5 Awesome Apps for Truck Drivers 

Anyone with a smartphone and data connection can send emails, shop for goods, make reservations, and connect with friends or even total strangers. However, the endless amount of resources available on the internet can be, at times, completely overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like digging through an unorganized toolbox, trying to find the exact right tool for a job. The frustrating part (of both the internet and your messy toolbox) is you know the perfect solution is in there somewhere.  

The Right Tool for the Job 

Apps help to organize some of what the internet has to offer.  Whether for business, entertainment, music, or health, apps usually stick to serving one designated function or solving one specific problem. They save time by storing user information and being quickly accessible.

 

  1. ICG ProfitCalc – a bidding app that helps you negotiate with brokers and shippers smarter. It calculates specific profit margins based on your projected annual costs and specific load-by-load rate calculations. The calculations are based on load mileage and other key details, and this is all clearly laid out for you in fillable data fields. A onetime cost of $15 will get you this number crunching app.
     
  2. Trucker Path – a free navigation app that will help you find the nearest truck stop, gas station (with truck clearance), repair shop, or weigh station no matter where you are. The big benefit of this app is that it updates in real time to tell you if a weigh station is open or closed, if there’s available parking at any given truck stop, and even current fuel prices at gas stations.
     
  3. Rolling Strong – a free health and wellness app from a company dedicated to the wellbeing of truck drivers. The app offers nutritional guidance by suggesting meals and exercise programs based on your daily sleep, exercise, and water and calorie intake. Maybe the coolest feature is the fitness competitions with other drivers who use the app. The motivation to win these competitions? Points that can be used towards food, merchandise, and free showers. The Rolling Strong App is free to download.
     
  4. iHeartRadio – a music, radio, and podcast app with various subscription levels to choose from. The free version gives you access to AM/FM radio stations from around the world. You can skip up to six songs per hour, per station. iHeart Plus gives you more control over what plays. For $5 a month, you can play specific tracks on demand and have unlimited skips. The All Access subscription is $10 per month. This one allows you to listen even while offline; no need for a wi-fi or data connection. Both paid versions offer a 30-day free trial.
  5.  Facebook – you probably already use this social media platform, but the free Facebook app makes it even easier to stay connected and take advantage of all that Facebook has to offer. For example, you can play games with your friends and even buy and sell items and services on the Facebook Marketplace. Share and store pictures and video, and even message and video chat with friends and family– all from the app. While you’re at it, follow the US Cargo Control Facebook page for great deals and information.

 

 Share your Best Trucker Apps 

Have any trucker specific apps that have come in handy for you? Help others out by sharing them in the comments below! 

 

US Cargo Control is Headed to NATE UNITE 2018

The NATE Association

US Cargo Control is a proud member of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE). NATE is a non-profit trade association that provides members with uniform safety standards, improved communications, and a unified voice for tower erection, service and maintenance companies.

For over 20 years, NATE has been recognized as the industry leader in promoting safety, standards, education and uniform practices and procedures.

#NATEUNITE2018

Next week, Nashville, TN, is hosting NATE UNITE 2018, and our very own Lacy, Alex and David are very excited to be attending this annual event. These three are all members of US Cargo Control’s dedicated Rigging & Lifting team, meaning they are product experts within this specialized industry.

Along with educational sessions led by industry experts discussing current relevant topics, there is also an exhibition component where attendees get to meet other professionals within the telecommunications industry and see what new products are available.

The US Cargo Control team will be exhibiting at booth #437. Among the new products we’ll have on hand are Crosby, Van Beest, and Chicago Hardware shackles; cargo and lifting nets; a variety of slings; as well as custom options for lifting and rigging supplies.

Our team knows that NATE puts on a great annual event that never disappoints. From the educational sessions to the networking events, NATE does a great job of getting everyone involved. “One thing I have noticed about NATE and the telecom industry is the people and the passion they have for what they are doing,” says Lacy. We find that truly inspiring.

