How To Safely Secure Your Load On A Dry Van Trailer

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Securing a load properly in a dry van trailer is paramount for keeping both people and cargo safe.

Keeping Cargo Secure On A Dry Van Trailer

Many accidents can be prevented if the rules are followed regarding securing cargo.

What kind of security is needed?

What you’ll need to properly tie down cargo: shoring bars, tie downs, dunnage bags or a combination of two or all. One thing you don’t want to have happen is rocking and rolling cargo. These types of items need wedges, chocks or cradles to keep them secure. Whatever is used, they must be secured tightly so they stay stationary while the van is moving.

How many devices should be used?

Generally, the rule is that articles five feet long or less and weighing less than 500 kilograms should have one tiedown. Two tiedowns are needed for cargo that’s five feet long or less but weighs more than 500 kilograms. Items between five and 10 feet, no matter how much they weigh, will need two tiedowns. Cargo more than 10 feet in length needs an extra tiedown for every 10 added feet.

Load limit

Systems to secure cargo have load limits. The total load limit needs to be at least half the weight of the cargo the system is securing. To calculate the cargo limit, take half the working load limit of every tiedown from where it’s fastened on the van to where it will be attached on a piece of cargo. Drivers will need to determine an aggregate load limit.

Loads need to stay secure whenever the van is accelerating or decelerating. If there is any shifting at all, there could be damage not only to the cargo, but to the van. If cargo has shifted, the driver or dockworkers may be injured while unloading or even opening the van.

As well, if the van should ever tip over, any freight that hasn’t been secured can be hurled through any torn pieces of metal. Also, the shifting of a load may change the van’s center of gravity, making a rollover more likely if the driver makes a too-fast turn.

Freight that’s improperly secured could also mean:

  • Customer losses. No one wants to receive damaged cargo or not receive it al all.
  • Third party insurance rates escalate.
  • Financial losses should a vehicle be off the road for repairs.

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