One of the major causes of accidents with semi-trailers is poor load securing. Especially when the load is not evenly distributed, a sharp turn can lead to an accident. This kind of accident does not only refer to falling cargo but also to overturning.
Before understanding how to load a flatbed load properly, we first need to know the various dimensions of flatbed trailers.
Standard Flatbed Trailer
Extendable Flatbed Trailer
Drop Deck Trailer
Choosing the Right Load Securement
There are 3 types commonly used to secure loads.
Tarps and Straps
The tarp covers the cargo and then the straps hold the tarp in place. This not only ensures the cargo is protected from the weather but also ensures the cargo will not blow away.
Chains and Binders
When the type of cargo to be transported is aluminum and steel coils or agricultural equipment, chains and binders are usually used to secure it. Each chain can be attached to the winches, stretched, and tightened with an adhesive. This prevents the cargo from moving during transport.
The load bars help to distribute the weight of the cargo over a larger area. Even if more cargo is transported, it will not damage the trailer.
Tips for Proper Flatbed Load Securement
1. Distribute weight correctly
Before transporting, make sure that the weight of the cargo does not exceed the rated load of the trailer. Overloading is a very dangerous thing to do. In addition to this, please follow the practices below:
- Place 60% of the load on the front half of the flatbed trailer and avoid putting heavy loads on the rear of the flatbed.
- Place heavier loads on the floor of the flatbed to lower the center of gravity
2. Selecting the Right Load Securement
Some cargoes are suitable to be fixed with tarpaulin. But some cargoes are suitable to be fixed with chains, which need to be chosen according to different types of cargoes.
For example, when transporting wood or plastic pipes, straps are a better choice. When transporting aluminum or steel, chains are a better choice.
FMCSA requires a minimum of one tie-down per ten feet of cargo. For example, a 48-foot load requires a minimum of five tie-downs.
3. Check the load
Before shipping, it is necessary to set aside 30 minutes to check the condition of the trailer and the load. Make sure they have not moved in any way and the weight is also evenly distributed and not tipping over. When problems are found, they need to be adjusted in time instead of going straight to the road.
After the departure, every 50 km or so, you also need to check if all the loads are still anchored.
Protect your cargo with Three Horses Trailer
Three Horses Trailer is a professional manufacturer of flatbed trailers. Each flatbed trailer is properly designed with winches. Drivers can ensure that they can tighten the load before transporting it, guaranteeing them safe travel.
At the same time, Three Horses Trailer has the experience to provide you with quality service and can assist you in making your choice. If you are interested in purchasing a flatbed trailer, please feel free to contact us.