Truckers News

May 2011

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Page 34 of 105

FINDING THE REGS Cargo and its securement is one of seven BASICs covered in the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) system. Ed Harmer of Wray’s Trucking says he over-secures loads with extra chains or straps to avoid violations and give him a safe feeling. corner too fast, it will flip you over,” says Harmer, a veteran of more than 20 years driving flatbeds. Nodland often transports utili- ty poles. She’ll secure every 10 feet, plus wrap two chains around the poles. “If something does happen and I flip over, the poles will stay in a bundle,” she says. Bryan Smith, an owner-operator leased to Art Pape Transfer, says it’s important to ensure your securements are tight. Check your chains or straps a second time because the first device may have loosened when you secured other devices. He says that’s especial- ly true in securing vehicles with tires that have a tendency to bounce on the trailer. He says he’ll inspect a ve- hicle load after 5 to 10 miles on the highway to check for any movement. You also want to make sure the securements are pulling in differ- ent directions — front to back and side to side — to keep the load sta- ble. Operators also advise attaching an extra device to prevent forward movement in a hard-brake situation. Smith draws a distinction between “direct” and “indirect” tiedowns. Di- rect securements attach from a hook or axle on the machinery or vehicle to the trailer, while indirect secure- ments would hold the load general- ly. He says you can reduce the weight rating for cargo securement purposes by up to half by employing more di- rect tiedowns. You would still need a minimum number of indirect secure- ments based on the weight. Experience may be the best teach- er in learning the proper tiedown techniques, but help is available from other sources. Nodland says she asks loading personnel or other drivers about securing a kind of load she hasn’t handled before. She says continued on page 70 The Cargo BASIC addresses “Failure to properly prevent shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo, overload- ing, and unsafe handling of hazardous materials on a [com- mercial motor vehicle]. Rules are contained in FMCSA regu- lations 392, 393 and 397. Key regulations are con- tained in 393. The part covering protection against shifting and falling cargo examines broad areas like performance criteria for securements and general securing requirements. Section 393 also provides guidance on more specific topics such as determining the minimum number of tiedowns and if a tiedown must be adjustable. It also addresses specific securements for loads such as logs, metal coils, paper rolls and intermodal containers.  GREAT PLAINS Solutions for Over the Road Drivers CASUALTY Insurance                 866-493-2778 *Not all coverages available in all states. Circle 352 on Reader Service Card or visit MAY 2011 TRUCKERS NEWS 35 MAX KVIDERA

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