Securing your cargo properly is extremely important when transporting goods and materials in the trucking industry. It protects your valuable assets and ensures the safety of drivers and others on the road.
Know the Regulations
To ensure safety on the road, it’s crucial for trucking companies and drivers to understand the rules for securing cargo set by regulatory authorities like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules outline the minimum requirements for securing different types of cargo, such as general freight, hazardous materials, and specific equipment like logs or metal coils. Understanding these rules will help you comply with regulations and avoid fines or penalties.
Distribute and Balance the Load Properly
Maintaining a balanced load is important for safe cargo transportation. Uneven weight distribution can make the truck unstable, leading to accidents or damage to the cargo. To achieve even weight distribution, place heavy items at the center and bottom of the cargo space. Distribute the weight equally on both sides and secure the load using appropriate equipment like straps, chains, or tie-downs, depending on the cargo type and regulations.
Use the Right Equipment and Techniques
Using suitable equipment and techniques is crucial to prevent cargo from shifting or moving during transit. Common equipment includes straps, chains, binders, winches, and edge protectors. Choose the equipment that matches the weight and type of cargo you’re transporting. Before each trip, check the equipment to ensure it’s in good condition, and replace any worn-out parts.
When securing your cargo, use a combination of direct and indirect tie-down methods. Direct tie-downs involve attaching chains or straps directly to the cargo, while indirect tie-downs use friction and blocking devices to secure the load against the walls or floor of the cargo space.
Use Appropriate Restraints for Different Cargo Types
Different cargo types require specific restraints to ensure stability during transportation. For example, use webbing straps for general freight and steel chains for heavy machinery or equipment. Hazardous materials have additional regulations and may require specialized restraints, along with specific labeling and placarding.
Understanding the characteristics of your cargo is important for selecting the right restraints and ensuring proper securement. We train drivers and employees in proper cargo handling techniques, including choosing and applying suitable restraints for different cargo types.
Regularly Inspect and Maintain Your Equipment
Regular inspections and maintenance are essential to keep your cargo securement effective. Before each trip, carefully inspect your equipment for any signs of wear and tear, loose or damaged components, or degradation. Promptly repair or replace any damaged equipment to maintain the safety and integrity of your cargo. Be sure to continue to check your cargo during your daily pre-trip inspections.
Stay Safe On The Road
If you’re looking for a trucking company that prioritizes safety, choose DSW. In addition, we offer competitive pay and benefits for our drivers.