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Is My Load Legal? Tips to Tell if Your Trailer is a Liability

Commercial trucks have to move heavy cargo over long distances and there are many dangers that can come along with this kind of work.
According to the Dolman Law Group, over 104,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2012. There are laws that regulate the type and amount of cargo allowed on a truck or trailer and drivers and cargo companies follow the rules to prevent road accidents and property damage. As a trucker, you should know the laws and be able to tell the signs of a legal or illegal load. 


Weight Distribution

Many truck drivers think weight should be distributed evenly in their load. However, drivers should maintain a heavier load in the front and a lighter load in the back. Follow this rule to prevent the trailer from swaying and moving erratically on the road.

Another illegal trailer has the heavier cargo on top and the lighter cargo on the bottom. Heavy boxes that are placed on top of light ones will fall off immediately. The heavy load needs to work as a base that supports the weight of the lighter loads. 


Amount of Cargo

Excessive cargo is the most obvious sign of a dangerous trailer. Some drivers are impatient and cannot wait to make their deliveries, so they decide to condense several trips into one. This impatience is the main cause of accidents involving heavy loads that break off and hit other vehicles. 



Verify the load is securely tied down to the trailer. The most dangerous load is not secured properly. Not using the right type of fastener is another issue. Use thick ropes and metal chains instead of plastic fasteners that break off more easily.

Federal law requires that cargo be secured in ways to resist the stopping and starting forces of driving. It should not lurch forward and shift in position if the driver stops or starts suddenly. You may have to perform tests to check the load's stability. 



Consider using cushions to prevent cargo from moving around too freely. It's similar to using bubble wrap to wrap fragile items. Prevent items from falling off the trailer and damages caused by items colliding together with this method. 


Truck loading rules are set in place to protect truck drivers and everyone else on the road. The problem is, not all rules are enforced, so not all rules will be followed. As a safe driver, know the signs that you are driving with a legal or illegal load. Use good driving rules that include reducing your speed as you carry a load. Review all of these tips to remain safe and avoid a trucking accident on the road.

Views: 35

Tags: legal, liability, load, trailer, truck


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