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Transporting Cargo Safely Practice Questions Every Driver should know for Safety

Every company should know the Cargo Securement Rules and cover them in their safety programs including a competency test of some form. All cargo must be immobilized or secured so that it can’t: leak; spill; blow; fall from the vehicle; fall through the vehicle; or otherwise become dislodged, shift upon or within the vehicle so that the vehicle’s stability or maneuverability is affected.

  • When you talk to drivers about Load Securement DO THEY UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE of the ITEMS YOU ARE TRAINING ABOUT?

“anchor point” means the part of the structure, fitting or attachment on a vehicle or cargo to which a tiedown is attached;

“bell pipe” means concrete pipe with a flanged end that is bigger in diameter than the  barrel;

“blocking” means a substantial structure, device or article placed against or around

cargo to prevent horizontal movement;

“bolster” means a transverse, load bearing, structural horizontal component of a bunk

securing device;

“boulder” means a single piece of natural or quarried, irregularly shaped rock

(a) that weighs 5 000 kilograms or more, or

(b) that has a volume of more than 2 cubic metres;

“bracing” means a structure, device or article placed against another structure, device

or article to prevent tipping;


“bulkhead” means a vertical barrier across a vehicle to prevent the cargo moving


“bundle” means articles that have been unitized for the purpose of securing them as a

“bunk” means a horizontal bolster that

(i) is installed transversely across a vehicle, and

(ii) is fitted with a stake at each end;

“cab shield” means a vertical barrier

(i) placed directly behind the cab of a truck or truck tractor, and

(ii) capable of protecting the driver if cargo moves forward;

“cargo” means all articles or material carried by a vehicle, including those used in the

operation of the vehicle

“cargo securement system” means the method by which cargo is contained or secured and includes vehicle structures, securing devices and all components of the system

“chock” means a tapered or wedge-shaped part used to prevent round articles

from rolling

“cleat” means a short piece of material nailed to the deck to reinforce blocking;

“coil bunk” means a device that keeps the timbers supporting a metal coil in place;

“contained” with respect to cargo means that

(i) the cargo fills a sided vehicle,

(ii) every article is in contact with or close to a wall or other articles, and

(iii) the cargo cannot move or tip;

“cradle” means a structure that holds a circular article and prevents it from rolling;

“cylinder well” means the depression formed between 2 cylindrical articles when they are laid against each other with their eyes horizontal and parallel;

“dunnage” means loose material used to support and protect cargo;

“edge protector” means a device put on the exposed edge of an article of cargo

(i) to protect a tiedown or the article from damage, or

(ii) to distribute tiedown forces over a greater area;

“frame vehicle” means a vehicle for transporting logs that has a skeletal structure fitted with a front bunk and a rear bunk that together cradle a stack of logs as an integral part of the vehicle;

“friction mat” means a device placed between a deck and cargo, or between articles of cargo, that increases the friction between them;

“front end structure” means a vertical barrier across the front of a deck that prevents cargo moving forward;

“Hook-lift Container” means a specialized container that is loaded and unloaded onto a tilt frame body by an articulating hook-arm.

“integral locking device ” means a device that is designed and used to restrain an article of cargo by connecting and locking attachment points on the article to anchor points on the vehicle;

“integral securement system” means a roll-on/roll-off container or a Hook-lift Container and the vehicle used to transport them which are equipped with compatible front and rear hold-down devices which secure the container to the vehicle;

“intermodal container” means a reusable, transportable container that is specially

designed with integral locking devices to secure it to a container chassis vehicle;

“rub rail” means a rail along the side of a vehicle that protects the side of the vehicle

from impact;

“securing device” means a device specifically designed and manufactured to attach,

restrain or secure cargo;

“shoring bar” means a device placed transversely between the walls of a vehicle and cargo to prevent the cargo from tipping or moving;

“spacer” means material placed under an article, or between layers of articles, to make loading and unloading easier;

“strapping” means tensioned strips of material that are clamped or crimped back on


“tiedown” means a combination of securing devices that are attached to one or more

anchor points on a vehicle;

“unitized” means wrapped, banded or bound together so that several articles can be

handled as a single article of cargo or behave as a single article;

“working load limit” means the maximum load that may be applied to a component of a cargo securement system during normal service determined in accordance with

Standards and Legislation.

