The experienced and skilled Montgomery truck accident lawyers at Vance Law Firm, know and understand what a crucial component the proper loading and securing of cargo transported on large trucks can be. When it comes to trucking safety, the correct and proper loading requirements must be followed thoroughly. Each and every day, large trucks and 18 wheelers are held responsible for carrying large loads of materials across the country via our major highways. The loads carried by these large vehicles and trailers must be safely and properly loaded onto the trucks and inside the trailers. If the loading of a trailer or truck is not done correctly, the load creates a high risk of danger where the driver can lose control and possibly cause a horrible accident.
What Federal Loading Rules Should Alabama Truck Drivers Follow?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSA) state specific rules that are very detailed regarding the safe loading of commercial trucks. The cargo on these commercial trucks must be evenly distributed and adequately secured to avoid the load shifting during the trip. For example, if you put a gallon of milk in the trunk of your car and then drove a few hours, it is easy to predict that the gallon of milk would not be in the same spot as when you left. In addition, the commercial truck equipment must be secured and the cargo cannot obscure or block the driver’s vision. The cargo is not to interfere with the driver’s movements or prevent the driver’s access to things within the car that may be needed in case of an emergency. The load also cannot prevent the exit of any passenger from the cab as well. All cargo on commercial trucks have to be secured in a way that will prevent spills, leaks, and items falling from the truck or trailer.
The stability of the vehicle is the key factor to proper loading of cargo. In addition, the cargo must be secured in a manner that meets all the requirements imposed by all the federal regulations. All the devices used to secure down cargo are required to be withstanding three forces of movement. The three forces are that of deceleration in the forward direction, acceleration in the lateral direction, and acceleration in the rearward direction. If the cargo is not completely contained within the vehicle, the devices used to secure cargo must also provide a downward force of at least twenty percent of the weight of the actual cargo. If the load that is being carried is capable of being stored within the vehicle, then it has to be firmly secured within the vehicle’s structure with adequate strength, dunnage bags, shoring bars, or tie downs. Devices and vehicle components used to secure cargo must be in proper working order and without damage.
What Are the Federal Guidelines for Tying Down Loads
The federal regulations regarding truck loading safety also include specific and general load tie down requirements. The general rules are in place to govern all types of cargo except those of bulk commodities that lack structure or are fixed shape commodities. Fixed shape commodities are things such as liquids, grains, gases, and wet concrete. These commodities are generally carried in a tank, box, hopper, or other device that forms a part of the structure of the vehicle. The general rule of thumb is that the cargo must be properly distributed and secured adequately without obstructing the driver’s view. Cargo is to be firmly secured using the vehicle structures and the correct devices for securing loads. All cargo that has a probably chance of rolling must be held in place with wedges, blocks, chocks or a cradle. When cargo is loaded side by side and tie downs are used, then the cargo must be loaded in direct contact or be prevented from shifting while in transit.
The specific length of the cargo being hauled determines the number of tie downs required to secure it while being transported. If an article is not blocked or placed by a header board, bulkhead, or other cargo it is to be secured with one tie down for items five feet or less and 1,100 pounds or less. Two tie downs are required if the item is five feet or less, but weighs over 1,100 pounds. Two tie downs would be necessary for items longer than five feet and so forth. There are additional tie downs required for every ten more feet of item’s length.
There are specific federal rules and regulations for the loading and transport of particular items, such as motor vehicles, rolls of paper, logs, heavy equipment, concrete piping, lumber products, intermodal containers and lift containers. There are so many different types of rules and regulations for each individual license class and vehicle type. Having a skilled truck accident attorney can help you to better understand all the laws, regulations and rules surrounding truck accidents. Always keep in mind that the trucking companies and their insurance carriers are equipped with tough attorneys to battle back against any legal claims brought against them.
Contact Vance Law Firm of Alabama for a Truck Accident Consultation
The attorneys at Vance Law Firm are up to date and very familiar with all loading and transport regulations and rules of the trucking industry. Our legal team has years of experience handling all types of trucking accidents including those involved with commercial truck loading issues. Our Alabama trucking accident lawyers have the resources and knowledge to help you throughout the entire legal process following your accident. The staff at Vance Law Firm is compassionate to your personal recovery during this tough time. Let our talented legal team help you defend your rights and help you to obtain the proper compensation. Call our office today for your free consultation.