There are no DOT Regulations specifically for Drive-Away when it comes to “Load Securement”. The Federal Regulations are for ALL interstate commerce vehicles.
The Load Securement Regulation covers a vast array of items that flap, wiggle, move, or shift. The regulation simply states that everything on the transport truck is to be secured by the driver. Steep fines are levied against the driver and the company should a load be deemed unsafe. Not to mention being carted off to jail, or even worse, killing someone because of an accident.
For Drive-Away this regulation applies to the following:
Loose hoses and cords: Both Joe and I have air lines and electrical cords that run the length of the trucks we deliver. My setup the hoses and cords are more visible than on Joe’s.
A DOT Officer walking the length of my setup would be looking at the points of Securement I have made to contain my hoses and cords. About every six to eight feet there is a fastening point on the truck frame or body where bungees have been used to tie the cords down. No flapping or wiggling happening on my watch.
We make every attempt to cause no harm to the trucks we deliver, including the rattle traps we occasionally get. If the cords and wires can be secured beneath the cabs, to avoid paint damage, we will do it. Sometimes the design of the truck body does not facilitate that – as in the first photo above. When we can run the cords beneath the body the DOT Officer will check to see how much “play” there is in the cords. Too much and it is $150 ticket.
Our pickup is secured to the trailer using specialized 2″ ratchet straps meant only for vehicle transport. There are black plastic pieces that keep the strap centered on the tire. These straps keep our pickup from moving backward or forward during acceleration, deceleration, and stopping. A DOT Officer would check these straps to make sure they are tight with no “play” in them at all. If they are found to be loose it means a ticket of no less than $150, and written up as an UNSAFE load, instructions to immediately correct the issue, AND a possible 10 hour Out of Service Citation where we get to wait at the weigh station for the 10 hours.
Our light bars have to be secured to the truck and prove there is no flapping or wiggling of that safety device as we drive along.
The air fairings on the towed trucks have to be secured as well. During transport these metal, or fiberglass, pieces get buffeted by the air turbulence. They will work themselves back and forth with the wind and road vibration causing the bolts to break loose and free the fairing.
Broken fairings cost $2,000 EACH to be replaced.
Between Joe and I we have about $300 in bungees, $150 in specialty vehicle transport straps, $200 in metal C clamps, $75 in ratchet straps for the fairings, and $50 in hardwood lumber. To meet, and exceed the DOT Regulation for Load Securement we have about $800 in equipment.
The choices are: Spend the money and be safe ; or be cited for multiple violations, lose time, and ultimately lose our jobs. The choice is easy – BE SAFE!
My post yesterday was on the DOT Regulations for brakes. While stopped for fuel at a Wilco/Hess truck stop I saw a Coldiron trailer setup.
Can you spot the problem? Coldiron driver.