You’ve probably seen wonders on the road where vehicles drive by comfortably overloaded or carrying loads that are dangerously hanging on the sides.
It makes you wonder what on earth these people are thinking driving around like that.
Well, many actually believe they have secured their loads. Others probably have no idea how to secure loads properly.
Secure and Unsecured Loads
An unsecured load isn’t correctly set in place or fastened. It may have been tied with fewer straps or materials lacking the strength to hold the load in place. Such loads can easily detach, or the straps can snap while the vehicle is moving.
On the other hand, a secure load is firmly and correctly set in place to prevent falling, sliding, shifting, or breaking loose while in transit.
The Dangers of Unsecured Loads
The importance of securing your load can’t be overstated. Unsecured loads have become one of the major causes of accidents in the country. Here are some of the statistics.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported over 19,000 injuries caused by unsecured loads in 2016. Additionally, there were about 90,000 incidents linked to unsecured loads and 683 deaths.
The AAA Foundation for Safety also stated that between 2011 and 2014, road debris had caused 200,000 accidents resulting in injuries and deaths.
How to Properly Secure Your Load
The size and type of cargo, the fastening material, and the vehicle carrying it are things to consider when securing your load.
Vehicles play a role because they vary in size and capabilities. A truck is more stable when handling loads compared to a motorbike. When carrying a load, it’s also important to avoid places with a lot of foot traffic.
For instance, if you’re riding a scooter with a heavy bag on your back, you should stay off the sidewalks for safety reasons. JT Legal Group explores the damages associated with scooters when riders are not being careful.
As you prioritize safety, make use of these tips to help secure your load while on the road:
- Fastening Material
Tying down your load may seem like a simple thing. After all, what more do you need besides a rope, straps, or chains? There’s more to it, however.
It’s recommended to use straps and cargo nets designed with enough strength to secure the weight of your load. You’re supposed to consider your working load limit and get a strap with a combined load limit equal to half of your cargo’s weight.
- Strap Quality
It’s crucial to observe the straps or chains you’re using before getting on the road. You want to be sure that the quality of these items is not compromised as that could result in loosening or breakages during transportation.
Watch out for cuts, fraying or other signs that question the toughness of your straps. If you feel like these signs affect the quality of your straps, take precautions to avoid problems on the road.
You may replace your straps, reinforce them, or carry extra straps for securing the load if it loosens along the way.
If you’re not sure which straps are the most robust, here are the best materials on the market:
- Ratchet straps
- Bungee cords
- Lashing Straps
- Nylon Ropes
- Cover Your Load
Covering your load is one of the best ways to secure it properly, especially if it comprises smaller items that could fall off.
The most robust material you can use is a tarp. Find one that’s big enough to reach all sides of your load. You may then use ropes or other types of straps to fasten the load in place.
- Loading up Two-Wheelers
If you’re carrying a load on a motorbike, invest in saddle bags, preferably leather ones, due to their durability. Considering balance is vital for two-wheelers, ensure the bags are designed to carry equal weight to balance things out as you ride.
Alternatively, you could get side cases or one large metallic box fixed and secured on the passenger seat.
Besides carrying loads directly on the motorcycle, you can get one of those towed bike trailers. Like flatbeds, however, if the trailer isn’t enclosed, you’ll need to secure your load with a strong strap like bungee cords.
Now and then, you’ll need to transport your load. Knowing how to secure it on the vehicle is crucial because so much damage can come from unsecured cargo while in transit.
You could lose or damage your load, cause damage to people’s properties, or even worse, cause injuries and death due to falling cargo.