A study conducted by AAA over the course of five years found that debris flying off the backs of trucks and other vehicles cause more than 200,000 crashes. Of those 200,000 crashes, two thirds could be blamed on improperly secured cargo. Those crashes killed 500 people and injured 39,000. That’s why having the proper truck tie down anchors and using them correctly is so essential. Here are some of the signs that your truck tie down anchors need to be replaced and how to use them in the right way.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Truck Tie Down Anchors
Think of it this way: you get the oil changed regularly to protect the engine, right? You need to pay just as much attention to the bed of your truck as you do to the rest of it in order to ensure your own safety and the safety of others. Look for these signs:
If your truck tie down anchors are starting to look rusty, this means is time to get them replaced. Corrosion weakens the metal, and once you see rust you never know when the break might happen.
You should periodically check the stitching on your truck bed tie downs to make sure they’re not starting to fray. Worn stitching is a sign that the straps could break if there put under enough pressure. This could happen while you’re on the road or could even happen when you are near it in the process of loading or unloading.
Dirt in the Straps
If you can see dirt and road debris embedded in your truck tie down straps, it’s probably time to have them replaced. These can wear away the straps over time and cause them to weaken.
FAQ About Securing Your Load
Do you always need to secure your load?
What if I Drive Slowly
Even if you drive very slowly, you still need the proper pickup truck tie downs. For one thing, it helps if you’re always in the habit of doing things right even if it doesn’t seem necessary. For another, the unexpected always happens and you need to be ready for it. Finally, you may run into a situation where it is not safe to keep driving so slowly. Then you’ll have to choose between speeding up and endangering the load or staying slow and endangering yourself in other ways.
What if the Load Is Really Heavy?
It’s not uncommon for people to think that a load is so heavy it could not possibly come loose. This is just not the case. No matter how heavy the load is, there’s always a possibility that it could come flying off if the speeds and physics are just right.
What Is a Really Secured Load?
In order for your load to be truly secure, every single part of it must be either attached to the vehicle or covered over with tarps, netting, chains, or truck tie downs. That way no part of the load can fly off while the vehicle is moving.
How Do I Use the Tie Downs Correctly?
Using your truck tie down anchors correctly in the first place is key if you want to be safe yourself and keep others safe on the road.
Use a Symmetrical Or Mirror Image Pattern
This pattern is the safest for applying uniform pressure all around your vehicle and the load.
Know Your Load Capacity
Make sure you are aware of how much weight your racks can support and how much your tie downs can take. Don’t try to secure loads that your racks and straps are not meant to carry. Remember that bumpy roads could put enormous tension on the straps so that they are experiencing tension levels far in excess of what they experience when the vehicle is not moving.
These are just a few of the most important considerations if you are planning to put a load on your truck. If you don’t secure your load properly, not only does it present a danger to everyone behind you on the road but it puts you in danger, as well. By the right tie downs and secure them correctly to protect everyone.