Importance Of Cargo Securement Requirements

Importance Of Cargo Securement Requirements

One of the most important elements of driving a flatbed truck doesn’t happen behind the wheel. Securing cargo before you begin the journey is essential to preventing shifting or falling pieces, which can easily lead to accidents or injuries to you and other motorists. As a trusted regional flatbed trucking company, Blue Max Transport works with experienced, skilled drivers who routinely review and practice cargo securement practices.

Motorists, suppliers, and your employer expect that you’ll follow the rigorous guidelines laid out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ensure the roads are safe when you’re in the driver’s seat. The Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement lays out the specifics of loading, securing, and transporting cargo safely.

Benefits Of Proper Cargo Securement

Customers anticipate that their order will arrive in an undamaged, timely fashion. It’s your job as a professional commercial motor vehicle operator to protect the products being shipped. When the material is safely transported, the benefits can be felt far beyond the recipient.

  • Risk of causing a crash with other drivers is minimized
  • Employer is protected from costly claims from third-parties or material/product losses
  • Employer’s brand is recognized for being safety conscious
  • Driver earns experience and reputation as reliable
  • Employer’s insurance rates remain low

Properly securing loads is not a process that should be completed after a load shift or accident. Implementing safe practices now will help develop reliable cargo securement methods for the future.

Cargo Securement 101

Understanding the basic principles of securing cargo will give you an upper hand in maintaining a clean driving record. To portray a positive corporate image, keep all trucks and commercial vehicles clean. Then, follow our simple tips ahead of loading your materials.

  • Ensure the vehicle you plan to use is the correct size for the cargo to be hauled.
  • Perform a detailed vehicle inspection. The FMCSA offers an extensive checklist to use during your vehicle inspection. The list covers interior and exterior components of the vehicle to ensure your load is safe and the vehicle is operating properly.
  • Rid the trailer deck or vehicle bed of trash and debris. Loose debris can easily become a hazard for fellow motorists if it flies out of the vehicle. Inspect for any damage caused by previous shipments.
  • Use parking chalks while loading the materials. You don’t want the truck to move while you’re loading the cargo.
  • The cargo should be immobilized before you begin the trip. Use blocking, bracing, friction mats, other cargo pieces, void fillers, or a combination of these solutions to ensure your load doesn’t move during transport.

Once you’re on the load, check the cargo within the first 50 miles to ensure nothing has shifted. Re-examine the load every three hours or 150 miles after the first stop.

Cargo Covering Requirements

Check the regulations for those states through which you’ll be traveling. Some states do require cargo to be covered to help avoid debris from leaking, spilling, blowing, or falling from the truck. Not only is an overloaded or improperly secured cargo unsafe for the roads, it’s also incredibly difficult to drive and can contribute to poor fuel economy. Keep yourself, other drivers, and your employer safe from the consequences of unsecured cargo by following the regulations set forth by the FMCSA