Cargo control is not something to be taken lightly. It can literally be a matter of life or death.
Whenever you’re hauling, “the first thing you want to do is try to make your cargo as much a part of the truck as possible so that if you are in an accident, your cargo is safe and secure,” advises longtime team haulers Bob and Linda Caffee.
The team has been hauling for 12 years.
Cargo that isn’t secured can quickly become a projectile, warns Henry Albert of Team Run Smart, a community for those in the trucking industry.
“One of the hardest loads to secure is a big load of conduit. The best thing is to at least get it cinched up tight to each other. Put a choker chain in front. It doesn’t hurt none to do it in the back,” he says.
When it comes to cargo control products, “it’s better to have one too many than one too few,” says Albert, a professional truck driver since 1983. “You can have one too many, many times. But you can have one too few one time.”
The Federal Government has cargo control regulations in place, from pickup truck to tractor trailer, enclosed, flatbed, dry van, dump truck, etc. Learn more from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Through May, PaulB Wholesale will offer special pricing on load securement products such as ratchet tie-down straps, tarps, transport chains, and ratchet binders.
“A bungee cord is not a load securement,” adds Alan Montanus, a flatbed truck driver for 19 years.
When using direct tie-downs, the strap’s working load limit must be equal to the load you carry. The size and weight of your cargo determines how many tie-downs you’ll need. Refer to FMCSA rules.
Montanus encourages anyone hauling anything to double-check load securement devices before getting in the cab.
Inspect straps for any frays or cuts in them, and if you spot any, “consider them unsafe.”
Those who use cargo control items when transporting meat, poultry or egg products should sanitize the items regularly and routinely inspect them for wear from washing.
Have spare cargo control stored safely in your truck in case replacements are needed while on a run.