When you transport any type of cargo, it is important to use the correct number of tie downs to secure your load. The number of tie downs you need depends on the length and weight of the cargo you are transporting.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules state:
Use one tie-down if your cargo:
- Is shorter than 5 feet and weighs less than 1,100 pounds
Use two tie-downs if your cargo:
- Is 5 feet or shorter and weighs more than 1,100 pounds
- Is longer than 5 feet, but shorter than 10 feet
Use a minimum of 4 tie-downs if your cargo:
- Is heavier than 10,000 pounds
You’ll need to use additional tie-downs if your cargo is 10 feet or longer. The FMCSA recommends that you add one tie-down for every additional 10 feet of length. If extra footage does not add up to 10 additional feet, a supplemental tie-down is still needed.
The FMCSA has specific rules for hauling specific types of cargo (including logs, concrete pipe, automobiles and more) and for special purpose vehicles. These rules were put in place to decrease the number of accidents and injuries from shifting or falling cargo. This article from the FMCSA website includes a full explanation of the rules.
Obviously, the safety of your cargo also depends on the working load limits of the tie downs you choose. Learn more here: Aggregate Working Load Limits.
Always be proactive- check the number of tie down chains you need to secure your cargo, and make sure the tie downs you are using have a satisfactory working load limit and are in good working condition.
Questions about tie downs and working load limits? Give our product experts a call at 866-444-9990.