David, Alex and Lacy are most looking forward to spending time with our current customers, and they can’t wait to meet new people and spread that word about what US Cargo Control can do for their company. From the networking to the learning and beyond, US Cargo Control is very proud to be a NATE member, and a part of #NATEUNITE2018!

Please stop by and meet David, Alex and Lacy if you are attending this wonderful event.

15 Tax Deductions Every Truck Driver Should Consider

First, what is a tax deduction? Essentially a tax deduction is a work-related expense that lowers your annual reported income. That usually means, less tax owed by you.  

If you’re a driver in the trucking industry, you’ve probably run into various expenses out on the road this past year. As stressful as taxes can be, tax time is your chance to claim deductions and get some of that money back.  

Tax Home Requirement for Truck Drivers  

Before a truck driver can claim a deduction, the IRS requires that you have a “tax home,” or address to list on your tax return. This is usually the address where you receive your mail. It could be your business’ headquarters or a personal residence. However, regulations say that you must regularly contribute towards that residence.   

In short, without a tax home, you will not be allowed to deduct business and travel expenses.  

Truck Driver Tax Deductions

Remember, you can only claim deductions on unreimbursed expenses.

  1. Travel Expenses – Includes hotels, meals, and more. There are different methods for recording these expenses. Check out IRS Publication 463 for more details. If you already use the standard allowance method, you can calculate your daily lodging, meal, and incidental expense allowance using the per diem rate tool.
  2. Vehicle Expenses – Most of what you need to keep your office-on-wheels running is deductible. Includes maintenance such as oil changes and new tires, as well as needed repairs. If you own your rig, you should be able to deduct depreciation amounts year to year.
  3.  Fuel – This one has some restrictions. If you paid more than $100 out of pocket for fuel and were not reimbursed, you can deduct some of that amount using standard mileage rates. Remember that it has to be for business purposes. Commuting costs are not deductible.
  4. License and Regulatory Fees – Costs associated with obtaining and maintaining your CDL. Also, the cost of any required classes or training to further your job education are generally deductible.
  5. Union and Trade Association Fees – Required union and truck driving association group dues are usually deductible. In some cases, even voluntary membership dues are deductible if the membership helps you do your job.
  6.  Medical Exams – You’re likely required to visit the doctor for a DOT physical, drug test, or maybe even a sleep apnea study. If you pay out of pocket for any of those, the costs are generally deductible.
  7. Office Supplies – Traditional office supplies like pencils, binders, and calculators can often be deducted as a business expense. You may also be able to deduct costs for job-related office services such as faxing and photocopying.
  8. Trade Publications Subscriptions – As long as the magazines or journals you subscribe to are directly related to your industry, they can usually be deducted. If you have load board subscription fees, they may also be deductible.

    Transport chain and other load securement equipment can be tax deductible.
  9. Load Securement – You can usually deduct the equipment you need to secure your precious cargo. A great excuse to get some new ratchet strapsbungee cordschains, and tarps.
  10. Electronics – Generally deductible when used only for work purposes. Examples include your CB radio, GPS, GPS map updates, and your ELD.  Also, repair costs for these devices are often deductible. You probably use your cell phone, data plan, or laptop for both business and personal reasons. Therefore, these items are usually only 50% deductible.
  11. Tools – This one is almost too good to be true. Your tax return can usually include deductions for almost any roadway tool your job requires: duct and electrical tapes, hammers, pliers, tire irons, and more.
  12. Clothing –  You can usually deduct items if you need them to perform your job. Specialized clothing such as overalls, rain gear, safety glasses, safety vests, and hard hats all fall into this category.
  13. Sleeper Berth – On long trips away from home, you need this off-duty space to prepare for your next shift behind the wheel. Save receipts for items like bedding, alarm clocks, cab curtains, and mini-fridges, as these items are often tax deductible.
  14. Personal Care Items – Hygiene products like soap, toothpaste, razors, and even first-aid equipment. Keep in mind that shower and laundry cleaning costs can also be deductible.
  15. Cleaning Supplies – Just about anything that keeps your rig sparkling clean and ready for service.  Towels, window cleaner, trash bags, and even a personal vacuum can all be tax deductible.  

