Should You Use Tie Downs To Secure Your Cargo?

Last year, almost 16% of the vehicles that were taken out of service during an international road check were removed due to cargo securement that was improper or inadequate. When something as simple as straps and tie downs could have remedied the situation, how does this even happen?

No Tie Downs? You Are Running a Risk!

Yes, you could be removed from service if you don’t properly secure your load. But there are other risks to improper or inadequate load securement. You could lose the load, damage the cargo, damage the vehicle, experience fines and citations, and worst of all – you could lose your life or cause someone else to lose theirs. Who wants that on their conscience?

It doesn’t take that much effort or time to properly secure a load. Not when you compare it to the alternatives. To legally and safely transport your load, tie downs are a must.

Defining “Tie Downs”

A tie down, according to FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is defined as the following: A securing device or combination of devices (i.e., webbing ratchet, D-rings, shackles, binders, rope, chain, webbing, etc.) to which the following applies:

  • Uses anchor points for attachment
  • On a vehicle, restrains the cargo or attaches cargo to the vehicle

So, as you can see, the ratchet straps that most people think of when they refer to tiedowns can be just the beginning of what can be used as an official securing method.

Tie Downs and Load Limits

All tie downs have official limits. The manufacturer of the tie down should have its limit clearly marked for whatever that tie down was rated. This printed rating gives a driver better peace of mind, but it also makes it easier for inspectors and shippers to verify that, for the job at hand, the proper equipment is being used.

Securing Cargo with Tiedowns

Effective and safe tiedowns must be secured to the vehicle and the cargo. Tie downs can be used in two main ways:

  • Passed over the cargo
  • Attached to the cargo

Cargo Securement Inspection

During transit, your cargo should be inspected periodically. Granted, this does take time, but it can be deadly or costly if one strap comes loose. As necessary, please take the time to adjust load and cargo securement devices so that nothing falls from the vehicle or shifts during transit.

Nothing Lasts Forever

And that includes tiedowns. How do you know if it’s time to get new tiedowns? There are a number of obvious signs. It’s time to replace your tiedowns if any of your equipment used for cargo control shows the following:

  • Weakened sections
  • Weakened parts
  • Distress
  • Obvious damage such as knots or tears

If you don’t keep an eye on your tiedowns and their condition, not only might you lose a load, you could be subjected to inspection penalties. Every component involved in securing your load must be kept in good condition and proper working order. And that’s going to mean purchasing new equipment somewhere along the line. You can count on Mickey Genuine Parts for all your load securement needs.

Mickey Genuine Parts stocks tie downs, cargo straps, rings, ratchets, and everything else you could need with which to secure your load. Check out our full line of equipment or speak with one of our specialists today to find out what Mickey can do for you.

Let’s keep truckin'.

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