Truck parts are subject to degradation and wear and tear from usage over time, and this remains true for cargo securement equipment, as well. Hence, it is mandatory to check these parts periodically and to ensure they still comply with regulations.
Trucking companies must provide maintenance training to their drivers so they can perform routine inspections of their cargo security equipment, such as straps, chains, and more.
If a defective equipment is identified during a DOT inspection, the truck could be put out of service, and the driver will get CSA points as well as a citation. In addition, driving a faulty truck is dangerous and could put the driver`s life and other innocent people on the road at risk.
When DOT inspectors perform a CMV inspection, the officers search for any cargo securement violation from their comprehensive list of infractions, and it`s easy to miss a few of the regulations in the CVSA`s strict standard.
According to the records provided by the CVSA, every year, the infraction that occupies the first place is the one related to damaged securement systems, totaling between 12,000 and 15,000 infractions.
Over time, the efficacy of cargo securement equipment is reduced.
Here are a few tips for keeping your truck equipment working properly:
? Use corner protectors to cover sharp edges – Cargo corners and edge protectors act as protecting buffers for the cables, chains, and straps, and prevent contact with sharp edges.
? Clean the straps and store them - According to the WSTDA, it`s acceptable to use water and mild detergent to rinse or soak the strap and avoid harsh chemicals, bleach, and brushing. After cleaning, the straps should be allowed to air dry, and then stored away from the sunlight.
? The equipment should be kept dry – To maintain the quality and integrity of the webbing, chains, and hardware, the material should be kept dry.
? Acquire robust equipment – The transportation of rough loads, such as wood, concrete, or construction material, requires tie-downs structured to resist extra strain. To secure the load, it is highly recommended to opt for straps manufactured with an abrasion-resistant material.
? Maintain the straps away from the floor – By using duct tape, bungee cords, or any safe method, you need to prevent the straps from being dragged around the ground. This will prevent damage and prolong their lifespan.
? Be aware of replacement timings – If any sign of damage is detected, the tie-down should be replaced. This will help preserve the cargo and keep the driver and others safe on the road.
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