Flat Bed Securement

Securing a load properly is important for Safety and delivering a product in great condition. Every year millions of dollars of damaged product is lost due to loads not being secured correctly. But most important is the safety of the driver and the general public.


  1. Provide information regarding safety as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Parts 392 and 393
  2. Reinforce safety the responsibility that you have as a driver.
  3. Illustrate how securing a load is to the benefit of everyone.
  4. Educate you as the driver on the consequence of improper load securement
  5. Train you on the proper way to secure a load

Importance of Cargo Securement

It is important to have trust in your load. Let’s look at some of the various reasons.

  • Customers continue to use you as a trusted driver when they receive their loads in great condition.
  • The general public is safe when a load is properly secured.
  • Your company has faith in you when you deliver a load that is secure and damage free.

Cargo Securement Flatbeds

Good securement stars by making sure you have safe and clean trailer

  • Doing a safety checklist of the trailer before a load is ever loaded is the best way to make sure there will be no problems on the road.
  • That includes checking the trailer for any mechanical problems or loose debris on the unit to ensure a damage free load.
  • Always make sure a tractor is secure before exiting the trailer when backed up to a dock.

When getting your cargo loaded it is important to be diligent making sure there is no damage inflicted by a forklift or other heavy equipment. Communication with the person loading your cargo is the key.

Basic responsibilities at the shipper

  • Supervising the load making sure all products listed on bill of lading is loaded.
  • Looking out for any possible hazards.
  • A complete inspection of the load before signing off on it including a visual inspection looking for any damage caused while loading.
  • Verifying the cargo is loaded properly and evenly and securing the load with any necessary equipment so to prevent damage including the equipment.
  • And finally rechecking everything from cargo to paperwork to prevent any issues arising after you have signed the paperwork and taken responsibility for the cargo.

In this segment we will talk about federal regulations governing cargo securement which are 392.9 and part 393 of the Federal motor Cargo Safety Regulations


  • It is required to evenly distribute and secure all loads safely and properly.
  • It is required to have all equipment necessary to secure all cargo
  • It is required that the cargo does not interfere with your view in front and to both sides. It does in affect your ability to move your arms or legs and you must have the access to any emergency equipment necessary for any unforeseen emergencies. And it cannot obstruct your ability to exit the cab or compartment of the tractor.

Included is inspecting your load and equipment used to secure cargo. Inspecting and adjusting the load within the first 50 miles of any delivery.

And continually adjusting and securing cargo as needed during trip.

Three necessary steps to reexamine a load are

  • When there is a change of duty status.
  • You have driven for more than 3 hours.
  • The trip has gone over the 150 mile mark.

Whenever you pick up an already loaded trailer make sure to inspect the cargo is loaded securely and safely and all equipment is in good working order.


This section covers important definitions and requirements regarding cargo securement.

  • Aggregate working load limit: The summation of the working load limits or restraining capacity of all devices used to secure an article on a vehicle.
  • Anchor point: Part of the structure, fitting, or attachment on a vehicle or cargo to which a tie-down is attached.
  • Article of cargo: A unit of cargo, other than a liquid, gas, or aggregate that lacks physical structure (e.g. grain, gravel, etc.), including articles grouped together so that they can be handled as a single unit or unitized by wrapping, strapping, banding, or edge protection device(s).
  • Blocking: A structure, device, or another substantial article placed against or around an article to prevent horizontal movement of the article.
  • Bracing: A structure, device, or another substantial article placed against an article to prevent it from tipping that may also prevent it from shifting.
  • Dunnage: Material used to protect and load securing cargo during transportation
  • Dunnage bag: An inflatable bag intended to fill otherwise empty space between articles of cargo, or between articles of cargo and the wall of the vehicle.
  • Edge protector: A device placed on the exposed edge of an article to distribute tie-down forces over a larger area of cargo than the tie-down itself, to protect the tie-down and/or cargo from damage, and to allow the tie-down to slide freely when being tensioned.
  • Friction mat: A device placed on the exposed edge of an article to distribute tie-down forces over a larger area of cargo than the tie-down itself, to protect the tie-down and/or cargo from damage, and to allow the tie-down to slide freely when being tensioned.
  • Shoring bar: A structural section placed transversely between the walls of a vehicle to prevent cargo from tipping or shifting.
  • Tie-downs: A combination of securing devices which form an assembly that attaches cargo to, or restrains cargo on, a vehicle or trailer, and is attached to anchor point(s).
  • Working load limit: The maximum load that may be applied to a component of a cargo securement system during normal service, usually assigned by the manufacturer of the component.