Claiming your Truck Driving Deductions   

In conclusion, it’s important for truck drivers to be aware of and take advantage of the industry-specific tax deductions available to them.    

However, everyone has unique employment and tax situations. This post does not intend to provide any specific tax advice. Please consult a tax professional if you have specific questions on what deductions apply to your situation.   

ELD Mandate: Rerouting the Trucking Industry

Deadline to Comply Looms Near

On December 18th, the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate goes into effect nationwide. The days when truckers could log their miles and hours by hand will soon be in the rearview.

Enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the ELD mandate requires truckers to purchase and link a computerized device to their rig’s engine and onboard system. ELDs capture truckers every move: whether the engine is running, whether the vehicle is moving, and where the vehicle is located.

Some large companies, such as FedEx and UPS, have already been utilizing these devices. However, the majority of owner-operators have not.

Under the mandate, truckers will have limited driving time. 11 hours of driving a day within a 14 hour workday. Also, there is a requirement to take 10 consecutive off-duty hours per day.

Less Fatigue or Less Patience?

The intent of these embedded time-trackers is to greatly reduce roadway accidents. ELDs aim to do that by eliminating inaccurate reporting and minimizing the number of fatigued drivers. However, many truckers argue this will only add pressure to their already deadline-driven jobs, which, in turn, will outweigh the positives of reduced fatigue.

In an article by Overdrive Magazine, Darrell Wright, an owner-operator of a three-truck company, explains how this mandate may actually cause more hazardous driving. “If I’m driving 74 miles per hour and I see a car easing up on me, I will usually let off and let the car go on, but after the ELDs go into effect I can’t give that courtesy anymore because every time I let off the accelerator I lose money,” said Wright.

Trading Autonomy for Information

Another concern is data collection. To the FMCSA, constant collection will benefit the industry by clearly communicating driver, truck, and route trends. For example, ELDs can precisely track time spent waiting for loading and unloading. This will expose companies who are consistently making drivers wait unreasonable lengths of time. Theoretically resulting in more efficient shippers.

However, trucking has historically been one of the most independent professions. The idea of being tracked, monitored, and rigidly regulated leaves an unconstitutional taste in the mouths of free-spirited truckers. Most of whom already know their jobs can be done without data pools of information.

Indeed, such a sophisticated device creates a vulnerability to hacking and potential risk to drivers hauling sensitive cargo.

During an interview with Q13 Fox news, President of the United Independent Truckers of America, Harry Singh, said “This is a violation of our privacy.” Singh went on to say, “Having the tracking system in our trucks will allow the government to track us 24 hours a day and that’s not good for privacy and it’s not good for safety reasons.”

With less than one week before the deadline, the FMCSA remains full speed ahead. This, despite legislative delay attempts and ongoing truck-stop protests. Once implemented, a driver caught without an ELD can be fined or even be placed out of service.

Operation Safe Driver Week is Oct. 15-21

October 15-21, 2017 has been designated by Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) as Operation Safe Driver Week.

During this event, law enforcement agencies across North America engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and education aimed at combating unsafe driving behaviors. Both commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle drivers will be included.

CVSA holds this annual campaign to combat unsafe driver behaviors that continue to be the leading cause of roadway crashes. The U.S. DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” cites driver behavior as the critical reason for more than 88% of large truck crashes and 93% of private passenger-vehicle crashes.

According to CVSA, activities will be held across the United States, Mexico and Canada, with the goal of increasing commercial vehicle, as well as non-commercial vehicle, traffic enforcement, safety belt enforcement, driver regulatory compliance, and driver roadside inspections.

Education is also an important component in this weeklong event. Law enforcement and transportation safety officials will offer awareness safety programs to the motor carrier population and the motoring public.

