Annually, approximately 25,000 roads accidents in the United States driving-safetyare closely related to road litter. Some of these accidents are fatal.

In the United Kingdom, 22,000 accidents caused by objects falling from heavy equipment trailers were reported in 2015.

It is critical that you take various measures to secure loads on heavy haul equipment.

Specially, keeping the load in place will not only protect the drivers and the pedestrians from the accidents, but to also eliminate the related costs.

Why Secure Loads?

It can be daunting to secure load. In many instances, things may not go as per your expectations.

People and loads can fall if the load will shift while in a flatbed trailer. You will therefore be forced to stop and try to secure the load once more. This can take a long time and a lot of labor.

The vehicles can also overturn or roll. Further, the load can shift forward if there is a gap left between a load and the headboard.

This puts the life of the driver and pedestrians at risk. The product being transported may sometimes be damaged or even spill on the road.

What You Must Do to Secure Load

There are two major aspects that you must remember when securing heavy loads on equipment hauling vehicles. They are:

  • Loads must be restrained. It means that a load must be tied down firmly to a load bed so that it does not fall.
  • Loads must be contained. Here, a load must be secured in such a way that it does not shift; it should be secured from forward and sideways movements.


To restrain and contain a load, various steps must be taken. These are:

1. Get into the finer details of securing a load

There are four aspects that a skilled trucker must consider when you are in the actual process of securing load on heavy haul vehicles. These are:

  • Tying it down
  • Covering it up
  • Loading light and
  • Loading it right


A range of equipments can be utilized to restrain or tie down a load. These are ropes, nets, chains, straps and webs among others. The equipment should be chosen based on the type of load and the vehicle used.


Some of the common loads include rolls, drums, cylindrical loads, boxes, sacks, metal loads, bales, loose bricks, and mixed bricks.

Each of these loads must be tied down in such a way that the cargo is not damaged and that it does not shift during transit.

Cylindrical loads, for instance, should be tied down using nets and webs to secure them well. When dealing with sacks and boxes, it is wise to ensure that the height is the appropriate.

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2. Heavier goes lower

Equally important, you must ensure that the heavier loads are placed at the bottom of the heavy equipment trailers while the lighter ones at the top. Here is why this arrangement is important:


  1. It lowers the center of gravity hence enhancing stability
  2. It ensures that light loads are safe from breakages and/or damages
  3. It prevents the trailer from rolling due to heavy weight at the top
  4. It is an easier and perfect way of loading the truck

It is therefore imperative that you understand what exactly is being overloadtransported before loading a vehicle.

Overloading a vehicle must be avoided at all costs. Ensure that the material is at level with the truck bed. It can, however, be higher if you have tied it down or netted it.

Note that it is wise to choose the right vehicle to avoid overloading. In fact, regardless of the methods used to secure load, a poor choice of vehicle will cause overloading and in some instances, damage of goods.

It is therefore wise to consult widely with the experts before loading a vehicle.

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3. Tie-down requirements that you must understand

First, if a vehicle has crawler wheels or tracts, four tie-downs should be utilized. This will eliminate any undesirable movements.


Further, a tie down routed via an anchor point and attached to both sides of the vehicle is considered to be one tie down. A chain will be considered at two tie-downs if it is properly attached to two anchorage points.

More so, the tie down should be attached closely the front or rear part of the equipment. Note that if you are not sure of the weight of the load, you should increase the amount of tie-downs to avoid any mistakes.

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To be assured that you have done everything within your power to secure load, the following checklist should guide you through:

  • Always ensure that the gross weight rating of the vehicle is not exceeded.
  • Find out if the authorities will require you to get permits for oversize cargo
  • Understand the safety load guidelines for equipment. This is inclusive of use of locking pins, deck wideners and other equipments


  • Determine the appropriate place for placing the cargo
  • Find out if the equipment and points of securing cargo are in good shape
  • Determine whether friction devices should be used
  • Whenever the equipment hauled has rubber tires, check the pressure
  • Eliminate dirt, debris and other elements that could fall during transit
  • Only load when you completely understand how to use the equipment
  • Follow the guidelines offered by the manufactures on securing loads
  • Use chains to tie down machinery and other heavy equipment


  • Always consider using direct tie downs since it will secure load more effectively.
  • Use wedges, cradles and chocks to prevent wheeled vehicles from rolling.
  • Always double-check whether the load is well secured before transit.

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5. Come up with a plan on securing load

You must come up with a blue print on how you can efficiently and effectively secure load.This may necessitate that you set aside the enough resources for the process.

Purchasing the necessary tools as well as training workers is critical in this case.You should also assign roles based on the level of experience and skills.


For instance, you must find out who is capable of loading, unloading and who is responsible when a load shifts while in transit.

Further, you may want to think about what should be done if a vehicle arrives on a site with a shifted load. In this case, you should determine in advance the people who will assess the load.

Ideally, the condition of the load should be assessed thoroughly and a quick decision made on who should unload it.

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6. Check the trailers

There are several requirements that must be met for a vehicle transporting heavy loads.

First, the front end structure should have an ideal height and width to block forward movement of a load. A height of 4 feet above the trailer’s floor is ideal. The width should be similar to that of the vehicle.


