In transportation, securing cargo for flatbed trucks goes beyond mere compliance with regulations. It requires skill, knowledge, and creativity. In this blog, we delve into the insights shared in “Flatbed and Cargo Safety Depends on Securement,” an article from Transport Topics, to understand the pivotal role of cargo securement in ensuring road safety and compliance.
1. Diverse Challenges Require Unique Solutions:
One of the primary challenges of cargo securement is the vast diversity of cargo types. Kimberly Maes, President of Roehl Transport’s flatbed and specialized group, emphasizes that securing lumber differs significantly from securing coils, and machinery has distinct requirements from tubing. This diverse range of materials necessitates adaptable and creative securement solutions to prevent accidents and ensure compliance.
While the science of load securement involves knowing load weight and working load limits, the art lies in the creative application of these principles. Jesse Krum of Bay Crane highlights the need for creativity in securing unique and varying loads. However, he also stresses the importance of following both regulations and common sense to ensure safety. In certain cases, custom binders may be required to secure specialty loads.
2. Going Beyond Compliance:
Meeting minimum securement requirements prescribed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is essential, but experts recommend going above and beyond. By surpassing the minimum number of tie-downs, drivers reduce the risk of violations and accidents. As Wirachowsky points out, having an additional tie-down is a wise choice every time.
3. Continuous Training:
Cargo securement is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It requires ongoing training and awareness. Roehl Transport, for instance, invests significantly in training its drivers. Starting with a hands-on securement class, drivers are given the chance to deconstruct and reconstruct loads, gaining invaluable insights into the process. Continuous training is crucial in a field where driver turnover is common, ensuring that safe practices persist even as drivers move between carriers.
4. Binder Inspection on The Road:
Federal regulations require that drivers must inspect their cargo and binders within the first 50 miles of a trip, ensuring its securement. This responsibility extends beyond compliance; once the load is on the road, the driver and the motor carrier are accountable for its safety. The “I’m-only-going-20-miles mindset” can lead to dangerous shortcuts. As Thomas Bray from J.J. Keller & Associates warns, the risk starts as soon as the wheels start rolling.
Cargo securement on flatbed trucks is a blend of art and science that demands careful attention, ongoing training, and creative problem-solving. Beyond merely meeting regulations, securement practices ensure the safety of drivers, fellow motorists, and road infrastructure. As experts suggest, mastering cargo securement involves going the extra mile, embracing continuous training, and always putting safety first. In the dynamic world of transportation, the art of securing cargo isn’t just a responsibility; it’s a commitment to keeping our roads safe.
For expert guidance and support in mastering freight shipping, connect with us at US Cargo Link.