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Top 5 Cargo Securement Violations (and How To Avoid Them)

Top 5 Cargo Securement Violations (and How To Avoid Them) (1).png

It’s almost here! The 2017 International Roadcheck program will take place June 6-8, 2017, with a focus on cargo securement. The International Roadcheck is the largest planned commercial motor vehicle (CMV) enforcement program across the globe. It’s estimated that 17 trucks are inspected every minute in the US, Canada, and Mexico during this 3 day period!

Top 5 Cargo Securement Violations

With so many vehicles being stopped in just 72 hours, drivers need to be prepared so that they make it through their inspections without a hitch. Here are the top 5 cargo securement violations, and how you can avoid them.

1. Failure to prevent shifting/loss of load (Section 393.100)

The Official Rule:
shutterstock_556110520-1.jpgPrevention against loss of load:
Every CMV must be loaded and secured to prevent the cargo from leaking, spilling, blowing, or falling from the motor vehicle.

Prevention shifting of a load: Cargo must be contained, immobilized, or secured to prevent shifting upon or within the vehicle in a way that affects the vehicle’s stability or maneuverability.

How to Prevent a Violation:
Always make sure that your load is contained effectively so that it cannot spill, leak, blow, or fall off of the vehicle. Shifting loads can lead to crashes and damage your equipment. To prevent shifting, it’s important that you avoid empty spaces when you are packing your cargo, and secure your load well to stabilize it.

2. Failure to secure truck equipment (Section 392.9A1)

The Official Rule:

The commercial motor vehicle’s tailgate, tailboard, doors, tarpaulins, spare tire, and other equipment used in it’s operation, and the means of fastening the commercial motor vehicle’s cargo, are secured.

How to Prevent a Violation:
It’s not just your vehicle’s load that needs to be secured, but the little things, too! Inspectors will be looking at all of the equipment you might use for load securement, including; tarps, dunnage, brooms, shovels, etc. Take the extra time to make sure anything in the trailer or on the catwalk behind the cab is properly secured and won’t fall or blow off the vehicle.

3. Damaged tie-downs (Section 393.104B)

The Official Rule:
shutterstock_535867012.jpgAll tie-downs, cargo securement systems, parts, and components with damage that will negatively affect their performance are prohibited from use.

How to Prevent a Violation:
Watch out for wear and tear of chains, or cuts or rips in web straps. If you see anything that looks like it might tear or break, replace it. It’s better to be safe than be sorry! If a
tie-down breaks, the load could shift, causing a serious accident or injury.

4. Insufficient Tie-Downs (Section 393.110)

The Official Rule
When tie-downs are used as cargo securement, the minimum number required is dependant on a number of factors. When an item is not positioned to prevent forward movement by an appropriate blocking device, it must be secured by:

    • 1 tie-down for items under 5 feet and 1,100 lbs
    • 2 tie-downs for items over 5 feet, and 1,100 lbs
    • 1 tie-down for items between 5-10 feet, regardless of weight
    • 1 additional tie-down for every 10 feet of length

      If the item is positioned to prevent forward movement, there should be one tie-down for every 10 feet of length.

How to Prevent a Violation:
Keep a guideline in your cab with you to make sure you have the appropriate amount of ties for your load. There are special rules for special purpose vehicles. If this applies to you, make sure you have looked through the Code of Federal Regulations to ensure you are operating in compliance.

5. Loose tie-downs (Section 393.104F3)

The Official Rule:
Each tie-down needs to be attached in a secure manner that prevents it from becoming loose, unfastening, opening, or releasing while the vehicle is in transit.

How to Prevent a Violation:
This is pretty straightforward, but it’s important that you double, or even triple-check, the security of your tie-downs before hitting the road. Tie-down related violations account for 3 out of 5 of the top load securement violations, and they can easily be overlooked if you aren’t thoroughly inspecting your cargo securement.

Why Cargo Securement Matters

The most obvious and important reason to have your cargo secured properly is that loose cargo can shift or fall in the trailer, which can result in a serious road accident or injury while unloading.

shutterstock_162667727.jpgCargo-related violations can also have a large impact on your CSA score. A study conducted in 2013 using DOT data estimated that 80% of cargo securement related violations resulted in Out-of-Service (OOS) order violations. Driving without amending an OOS can add 10 points to your CSA score — and that adds up! In fact, even without an OOS, each one of the above cargo securement violations will result in an extra 7 points added to your CSA score.

To ensure you are taking the right steps to secure your cargo, read the FMCSA’s Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement. If you are driving in Canada, check out the Canadian handbook here.

Protect Your Safety Score With BigRoad

Driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) are a breeze with the BigRoad Mobile App! In just a few taps you can ensure you are dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s, so that you are ready to hit the road safely! If you have a dispatcher, reporting any issues to them from inside the app makes it easy for them to see what needs to be repaired before you can drive. Request a demo to see how easy using BigRoad makes protecting your safety score.