Tips for Securing Your Load
Tie It Down. Large or heavy items should be firmly secured with solid straps, rope, bungee cords, or netting. Cover or tie large items directly to your vehicle. Small string is not adequate – tie down materials must be able to withstand the wind loads of 70 mph on the freeway. A lot of people are not aware that at 70 mph, that wind is providing about a 20-pound-per-square-foot push on those loads, which can dislodge those loads and push them right off your vehicle. Don’t use restraints if they are frayed, cut or damaged in any way.
Cover It Up. For loose, lighter items such as tree clippings, canvas tarp or netting or a sturdy plastic can be used to keep items in place. Tie the tarp securely, or it might become road debris as well.
Lighter Goes Lower. Put lighter weight things at the bottom of the load and make sure they are secure. Evenly distribute the load to prevent it from sliding.
Don’t Overload. Keep material level with truck bed or trailer unless tied down, netted or tarped. Materials below the truck bed should also be secured if there’s any chance of them blowing out or falling from the vehicle.
Double-Check. Double check your load to make sure it is secure at the back and on the sides and top. Remember that loads can move and settle during a journey, allowing restraints to loosen. If possible, recheck restraints shortly after beginning your trip.
Make Sure It’s Roadworthy. Ensure both the vehicle and trailer are in good mechanical condition and roadworthy. Make sure your vehicle is rated to tow the load. Drive to the conditions: your load will make your vehicle less maneuverable and it will take longer to stop.
Ask Yourself: Is there any chance of debris falling or blowing out of my vehicle? Would I feel safe if I were driving behind MY vehicle? What would happen to MY load if I had to brake suddenly or if I hit a bump?