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Truckers must ensure cargo is properly secured during transit

Truckers have a very difficult job that can easily lead to fatal accidents if they aren't extremely cautious. One of a trucker's jobs is to ensure that the cargo he or she is carrying is properly secured. This applies to loads on flatbed trucks, as well as loads in trailers. In both cases, shifting cargo can lead to accidents that can kill motorists.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration established regulations for how truckers should secure cargo. These regulations cover what types of tiedowns can be used, where they can be secured to the trailer and other aspects regarding load securing.

The tiedowns that truckers use don't have to be marked. Instead, it is up to the trucker to ensure that he or she is using an appropriate tiedown. Truckers can use the table of working load limits to determine if the tiedowns they are using meet the requirements for a specific load. In the case of welded steel chains, a minimum working load limit of at least grade 30 proof coil must be used to secure loads.

Tiedowns on the trucks must fastened in a way that prevents them from loosening or detaching when the tractor-trailer is in motion. They can be secured to marked or unmarked anchors. The location of the tiedown must be one that isn't subjected to crushing, cutting or abrasion. If a tiedown is subjected to those hazards, edge protection must be used to prevent the damage to the tiedown that could lead to an unsecured load.

If a load shifts or becomes unsecure while the trucker is driving, an accident can occur. Anyone who is injured in an accident involving those issues might opt to seek compensation. Determining what happened and who to hold liable are necessary in these cases.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Cargo Securement Rules," accessed Oct. 01, 2015

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