Flatbed load securement is required by the DOT and specific standards must be met. Let’s take a closer look at what those are to ensure your cargo is safely secured.
Flatbed Load Securement Overview
Cargo securement requirements for open deck trailers like step decks and flatbeds are intended to prevent any spilling, sliding, tipping, or falling over of cargo. Proper load securement is imperative to maintaining safety and avoiding potential damage or harm to the cargo, truck and most importantly the driver or another civilian.
Cargo securement is a serious matter and is not taken lightly by the Department of Transportation. Of the 62,013 vehicles inspected in the 2017 CVSA Roadcheck blitz, 15.7 percent were cited for violations due to cargo securement.
These load securement principles are not limited to just flatbeds. Step deck and hot shot loads (or any open deck) will also have similar requirements that will vary depending on the type of freight.
Types of Cargo Securement
Generally speaking, there are two elements that comprise cargo securement equipment, securing devices and tie downs.
Securing devices are used to fasten cargo to the trailer, while tie downs are the use of securing devices to attach cargo securely to an anchor point on the trailer.
Types of cargo securing devices include:
– Clamps and latches
The main concept of flatbed load securement is to ensure that the cargo is immobilized or secured on a trailer. With this, it’s important to keep in mind the placement of a tiedown across the cargo. The tie-down position should be close to the spacer and near equal distances apart to ensure the cargo won’t be damaged by the force of the tie downs.
REMINDER: Remember to always check your flatbed load securement equipment pre-trip and at each stop you make. Any number of reasons can cause shifts or loosening after hours on the road.
Working Load Limit with Securement Equipment
The working load limit is the maximum load that may be applied to a component of a cargo securement system during normal service. The minimum working load limit requirement for the securement system is 50% according to the FMCSA. You may notice the letters WLL marked on a tiedown strap followed by a pound total like 5,500 lb. This represents the working load limit for that specific strap.
How to Tie Down Heavy Equipment
Trying to tie down heavy equipment to a flatbed is no easy task. Hauling a crane or Caterpillar loader that weights over 100,000 lb. warrants specific guidelines to ensure the equipment is properly secured.
If the equipment (or vehicle) has tracks or wheels, the FMCSA requires using a at least four tiedowns with a WLL minimum of 5,000 lb.
The sum of the WLL from all tiedowns must be at least 50 percent of the weight of the cargo. Tiedowns should be made at the front and rear of the equipment as well.
Flatbed Load Securement Training – DOT Demonstration
If you want to know how to secure a flatbed load (or step deck), one way is to watch a video demo from an enforcement officer who is able to demonstrate proper cargo securement training like the one below.
Don’t have time to view the video? No problem! We’ve broken down some of the most important parts for you.
– The most common transport chain used is 3/8″
– You’ll find a 7 marked on the chain somewhere to represent a type-70 chain for 6,600 lb. of securement
– Unmarked straps have 1,000 lb. of load securement per inch of width
– Maximum damage allowed on a 4″ strap is 3/4″,
– Long links, lap link, quick link and cold-shut links not acceptable for chains
Find Flatbed Loads on FR8Star
First things first. Before you can tie down or secure cargo to your flatbed, you’ll need a flatbed load first. That’s where FR8Star comes in.
FR8Star’s open deck freight marketplace connects heavy haul and flatbed trucking companies directly with shippers. All flatbed loads on FR8Star pay instantly at drop-off with no fees or factoring. It’s 100% free for carriers!
Need a flatbed load? Tell us where you’ll be next and our Load Scanner will search for matching loads and notify you when a new one is posted. FR8Star makes it easier than ever to stay loaded and earn more.
Our flatbed loads are directly from shippers and any securement requirements are set by the shipper and can be viewed in the details of a load.
Full DOT cargo securement handbook