Make Sure You Secure It

Topic 10536 | Page 1

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SAMUEL C.'s Comment
member avatar

Last week I was on I-285 south in Atlanta, when an O/O flatbed past me. He was hauling four tire carcasses in the middle of his trailer( double stacked) with one 4 in strap securing them, sorta. As he traveled in front of me, I noticed the strap comming loose, I backed off of him and tried to raise him on the CB. I called out the exit numbers ahead of me, so other drivers would be aware of him possibly loosing his load. Other drivers ahead of me tried to get his attention, to no avail. Then it happened. The strapped came off and was flopping on his deck, then off it, under his passenger front tandem and was ripped off, ratchet and all. It hit a car that was passing him on his passenger side. The driver never stopped. As a flatbed driver, I'm always watching my load, and you know when you have a strap loosen and you take your load checks seriously to make sure your load is secure.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

My student was driving on I-80 in Nevada a couple of weeks ago when a flatbed passed us at 75 mph with a load of foam. There was also a 30 mph headwind. I noticed he didn't have any straps on the back of the foam to keep it from sliding off the deck.

A while later he went sailing past again at 75 mph. I noticed the company this time - a company I have a lot of respect for, with all O/O drivers. I usually see them hauling equipment or steel, never had seen them hauling foam. Still no back straps.

A while after that, a pickup pulling one of those long RV things swerved suddenly about a quarter to a half mile in front of us, revealing a bundle of foam smack dab in the middle of the right lane and a couple of smashed bundles scattered across the right shoulder. I got a little excited (it was my student's third or fourth day driving a big truck) and said, "You've gotta get over now!" a few times. He got over to the left in time and didn't hit anyone, but it was pretty scary.

Ten miles down the road, Foam Boy was on the shoulder putting a strap over the one remaining bundle at the back of his trailer. My student may go to the tanker division, but if he goes flatbed, I guarantee he knows how and why to make an X with two straps over the back of a foam load.

We stopped for fuel and our 10 hour break a while after that. I saw another O/O from the same company with a load of foam. He had two 4" straps over the back bundles, plus a 2" strap - but it went over the top, not around the back. I walked over to ask him if he'd hauled foam before, but he waved me off. I reckon he figured I was a panhandler - almost made me think about trimming my beard!

The point is, even experienced drivers make securement mistakes on loads they've never hauled before. If you're not sure how to do it, humble yourself and ask someone. I know every foam shipper I've been to has pictures of how to secure that big parachute load to keep it from blowing backwards off the trailer. Just ask if you're not sure, even if you've been pulling flatbeds for 15 years. Better than leaving a 400 pound bundle of four foot high foam in the middle of traffic.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

SAMUEL C.'s Comment
member avatar

There is no such thing as to much securement.

Parrothead66's Comment
member avatar

It takes about 5 minutes if that to add a strap. Well worth it for the fact that it might save someone's life not to mention your load & job.

Pick/Grin's Comment
member avatar

Even as a lowly van driver, I check for bulges and tracking. I don't ever touch freight, but paranoia about the doors swinging open up a hill has got me checking everytime I pulloff the road to rest.

SAMUEL C.'s Comment
member avatar

Even as a lowly van driver, I check for bulges and tracking. I don't ever touch freight, but paranoia about the doors swinging open up a hill has got me checking everytime I pulloff the road to rest.

I understand the paranoia, ecspecially when I'm hauling steel coils or steel roof truss. I trust my securement, but you always have that little voice in the back of your mind, is it enough. With flatbed, our loads are usually exposed to the motoring public or other drivers, if it's not tarped; that is why when I'm securing a load, I secure it as if my family is traveling along side and behind me.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

I remember driving down the road and I saw a board that the load was on, about to come loose. We tried to get the driver's attention to no avail. I just hope the load didn't come loose as a result.

Dave

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Beth S.'s Comment
member avatar

I've had pickup trucks in front of me drop plywood and sheet metal while i was in a Crow Vic aND a minivan. There's a reason I don't follow too closely AND pay attention to what's around me. I was able to miss the sheet metal by swerving. If I had tried to miss the plywood, I would probably have killed everybody in my car by hitting either the divider or the truck next to me.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Years ago, I was on the west bound I-10 heading into the Whilshire District, to see a girlfriend on her lunch break....East bound side, out of no where this semi tire came flying over the center divider, heading across all west bound lanes. Luckily, it went right past me, I looked in rearview, saw everyone else dodging it. Never did see where it ended up... Scary stuff....

Heading to work south on I-15 Cajon pass, this beuatiful owners rig was a bit ahead of me, before the I-215 split All of a sudden his really nice chrome 6-8 inch round / 4 foot long, top half of his smoke stack came loose, fell into the lanes doing an end over end right along the white dotted lines, right past my work van driver window!

Funny how it just followed the dotted lines! Bet he was "bent outta shape" when he found out! (dunno if he noticed it fly off) Always something happening down the Cajon pass embarrassed.gif

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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