4 Things to Consider When Securing Vehicular Cargo for Transport

Truck transporting timber cargoWhen moving vehicles or heavy equipment across North Texas, a number of regulations should be followed. These were enacted in 2004 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to reduce the amount of cargo-related accidents on the road.

While FMCSA has the full set of regulations up on their website, here is a quick overview of the 5 biggest considerations equipment transport companies have to check before setting out:

1. Type of cargo 

The FMCSA has separate regulations for various kinds of cargo, even for motor vehicles, which are categorized into the following:

393.128 – Automobiles, Light Trucks and Vans

393.130 – Heavy Vehicles, Equipment and Machinery

393.132 – Flattened or Crushed Vehicles

For the first two categories, one of the biggest differentiators is the weight of the vehicle itself. For example, an automobile individually weighing 10,000 lbs or more is automatically categorized under Heavy Vehicles, Equipment and Machinery. Meanwhile, those that have been flattened or crushed in an accident are not classified under Flattened or Crushed Vehicles. They are categorized under the first two categories.

2. Weight of cargo

Other than the categorization of the load as explained previously, the weight also determines the amount and number of tie-downs to be used. For example, there must be one tie-down for articles 5 feet or less. However, this regulation for the minimum number of tie-downs may not always apply to machinery that need to be held down through special methods.

3. Acceleration and deceleration of the carrier vehicle

The 2004 FMCSA regulations have updated performance requirements concerning the force that a cargo securement system should withstand. This force comes about when the carrier decelerates forward and accelerates rearward or sideward. According to the regulations, these are the minimum forces a secured cargo should be able to resist separately:

-          0.8 g deceleration in the forward direction;

-          0.5 g acceleration in the rearward direction; and

-          0.5 g acceleration in a lateral direction (sideward).

4. How the cargo is secured

Of course, tie-downs are the first equipment that come to mind when securing cargo. However, other tools can be also used, such as shoring bars, dunnage, and dunnage bags. Chocks, wedges, or cradles should be also used for equipment transport to prevent the vehicle from rolling off the carrier.

For tie-downs, edge protection should also be used for loads with sharp, pointed edges. This is to prevent the tie-down from getting cut or frayed while on the road. Yet despite the passage of new regulations, transport companies do not need to replace any tie-down devices purchased before 2004.

Because of all these new regulations, it’s important to choose a trusted company to ship equipment or vehicles across North Texas. Choose us at Euless B&B Wrecker Service—we have been serving the Dallas and Fort Worth Metroplex area for 60 years and counting. Call us at 817-857-6344 for 24/7 emergency service.