Load locks: an essential tool. Load locks are used in the trucking industry to secure cargo while in transit; they are telescoping bars that have ratcheting mechanisms inside, and are typically constructed out of steel or aluminum. To set a load lock in place, you telescope the bar until the ends of the device connect with the walls or floor and the ceiling; you then flip the tension handle to lock the device in place.

The use of load locks is a topic we regularly review; there are many tips surrounding the use of these devices that can assist in improving or maintaining your Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration CSA score for the Cargo-Related BASIC. The Cargo-related BASIC measures a Commercial Motor Vehicle drivers ability to properly prevent shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo, overloading, and unsafe handling of hazardous materials. Examples of the types of violations that occur on the road are: improper load securement, cargo retention, and hazardous material handling.

Our specialty is refrigerated produce shipments, and proper loading techniques – including the use of load locks – is the most important tool to ensure the cargo is loaded and secured properly for transport.





How to use load locks to your best advantage:

• Make sure you have 3-6 load locks that are in good working order available at all times.

• Generally speaking, it is recommended that 2 load locks be placed between the floor and the ceiling on the left side of the rear pallets; all vehicles on the road lean slightly to the right due the road’s center crown. All pallets are stacked slightly to the right of the trailer in order to minimize shifting.

• It is also recommended that 2 load locks be placed on the back of the rear pallets between the trailer’s walls. And remember, keep a minimum of 6 inches of space between the back doors and the load to allow for adequate air flow throughout the trailer!

• Even if you don’t use all of your load locks on a regular basis, perform a monthly inspection on them to ensure they are working effectively and are not rusted or broken. Don’t get you and your load locks JAMMED UP at time of loading!!!!

Improperly positioned freight can not only affect your BASIC score in the Cargo-Related area, but can also result in damages have the potential to cause a significant loss of value to the load, and consequently, the potential for additional costs. So, the moral here (once again) is be prepared; prevention is always the best way!

Share your tips for using load locks with us!!!!

http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/default.aspx. Accessed on Feb 16, 2012.

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