FAQs: US Cargo Control addresses some of our recent most-asked-questions

We gathered some of the most-frequently searched questions on our site and made a quick reference guide.  This is not a complete guide, but a starting point. Many more in-depth answers can be accessed by the links contained in this post, or by searching specific state regulations. We hope this will answer some of your questions and be a great starting point for what you need to know.

What are the requirements for wheel chock usage?

Wheel chock requirements vary by regulator. So how are you impacted?

OSHA Regulations

OSHA wants everyone to use wheel chocks. However, they do not have jurisdiction when it comes to regulating commercial motor vehicles, like semis or buses. That’s up to the FMCSA. OSHA does have complete jurisdiction over all intrastate motor vehicles, those used in the workplace and on non-public roads. OSHA will enforce wheel chock requirements on all trucks and trailers not classified as commercial motor vehicles. In a nutshell, if you’re not a commercial motor vehicle, you need to chock.

FMCSA Regulations

The FMCSA has their own rules when it comes to using wheel chocks. Their law says air-braked power units made on or before March of 1975 are adequate to keep a commercial motor vehicle from moving during the loading and unloading process. The FMCSA does require wheel chocks for all agricultural commodity trailers, pulpwood trailers and heavy haulers. Basically, if you are a commercial motor vehicle you probably do not need to chock, but should double check to make sure your vehicle isn’t an exception.

Individual Requirements

Carriers, receivers and distributors also have policies regarding safety, and it’s important to be aware of those policies. If a company requires wheel chocks, the policy will be enforced. Federal safety standards are considered the minimum threshold.

Wheel chocks are not required for independent CMV drivers, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to have a backup plan should your brakes malfunction. Accidents do happen. Wheel chocks simply ensure that you are looking out for the safety of yourself and those around you. Safety officials recommend drivers always set the brakes, chock the wheels and or activate the locking mechanism included on the dock.

What are the federal mud flap requirements?

Surprisingly, there are no federal regulations on mud flaps for trucks. However, there are certain states that do have requirements, that when enforced, can hurt your CSA score and cause you to be ticketed if you are not in line with them.

To play it safe and cover any state-to-state requirements, the simplest common denominator will require you to have a mud flap or splashguard on the rear of the truck that covers the full width of the tire. Length requirements vary, so to be safe, make sure your mud flaps don’t hang more than six inches from the ground.

If you need specific information for a state’s rule regarding mud flap laws, check the DOT website for that certain state.

What is the strongest grade of steel chain?

Grade 120 chain has the highest strength in the industry, is known as a high performance chain, and has a blue finish. The unique square links create increased contact between the bearing surfaces of the links, reducing pressure on the chain. This increases working load limits 50% higher than grade 80 chain, and 20% higher than grade 100 chain. Grade 120 is approved for overhead lifting. However, when used as a tie down chain, Grade 120 is not safe for overhead lifting due to the type of hooks used.

E-track vs. L-track: What’s the difference?

Both E-track and L-track are track systems with fittings for tie-down straps. The biggest difference is their size and shape. E-track is wider and flatter than L-track, and secures on the outside edge of the track. L-track (also called airline track or logistic track) has a more compact appearance and attachment points are inside the track.

L-track’s narrow width is ideal for installing in smaller spaces, like the bed of a pickup. Although newer than E-track, this style is gaining in popularity.

E-track offers more options in straps and fittings, as well as color and metal choices. E-track is a good choice for use in an enclosed trailer or on the floor of an open trailer because of its lower profile.

Are moving pads machine washable?

Our category of “Best” moving blankets are machine washable. Their cotton/polyester material and woven binding are designed for repeated use. They can be washed in a machine and hung to dry.

Our “Better” moving blankets are made with a combination of woven and non-woven polyester fibers forming a mid-weight blanket that is durable and offers excellent protection for repeated use. These blankets are not recommended for machine washing, but they can be spot cleaned.

 When do you need an oversize load sign/flags?

A load is considered oversize 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. Oversize loads include pre-built homes, construction machinery, industrial equipment, and wind turbine propellers.

  • Wide load or oversize load banner signs, safety flags and wide load banner usage is an FMCSA requirement for any commercial motor vehicle handling an oversize or wide load. Size and weight parameters vary by state, so it is important to plan ahead and determine the rules for states through which you will be transporting oversize loads.
  • Many states require vehicles transporting wide or oversize loads to obtain (purchase) permits, which are valid for a limited amount of days. These permits may also specify certain routes that these vehicles are allowed to use.

If you’ve got questions that aren’t answered here, we’d love to hear them in the Comments section below.

How to Install L-Track Singles

23573-anchor-point-tie-down-kit-w-round-base_1_375
2″ Round Anchor Point Tie Down Kit (#APK2RBL)

l-track singles from US Cargo ControlLike L-track rails, L-track singles are incredibly versatile. They’re great for adding a tie down point just where you need it, but the small size offers up even more options than a full length track.

