Flatbed Lashing Tie-down Systems And Regulations
Pubdate: Apr 8,2021 Preview: 1,014
Flatbed Lashing tie-down systems and regulations
Protect your equipment, employees, and the public with best practices for securing cargo.
The American Trucking Associations' Technology and Maintenance Council offers practical guidelines for inspecting and maintaining cargo securement equipment, such as mounting assemblies for winches, which can take a beating with day-to-day use.
Whether you operate a small municipal fleet or, as James Osborne does for the County of Fairfax, Va., a fleet with more than 6,000 vehicles, you're bound to have a few platform trucks and trailers for transporting everything from sewer pipe to off-road equipment.As assistant superintendent for safety and training, Osborne is responsible for protecting the load, the transporting vehicle, and the motoring public by ensuring loads stay put during transport. “Training is one of my most important duties,” he says. The county's contracted manufacturers and their vendors typically conduct training courses for operators, mechanics, and technicians at county facilities, but occasionally Osborne sends staff offsite for specialized training opportunities. “We incorporate the best resources and management practices we can find nationwide — not just what's available in our backyard,” says Osborne. But he has an excellent resource right next door in Arlington, where the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and its Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) are headquartered. The TMC produces training materials, such as its Recommended Practices Manual, which reflects best management practices for vehicle maintenance and operations. RP 739, “Maintenance, Inspection, and Operating Guidelines for Cargo Securement Systems Used on Flatbed Vehicles” supplements Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association regulations (see sidebar). What to inspect when you're inspectingWhile the federal regulations spell out what needs to be done, TMC's guidelines explain what to look for when doing it — including securing the devices as well as all anchor points and hardware used to attach them to a vehicle. The most commonly used tie-down materials are chains, straps, webbing, pipe or roll wedges, and wire or synthetic rope. The guidelines assume proper sizes and types of devices are used, with appropriate working loads.
|TRAINING REGULATIONSTraining for securing loads is based on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) regulations, specifically in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Subpart I — Protection Against Shifting and Falling Cargo, Sections 393.100 through 393.136. The guidelines can also be found in the Pocketbook given to all commercial drivers-license holders, equipment operators, and maintenance professionals.|
Chain binders should have hooks, hook eyes, end swivels, links, handles, and frames checked. Throat openings should not be bent or deformed. As with chains, never attempt to straighten anything on a binder. Replace them instead. Inspecting wire rope focuses largely on broken strands. Six broken strands per lay (one full turn of a strand around the core), or three broken wires in the same strand, are enough to take the rope out of service. Wire rope with a broken core or a severe kink should be discarded. Never try to straighten kinked rope. TMC recommends spraying serviceable wire ropes with cable spray to eliminate internal friction and lubricate the core. Or, brush on a 50/50 mix of SAE 30 nondetergent motor oil and kerosene and allow it to drip clean. Synthetic rope should also be checked for cuts, abrasions, and broken strands. Once checked for damage, ensure all cargo securement devices are operable. “Cargo securement is not new technology — the practices have been developed and refined over years,” says Osborne. “We've avoided problems by using proven management and maintenance practices.” Their record speaks for itself: Fairfax has earned multiple safety and environmental stewardship awards from the State of Virginia.
— By Mr.Paul Abelson, the former director of the Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) of the American Trucking Associations, a board member of Truck Writers of North America, and active in the Society of Automotive Engineers.
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