How to Safely Transport Metal Coils?

Transporting long, slender metals such as steel, aluminum, and fiber optic cables is a common practice in the shipping industry. These types of cargo are typically wound onto coils or spools for transportation. This approach not only saves space but also facilitates management during both transportation and storage.

However, transporting circular objects poses a challenge for drivers due to their inherent tendency to roll. But fear not, through this article, you’ll gain insights into how to securely transport metal coils.

Securing Eye-to-the-Side Coils

Eye-to-the-side coil spools are immobilized during transportation, eliminating bounce or rolling in any direction. The advantage of this securing method lies in its capacity to optimize space and accommodate more coil spools. Several tools and techniques come into play when it comes to fastening coil spools in place.


Ramp Pads or Steel Racks

These tools serve the purpose of creating separation between the metal coil and the deck. Ramp pads are usually fashioned from 4×4 or 6×6 wooden pieces, often constructed from oak, and feature a slight incline, usually set at around 12.5 degrees. This gentle gradient encourages the rolling edge of the coil to settle downward, preventing lateral movement.

In addition to ramp pads, coil racks are a common choice. These steel structures are placed on the trailer and are equipped with upright steel columns several inches in height. These columns are angled to suspend the coil and prevent rolling. Typically, one rack is needed for every 10,000 pounds of weight.

Friction pads and wedges also play a vital role in the process.

  • Friction Pads: These rubber pads are laid on the deck, effectively impeding the movement and slippage of ramp pads or coil racks.
  • Wedges: Positioned externally to the ramp pads, these taller blocks serve as a physical barrier to halt rolling.

Effectively utilizing these tools and techniques ensures the secure transport of metal coil spools.


Using padding to halt the rolling of the coil is just the initial step. Beyond that, chains or straps are essential to prevent coil rolling or bouncing. Similar to coil racks, one tie-down device is required for every 10,000 pounds. The rated capacity of each tie-down device must equal half of the total cargo weight.

For instance, with a 50,000-pound coil, five tie-down devices are needed, and the rated capacity of each tie-down device should reach 25,000 pounds. This precaution ensures that even if a tie-down were to fail during transportation, an immediate safety incident can be averted.

Securing Eye-to-the-Sky Steel Coils

This presents an alternative method for coil securing. This approach is simpler, yet it limits the number of coils that can be transported.

For this type of securing, only tie-downs are necessary. The regulations mirror those of eye-to-the-side coils: one narrow strap device per 10,000 pounds, with the combined rating of each securing device equating to half of the total weight.

Tie-downs utilized for eye-to-the-sky coils are positioned over the coil apex and anchored on both sides. If a solitary tie-down is employed, it will extend directly over the coil, running parallel to the trailer’s frontal area. In the case of dual tie-downs, they will be tightened in an X configuration. As the necessity for more tie-downs arises, the final arrangement starts to take on the semblance of a spider. Additional tie-downs might also be wound around the coil’s base.

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