  • Loads must be secured to withstand all maneuvers your truck might make short of a crash. This includes all evasive steering or hard braking.
  • Drivers will need to know what they can tie down to a trailer as well as the strengths of the tie-down points.
  • With vans, the expectation will be on the shipper to ensure that what is loaded in the van is tied down so it does not shift. And if anyone uses the walls of a trailer or van to secure freight, they must ensure the walls are strong enough to withstand the load.
  • Anybody who works in securement must know not only how to secure a load, but also be able to explain why it is secured in a specific way. These people will be expected to use only securement devices that have a known working load limit and are in workable condition. All tie-down points must also have a working load limit as well.
  • Personnel must be familiar with a vehicle’s Cargo Securement System, which includes anything used to restrain the load and consists of but is not limited to the vehicle itself, blocking and bracing, all securement devices (straps, chain, etc.). Headache racks cannot be used as part of the load securement system.
    The cargo-securement system must secure the load from forward motion, backward motion, moving sideways, tipping over, upward motion, and finally, it must ensure that parts of a load don’t fall off during transport. (For example, it’s against the law if a piece falls off, say, a wrecked car being carried on a trailer.)
  • Restraints must be used within their capabilities meaning that they have to be used only to secure items within their working load limit. Nylon straps, for example, must be tagged with a working load limit or used based on a 1,000 lb per inch of width of the strap. (4 inch wide strap good for 4,000 lb.) The straps must be in good shape with no cuts or abrasions and no damage from heat or chemical corrosion.
  • The rules apply no matter how far you’re carrying the cargo.
    Shippers must ensure all packages are strong enough to withstand forces during transport. This would include all cross docking and weather conditions that may be encountered during transport. They must also secure all cargo that needs to be restrained at the time of loading and the drivers are not present.
  • Drivers must, as far as is reasonably practical, inspect all banding, wrapping and pallets to ensure they are in good repair and secure all unsecured cargo before moving the load. Drivers are also responsible for inspecting cargo during transport to ensure securement devices still in good shape and securing the load.

These three will get you almost every time. 

1) Damaged Securement Systems

“The statistics tell us that damaged or defective tie-downs, loose or unfastened tie-downs, and simply not having the required number of tie-downs are the most common violations we find at roadside. Damaged straps could be downgraded or zero-rated, depending on the extent of the damage, as determined by the strapping defect table in CVSA’s Out-of-Service Criteria.

2) Loose/unfastened tie-downs

Regulations in both countries are specific about the driver’s obligation to maintain tension on cargo securement devises. This usually involves an inspection shortly after getting under way, and regular checks throughout the trip to ensure nothing has moved or worked loose. It’s important to load cargo so that no gaps exist between items that could close up as cargo shifts with movement of the truck.

The regulation requires cargo to be braced against another bit of cargo, so there’s a possible citation there if it hasn’t been loaded properly. As well, gaps can close causing straps and chains to loosen. Chain binders are required to be secured to prevent them from opening.

3) Failure to meet minimum tie-down requirements

“The biggest issues related specifically to drivers are calculating the weight of the cargo plus any length requirements that might exist when determining the correct number of tie-downs required,” P bar Y Safety says. For example, a 5/16-in. grade-70 transport chain has a working load limit (WLL) of 4,700 pounds, but if it’s not marked as such, or the markings are not legible, an inspector in the U.S. would downgrade it to the equivalent of Grade 30 chain, which has a WLL of just 1,900 lb. In Canada, zeroes out unmarked securement devices as well as ones with illegible markings. If a driver correctly calculates the aggregate working load limits but uses sub-standard, un- or under-rated equipment, he or she could still be cited, because the WLL might be below minimums. That could result in one of several citations being issued, such as damaged securement systems, insufficient tie-downs or even cargo not immobilized or secured.

“When using chains with binders and hooks, the ‘weakest link’ theory applies,” says Penney. “The component with the lowest WLL in the assembly dictates the strength of the device. If you have a 4,700-lb chain with a 3,000-lb hook, the chain is only as good as the hook.”

Similarly, unmarked webbed cargo straps in good condition are minimum-rated at 1,000 lb WLL per inch of width south of the border. A properly marked 4-in. strap could be rated as high as 5,400 lbs. If that 5,400-lb  strap were downgraded to 4,000 lb because the label or marking was missing or not legible, or zeroed right out of the calculation as it would be in Canada—as if the strap wasn’t even there—the driver could come up short in meeting the minimum aggregate WLL for the cargo. The driver has to consider the length as well as the weight of the article(s) of cargo and use the correct number of proper tie-downs.

