Secure Load

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Cogbill Safety Tuesday February 09, 2021

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates that any hauler of goods operating in interstate commerce must comply with their standards of cargo securement. Unsecured cargo can be dangerous and lead to cargo damage, vehicle/trailer damage, car accidents, loss of load, or even loss of life. Keep the following tips in mind to keep you and your load safe in transit on a flatbed truck:

1. Work with your co-workers and help each other secure loads. This will not only ensure things are done quickly, but will also reduce the possibility for injury.

2. Use a forklift or overhead crane to get tarps on top of the load and use a ladder to climb onto the load. Carrying heavy tarps in perilous conditions is a recipe for disaster. Never climb up the tires or the side of the load for access.

3. Tarp loads only in a secure location. Do not tarp loads on the side of the road or highway.

4. Use boots with non-skid soles and proper tread, helmet, orange jacket, work gloves and protective glasses when tarping and securing a load.

5. Always unroll a tarp forward so all hazards are visible as you work. Pulling the tarp backward to cover the load and walking backward on top of the load is not an acceptable practice. Also, be mindful of holes in the load and while walking on wet tarp.

6. Use smart lifting techniques when handling tarp to prevent injuries. Keep a straight back and do not pull tarp with the arms above waist height.

7. When securing the tarp, pull any bungee cords away from the face and turn hooks away from the tarp.

8. Do not use any securement materials that are damaged or worn in any way.

9. When tying down loads, remember the following rules:

  • One tiedown for articles 5 feet or less in length and 1,100 pounds or less

  • Two tiedowns for articles 5 feet or less in length and more than 1,100 pounds

  • Two tiedowns for articles greater than 5 feet but less than 10 feet in length, regardless of weight

  • Two tiedowns for articles greater than 10 feet and one additional tiedown for every 10 feet of length, or fraction thereof, beyond the first 10 feet

  • Loads are the responsibility of the driver and no one else. Make sure you are comfortable with the way your load is secured.

  • Use material such as carpet, cardboard, towels, etc., to protect your straps from the loads’ sharp edges.

10. Understand and follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for securing specific types of commodities.

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