Have you ever started on a trip with your semi-trailer, and just as you take a corner you hear a sliding sound and a thud? You say to yourself “Uh oh! That sounds like the cargo has shifted.”
The thing about this scenario is that it could easily have been prevented with proper cargo securement. With some forethought and effort any load can be secured properly. It takes a bit of time, but using the proper techniques is well worth it.
Things to Remember When Securing Loads in Semi-trailers
It is important that you go through a mental checklist when securing loads in a semitrailer. You should:
- Know your cargo. You increase the risk of damaging the goods by loading in a hurry and getting back on the road without learning about the cargo you are carrying. What’s in the crates? How much do they weigh? Can a large, uncrated item slide or roll? What is the center of gravity? The answers to these and any other questions you might have will help plan your securement strategy.
- Know your restraints. The straps that are used to secure cargo are rated. For example, after being tested a strap may be rated at 5,000 pounds. If you need to strap an item weighing 7,000 pounds you will need an extra strap to stop the item from moving during your trip.
- Check your restraints. Always check your straps for fraying. A damaged strap will not provide the level of restraint it is rated at.
- Evenly distribute the cargo. A balanced load will better be able to resist the forces that are trying to dislodge it.
- Block and brace. To fully secure your cargo, blocking and bracing may be required and should be used to add extra stability.
- Check every gap around the cargo. If there is an empty gap in your trailer the cargo will try to move into it. Fill gaps such as those between the load and the side walls of the trailer with a strong filler item or try to position your load so there are no gaps.
Is Your Cargo Still Secure?
The first step toward arriving at your destination is to properly secure your cargo before you leave. It is vital, on longer trips, that you periodically inspect the straps and other devices holding your cargo in place. This way you will discover an issue and be able to fix it before it becomes a problem.
To learn more about our inventory of rental semi-trailers, please contact us at our New Way Leasing offices in Tacoma or Pacific. We’d love to hear about your requirements.