Penney stressed that even if it were just 10 ft 1 in. in length, it would require an additional strap to satisfy the length requirements, as above. There are tons of little traps in cargo securement. Things like not inspecting your equipment for wear or degradation can catch you high and dry at a scale. A strap or chain may be perfectly good, but if it’s not marked, or the marking has worn off, it’s worth nothing. Mathematically, taking one device out of your cargo securement calculations means you now have an unsecure load. And you’re not going anywhere until the problem is resolved.

Note: In the USA, There is no such thing as DOT (Department of Transportation), MTO or other agency approval on load securement products. There are suggested or recommended standards for manufacturers, there are regulations for fleets concerning where and when to use load securement and there are service criteria. Unlike selling a light bulb in Canada, companies selling load securement products requires no third party approvals to sell in Canada.

So test your Drivers and SUPERVISORS they must get 100% to pass this standard in law

  1. If you load cargo wrong or do not secure it, it can be a danger to others and yourself.
  2. True  B. False
  3. Cargo securement is important because: a. The customer is paying for safe and timely delivery of goods. b. Damaged cargo results in claims against the company, hurts our reputation and impacts our profitability. c. If not properly secured, a serious incident could result from falling and shifting cargo. d. All of the above.
  4. A tiedown is : a. Another name for a bungee cord. b. A cargo securing device that attaches to the anchor points of a flatbed trailer and/or a van-type trailer. c. Something you nail to the floor of a trailer to secure cargo. d. A term used to describe a married driver.
  5. Working load limit is: a. When a securement device will break apart. b. The maximum amount of cargo you can load on a trailer. c. The maximum load that can be applied to a component of a cargo securement system during normal service. d. The amount of hours you are allowed to work under the current regulations.
  6. When loading a flatbed trailer, cargo should be: a. Loaded as low as possible and towards the center of the trailer. b. Loaded towards the rear of the trailer. c. Placed as far to the front as possible. d. Stacked as high as possible to allow for more vehicle stability. (turn page over to the other side for additional questions)
  7. How many load straps with a working load limit of 5,000 pounds each would be needed to secure cargo weighting 40,000 pounds on a flatbed trailer using the indirect method? (Length is not a factor) a. Four load straps would be needed. b. None, as the cargo is too heavy to move on its own. c. Eight load straps are needed because the aggregate working load limit must meet d. or exceed the total weight of the cargo. e. The number of load straps doesn’t matter if the load looks good and secure.
  8. Only one tiedown is needed if the article is: a. Eight feet in length and weights 600 pounds or less. b. Five feet in length or less and weights less then 1,100 pounds. c. Five feet in length and weights 1,400 pounds or less. d. Six feet in length and weight less then 1,000 pounds.
  9. The aggregate working load limit must secure at least: a. 50% of the weight of the cargo. b. 100% of the weight of the cargo. c. 25% of the weight of the cargo. d. 75% of the weight of the cargo.
  10. A direct tiedown : a. Attaches to one side of the trailer, over or through the cargo and attaches to the opposite side of the trailer, and equals 50% of the tiedowns working load limit. b. Attaches to the cargo and each tiedown equals 100% of the tiedowns working load limit. c. Attaches to one side of the trailer, over or through the cargo and attaches to the opposite side of the trailer, and equals 100% of the tiedowns working load limit. d. Attaches to the cargo and each tiedown equals 50% of the tiedowns working load limit.
  11. You should inspect your load securement devices: a. Monthly. b. Before each use. c. Weekly. d. Only if you believe they may be damaged.
  12. Whether or not you load and secure the cargo yourself, you are responsible for:
  13. Inspecting your cargo
    B. Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced weight
    C. Knowing your cargo is properly secured
    D. All of the above
  14. You should inspect your cargo and its securing devices within how many miles after beginning a trip?
  15. 10 miles
    B. 25 miles
    C. 45 miles
  16. How often must you stop while on the road to check your cargo?
  17. After you have driven for 2 hours or 100 miles
    B. After you have driven for 3 hours or 150 miles
    C. After you have driven for 4 hours or 200 miles
  18. What is the difference between Gross Combination Weight Rating and Cross Combination Weight?
  19. GCWR is the maximum GCW specified by the manufacturer for a specific combination of vehicles plus its loads.
    B. GCW is the total weight of a powered unit plus trailers plus the cargo.
    C. A and B
  20. What is the minimum number of tie downs for any flat bed load?
  21. Cargo should have at least one tie down for each six feet of cargo.
    B. Cargo should have at least one tie down for each eight feet of cargo.
    C. Cargo should have at least one tie down for each ten feet of cargo.
  22. What is the minimum number of tie downs for a 20 foot load?
  23. At least two tie downs
    B. At least four tie downs
    C. At least six tie downs
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