Last Year’s Results

During Operation Safe Driver Week 2016, commercial motor vehicle safety enforcement officers issued citations or warnings to 20,648 commercial vehicle and private passenger vehicle drivers for unsafe driving behaviors.

Last year’s 5 most-cited unsafe behaviors by commercial motor vehicle drivers (as a percentage of total CMV warnings and citations) were:

  • State and local moving violations (56.7%)
  • Speeding (19.6%)
  • Failure to obey traffic control device (7.6%)
  • Failing to use seatbelt while operating CMV (7.1%)
  • Using a handheld phone (2.4%)

History of Operation Safe Driver Week

The Operation Safe Driver Program launched in 2007 by CVSA, in partnership with FMCSA and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations. The goal was to combat the number of deaths and injuries resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and private passenger vehicles by improving the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either in or around commercial motor vehicles – and initiating educational and enforcement strategies to address individuals exhibiting high-risk driving behaviors.

 

 

What are Frost Laws?

Ground_frost_damagesWith the spring thaw comes talk of “Frost Laws” in our Northern states. But exactly what is the Frost Law?

Also known simply as “Seasonal Weight Restrictions,” Frost Laws are restrictions on speed and/or weight limits on roads that are sensitive to weakening during a spring thaw. States and localities can impose jurisdiction as needed to protect those roads while the ground is thawing in the spring. Areas must be signed and posted by the governing agency.

The temporarily-reduced speeds and axle weight limits generally start on March 1st and remain through Mid-June in most cases. However, this can also vary by year as it is also dependent on what the temperatures were during the winter months.

Only 16 US states have Spring load restrictions in place. Laws are more prevalent in Canada, with nearly all provinces and territories having laws on the books.Oversize_Bridge_Beam_-_LONG

Because these spring load restrictions will vary widely by state, and even within a state, it’s best to check each state’s laws. We’ve included the link to each state’s information below:

Beautiful Big Rigs & Antique Trucks Descend on Walcott for Jamboree

IMG_3394
The 36th annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree runs Thurs. July 9, 2015 -Sat. July 11, 2015 at the World’s Largest Truck Stop off of Interstate 80 in Walcott, Iowa.

There’s a big trucker party happening in eastern Iowa.

The 36th annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree kicked off Thursday morning and runs through Saturday. The event is happening at The World’s Largest Truck Stop located off of Interest 80 in Walcott, Iowa. Organizers at the truck stop are expecting upwards of 45,000 people over three days.

“We are having a party about everything trucking,” Iowa 80 Truck Stop Marketing Manager Heather DeBaillie said. “Whether you are a driver looking for a new job, or if you want to see some of the new things in the industry … we’ve got it all here.”

The big bash features truck-themed events including the Super Truck Beauty Contest, Antique Truck Display and more than 175 exhibits.

beauty contest
The Super Truck Beauty Contest opened the Walcott Truckers Jamboree on Thurs., July 9, 2015.

Super Truck Beauty Contest

The crowds were bustling Thursday morning as the show got underway, starting with the Super Truck Beauty Contest. People came from all over to show off their beautiful big rigs.Many of the trucks were recently redone from the inside-out and sported a custom paint jobs and flawless interiors.

Rod Jaeger has been coming to the Walcott Truckers Jamboree for 15 years. This year, he showed off a truck he rehabbed by hand.

IMG_3306
The inside of Rod Jaeger’s refurbished 1976 Peterbilt at the Walcott Truckers Jamboree, Thurs., July 9, 2015.

“It’s a 1976 and I completely redid it. I went through the whole thing,” Jaeger explained. “Everything is pretty much new.”

Jaeger is in the trucking business and hauls large farm machinery and construction equipment for a living, but revamps rigs on the side. He loves to show off his work once the truck is complete.

“It’s neat to see people’s reactions to what you did,” he said.

