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Is your trailer load secure?

11/10/2010 @ 11:17am

September 22, 2006, changed Glenn Abbett’s life. On that day, he hired a driver and rented a trailer to deliver a load of tomatoes. The driver of the semi lost control and rolled into oncoming traffic, which caused the semi to flip over and collide with a camper on the back of a minivan. The result of the accident left two people from the van dead.

That painful incident has caused Abbett to change how he secures his loads with tie-downs. “We now tie down our trucks to twice the working load limit required,” he says.

Working load limit (WLL) is the maximum load in pounds that should be anchored by tie-downs. The WLL of the tie-down needs to be at least half the weight of the item being towed.

Fred Whitford, coordinator of the Purdue pesticide program, says when you look at tie-downs, consider what type of tie-down you’ll be using, the grade and WLL of the unit, the type of cargo being transported, and the method of transporting.

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regarding tie downs 11/14/2010 @ 10:48am I don't see where more tie-downs would have had any affect on this accident. I get into this argument with the DOT. We haul 42" wide, 36" diameter sod rolls from our sod farm. Two lay end to end across a 96" truck/trailer bed and we'll haul 30-40 that way sometimes stacked two high. With the load tight against the headache rack one only needs to strap the rear pair of rolls (top and bottom if stacked two high) to secure the load. We use 4" straps with bed winches. These sod rolls weight around 1100# each, so we hold two with a 4" strap. These rolls are not slippery and slidey and hard to hang onto like hay. We, however, put straps on every other tier of rolls for looks, but it isn't really necessary because it has no safety enhancement. Some DOT guys want us to strap every roll saying that "What would happen if you roll your truck?" I've seen a picture of a semi trailer with all the rolls strapped that did a mild rollover on an exit ramp. Rolls scattered everywhere. Furthermore, a dump truck hauling rip-rap (that big stuff is over 1000# each) doesn't and can't practically strap each rock. What would happen if that truck upset? Don't get me wrong, I beleive in strapping/chaining down really obvious stuff really well. but common sense needs to come into play sometimes. Some of these steel haulers are the worst. They just litter the highway with steel and tin falling off or getting blown off and that is some pretty dangerous stuff to have flying at you no matter what you drive.

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