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Federal Trucking Regulations: Cargo Securement Rules

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Because commercial trucks pose risks to everyone on public roads and highways, the U.S. government strictly enforces a number of federal regulations, both for truck drivers and trucking companies. While there are hundreds of federal trucking laws in place, they are all designed to reduce risks and keep the general public safe from preventable truck accidents.

Aside from regulations against fatigued driving and impaired driving, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also enforces laws for the proper securement of cargo. FMCSA cargo securement rules – as these laws are known – apply to commercial carriers involved in interstate travel.

Some of the FMCSA cargo securement rules include:

  • All devices and systems used to secure cargo on commercial tractor-trailers, or within the tractor-trailers, must meet federal performance criteria. There are also minimum securement requirements in place based on the type and size / weight of cargo.
  • All parts and the vehicle structure supporting the cargo must be in proper working order. These may include truck beds, tiedowns, steel strapping, and other systems. Trucking companies are obligated to ensure these devices are free from damages or hazards that could negatively affect their performance.
  • All tiedowns must be properly attached and secured so as to prevent loosening, unfastening, or releasing.
  • Commodity specific rules for trucks that transport certain types of cargo. For example, trucks transporting hazardous materials, motor vehicles, and lumber must abide by specific rules.
  • Cargo weight limits that may vary depending on the vehicle and cargo being transported.

Unsecure and improperly loaded cargo are common causes of 18-wheeler accidents, and in many cases, they are entirely preventable. At The Daspit Law Firm, our legal team closely investigates truck accidents to determine if any federal trucking law violations were made, including cargo securement violations. If violations are committed, we work aggressively to hold at-fault trucking companies and truck drivers accountable.

If you have questions about your rights after a tractor-trailer accident, contact our Austin truck accident lawyers for a free case evaluation.

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