Load Securement for Flatbed Semi-Trailers

Almost all kinds of cargo can be transported by a flatbed semi-trailer, which is very important in the transportation industry. But what tool to use to secure the load is a question.

By law, drivers must secure at least half the load. That means, if you’re shipping 40,000 pounds, you’ll need to secure at least 20,000 pounds with chains or other tools.

Load Securement options for flatbeds

1. Winches and belts


Winches are available in steel, galvanized steel, etc., and are often used with toolboxes and drop decks, and are a common method of securing flat loads.

You might consider installing load securement points on both sides to prevent the load from moving. Before buying a semi-trailer, you can confirm with the supplier in advance whether the flatbed has a winch.

Please note that both winches and belts are rated and cannot exceed either rating. For example, if the winch is rated at 4,500 lbs and the strap is rated at 4,300 lbs, then it cannot hold a load of more than 4,300 lbs.

2. Spools and pockets


Different manufacturers have different designs for the semi-trailer, so you may or may not be able to use the pockets to secure the load. Even if it works, you should check with the manufacturer for the working load limits (WLL) of the spool.

3. J-Hooks

j hooks

This adjustable load securement system is used with flat hook straps or chains. The plates on the rails on both sides of the deck can be placed anywhere on the rails and are removable. But J-hook ratings may vary by manufacturer, so check with them before buying.

4. D-ring


This is one of the strongest options, typically working load limit is up to 15,000 pounds. The D-ring is half metal ring recessed in the floor.

The principle of fixed load:

  1. Distribute the cargo evenly on the flatbed trailer to prevent the trailer from turning uncontrollably or tipping over.
  2. Select the correct load securement and plan where the cargo will be placed. Usually, every 10 feet of cargo is bundled. For example, a 35-foot-long cargo needs to have at least four tethers.
  3. Take the necessary precautions to avoid accidents when working on or around the flatbed trailer.
  4. If necessary, select the correct tarps and secure them. Different types of cargo require different tarps, for example, some are made for transporting wood or steel, while others are designed to protect cargo from the wind.

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