Monday, August 19, 2013

This Blog

This blog is the culmination of my years out here on the road.  Watching changes in policy, equipment, laws, and procedures, I've seen quite a bit.  I am by no means a "know-it-all". 

I'm constantly learning, and when I do see something new, I file it away and then share some of it with you folks.  One thing you can count on staying the same is the fact that everything changes.  If you don't like it, just wait a while;  it might get better or worse, but it won't stay the same.

Feel free to ask about anything in trucking that's of interest to you and I'll do my best to give you answer based on my experience and knowledge. 

As far as the new HOS, the CSA, and the EOBR/ELD fight, they're still changing.  The CSA is under review.  The latest HOS update is being screamed about by everyone.  And the EOBR/ELD has millions of drivers upset.  And the OOIDA continues to fight the legal fight for us. 

Let me give you an example of something that changed a few years ago that affected me as a flatbedder.  It had to do with the regulation specifying that bungee cords could not be used to secure freight, or securement devices.

The new regulation stated that you can't use a bungee cord to hold anything on your trailer and binders have to be secured with a wire tie, chain, zip-tie, or baling wire. 

This load (not mine, just a photo I took in a truck stop) is chained down, but the binders are secured with bungees.  This is not allowed.

The bungee cords are not strong enough to keep the binder from popping open.  The "handle" on each binder must be kept tightly closed and to do so, a stronger securement device is needed.
This binder has no securement at all.  Any amount of vibration or movement could cause this binder to pop open, causing the chain to loosen.  If this steel train transmission were to get loose and fall off the trailer, it can cause incredible damage or worse, death.
Any freight you put on your trailer needs to be secured properly.  You're responsible for knowing which securement devices are best (straps or chains) and what the rating is on that securement device based on the weight of the freight.  Everything you put on your trailer needs to stay on your trailer. Other than the bungees being used, the securement of these transmissions are good.  They're in the right place, they just need to be bound to prevent them from snapping open. 

I use a piece of chain about 6"-8" long with a snap link on it which has served me well.  Since it's metal, they can be used over and over for years, whereas wire, zip ties, and other types of binder securement has to be discarded after use.

Keep the bungees for tarping and get in the habit of using the proper binder securements for your chains and binders. At the very least, it'll keep you from getting a written violation or being put out of service (or both), and at the most you may save a life.
New binders have been invented that have built in safety features which help prevent the snap style binders from popping open.

And finally there is a small device which is similar to the chains I use to secure snap binders.  It is a "U" shaped piece of metal with a pin that holds it securely onto a snap binder.
Of course there is always the ratchet binder which needs no locking mechanism as it will not pop open.

1 comment:

Marlaina said...

This is a great post. Thanks.