Commercial motor vehicles transport an estimated 11 billion tons of cargo annually, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Drivers who transport these materials are tasked with properly loading and securing their truck cargo. Cargo securement shouldn’t be an afterthought. Each specific vehicle may have a unique solution to ensure everything on board stays in place.
Successfully secure your cargo with these tips:
Fleets should set their drivers up with a formula for success. Drivers should strive to be able to distinguish the need for chains or straps, cargo nets or covers, and when to use corner protectors. Make sure drivers are provided with a proper a pre-tip inspection checklist, so nothing gets forgotten.
Stock the Right Tools for the Job
Maintaining inventory of the right products like straps, ties, tarps, winches, shelving, drawers, bins and doors can help keep truck cargo in place and organized. Hauling damaged or incorrect devices can waste both time and money. It’s good practice to routinely check to see if your equipment is in good, working order.
Payload and driver safety are often the most misunderstood aspects of cargo management. Though even the smallest evasive driving maneuvers may help a driver avoid an accident with another vehicle, it can still create a shift among unsecured cargo in a way that is unpredictable and unsafe. Not using an adequate amount of devices can result in cargo becoming missiles, resulting in damage to other goods or injury to the driver.
As a driver, it’s important to be able to adapt and identify new solutions to secure cargo. When upfitting, make time to plan out your vehicle’s custom interior. Time and intent up front will always save in the long run.
Stick to Best Practices
Both light and medium duty trucks and vans are subject to the same securement regulations as heavy duty vehicles. In light duty trucks, consider airline track, logistic straps or cargo nets to keep cargo and drivers safe. Medium duty trucks can run the risk of having loose equipment, so make sure that everything is properly secured within the vehicle. It’s a good idea to stay current with required number and types of tiedowns to meet FMCSA standards.
However you approach cargo management, keeping attention on regulations, safety, organization and training are all key to finding success for trucks, drivers, organizations and customers.