Flatbed Securement Discussion 2022

Topic 31351 | Page 4

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TwoSides11's Comment
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I might be over cautious but how do you know when the straps are too loose while driving with a load? I personally do not like any movement in the straps whatsoever. The slightest movement has me nervous the whole ride.

I have noticed some flatbed drivers straps flapping in the wind which would be no bueno for me. I have also noticed other drivers straps that kinda just bounce up and down like when you stroke a guitar string, that type of movement also makes me nervous but not as much.

With some of my loads I have seen the buckle side of the strap vibrating while the winch side is stiff, and vice versa. If both the winch side and the buckle side are moving, I pull over and check them immediately.

What type of strap movements are normal and what types are a cause for concern? Or does it depend on the type of load as well? Just trying to eliminate those unnecessary nerves I have. If it helps, the movement in straps for my loads have been on Aluminum ignots and Aluminum beams.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Turtle's Comment
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Yes it does kind of depend on the load, but generally you should not have much strap movement. A slight vibration movement is common when the straps span a distance of 6 ft or more, but should still be minimal.

Don't be afraid of tightening the heck out of the straps, they can handle it. Jump up on that winch bar and drop all your weight onto it. Unless of course it'll damage your load. That and putting a half twist in the strap will get rid of most movement. The reason for the half twist is because without it the wind blows over the strap similar to a breath over the reed of a horn or saxophone, causing a wavelike vibration. The twist breaks up that air flow.

Turtle's Comment
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I should add a couple things:

First, a twist isn't really necessary for loads 4 ft tall and under. You can still do it if you want, but it won't make much of a difference, if any. It only really helps in the taller loads.

Second, no more than a half twist is allowed by DOT.

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.

Chief Brody's Comment
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It greatly depends on the load. Cardboard boxes you'll just simply crush the box and never get a strap that's tight enough that you won't have some movement in the strap. Composite decking I'll crank them suckers down so tight that you can hear them twang when you pluck the edge.

One thing to remember about securing the load is that's exactly what you want to do: secure the load. Crushing cardboard boxes is not effective in securing the load. With a heavy load like sheetrock or composite decking the load is heavy enough that there is a significant amount of friction already on the deck. You are really not increasing the friction of that load on the deck. For the most part your straps across the load are simply preventing the load from coming off of the side of the truck.

A load of PVC pipe or structural steel is a whole different situation. That's where you really need to analyze the load to figure out where you need belly straps, or where you need extra straps because of an unusually placed bundle.

TwoSides11's Comment
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Yes it does kind of depend on the load, but generally you should not have much strap movement. A slight vibration movement is common when the straps span a distance of 6 ft or more, but should still be minimal.

Ok thanks Turtle. Yes the loads I have noticed movement in the straps have been the taller loads. Just makes me nervous to see movement in the straps.

Yes Sir I do jump on that winch bar lol. I thought I looked silly doing it because I haven't seen anyone else having to do that, not even in the YouTube videos I watch but doing that gets it tight enough for me to feel comfortable.

I understand putting the half twist in the strap breaks up the air flow but I have gotten mixed reviews when talking with other flatbedders. Some say it takes away from the stability of the straps, some said it was fine. I'm too new to try that now lol. I will try that later on when I'm more comfortable in my techniques

TwoSides11's Comment
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With a heavy load like sheetrock or composite decking the load is heavy enough that there is a significant amount of friction already on the deck. You are really not increasing the friction of that load on the deck. For the most part your straps across the load are simply preventing the load from coming off of the side of the truck.

So what is stopping the load from sliding forward or backwards? Is it the weight for heavy loads that is stopping it? What about light loads of steel or aluminum beams? What would stop them from sliding forward or back? Please forgive my ignorance on this topic. I would guess all types of steel loads wouldn't be light??

So far I'm only hauling different types of aluminum loads. They vary in height but have been pretty much 35k lbs and up. My concern is the loads coming off the sides but now I just realized what is stopping loads from sliding forward or back?

Pianoman's Comment
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I understand putting the half twist in the strap breaks up the air flow but I have gotten mixed reviews when talking with other flatbedders. Some say it takes away from the stability of the straps, some said it was fine. I'm too new to try that now lol. I will try that later on when I'm more comfortable in my techniques

The half twist works really well. I don’t know why it would take away from the stability of the load but I guess if you’re worried about that you could always use more straps lol. I use it on high loads like insulation which you can’t tighten down hard or you’ll go right through it. The half twist keeps the straps from moving so much and keeps the load more stable without having to damage the load.

Chief Brody's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

With a heavy load like sheetrock or composite decking the load is heavy enough that there is a significant amount of friction already on the deck. You are really not increasing the friction of that load on the deck. For the most part your straps across the load are simply preventing the load from coming off of the side of the truck.

double-quotes-end.png

So what is stopping the load from sliding forward or backwards? Is it the weight for heavy loads that is stopping it? What about light loads of steel or aluminum beams? What would stop them from sliding forward or back? Please forgive my ignorance on this topic. I would guess all types of steel loads wouldn't be light??

So far I'm only hauling different types of aluminum loads. They vary in height but have been pretty much 35k lbs and up. My concern is the loads coming off the sides but now I just realized what is stopping loads from sliding forward or back?

I should have been more clear. It's not just the weight but it's the friction of each particular load. With regard to sheetrock you have a considerable amount of surface area between each piece of sheetrock and all of that presses down from the top and the friction between each sheet is pretty substantial. Same thing with Lumber or product loaded in stacks of sheets that have a significant amount of surface area.

But with steel, even though it may be a heavy load, you may have very little of the surfaces touching each other and steel is a low-friction surface. This is another reason why I use straps with steel rather than chains because again steel on steel is low friction.

We haul these electrical conduit channels that are 1in by 1in square metal approximately 10 ft long. They are are bundled together into a square packages and then stacked on top of each other. I can crank down on them all I want to the point where I can't tighten the strap any more, but even with my strap that tight the inner bundles and then the inner pieces within each bundle are going to slide forward in any sort of significant braking event. This is because they're metal-on-metal with very little friction and all I'm doing is putting pressure downward on the top row of the bundles and a little bit on the side. I'm not increasing any pressure on the very inner part of the metal bundles.

And this is the reason for your bulkhead. When that stuff comes sliding forward in a hard break event you want that bulkhead there to stop it.

Bulkhead:

A strong wall-like structure placed at the front of a flatbed trailer (or on the rear of the tractor) used to protect the driver against shifting cargo during a front-end collision. May also refer to any separator within a dry or liquid trailer (also called a baffle for liquid trailers) used to partition the load.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Old School's Comment
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You've been getting some great advice in here TwoSides. I just wanted to confirm my agreement with the strap method on the winch.

When you wrap the whole strap you cannot depend on it staying tight. That whole strap stretches as it goes down the road including all that length wrapped on the winch. You only want maybe two or three times max around the spool of the winch. That way you are tightening all the stretch out of the part of the strap you need. Using that method will help your securement stay tight. You still need to be vigilant, but you'll notice how much better it works at keeping things the way you want them.

Turtle's Comment
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