In this video, we installed our 2″ Track Anchor Point Tie Down System, which includes 4 sets of a round anchor, bolt plate, ring, and fasteners. This kit is also available with rectangular anchor points here: 2″ Track Anchor Point Tie Down System-Rectangular.

We set up this system with two points secured to the floor and two on the front wall of the truck bed.

Products used:

Tools required:

  • Cordless drill with 1/4 inch drill bit
  • Philips screwdriver
  • 7/16 wrench
  • Tape measure and Sharpie marker

To shop our entire line of motorcycle tie downs, click:

New Products: L-Track

ltrackmain-application-bannerWe’re thrilled to now be offering more than 100 new L-track tie down rails, kits, and accessories.

If you’re not familiar with L-track, it’s time to become acquainted. These tie down rails are easily installed in a truck to create a truck bed rail system, on a motorcycle trailer, inside a utility trailer- nearly anywhere you need to add spots to anchor a tie down strap, bungee cord, etc.

While it may be confused with the more widely-known E-track, there are some key differences:

  • Narrow, higher profile so it doesn’t get in the way.
  • Available in recessed and angled styles to make it even more inconspicuous.
  • Can be installed horizontally or vertically. E-track is designed specifically for one installation or the other.
  • Available in single point style, which make great truck tie down anchors in pickup truck beds, or smaller trailers.
  • Colored options are available to coordinate with cycles, ATVs, straps, etc.

Is it L-track, airline track, or logistic track?

L-track is also known by several other names, which can cause some confusion. It’s sometimes called airline track or seat track because of its use in the airline industry as track to secure seats inside aircraft. It’s also popular as a wheelchair tie down in commercial vehicles like buses and vans due to its strength and its low, inconspicuous design.

The term logistic track is really just a catch-all name for all types of tie down rails, including E-track, A-track (similar in style to E-track), and F track (looks like a hybrid of E-track and L-track, with a flat profile and small, round holes).

Types of L-track rails

l-track-red-table-headerColored L-track. These aluminum powder coated pieces come in colors to match popular motorcycle and ATV brand colors: red (Honda), blue (Yamaha), orange (Harley-Davidson and KTM), and green (Kawasaki), as well as aluminum and black. Olive is also available to coordinate with camo or military themes. Choose from several styles, ranging from single anchor points to full-length rails. Stud fittings are also painted to match. Looking for a motorcycle tie down system or an ATV tie down system? We offer several all-inclusive kits on our Motorcycle Tie Down Systems page. Don’t forget to check out our selection of motorcycle straps for use as motorcycle or ATV tie downs.

 

20870-6-aircraft-style-seat-airline-track_1_375Aircraft style seat track. This is the strongest line we sell, in a heavy-duty  6351-T6 aluminum for superior corrosion resistance.  It features a heftier width (1-3/8″) and height (1/2″) than our regular colored L-track, and comes in full 6′ and 12′ lengths (which can be cut to size). It accepts all of our L-track tie down system accessories, including single and double fittings, and aircraft seat track cover.

 

42499-12-airline-track-style-angled-track-aluminum_1_375Angled L-track. Angled L-track differs from regular L-track in profile: the sloping edges offer the benefit of a smoother ride when crossing over track installed on the floor of the trailer or truck. This is a great choice for not only securing motorcycles and ATVs, it’s also ideal for use in a delivery truck, van trailer, etc., where items are frequently rolled in and out.

 

 

42497-12-airline-track-style-flanged-track-aluminum_1_375

Recessed L-track.  Recessed L-track is just that- it’s installed in a recessed manner to create a smoother, more flat surface that makes it easy for rolling cargo over. It has a clean, flanged design and like all of our L-track, has pre-drilled holes for easy installation. Recessed L-track is popular in commercial vehicles like buses and vans for wheelchair securement, but it’s important to note that ours is meant only for recreational vehicle tie down use.

 

Not sure which L-track products you need for your tie down applications? Give our sales team a call at 866-444-9990- they’re always happy to help.

 

 

What’s the difference between L-track and E-track?

Both e-track and l-track are track systems that accommodate fittings for tie-down straps. The main difference is the size and shape of the track. E-track has a wider, more flat profile than L-track and secures on the outside edge of the track. L-track (also called airline track or logistic track) has a more compact appearance and attachment points are inside the track.

image of aluminum l-track
L-track

L-track’s narrow width makes it great for installing in smaller spaces, like the bed of a pick-up truck. E-track is a good choice for use in an enclosed trailer or on the floor of an open trailer because of it’s lower profile.

E-track in a galvanized finish
E-track

E-track has been around longer than L-track so there are more options in straps and fittings, as well as color and metal choices, but L-track is gaining in popularity so look for more products to become available on our website in the coming months.

See this post for videos on installing both: L-track and E-track installation videos.

 

Have a question for our sales team? Send us a message in the comment box below!

