Truck accidents can occur for all sorts of reasons, and commercial vehicle drivers and
their employers have a duty to see to it that they are not only abiding
by all state and federal safety regulations, but engaging in business
practices which promote safety on the roadway. Truck safety regulations
cover a variety of issues, such as hours of service, drug testing, and
One important area of regulation that isnât talked about a whole
lot is cargo securement rules. When a load is improperly secured, it can
have a variety of negative consequences, including fatality, cargo damage,
vehicle damages, citations, and out-of-service orders. At the federal
level, cargo securement applies to commercial vehicles operating on the
highway with a gross vehicle rating over 10,000 pounds.
Cargo refers to all general freight, equipment carried for the operation
of the vehicle, and intermodal containers and their contents. Certain
general requirements apply to all cargo, but specific commodities, dangerous
goods, and hazardous materials have additional or separate securement
Among the general requirements are that cargo must be properly distributed
and adequately secured so that there is no leakage, spillage, blowing
or falling off the vehicle, dislodging from the vehicle, or shifting upon
or within the vehicle that would affect maneuverability. Federal rules
also specify minimum forces that securement must be able to withstand.
In addition to these requirements, cargo must be secured in such a way
that the driverâs view is not obscured, there is no interference
with the free movement of the driverâs arms or legs, the driver
may freely and readily access emergency accessories, and the driver and
all passengers are able to freely and readily exit the cab or driverâs
In addition to the above, oversized loads may only be carried under special
permits. Weâll take a look at this issue in our next post.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, âDriver's Handbook on Cargo Securement - Chapter 1: Fundamentals of
Cargo Securement,â Accessed Dec. 11, 2015.