Participants in the contest range from hobbyists to businessmen.

2M3A0960
Members of DB Kustom Trucks pose next to a rig they revitalized, showing it off during the Walcott Truckers Jamboree on July 9, 2015.

Dave and Dan Brown revitalize old trucks for a living. The twin brothers started their business DB Kustom Trucks about a year ago. The pair showed two finished trucks during this year’s Super Truck Beauty Contest.

The brothers take old trucks and completely gut them, installing new parts and mechanics, and then customize the paint and interior to the driver’s specifications. The pair revamp about 60 trucks per year, and this year it was a mad-dash to get one truck ready to go.

“Before the show we had nothing in the interior, like the day of,” Dave Brown said. “So, it was scrambling the last hour, getting up early in the morning and putting everything together.”

 

Antique Truck Display

For some attendees the Walcott Jamboree is all about history built on tradition.

Ohio resident Dave Schroyer makes the drive every year to experience and contribute to the Jamboree’s Antique Truck Display.

“It [antique truck collecting] is a disease,” Schroyer laughed. “It’s an expensive disease.”

Members of the Schroyer family have been coming to the annual jamboree since it started in 1979. The family is in the trucking business – mostly hauling hazardous materials, but is heavily involved with antique truck collecting on the side. Schroyer’s favorite part of the long weekend is seeing the vintage trucks.

“The old stuff is more our cup of tea,” he explained.

old mac
Larry Steve, of Dubuque, Iowa, stands next to his 1927 Mack A13 during the Walcott Truckers Jamboree Antique Truck Display on Thurs., July 9, 2015.

The same can be said for Iowa resident Larry Steve.

Sporting a button up, denim and cowboy hat, Steve stood proudly next to his bright blue, refurbished 1927 Mack truck. It was a massive undertaking to get the old truck to the beautiful place it is today.

“When we got it, it was a dump truck. Really, rough,” Steve explained. “The motor was stuck. The transmission bearings were all gone. It took my Dad and me five years to put it back together.”

old mac 2Steve and his father were in the towing business together, so they also installed a wrecker on the back of the truck.

Steve has attended the jamboree annually for more than two decades and proudly keeps coming back.

“I get to visit with some of my buddies. It’s just a good time. People are great here,” he said.

Jim Peterson made the trip from Illinois to show off his 1947 Ford pickup truck. He bought an old farm truck that has been in his community about 30 years ago. It’s been a work in progress restoring it.

IMG_3319
A 1947 Ford Pickup truck belonging to Jim Peterson of Maple Park, IL.

“I remember when I was a little kid a neighboring farmer had it, and before him another farmer in our area had it,” Peterson said. “It came up at auction and I bought it.”

Peterson’s father-in-law and brother-in-law did most of the body restoration. His in-laws have been coming to the Jamboree since its inception. Peterson started tagging along a few years ago as he approached retirement as a driver himself. He comes back each year to chat with the other truckers.

“Oh, just talking. Old stories, truck stories,” he laughed.

Trucker Appreciation

The Walcott Jamboree is held each year as a thank you to drivers and to celebrate the trucking industry as a whole. What started 36 years ago as a small party with a few hay bales and a cookout has turned into a huge bash featuring an Iowa pork chop cookout, two firework displays and two nights of live country music.

2M3A0958
A photo of a group of trucks entered in the Super Truck Beauty Contest at the Walcott Truckers Jamboree on Thurs., July 9, 2015.

“Our goal for this is twofold: it’s to appreciate customers and truck drivers but also to expose the general public who maybe don’t know much about the trucking industry,” Marketing Manager Heather DeBaillie said. “It gives them a chance to come out, look at trucks up close and hopefully gain a better appreciation for what everybody does.”

On Thursday night, the truck stop featured Natalie Stovall & The Drive live on stage. Last year, the group was named as a must see act by Rolling Stone Country.

Friday night, The Josh Abbott Band will perform live as part of their ‘Where’s The Party Tour.’ Fireworks will light up the sky at dusk.

