Loading a flatbed trailer incorrectly is dangerous. When not secured, cargo could fall into the road during transit, increasing the risk of accidents. That’s why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has cargo securement requirements. To prevent you from violating the rules, below are a few tips on how to safely load flatbed trailers. 

3 Tips to Load Cargo on Flatbed Trailers

1. Keep the Center of Gravity Low

If weight isn’t distributed evenly, the flatbed trailer could sway, or the wheels and axles could become damaged. To prevent this, arrange cargo based on weight, with the heaviest items directly on the floor and above the axles. Try to maintain this balance when stacking items side by side. Most of the load should be towards the front of the trailer. 

2. Check Tie Downs & Use Edge Protection 

flatbed trailersChains, cords, steel straps, synthetic webbing, and wire ropes are a few of the tie down materials truckers use to secure loads. Once the cargo is on the trailer, examine each tie down for abrasions, cracks, and additional wear. Replace the damaged ties before you drive the towing vehicle. In accordance with FMCSA regulations, cargo must be secured, so that the tie downs are inboard of the trailer’s rub rails if possible. If a tie down is rubbing against an item in the trailer, the friction could cause the tie to snap. To stop this, place plastic edges and corner protectors at these friction points.

3. Secure Rolling Items With Wedges

Tie downs will keep cargo inside the flatbed trailer but might not prevent pipes and other rolling items from moving during the journey. Anything that has the potential to roll must also be held in place with a wedge, cradle, or chock. You can use dunnage bags to fill voids between items that don’t roll. The inflatable bags provide cushioning for added stability and can prevent cargo damage. 


For high-quality gear to haul cargo safely, visit Rumley Trailers in Browns Summit, NC. The company sells tie downs, hitches, and other flatbed trailer parts. If you are in the market for a new equipment trailer, the staff is eager to show you a top-of-the-line replacement or addition to the current fleet. For trailer sales in Guilford County, call (336) 669-0709. View what parts the store has in stock online and become a Facebook follower for merchandise announcements.