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Proper Load Securement: Save Time and Make More Money

Robert McKenzie

Operations and Driver Qualifications

Many drivers in the dry van side of the trucking industry do not spend a lot of time thinking about load securement. We all know that’s it’s a crucial part of the job for flatbedders, but the same is true for van drivers. Proper load securement is crucial for all drivers. A couple of ratchet straps take only minutes to apply and can save you and the company time and money.

As the driver, ultimately load securement is your responsibility and no one else’s. DOT does occasionally check for proper securement in dry van trailers and you, the driver, will be the one getting the ticket. If there is an accident due to improper securement, the driver will be deemed to be at fault. If there is damaged cargo due to improper securement, the company will be responsible for any claims that arise. 

First and foremost, improper securement is a major safety hazard. Freight can shift in a dry van trailer, especially if its tall and top heavy (such as large paper rolls). Those large paper rolls are capable of going thru the walls of the trailer or even causing a roll over if they shift in transit. An accident caused by improperly secured freight can cost you money in down time. It can even cost a life – yours or someone else’s.

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Improperly secured freight can also shift in transit without your knowledge. This can cause injury when you go to open your trailer doors. The doors can swing open violently and knock out teeth. Or, the freight could fall out of the back and cause injury. As a precaution, you should always stand to the side as you open the trailer doors.

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And finally, improperly secured freight can be damaged if it shifts in transit. This will cause delays in the unloading process, and we all know that time is money in this business. If you have to spend several extra hours in a dock while customers, brokers, and insurance companies try to figure out what to do with that damaged product, it can cause you to miss out on that next load that is preplanned on you. We all want loading and unloading to go as quickly and smoothly as possible.

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