Clemson Agricultural Safety

Safe Load – January 2024

Safe Load

When moving equipment and other agricultural items on trailers, there are many things that should be considered to protect yourself, others on roadways, and the equipment. Below, you will find some helpful information to check before taking your load on the road.

Tiedown Maintenance

  • Ensure that your chosen tiedown mechanism is free of knots, damage, and that there are no weakened parts or sections. Any of these can decrease the integrity of the tiedown mechanism and make it unsafe for use.

Choosing the Correct Securement System

  • Before you begin strapping your cargo in place, ensure that you have selected a securement system that is appropriate for not only the size of the cargo but also its weight and shape.
  • When securing cargo, ensure that tie-downs are placed symmetrically over the entire length of the cargo to limit any shifting of the cargo.
  • Always determine the WLL (Working Load Limit) of the securement system before securing your cargo. WLL is the maximum load that may be applied to the securement system and is determined by the manufacturer.
  • If you are transporting 10,000 lbs or less, you must use at least two tie-downs. One should be placed at the front and one placed at the rear of the load. Even if you use a securement system with a WLL of 2,000 lbs and your cargo is only 1,000 lbs, you must still use two tie-downs.
  • If you are transporting more than 10,000 lbs, you must use a minimum of four tie-downs, and their WLLs added together must be half the weight of your load. This ensures that your load is properly secured and will not shift during transportation.

Common Securement Equipment

  • 1-inch Ratchet Strap: Use to secure loads less than 400 lbs
  • 2-inch Ratchet Strap: Use to secure loads less than 2,000 lbs
  • Ratchet Chain Binder: Use when securing larger loads such as vehicles or equipment. This securement system is easy to tighten and loosen but will not self-loosen.
  • Lever Action Binder: This securement device should not be used on highways. The level has the potential to swing open, resulting in your load no longer being secure. Exercise caution when using this securement device.

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