Properly Securing Loads for Transport

Recent claim experiences within our company has prompted us to remind our customers and other truckers of common sense liability that they take upon themselves when hauling for hire.
According to federal law, the carrier is responsible for securing the load and delivering it with no damage. Just because of that fact, the insurance company most likely won’t file a claim against a shipper facility or brokerage where cargo itself damages your trailer, In the other words, if the cargo damages any of your equipment (including tarps, strips, rails, load locks, air chute and other items) simply because the load was not secured properly, then the insurance provider will assume that you, the carrier, failed to inspect the load and evaluate if it can be transported safely. Most companies will not consider this a valid claim, however, you may be able to get a special endorsement to cover damages due to slippage or improperly secured loads.When the carrier already has accepted the load and signed the bill of lading as proof of pick up, there are most likely no errors on the part of the shipper or broker.

Suggestions:
1) Inspect the load for any damages prior to accepting its transportation. If it does have some damage, mark it on the bill of lading.
2) Inspect the load to make sure it can be transported safely, including verification that this load can be transported on your type of equipment, before securing it on/in your trailer. This usually means no refrigerated loads into dry van trailers or loads that require a wooden floor into a refrigerated trailer.
3) Secure the load properly to avoid any tear, shift, fall or other physical damage.

No matter how experienced you are, take every load like your first one, by carefully inspecting it from all sides and properly securing it. Use the FMCSA Handbook to determine when and what kind of securment is required by law. You have an unspoken right to refuse to transport a load when you cannot guarantee the safe delivery of it and your shippers will thank you! 

Posted 1:59 PM  View Comments

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