393.100 Regulations require that cargo must be loaded and secured as such that prevents it from leaking,spilling,blowing,and falling

Cargo must be secured to prevent it from shifting so it does not affect the stability of the vehicle.

393.102and §393.106

393.102: The means of securing articles of cargo are considered to meet the performance requirements under & sect;393.102(a) if the cargo is:

  1. Immobilized; or
  2. Fills a sided vehicle that has walls of adequate strength, and each article of cargo within the vehicle is in contact with, or sufficiently close to a wall or other articles, so that it cannot shift or tip if those articles are also unable to shift or tip.

393.106: The aggregate working load limit of tie-downs used to secure an article or group of articles against movement must be at least one-half times the weight of the article or group of articles. The aggregate working load limit is the sum of:

  1. One-half the working load limit of each tie-down that goes from an anchor point on the vehicle to an attachment point on an article of cargo; and
  2. The working load limit for each tie-down that goes from an anchor point on the vehicle, through, over or around the cargo and then attaches to another anchor point on the vehicle.

393.110: Determining the minimum number of tie-downs required.

Agency Policy: Section 393.110(a) is applicable when tie-downs are used as part of a cargo securement system. Is applicable when blocking or bracing are being relied upon to help prevent shifting or falling of articles of cargo.

When tie-downs are used as part of a cargo securement system, the minimum number of tie-downs required to secure an article or group of articles against movement depends on the length of the article(s) being secured, and the requirements of paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. These requirements are in addition to the rules under §393.106.(b) When an article is not blocked or positioned to prevent movement in the forward direction by a headerboard, bulkhead, other cargo that is positioned to prevent movement, or other appropriate blocking devices, it must be secured by at least:(1) One tie-down for articles 5 feet (1.52 meters) or less in length, and 1,100 pounds (500 kg) or less in weight;(2) Two tie-downs if the article is:(i) 5 feet (1.52 meters) or less in length and more than 1,100 pounds (500 kg) in weight; or(ii) Longer than 5 feet (1.52 meters) but less than or equal to 10 feet (3.04 meters) in length, irrespective of the weight.(3) Two tie-downs if the article is longer than 10 feet (3.04 meters), and one additional tie-down for every 10 feet (3.04 meters) of article length, or fraction thereof, beyond the first 10 feet (3.04 meters) of length.(c) If an individual article is blocked, braced, or immobilized to prevent movement in the forward direction by a headerboard, bulkhead, other articles which are adequately secured or by an appropriate blocking or immobilization method, it must be secured by at least one tie-down for every 3.04 meters (10 feet) of article length, or fraction thereof.

In addition you need to be aware of State weight regulations gross and individual axle weight. There are also states that require covering requirement. Always check with your dispatcher regarding any state requirements.

Tie-downs and tarping

Cargo on flat bed trailers needs tie-downs. There are a variety of tie-downs available and various made out of a variety materials chain, wire rope, steel strap and fiber rope. When using tie-downs always know the working load limit and how many to use for the specific load you are transporting.

  • Chain tie-downs: Are usually made of steel or steel alloy and carbon. They are strong and last long. It is always good to check them on a regular basis for wear.
  • Tightening chain: They are used along with the anchor points to remove slack the two types are lever binders and ratchet binders.

Chain safety is very important do not stand on load when using. Always make sure binder is in the correct position with lever pulling down. Safety is the most important part use a hardhat safety glasses and gloves.


Use of a tarp depends on two things company policy and type of cargo being transported.

Driver behavior

Driver Behavior is an important part of transporting a secure and safe load. The way you drive determines how your load will react. Braking suddenly could because you load to shift and possibly become loose. Driving excessively around turns could cause your load to fall off causing extensive damage. It is important to always be aware of your environment and drive defensively maintaining safe distances, driving at an adequate speed and constantly observing for potential hazards.