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Cargo Securement Information for Commercial Trucks

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Cargo Securement Regulations Do Not Apply Just to Flatbed Carriers!

Anything and everything carried on a truck must be properly secured to prevent loss of control or falling cargo from injuring drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. While safe cargo securement principles (and of course regulations) apply to every single item carried for delivery, they also apply to anything else on the truck, including dunnage, tools, and equipment you need to get your job done. Shovels, blocks, webbing, chains, spare tires, brooms, forklifts, pallet jacks, winches, ratchets, etc., all must be secured.
Know the regulations—Cargo securement standards represent the minimum safety requirements for general cargo and some specific commodities. They are available at no charge from FMCSA in the U.S. and from Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators in Canada.

Invest in the illustrated cargo securement handbook, which includes both U.S. and Canadian regulations for reference. Click on CVSA’s store at and order a copy of Practical Cargo Securement: Guidelines for Drivers, Carriers & Shippers, 406 pages, USD$30.

Download the FMCSA Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement and provide a copy to your drivers. Integrate the handbook sections that apply to your type of operation in your Driver’s policy and procedures manual.

Properly secure all equipment as well as your load—one of the most frequently cited violations is for improper securement of dunnage or equipment, such as tarps, blocks, chains or other tie downs, spare tires, brooms, forklifts, pallet jacks, winches, ratchets, etc.

Inspect tie downs for wear and damage. CVSA’s North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria includes the tie down defect tables for chain, wire rope, cordage, synthetic webbing, steel strapping, fittings or attachments and anchor points. If worn out, tie downs should be discarded.

Brace and block cargo properly within sided or van trailers. Loads that shift can cause not only crashes but damage to your equipment. And they indicate violations that will affect your company’s safety rating.

Use best practices or due diligence. There may be best practices, established by consensus by those who haul what you’re hauling, that are worth following. If your shipment is more unique, do your research, as the rules are established for a reason. Ensure your load is contained, immobilized or secured so that it cannot: (a) leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle, or (b) shift upon or within the vehicle to such an extent that the vehicle’s stability or maneuverability is affected. If needed, hire a professional specializing in vehicle loading.
Top Twenty Cargo Securement Out-of-Service Violations from 2014 Calendar Year in the U.S.

Failure to properly secure cargo or equipment on a commercial vehicle is the fourth leading category of violations (after violations for Brakes, Lights, and Tires) that result in vehicles being placed Out-of-Service. Drivers and motor carriers should know about the importance of ensuring everything on their vehicles is properly and safely secured from shifting, tipping, sliding, or falling, even during a panic stop or rapid evasive maneuver. These violations represent over 80% of cargo related OOS violations and 13% of all OOS violations. Carriers should take care to avoid these common mistakes.

Ranking by # OOS Cargo Violations FMCSR Violation Code Violation Description Percentage of OOS Cargo Violations
1 392.9A2 Failing To Secure Vehicle Equipment 14%
2 393.100A Failing To Load/Equip Vehicle To Prevent Load Shifting/Falling 12%
3 393.100B Leaking/Spilling/Blowing/Falling Cargo 10%
4 393.110B Insufficient Tiedowns; Without Headerboard/Blocking 8%
5 392.9A Failing To Secure Load 7%
6 393.104F3 Loose/Unfastened Tiedown. 6%
7 393.13 No/Improper Heavy Vehicle/Machine Securement 5%
8 393.104B Damaged Securement System/Tiedowns 5%
9 392.9A1 Failing To Secure Cargo/§§ 393.100-393.136 4%
10 392.9 Driver Load Secure 3%
11 393.1 No Or Improper Load Securement 2%
12 393.134B3 Rear Of Container Not Properly Secured 2%
13 393.126 Fail To Ensure Intermodal Container Secured 2%
14 393.100C Failure To Prevent Cargo Shifting 2%
15 393.134 No/Improper Securement Of Roll/Hook Container 2%
16 393.128B1 Vehicle Not Secured—Front And Rear 1%
17 393.116 No/Improper Securement Of Logs 1%
18 393.11 Failing To Meet Minimum Tiedown Requirements 1%
19 393.106B Cargo Not Immobilized Or Secured 1%
20 393.110C Insufficient Tiedowns; With Headerboard/Blocking 1%

Use the Following Links to Access the US and Canadian Cargo Securement Regulations:



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