When it comes to the cargo transportation industry, there are no signs that things will be slowing down any time soon. Cargo freight activity in the US has grown by 7% since 2019 and is predicted to increase by 50% over the next 30 years.
Every day hundreds of thousands of pounds of cargo are being transported from point A to point B every day. Unsuitable or worn-out securement can be extremely dangerous, so purchasing cargo control hardware is an important decision to make.
This is especially critical for non-enclosed cargo vehicles for large items like pipes, lumber, or construction equipment. All items must be securely held so everything stays in place even while the vehicle reaches high speeds. If these items shift even slightly, it can cause serious issues and lead to dangerous collisions or injuries.
There is no other option but to purchase the best cargo control hardware on the market – here’s how to narrow down your selection.
Look for Cargo Control Hardware Specific to Your Products
Firstly, the types of products required for securement must be the primary consideration. There are different kinds of cargo control hardware designed for various shapes and sizes of loads.
For instance, flat materials like boxes, cut lumber, and stacked building materials need different hardware compared to rounded items like tires or pipes. Some require specific hardware designed for the items, such as vehicles or furniture.
You will also need to determine if you require direct or indirect securement. Direct securement holds an item in place by connecting one side of the trailer to the same side of the cargo. Indirect securement runs over the load, holding it in place by connecting from one side of the trailer to the other.
Direct securement is best for heavy-duty items which will not be damaged by the securement hardware. Heavy chains or straps are often used, which can scratch or dent more fragile cargo. Indirect securement is a bit less abrasive to the item, which ensures the loads are secured safely without compromising the product by scratching it, denting, etc.
Research Tie-Down Hardware Options
The next step is to piece together the cargo control hardware parts used to create a securement system. Many pieces of tie-down equipment may be used together for cargo control, depending on the size, weight, and shape of the load.
This piece of hardware is used to connect a securement to an anchor, such as D-rings or trailer sides. There are several styles including Twin J Hooks, Flat Snap Hooks, and S Type Hooks.
Both ratchet load binders and lever load binders are used to create tension for a more secure tie-down. Each side of the cargo union can be attached to a chain, wire rope, or strap. The ratchet or level is then used to create tension for a tight securement.
Binder and Transport Chains
Transport chains (also known as boomer chains) are designed specifically for cargo transport. These are made from extremely heavy-duty steel to increase their strength and durability. These may be purchased in a self-colored or bright finish or with a protective chromate layer to prevent rust. Each side of the transport chain has a clevis grab hook which connects to a tie-down hook or anchor.
Ratchet Strap Assemblies
A ratchet strap assembly includes tie-down webbing, which is a polyester strap, and ratchet buckles that connect the webbing. These buckles create tension and can secure up to 24,000 lb loads. These may be used in place of chains as the polyester webbing is less likely to damage the load.
Consult with a Cargo Hardware Supplier for Advice
Since there are so many different sizes and options for cargo control hardware, the best course of action is to talk to an expert when placing an order. They will not only be able to help you find the exact size and type you need, but they can also provide direction on how to use the securement products correctly.
There are so many risks that come with using the wrong cargo tie-down setup or installing it incorrectly. If the equipment is not secured correctly, it could slip or the hardware could break.
For this reason, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has set rules on cargo tie-downs. The FCMSA uses a point system and drivers or carriers who violate these rules have points deducted. Violations resulting in point deductions include:
Fewer than four direction tie-downs for loads
- Short or insufficient tie-downs
- Improper positions for tie-downs
To avoid any of these hefty point deductions, you should purchase from a cargo control hardware supplier that can offer valid advice and direction. They should be able to answer any questions regarding what type of hardware to use, how to use it correctly, and whether it is rated for your intended application.
Cargo control hardware is an exceptionally important equipment element that must be chosen carefully. There is no excuse for using the wrong type, as it can lead to dangerous situations which are completely avoidable.
If you need help determining which is the best cargo control hardware to get for your specific application, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Elite Sales. We provide top-quality industrial hardware, including cargo control, for all types of uses across numerous industries. Our team would be happy to offer advice and help you find the right equipment you need.