Dry freight vans differ greatly from flatbed trailers. When people talk about securing cargo, frequently the method of shipment by flatbed trailer comes to mind. Violations concerning the combination of cargo securement and flatbed trailers happen frequently. But van loads are covered by cargo securement regulations, as well.
Unfortunately, because you can’t see the cargo inside a closed trailer, it’s easier to forget about it and not pay attention to regulations and how secure a shipment is. It’s essential, whether using a reefer trailer, dry van, or flatbed trailer, for a shipment to remain secure while being transported. Secure cargo means that shifting will be prevented.
Doing It by the Book
As suggested above, there are regulations for commercial motor vehicles that apply to carrying cargo. Within or on the vehicle, all cargo must be secured. This can be done with structures of adequate strength or, to fill the space between the vehicle walls and cargo, the use of airbags or dunnage. These are simple, general rules. Specifically, forward forces of .08g and rear, right, and left directional forces of 0.5g must be able to be tolerated and still secure the cargo.
What Does That Mean in Plain Speak?
So, those numbers above, 0.5 and 0.8 – what do those apply to? In simple terms, it is the average vehicle-generated force that occurs under a couple of conditions:
- Reverse, right, or left forces can come into play during an emergency stop while in reverse or can apply to the right or left forces created on a freeway off or on-ramp.
- Forward forces are generated when, in ideal road conditions and with ABS brakes, coming to an emergency stop.
An Average Load
For an average van trailer load that weighs 30,000 to 40,000 pounds and is on regular pallets, no additional securement is required if the following conditions apply:
- No spaces between the sides of the walls
- No spaces between the front back to the doors
Clearly, what’s being talked about here is a closed trailer that is loaded to the gills! A load can’t shift if it is absolutely stuffed into an enclosed area.
Bracing and Blocking
Another method of securing cargo is bracing and blocking. If the load you’re carrying doesn’t fill your entire trailer, load bars, load straps, friction mats, airbags, dunnage, bracing, and blocking can help prevent cargo from shifting and/or fill spaces so that cargo doesn’t move.
Why shouldn’t your cargo move? Shifting cargo is a safety hazard and can damage the contents of your shipment.
How Balanced Is Your Load?
It is essential that a load be as balanced as possible. Let’s examine a sample situation:
Machine steel components have been loaded into an enclosed trailer. They weigh 42,000 pounds and are being transported in steel bins measuring 4′ x 4′ and are 12 in number. You will overload your drive axles and have too much weight in the front of your trailer if you load them as follows: two bins side-by-side, up against the bulkhead, in the front of your trailer. So, what are your other options? Here are two suggestions:
- Down the middle of the trailer, in single file, line up all 12 bins.
- Near the rear of the trailer, six bins… and at the nose of the trailer, six bins.
Mickey Genuine Parts carries numerous parts and devices that help secure cargo from shelving units of varying designs and sizes to tie down straps, and more. All of our parts can be shipped on the same day an order is placed, provided that order gets to us by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time. Special order parts may take as much as three days for the shipping process to initiate. Regardless, we will expedite your part to you as soon as possible. Contact us today for more information.