Admission is free and parking is free throughout the entire event.

“We just encourage everyone to come on out and have a good time,” DeBaillie said.

The 36th annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree will close at 5 p.m., Saturday July 11th.

Federal Law Relaxes HOS 34-hour Reset Rules

It’s been about two month since President Obama signed a bill that suspended portions of the federal Hours of Service, or HOS, requirements.

Truckers still can’t drive more than 60/70 hours in a 7/8 consecutive day period. Those who reach that 70 hour maximum must also “reset” or break for 34 consecutive hours before picking back up again.  The changeup – drivers are no longer required to be off-duty twice from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., and they can also reset as many times as necessary per week, or 168 hours.

When we say suspended we mean suspended enforcement.

Back in December, President Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015. It’s a law that funds the federal government through September 2015. The legislation specifically states the US DOT and its Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cannot use the money it receives to enforce those specific reset provisions. That also goes for state agencies using federal grant money from the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program.

Let’s go back to that word suspend. It does not mean revoked. The rules could be reinstated following a required safety study that will examine the health and fatigue impacts of the reset provisions. Upon completion, that report will go to the US House and Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Still, the relaxed reset regulations are welcome by many in the trucking industry.

Ahead of the suspension, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) surveyed its members about HOS regulations. More than 4,000 members answered the 14-question survey and included specific, negative comments about reset rules.

“The 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. part has set me back a half day on my route several times and having to take 168 hours between restarts is absolutely ridiculous. The people coming up with these ideas have no clue what they are doing.”

“The result of the 34‐hour restart requiring 2 periods from 1am‐5am insures that I am ALWAYS driving in the heaviest rush hour traffic on Monday mornings.  Definitely not safer, in my opinion.”

Nearly half of the truckers surveyed said if they could change one, Hours of Service regulation it would be the 34-hour reset.

Have you been happy with the reset rule suspensions? Would you change any other HOS rules? Tell us by commenting on our Facebook Page or Tweet us @USCargoControl.

image of truck driver safety handbook

Tire Chain Laws by State

snowsunrisehighwayWhen winter weather strikes, it’s not only important to have sturdy tire chains ready to go in your vehicle- in some states, it’s the law. Tire chains help keep your rig on the road in the ice and snow, making travel safer for you, your load and the drivers around you.

There is a wide variety of tire chains available for many different sizes of tires and specific travel needs. That means there is also a range of restrictions for what chains can or must be used from state to state. Some states ask that you simply carry tire chains in your vehicle, while other states require them to be on your tires when you pass through the state at certain times of the year. Some states require manually applied tire chains, while other states allow you to use automatic chains.

States with Tire Chain Laws or Restrictions

Click a state in the list below for tire chain laws, restrictions and other important tire chain information:

States with No Tire Chain Laws

Some states have no tire chain laws at all. These include:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont

If you’re concerned about whether you have sufficient chains for your vehicle’s tires, it’s a good idea to contact that states Department of Transportation before you head out with your load.

25008-premium-pewag-dual-tire-chain-w-square-links_1_375
Premium Pewag Dual Tire Chain w/ Square Links for 24.5″ Wheels

Need to buy tire chains? We offer two styles of snow chains from Pewag, a leader in chain manufacturing:

-Glacier chains offer durable traction with a 6mm twist link that penetrates icy and snowy conditions. They’re great to have on hand for emergency use.

-Premium chains in a 7mm square link design wear more than four times longer than traditional  6/0 twist link tire chains and also provide about 32% more traction. These are the best tire chains for regular use.

 Shop our entire selection  here: Tire Chains
or give our sales team a call at 866-444-9990. 

