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3.3 – Securing Cargo

3.3.1 – Blocking and Bracing

Blocking is used in the front, back and/or sides of a piece of cargo to keep it from sliding. Blocking is shaped to fit snugly against cargo. It is secured to the cargo deck to prevent cargo movement.

Bracing is also used to prevent the movement of cargo. Bracing goes from the upper part of the cargo to the floor and/or walls of the cargo compartment.

3.3.2 – Cargo Tie-down

On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo must be secured to keep it from shifting or falling off. In closed vans, tie-downs can also be important to prevent cargo shifting that may affect the handling of the vehicle. Tie-downs must be of the proper type and proper strength.

Federal regulations require the aggregate working load limit of any securement system used to secure an article or group of articles against movement must be at least one and one-half times the weight of the article or group of articles. Proper tie-down equipment must be used, including ropes, straps, chains, and tensioning devices (winches, ratchets, clinching components). Tie-downs must be attached to the vehicle correctly (hooks, bolts, rails, rings).

Cargo should have at least one tie-down for every 10 feet of cargo. Make sure you have enough tie-downs to meet this need. No matter how small the cargo, it should have at least two tie-downs.

There are special requirements for securing various heavy pieces of metal. Find out what they are if you are to carry such loads.

3.3.3 – Header Boards

Front-end header boards (“headache racks”) protect you from your cargo in case of a crash or emergency stop. Make sure the front-end structure is in good condition. The front-end structure should block the forward movement of any cargo you carry.

3.3.4 – Covering Cargo

There are two basic reasons for covering cargo:

  • To protect people from spilled cargo.
  • To protect the cargo from weather.

Spill protection is a safety requirement in many states. Be familiar with the laws in the states you drive in.

You should look at your cargo covers in the mirrors from time to time while driving. A flapping cover can tear loose, uncovering the cargo, and possibly block your view or someone else's.

3.3.5 – Sealed and Containerized Loads

Containerized loads generally are used when freight is carried part way by rail or ship. Delivery by truck occurs at the beginning and/or end of the journey. Some containers have their own tie-down devices or locks that attach directly to a special frame. Others have to be loaded onto flatbed trailers. They must be properly secured just like any other cargo.

You cannot inspect sealed loads, but you should check that you do not exceed gross weight and axle weight limits.

Multiple-Choice Questions:

Question #215 (1 of 5)

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Which of the following is true about bracing:

  • It is a solid steel wall built into the front of a flatbed trailer designed to protect you from your cargo in case of a crash or emergency stop.
  • It is used in the front, back and/or sides of a piece of cargo to keep it from sliding. It is shaped to fit snugly against cargo. It is secured to the cargo deck to prevent cargo movement.
  • It is used to prevent the movement of cargo. It goes from the upper part of the cargo to the floor and/or walls of the cargo compartment.
  • It is a cover designed to protect people from spilled cargo and to protect the cargo from weather.
Bracing is also used to prevent the movement of cargo. Bracing goes from the upper part of the cargo to the floor and/or walls of the cargo compartment.
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Question #217 (2 of 5)

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How many tie-downs should the cargo have?

  • One tie-down for every 10 feet of cargo. No matter how small the cargo, it should have at least two tie-downs.
  • Two tie-down for every 20 feet of cargo. No matter how small the cargo, it should have at least three tie-downs.
  • Two tie-downs for every 10 feet of cargo. No matter how small the cargo, it should have at least three tie-downs.
  • One tie-down for every 20 feet of cargo. No matter how small the cargo, it should have at least two tie-downs.

Cargo should have at least one tie-down for every 10 feet of cargo. Make sure you have enough tie-downs to meet this need. No matter how small the cargo, it should have at least two tie-downs.

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Question #216 (3 of 5)

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Federal regulations require the aggregate working load limit of any securement system used to secure an article or group of articles against movement must be strong enough to lift:

  • At least one and one-half times the weight of the article or group of articles.
  • At least double the weight of the article or group of articles
  • At least as great as the total combined weight of the entire load
  • At least triple the weight of the article or group of articles

Federal regulations require the aggregate working load limit of any securement system used to secure an article or group of articles against movement must be at least one and one-half times the weight of the article or group of articles. Proper tie-down equipment must be used, including ropes, straps, chains, and tensioning devices (winches, ratchets, clinching components). Tie-downs must be attached to the vehicle correctly (hooks, bolts, rails, rings).

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Question #218 (4 of 5)

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Which type of cargo requires special transit permits, limits driving to certain times, may require special signs, flashing lights, flags, and a police escort or pilot vehicle?

  • Hazardous load in a reefer trailer
  • Dry van
  • Hazardous tanker
  • Over-length, over-width and/or overweight loads

Over-length, over-width and/or overweight loads require special transit permits. Driving is usually limited to certain times. Special equipment may be necessary such as “wide load” signs, flashing lights, flags, etc. Such loads may require a police escort or pilot vehicles bearing warning signs and/or flashing lights. These special loads require special driving care.

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Question #214 (5 of 5)

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Which of the following is true about blocking:

  • It is a solid steel wall built into the front of a flatbed trailer designed to protect you from your cargo in case of a crash or emergency stop.
  • It is used to prevent the movement of cargo. It goes from the upper part of the cargo to the floor and/or walls of the cargo compartment.
  • It is used in the front, back and/or sides of a piece of cargo to keep it from sliding. It is shaped to fit snugly against cargo. It is secured to the cargo deck to prevent cargo movement.
  • It is a cover designed to protect people from spilled cargo and to protect the cargo from weather.
Blocking is used in the front, back and/or sides of a piece of cargo to keep it from sliding. Blocking is shaped to fit snugly against cargo. It is secured to the cargo deck to prevent cargo movement.
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