Losing cargo is just plain bad business all around. The fallen material will more than likely be too damaged or lost meaning a complete delivery will not be met. Additionally, fallen cargo can cause major damage to the road and (more importantly) to the other vehicles around you. This all adds up to big bucks, affecting your bottom line and reputation. Safety is key when shipping cargo on a flatbed trailer and properly securing your load is a skill that must be mastered before hitting the road.
Step 1: Know the loads weight.
Before securing the load, you have to know how much the load weighs. In most cases, the bill of lading has a pretty accurate weight for the shipment. However, if you want to be sure yourself or if there isn’t a bill of lading then you will have to weigh the load yourself.
Step 2: Figure out your Work Load Limit.
After you know the loads weight, you will need to figure out your Work Load Limit (WLL). WLL is the maximum load that can be secured by tie downs at the attachment points. The WLL is a very important step to make sure the strength of the tie down will be able to hold the load. To get the WLL all you need to do is divide the total load weight by the capacity of the tie downs you’re using to figure out how many are needed to hold the load down securely.
Note: It’s important to double check the your tie downs are able to hold the load. NEVER exceed the WLL.
Step 3: Secure the load.
Now it’s time to secure the load tight using your tie downs, which could be chains, chain binders or cargo straps. The importance of making sure your load is down tight and securely fastened, allowing no room for shifting, can not be understated. After you’re finished securing the load, go around and test your work just to be sure.
Note: If you have excess chains be sure to wrap them up tight around your binders and secure tight with a bungee to avoid potential trouble with D.O.T. inspector.
Never skip a step and be diligent to properly secure the load so you and the load you’re carrying will safely reach its destination. Securing cargo is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. To be sure your are in full compliance, be sure to check out their Cargo Securement Rules.
If you’re on the road and are in need of parts, our friendly staff at North Dixie Truck and Trailer will make sure you get what you need. Call us today at 419-222-8785 or, better yet, stop by our store at 2084 North Dixie Highway in Lima, Ohio.