Skip links

What are the Basic Rules for Cargo Securement?

When it comes to securing your loads, you should follow the mandated rules for cargo securement to avoid future accidents. The new cargo securement precautions still apply to the same vehicle and cargo types, same with the old rules. 

It includes all kinds of cargo articles, except commodities in bulk that don’t have fixed shapes such as liquids, liquid concrete, gases, grain, gravel, sand, and aggregates. Those loads that are transported in a hopper, tank, box, or similar device are also exempted.

Basic Rules for Cargo Securement 

The main rule for cargo securement is that cargo must be firmly secured and immobilized on or within a vehicle by structures of adequate strength, tie-downs, dunnage and dunnage bags, and shoring bars.

Cargo Securement

Securement System

So, how to secure cargo? You should apply a securement system that uses one or more truck/trailer’s securing structures, devices, and blocking and bracing tools to keep the load secured during transport. 

Each securement system should support 80% of your cargo’s weight while moving straight ahead and 50% of its weight while shifting gears uphill, braking in reverse or accelerating. Your securing system should also support 50% of your cargo’s weight while turning lanes and 20% of its weight while traveling over bumps or any inclined road.

Basically, the specific securement system used depends on your cargo’s characteristics. Generally, cargo stacks or packaging need to withstand all of these forces during securement, loading, and transportation.

Aside from following the cargo securement rules, drivers should secure that vehicles used for transporting cargo must have structural components, securement tools, and equipment. These devices can help you secure loads properly. Some common structural components in cargo-carrying vehicles include anchor points, bulkheads, headboards, posts, and stakes.

Securement System

Cargo Placement and Restraint

Another basic rule for cargo securement is to prevent your cargo from rolling. Articles of cargo that are most likely to move must be controlled by wedges, chocks, a cradle, or other equivalent tools to prevent rolling. You can prevent the rolling of your cargo by fastening it while the vehicle is on its way to transport.

Related article: What Do You Need to Know About Cargo Securement?

Minimum Working Load Limit for Cargo Securement

Setting the minimum working load limit is also one of the cargo securement precautions. The aggregate working load limit of any securement system must be at least one-half of the weight of the cargo’s article. 

Generally, the aggregate working load limit is the sum of one-half working load limit of each tie-down that goes from the vehicle’s anchor point to the article of cargo’s attachment point. On the other hand, each tie-down’s working load limit should cover an anchor point on the vehicle, through, or around the cargo, and then attaches to another vehicle’s anchor points.

Minimum Number of Tiedowns

The cargo securement system used to prevent articles from moving must also meet requirements about the minimum number of tie-downs. This tip for effective cargo securement is in addition to complying with guidelines about the cargo’s minimum working load limit. 

Basically, when a load’s article is not positioned or blocked to avoid rolling in the forward direction, the number of tie-downs needed depends on the items’ weight and length. 

There must be – one tie-down for articles with 5ft or less in length and 1,100 lbs or less in terms of weight. Two tie-downs are required if the item is 5 ft or less in size and more than 1,100 lbs in weight. It also applies to articles with greater than 5 ft but less than 10 ft, regardless of weight.


Special Rules for Special Purpose Vehicles

Generally, the rules concerning the minimum number of tie-downs do not apply to a vehicle transporting one or more cargo articles, such as fabricated structural items or machinery. Their designs, shapes, sizes, or weights must be fastened by other special methods.

Specific Securement Requirements For Cargo

How to secure different types of cargo? Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has adopted detailed requirements for securing various types of cargo. It includes logs, dressed lumber; paper rolls; metal coils; concrete pipe; automobiles, intermodal containers, roll-on/roll-off containers, light trucks, flattened vehicles, heavy vehicles, machinery, and equipment.

Final Thoughts 

Any type of cargo that is improperly secured or unsecured can be dangerous to the shipment, the driver, the vehicle, and everyone on the road. By following basic cargo securement rules, drivers can make sure their loads get to their destination safe and secure without posing risks to anyone.

If you still have some questions about useful cargo securement tips, you may contact Toronto Trailers at 416 477 5488. We are also offering different cargo securement equipment and tools that can help you with your transportation business. The cargo control products we have are moving blankets, furniture pads, ratchet straps, dry van products, flatbed products, decking beams, and load bars.  

Leave a comment