We’ve all seen it before – a truck loses part of the load it is carrying across the roadway. Traffic is backed up, the materials being hauled are ruined, and there is a safety concern for the truck driver and other drivers on the road.

To prevent this type of accident, get tips on how to properly secure loads on different types of trailers.



To properly secure loads on flatbeds, fleet operations have the option of using:

  • Cables and winches
  • Webbing straps and winches
  • Chains and load binders.

While any of the above binding tools can be used, the key is to make sure the material is strong enough to hold the load throughout the entire route. Check the weight limits of the bindings and compare it to the weight of the load. Rope or bungee cords should be avoided as they are typically not strong enough to be reliable binding tools. Make sure the right number of tiedowns are used to properly secure the load. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that:

“There must be one tiedown for articles 5 feet or less in length, and 1,100 pounds or less in weight; two tiedowns if the article is 5 feet or less in length and more than 1,100 pounds in weight; or greater than 5 feet but less than 10 feet, regardless of weight.”

The load should be secure enough to account for driving conditions such as steep hills, strong winds, sharp turns and other parts of normal driving conditions. Drivers should also ensure the tiedowns are properly secured to prevent them from coming loose and creating an additional hazard on the roadways.

If operations need to use a tarp to protect the load, it should be applied after the load is secured with the bindings. The tarp should also be tied down tightly to prevent ripping.

Dry van_semi Trailer_Pixabay

Dry Vans

While dry vans have the security of the trailer to keep the load from spilling onto the roadway, caution still needs to be taken to secure the load within the trailer. Keeping the load properly secured will avoid damaging the load and having the materials shift in the trailer – possibly causing weight to be unevenly distributed over the axles (which can cause issues at weigh stations).

To prevent these issues, the load should be tied down and bound inside of the trailer to prevent shifting during the drive.

No matter the type of vehicle or trailer, all drivers need to ensure the loads they are transporting are properly secured. This can include double-checking the security of the load before it leaves on a route, and having drivers take caution when driving to avoid unnecessary risks that could cause the loads to shift.

To find out how RTA Fleet Management Software can benefit your fleet, contact us today to schedule a free demo.