Truck accident cases have risen drastically over the years. These accidents are caused by a number of factors that can range from sleep deprivation to weather conditions. Truck accidents are catastrophic in nature. Owing to the large size, the impact of a truck accident is multiple times worse than that of a car.
Usually, 18-wheelers transport tons of cargo from one place to another. If this cargo is improperly loaded, the chances of it spilling onto the road increases. With this, the possibilities of collisions on the road multiply exponentially.
Loosely securing cargo is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. It not only poses serious issues in terms of the road-worthiness of the truck but also endangers the safety of others on the road. In fact, improper securing of load accounts for as much as 7% of truck accidents.
The following are a few ways to secure cargo properly.
Many trucks have built-in anchors to hold the cargo. However, while hauling large loads, you may require additional anchors to hold the cargo properly. There are several types of anchors that you can install in your truck. These include the following:
- Side rails can be installed in a truck to increase the cargo-carrying capacity. Many trucks have post holes in which posts can be fitted. Railings can be attached to these posts that run along the length of the truck bed to hold the cargo.
- Bed linens that are skid-proof can be installed along the truck bed. These will reduce slipping and shifting of the cargo considerably, thus reducing risks of accidents.
- You can drill D-rings or other similar anchors to the floor of the truck. These can be used while tying down the cargo with ropes.
Installing these anchors will help provide more support to the cargo your truck is carrying while securing it firmly.
Use a Ratchet Tie-Down
Using a ratchet tie-down is one of the most effective ways to secure cargo in a truck. Usually, trucks come with tie-down points for safely loading cargo. These include the post holes and D-rings. Both of these can be used to fit the ratchet tie-down.
Once you have loaded the bed of your truck, tie one end of the ratchet tie-down with an anchor. Now loop the strap over the cargo tightly. The next step is to loop the other end of the nylon strap through the cylindrical slot of the alligator-shaped metal centerpiece and tighten the strap by pulling the slack through this.
There are a number of other tie-down options that you can take your pick from.
Use a Tarp
Since the cargo your truck would be carrying may vary in size, it is wise to use cargo-securing options that can accommodate room for such varying sizes and shapes. This is where a tarp comes in handy.
Many tarps come with snaps for securing them. You can also use a bungee cord to tie down the load and fasten it properly.
A substitute for a tarp would be cargo nets. You can also consider using both. A cargo net keeps the light materials from flying off. Once you have loaded the truck, you can throw a cargo net over the load and snap the retainer clips into the anchor points of the truck to secure it.
Know the Load Capacity of Your Truck
Every truck-trailer has a maximum rating of weight. This is also known as the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), which is the maximum combined weight of the truck, the cargo and passengers in it, the trailer and the cargo in the trailer.
Know the GCWR of your vehicle and ensure that the loaded weight of the truck falls within this limit. Overloading the trailer can cause serious problems since it may cause the front wheels of the truck to lose traction and thus result in accidents.
While loading, ensure that the weight is evenly spread across the entire length of the trailer.
The consequences of a truck accident are quite grave and the steps to be taken after the accident are complicated. If you live in Houston and have been the victim of a truck accident, you should immediately get in touch with a semi truck wreck lawyer in Houston, Texas to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Greg Baumgartner handles truck accident lawsuits for victims of truck accidents in Texas. He is an expert Texas Truck Accident Lawyer with an exemplary track record.