Second, the front end structure should not permit any article of load to come into contact with the any part of the vehicle.

Third, the vehicle must have substitute devices just in case any part does not function as per the expectations.

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7. Compare the load and the vehicle

While a heavy haul vehicle may have the right requirements, the load may not be suitable. Specifically, it may be too big or bulky to the extent that it cannot be secured well in a trailer.


If a load extends too much beyond the rear or the sides, there is a chance that an accident or a similar issue will occur. This may be true if someone is transporting firewood, which tends to extend beyond the ideal measures.

An alternative equipment transport trailer should be utilized in such instances.

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8. Get the devices to secure cargo

There are various devices that will help you to tie down a load properly.

These are chains, cables, fire webbing and, steel straps. These devices should be of good quality and must be checked by a skilled person.


It is also crucial to purchase protective equipment for the professionals loading the equipment.This way, accidents can be avoided and the personnel will be able to work effectively.

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9. Communicatecommunicate

Much as you may have planned on how to secure load and assigned
roles to different people, you must communicate effectively.

Everyone must understand what they need to do when loading heavy equipment trailers.

The driver must also understand some of the crucial details about loading and that they will be held accountable during the handovers.

More importantly, they must understand that it is critical to report to security after arrival and stay in the trailer when cargo is being unloaded.

Even further, it is important to communicate with the suppliers and the people at the delivery site. This way, issues can be identified before unloading the vehicle.

10. Outsourcing Versus In-House:

Which Is Best When Loading Heavy Equipment Trailers?

Considering the consequences of failing to secure load, it is important that you assess whether you should engage your workers or seek for help from other service providers.

On one hand, engaging your workers is cheap. It may, however, be extremely costly if they are not skilled enough to secure loads. You may end up incurring costs of damaged goods and paying for court cases or even insurance.

On the other hand, engaging qualified service providers is costly. There is, however, a likelihood that your cargo will arrive at a destination efficiently and in the right condition.


One of the ways that you can solve the issue of costs and at the same time get the benefits of securing goods on transit well is to train workers.

Professionals can be invited in a company to train all workers on how to perform their roles effectively. They must be introduced to various regulations applicable in the field.

The process does not have to take a long time and may be conducted on the online platform to save on costs. Note that the courses should be conducted regularly since the relevant rules and regulations are subject to change.

Once the training is effectively conducted, it will be easier for you to load heavy equipment trailers and thus avoid incurring a lot of costs.

During and after training, you should determine whether you want to achieve training-workerdiversification and specialization in your work force.

In specialization, the workers are trained to perform specific duties. Diversification implies that the workers are trained to offer a range services.

A driver can, for instance, be trained to exclusively deliver transportation services. They may also be trained in such a way that they can deliver transportation services and at the same time solve any heavy haul issues effectively.

Both options have their pros ad cons and thus, it is wise to take time and evaluate the resources at your disposal and the capabilities of your work force.

11. The Final Questions to Answer

Having done everything secure heavy load, you should answer the following questions:

  • Would I feel safe if I was the driving behind my heavy haul vehicle?
  • I am comfortable if my vehicle was driving near my resident?
  • What would happen if I suddenly hit a bump?
  • Does not my load make me want to drive more slowly?
  • What would be the extent of damage if I was involved in an accident?


If after answering the above questions you want to make some adjustments, then it is wise to go back to the basics of securing heavy load.

Remarkably, there is no need to rush through the process of securing load. You could take weeks or days to ensure that all the guidelines are followed.

This will, however, depend on the type of load and the number of workers handing the tasks. Your level of efficiency is also a critical factor.

Bottom Line

Any of load falling will further cause:

  • Losses

Depending on the seriousness of an accident, the goods being transited can be damaged. This can be costly for the firm mandated to transport the goods and for the owners of the load.

Some of the load on the trucking vehicle may be so valuable that it would be difficult to recover the losses. This is particularly applicable in the business world.

  • Injuries

The drivers and pedestrians may be injured when accidents occur. Drivers earn a living out of such an activity and will be financially affected during the treatment and healing period.


In some instances, the injuries will be such that it will be difficult to continue working as a driver. The pedestrians also have to count the losses of getting proper treatment for their injuries.

  • Time wastage

After an accident, a lot of time is wasted in traffic. The load will not efficiently load-trailerbe delivered and in some instances, the driver is forced to spend a lot of time dealing with insurance and court cases.

As such, the drivers and other people may have to incur a lot of opportunity costs.

It is worth nothing that securing heavy loads properly on trailers is not only meant to eliminate injuries and other losses, but it is also mandatory.

  • Offense

The Road Traffic Act of 1991 in the United States indicates that failure to secure loads is an offense.

Various inspections will be carried out by the authorities to ensure that you have done everything within your capacity to avoid breaking the law.

In this light, it is important to take the whole matter seriously by understanding various skills and measures that must be taken.

All in all, securing your load on heavy equipment trailers is important. It will save you a lot of costs, keep you from paying fines at the courts, and eliminate injuries from the related accidents.

Hence, you must prioritize understanding what you need to do when loading your vehicle and when the unexpected happens.

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