 

 

L-Track Fittings and Installation

While E track tie downs have been the traditional favorite for flat trailers and enclosed trailer tie downs, L track tie down systems (also called logistic track or airline track) is gaining in popularity. Because of its lower profile, airline track tie down rail and fittings are ideal for smaller spaces like truck beds. In addition to lengths of logistic track tie down rail, single track pieces are also available in a 2′ round or 2″ rectangular style so you can create single anchor points wherever you need them. And with range of l track fittings, and even ratchet straps outfitted with both e-track and l-track fittings, becoming more widely available, these slim, sleek cargo tie downs can be used to easily and quickly secure just about anything.

See our entire selection of L track tie down systems, and check out these videos for tips on installing l-track and choosing the right fittings for your tie downs:

How to install L-track:

L-track fittings:

 

L-track fittings featured in these videos:

L-track and E-track: Which tie down system is right for you?

Trying to decide whether L-track or E-track is the best choice for your tie-down needs? It depends on where you’ll be installing it.

 

image of aluminum L-track
L-track (also sometimes called “airline track”) in aluminum

 

Generally, the narrow width of L-track works great for installing on the walls or floor of a pickup truck bed. L-track is available in an
aluminum or a black painted finish. Lengths include 6″, 12″, 24″, and 48″.

 

 

 

 

image of galvanized e-track
E-track in a galvanized finish

 

The wider width of E-track makes it a good choice for  installation inside an enclosed trailer or on the floor of an open trailer. It’s available in horizontal and vertical styles and in a galvanized or a green painted finish. Lengths include 2′, 5′, 8′, and 10′.

Both L track and E track are incredibly strong and versatile, but traditionally there are more straps and fittings available on the market for E-track. L-track (also sometimes known as airline track) is gaining in popularity, so more and more accessories are becoming available.

Charlie explains in more detail in the video below.
We’ve also added videos about how to install Etrack and how to install L track.

How to install E-track:

How to install L-track:

How to Create Tie Down Points Using L Track Single Receivers

This video explains the uses for our airline track single receivers and single stud fittings with o-rings. This item features a 2″ round base with two holes for mounting on pickup beds, RV’s, trailers, etc. The spring-loaded plunger squeezes easily to slide into the base and snap in place. It can be used to tie down motorcycles, ATV’s, lawn mowers, snowmobiles and any other cargo you need to secure.

The logistic track single receivers can be mounted virtually anywhere you need an anchor point for a tie down. The 2″ base is as strong as the fitting itself, and depends on strong fasteners to hold it down. You want to use solid fasteners, preferably a bolt or machine screw, that’s going to go all the way through what your mounting to. Don’t forget a nut and washer on the back side.

Once your receivers are fastened, your items can be strapped down using a ratchet strap with an s-hook, bungee cords, rope or anything else that is suitable. Check out our motorcycle combo strap kit that includes tie down straps with s-hooks for use in your assembly.

For more information or to purchase the items in this video, click on the links below:

View our Anchor Point Tie Down Kit below:

How To Create a Motorcycle Tie Down System in a Pickup Truck Using LTrack

This video shows how L-track (also known as L track, airline track or logistic track) is used to create a motorcycle tie down system in a pickup truck. L-track installed on a the bed rails of a truck provides a wide variety of anchor points to tie down motorcycles, ATVs or other cargo you want to haul.

For more information or to purchase the items in this video, click on the links below:

View all motorcycle tie down system kits.

 

L-Track Fittings: Small But Mighty

What’s round, measures less than 2″ high, yet has the ability to withstand up to 4,000 lbs. of pressure? A single L-track fitting with round ring.

This simple workhorse is easy to install- just attach the round airline track single base using screws and click the fitting into the recessed area. But more importantly, these little pieces are big on versatility. While longer L-track sections – such as the popular 24 inch aluminum L-track rail – are traditionally used on a trailer to secure motorcycles and ATVs with 2-inch tie down straps, these single L-track fittings can be placed anywhere you need an anchor point. They’re the perfect solution if you’re short on space and a full track length won’t fit, such as behind a wheel well in a trailer, or if placing a full track isn’t an ideal option, such as on the tailgate of a pickup truck.

But don’t limit L-track singles to just a trailer or truck: use them in the garage, shed, utility room, barn- the possibilities are endless. Attach one to the garage wall, add a cinch strap  to the ring and you instantly have a place to hang hoses, rope, cords, wire, etc. The round ring can also accommodate a bungee cord or rubber tarp strap hook for lots of lighter duty applications. And the strength capacity makes them great for securing heavier items as well. In fact, manufacturing shops attach these single anchor points on carts to secure items for transport within the facility, so consider them of use on an ATV, utility tractor, etc.

The L-track name comes from the term “logistic track” and is sometimes also referred to as L track or airline track, because it’s used in the airline industry to secure seating components. The longer track pieces are ideal if you need an adjustable anchor point, as it’s designed with several indentions for the fitting to secure. However, when space is tight and there not enough room for an entire track length, a single l-track fitting is the perfect solution.

Watch this video: How to install a motorcycle tie down system in a pickup truck using logistic track, for more information.