Wide Load and Oversize Load Banner Requirements by State

 

coverA load is considered oversized if it exceeds the standard legal size or weight limits for a road or highway. There are also “load per axle” limits for the weight of a load. Examples of wide or oversized loads include pre-fabricated homes, construction machinery, industrial equipment, and wind turbine propellers.button

Using oversize load banner signs, safety flags and wide load banners is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirement for any commercial motor vehicle handling an oversized or wide load. Size and weight parameters vary between states, so it is important to research what the rules are for states through which you will be transporting oversized or wide loads.

Vehicles transporting wide or oversized loads often require special permits, which usually mean extra fees to travel legally on certain roads and highways. These permits often specify dates and times that travel with oversized or wide loads is allowed, along with certain routes that the vehicles are allowed to take.

Click a state in the list below for more information about wide load and oversize load banner requirements, safety guidelines, and permit information:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Working Load Limits of Chain

Grade 70 transport chain from US Cargo ControlWhether you transport machinery, use tow chains, or are in the logging industry, it’s important to know the working load limits of chain you are using. Chains have a working load limit- or WLL- of approximately one third of their break strengths (the amount of force the chains can withstand before they break).

How to determine a chain’s working load limit

The WLL of a chain is determined by both the grade and the diameter. Chain is embossed with both the grade and size so you can determine its WLL using this chart.

new chart

 

Types of chain

Grade 30 Chain

Grade 30 is a multipurpose, economical chain. Also known as Grade 30 Proof Coil Chain, it’s used in a variety of industries and jobs, including light construction, barrier chains, and in the marine industry. It is not safe for overhead lifting. Grade 30 chain is embossed using a 3, 30, or 300.

Grade 43 Chain

Also called Grade 43 High Test Chain  or Grade 43 Tow Chain, this is common in the towing and logging industries. It is not rated safe for overhead lifting. Grade 43 chain is embossed using a 43 or a G4.shutterstock_2337463

Grade 70 Chain

Grade 70 Transport Chain is also called Grade 70 Truckers Chain as it’s common in securing loads for over-the-road hauling. It is not rated safe for overhead lifting. Grade 70 chain is embossed using a 7, 70, or 700.

Grade 80 Chain

Grade 80 Alloy Chain is heat-treated making it safe and rated for overhead lifting. It’s also commonly used as a heavy duty tow chain. Grade 80 chain is embossed using an 8, 80, or 800.

Grade 100 Chain

Considered premium quality chain, it offers about a 25% higher work load limit over Grade 80 chain. It is safe for overhead lifting. Grade 100 chains are embossed with a 10 or 100.

Grade 120 Chain

A newer product in the market, Grade 120 chain is up to 50% stronger than Grade 80 chain and 20% stronger than Grade 100 chain. It’s also more resistant to abrasion than both Grade 80 and Grade 100 chains. It’s safe  for overhead lifts.

LEARN MORE: 

Learn more about the differences between grades 70, 80 and 100 here: What are the Differences Between Grade 70 Chain, Grade 80 Chain, and Grade 100 Chain?

SHOP NOW: 

Aggregate Working Load Limits

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith such a wide range of strength and length in commercial tie downs, it’s important to determine the aggregate working load limit of the equipment you choose before you attempt to haul your cargo.

What does aggregate working load limit mean?

Working load limits determine how much weight or force tiedowns and other securing devices can secure without breaking. The aggregate working load limit is the sum of the working load limits for each device you use to secure your load. To meet safety requirements, the aggregate working load limit of the devices you use must be at least 50% of the total weight of all the pieces of cargo you are hauling.

shutterstock_1131225How do you determine aggregate working load limits?

You can figure out the aggregate working load limit of your securing devices by adding together:

  • 50% of the working load limit of each tiedown that is attached to an anchor point on your vehicle, and
  • 50% of the working load limit of each tiedown that is attached to your vehicle and goes over, around or through your cargo.

The sum equals your aggregate working load limit. It’s important to properly figure your aggregate working load limit and use the necessary amount of tiedowns for every load you haul. If you don’t, you risk being cited by the DOT or losing your cargo on the road, which could lead to serious injury to you or to another motorist.