When you are hauling cargo on your trailer, you need to be aware of your surroundings. If you are not aware of how you are securing the load on your trailer, you are creating many risks, to the cargo, to other drivers on the road and even yourself. There are many options when it comes to securing a load; with National Trailer Parts Warehouse, we carry many trailer accessories to secure your load and can help you and your cargo make it safely to your destination.
Having the appropriate type of load securing equipment is paramount; whether you have an open or enclosed trailer, you will be hauling all kinds of goods. The key is knowing which type of cargo control you will require for the type of goods you are carrying.
With all loads, it is very important to understand what the working load limit is for the cargo control measures you are using and that they can handle the load you are hauling.
Calculating How Much You Can Tow
To calculate your load capacity for your trailer, on your trailer’s VIN label, you will notice a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR for short). This value is the maximum amount of weight of your trailer and the cargo you plan to haul. You will also need to weigh your trailer prior to loading to determine its weight when empty. Using these two values, you will be able to calculate your payload capacity (the total weight your trailer can support). You can get this value by subtracting the weight of your empty trailer from the GVWR and multiplying it by 80%. Your result will be the allowable payload for your cargo trailer.
How to Load a Cargo Trailer Safely
You will want to load your heaviest cargo at the front of the trailer unless otherwise specified. The split should be approximately 60% cargo weight upfront and 40% in the back. Open trailers should be loaded using the same method as a closed trailer, with the exception that smaller items should not surpass the height of the trailer box.
In addition to learning how to properly load cargo, below, we have also listed some of the most frequently used cargo trailer parts to safely transfer your next load.
Selecting Load Securing Equipment
Knowing how to strap down a load, is essential to avoid hurting yourself and others. Therefore, carefully reviewing tips around securing a load and adequate cargo trailer parts should be done prior to making any trips. These parts can be purchased from our trailer accessories retailers, or our National Trailer Parts online store.
The first cargo trailer part that you might consider is a tarp. Tarps are useful to hold cargo in place on uneven terrains and otherwise difficult road trips. They also help to protect your cargo from rain, snow or other harmful weather conditions. Carriers will often use a tarp, when they are transporting loose products, a large sized load such as a motorcycle or firewood, multiple items or cargo that isn’t evenly shaped. There are many options that National Trailer Parts carries. The size should be selected based on the dimensions of your cargo trailer and should match the number and type of hooks needed to secure your load.
Carriers may also select a treated tarp. These tarps are waterproof and can come in many colours and sizes, all depending on what you like and need. They come in varying gauges of texture, the higher the gauge, the stronger and heavier the texture, and prices will vary depending on the size of tarp that you are looking for.
2. Tie Down Straps
Tie down straps allow the easy and safe transport of the load you are hauling. They are suited to all kinds of tie-down points on your trailers; they allow an S-hook or a ratchet strap to be attached to the soft loop. They are a convenient option due to the flexibility they provide when handling cargo control and tie-down points. Using a ratchet strap can increase stability in the load while not causing scratching while still having great strength. There are many kinds and weight limits on these, and it is very important to understand the weight of your load to be able to choose the appropriate straps to keep your load secure.
If you frequently carry cargo, it is important to watch for the wear on chains and tie-downs. Anything that looks like it may break should be replaced to avoid a shift in loads and, in extreme cases, car accidents.
After your load has been tied down and covered, you will want to do a final walk around your trailer to ensure that everything is in place and there are minimal spaces.
Next on the list of cargo trailer parts is the E-Track, which consists of lengthy high-strength rails with numerous anchor points. Their function is to support tie-down equipment, and this option is usually installed in enclosed trailers. Horizontal E-track carries slots that run perpendicularly to the track rail. Vertical E-track has attachment points that go parallel with the rail, the vertical also has a narrow profile. With E-track, D-rings can be mounted to the floor in a perpendicular manner.
E-track is able to function with many cargo trailer accessories for tie-downs such as ratchet straps, cam straps, J-hook fittings, D-ring fittings, etc. The main benefits are the added security against the walls of a trailer, including the addition of trailer parts such as holding racks to prevent cargo from shifting as you drive.
It is always a good idea to understand the weight distribution and limit of the load you have on your trailer and how to prevent the load from shifting. These are just a few of the cargo trailer parts you may use to help secure your trailer load, and make sure everyone gets to their destination safely. A full list can be found on our website.