Semi-Trailer Cargo Protection
Driving a heavy-duty semi-truck requires a lot of attention. Truckers must be alert; their rigs must be in good working order and whatever they are hauling needs to stay put.
There are many tools available to secure cargo, so things do not slide or move during transit. Here are some examples of cargo securement tools:
V-Boards/Vee Boards: V-boards are heavy duty V-shaped boards that can protect cargo straps, chains, and the corners of boxes and other straight edges.
Edges and corners of cargo - especially that which is stored in cardboard boxes – are easily damaged in transit. As much as you’d like to think “that ain’t going nowhere” once cargo is loaded, things have a way of shifting and moving along the way. Damage to the outside of a box leads to damage to the contents of that box. V-boards cover box corners and reinforce the box’s integrity.
Pallet edges can be damaged, making goods packed on top of them more vulnerable to harm.
V-boards can also help secure tarps and covers used to shelter the cargo. V-Boards come in various sizes and are usually made of heavy-duty plastic. Some are made of metal. You can find a variety of Vee Boards here.
Ratchet Straps: The original “that ain’t going nowhere,” tool! You don’t have to be a truck driver to have used a ratchet strap. Any time you haul something, a ratchet strap is a great way to tighten and hold cargo in place.
Ratchet straps come in many sizes and strengths. By law, commercial haulers must use straps that are strong enough to secure the size load on board.
Winch Straps are a lot like ratchet straps; however the hooks are welded and more heavy duty. That might sound great – but they also add weight to the load, whereas ratchet straps are lighter.
One cool tool used in conjunction with a ratchet strap is the Good-N-Tight Handle. This handy device increases a person’s leverage by 3x when tightening a strap.
Tarps: Tarps are used primarily for cargo that is exposed to the elements. Heavy-duty tarps used on semi-trailers come in many sizes and, like all other areas of cargo securement, are required to meet certain standards by law.
Mytee Products in Wooster, Ohio manufactures all kinds of cargo securing tools, including tarps. You can see more on them here
Tarp Protectors: These plastic protectors keep cargo from damaging the tarp. They are also required by law in some instances.
Cargo Securement Guidelines
Making sure cargo does not shift is more than just a safety or business matter; it’s required by law. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues guidelines and requirements which must be adhered to by semi-truck drivers/haulers on highways in the United States.
Cargo Transport Law in a Nutshell
If you remember one thing about transporting cargo – it’s this: Cargo being transported on the highway must remain secured on or within the transporting vehicle at all times and under all conditions that could reasonably be expected to occur in normal driving.
You can read the entire handbook for drivers here: Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Security