The Dos and Don’ts for Load Securement on Trailers

Read our tips for securing your cargo with the right equipment and safety practices.

When you’re hauling cargo on your trailer, you can make or break it. If you’re not aware of how you are strapping down a load, you could create risk or damage to the cargo, others around you, and even yourself. To avoid these consequences, we sat down with Tim Sanders, our Sales Specialist, to learn about the dos and don’ts of load securement on trailers.

To ensure you are using the right equipment, look at our products that you can shop for your trailer type. Watch a demonstration by Ed Duran, one of our Sales Specialists, on how to secure an item with a ratchet strap.

Source: US Cargo Control

1. Have the Appropriate Type and Amount of Securement Equipment

flatbed load securement with US Cargo Control products

One of the most important considerations to know when securing a load is ensuring you have the appropriate type and amount of securement equipment. Whether you own a flatbed trailer or an enclosed trailer, you can haul all types of goods. The key is knowing which type of hauling equipment is crucial for the cargo you are hauling. To learn more about what hauling equipment you need, read:

3 Types of Accessories Every Enclosed Trailer Hauler Should Have

5 Pieces of Flatbed Trailer Equipment a Truck Driver Should Have.

2. Use the Right Amount of Working Load Limit and Tiedowns for Load Securement

Using proper flatbed strapping for USCC products

It’s critical that the number of straps, chains, and other equipment in use has enough aggregate working load limit (WLL) to secure the cargo being hauled. When you are tightening your items, be aware of the WLL and breaking strength so you know how much weight that piece of rigging is capable of securing. Learn more about what working load limit, break strength, and safety factor means on a piece of rigging equipment.

It’s also important to note that you have the appropriate number of tiedowns for your task. A general rule is you only use one tiedown if your cargo is shorter than 5 feet and less than 1,000 pounds. If you are hauling more than 1,000 pounds, read how many ratchet straps you need to secure your cargo.

3. Inspect Tiedowns for Damage and Defects Before Securing Cargo

Checking to secure load securement straps

A general rule to keep in mind is inspecting your straps for any damage and defects. Even if you notice minor damage to the strap, the strap’s capability and value will reduce. If you do see damage or are uncertain that there is damage, you must not use that tiedown. For more information about standards and inspection criteria, go to WSTDA (Web Sling and Tie Down Association) and NACM (National Association of Chain Manufacturers).

To prevent future damage, continuously check your tiedowns when you’re on the road. It is common for cargo to shift and the straps to loosen in transit, so it doesn’t hurt to see if they are secure (and you will avoid the chance of more damage).

Also, store them in a clean, dry place when you’re not using the tiedowns. If they are exposed to sun, rain, road salt, or else, tiedowns can degrade and will lose their effectiveness.

There’s no such thing as overdoing it when it comes to tying everything down.  Plan ahead, make sure you have enough equipment to get the job done right, and inspect it frequently.  A load that is well secured with good equipment will keep everyone safe and eliminate a lot of headaches during a roadside inspection!

Tim Sanders, Sales Specialist

4. Protect Your Straps with Corner Protectors

Using corner guards to ensure the safety of USCC ratchet strap

There will be sharp edges and rough surfaces when you are securing an item to your trailer. You don’t want to add stress to the strap by tightening it on a sharp edge or rough surface because you may cause cutting and abrasion. Consider using corner protectors to protect your straps. They will extend the life of your ratchet straps and also protect your cargo, chains, tarps, and more.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you would have any questions about our flatbed trailer accessories, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

New Products Alert: Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder and Ratchet Chain Binder

The Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder and Heavy Duty Ratchet Chain Binder are now available at US Cargo Control

The Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder and Heavy-Duty Ratchet Chain Binder are now available on the USCC website!

You can now purchase the Recoil-Less Cam Action Lever Binder in a single quantity or 5-pack, and the Heavy-Duty Ratchet Chain Binder in a single quantity or 4-pack from US Cargo Control. And get this, we are offering a 10% discount for these products from now until January 19th!

The price will be automatically discounted at checkout, so no promotion code is required. Get yours now!

What is a Chain Binder?

A chain binder is a tool used to tighten chain to secure cargo to a trailer for transport. When shopping for chain binders, there are commonly two styles: the ratchet binder and the lever binder.

Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder 5/16″ – 3/8″

Lever chain binder
Lever binder lock

This is the first recoil-less cam action lever binder we offer, and this binder is one of the safest lever binders on the market today. Known as a recoil-less safety lever binder, it features a center cam that can rotate freely of the end hooks and its unique design eliminates the whiplash that occurs when the chain tension is released. This allows the lever binder to use leverage to tighten the chain and secure cargo.

The other standard lever-type binders present a safety concern because when you release the binder, it often kicks back and makes it dangerous for your cargo and you. Unlike this recoil-less lever binder, the 360-degree swivel motion handle is super quick, easy to operate, and requires no tools.

Lever type load binder
Load binder

Our lever load binder has a working load limit of 6,600 pounds, compared to standard lever binders’ working load limit of 5,400 pounds. When using this, use our transport chains:

5/16″ Grade 70 Transport Chain

3/8″ Grade 70 Transport Chain

5/16″ Grade 80 Transport Chain

Heavy Duty Ratchet Chain Binder

Heavy duty chain binder
load binder chain

Our Heavy Duty Ratchet Chain Binder is built for durability and maximum strength. These chain binders utilize a ratcheting mechanism to create tension in the chain and secure its load. The forged steel handle offers maximum leverage, while the cam and pawl design allows for easier and faster securement.

It features a ratchet handle and two tension hooks on each end. The ratchet chain binder comes in sizes 5/16″ and 3/8″ and a working load limit of 6,600 pounds. When looking for chains, use the heavy-duty ratchet chain binder with 5/16″ Grade 70 Transport Chain or 3/8″ Grade 70 Transport Chain.

What is the Difference between Grades of Chains?

Source: US Cargo Control

When you’re ready to secure your cargo load with chain binders, go to US Cargo Control or give our sales team a call at 800-969-6543.

US Cargo Control Employees Experience Hands-On Training

Flatbed training on products from uscargocontrol.com
Instructor Freddie Jones (left) leads an interactive hands-on training session with employees of US Cargo Control.

Sixty employees of US Cargo Control were recently treated to a Continuing Education opportunity at their offices in Urbana, IA. Instructors from nearby Kirkwood Community College’s Professional Truck Driving program led four separate two-hour training sessions featuring hands-on experience with a variety of tools and equipment drivers use to secure cargo on a flatbed trailer.

Freddie Jones, operations manager for Kirkwood’s Truck Driving program, and Dennis Carson, instructor for Kirkwood’s Truck Driving program, were the presenters for Friday’s training sessions. Both men have many years of real-life experience driving trucks.

The training began with a short video detailing some of the cargo securement laws that drivers must abide by, what a driver’s CSA (compliance, safety, accountability) score is and different ways it can be affected, as well as how to calculate Working Load Limit weights and the number of tie-downs necessary for a particular load.

The group then headed outside where a flatbed trailer was waiting with a skid loader and stack of pallets, both ready to be properly secured.

Hands-on items

Some of the equipment US Cargo Control employees learned to use included ratchet straps, tie down straps, winches, winch bars, chain, chain binders, corner protectors, tarps and tarp straps. Best-practices stories were also shared with the group.

Jones and Carson learned a few things from the US Cargo Control employees, as well. They were excited to discover tools offered by uscargocontrol.com like the Peerless QuikBinder™ Plus Ratchet Loadbinder that is easier to use than a more traditional ratchet chain binder; and the VeeBoards® Extension Handle that helps position corner protectors atop tall loads while the driver remains standing on the ground.

Ongoing Education

David Urlaub, US Cargo Control’s training coordinator, says the benefits of this type of training to the company’s employees are immeasurable. “Giving USCC employees the chance to use the products so they can take that back to their jobs and pass along correct information to the drivers who use our products is extremely important,” Urlaub said. He added, “We can better understand what a truck driver goes through on a daily basis to tie down their loads, and see how physical this job is for the drivers. Any products that make their life easier could be good additions to our site.”

While employees of US Cargo Control have ongoing product training throughout the year, this is the first hands-on training session. This training was funded by 260E dollars. The goal, according to Urlaub, is to have this type of training on an annual basis going forward.