and keeps the entire load from moving.

Straps are a good tie-down for lumber as they won’t damage the merchandise like chains. These items can be threaded through your trailer winch to tighten them until your cargo is secure.

If you are transporting pipes or other metals, you can use blocks and wedges to stabilize the load. These blocks or wedges will keep your load from rolling, and you also use your winch to lock the chains in place. If you have products that cannot be damaged, put old pieces of carpet or other cushioning material against the chains or straps for protection.

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.