Welcome back to our series on How to Buy the Best Flatbed

Today we’re talking about Load Securement Options for your Flatbed Semi-Trailer

We’ll review how you can spec your flatbed trailer to maximize your load securement options. 

What we are not covering is how to secure your loads. However, there is a lot of great information and training out there to show you how to secure your load properly, and we recommend you use those sources to learn how to secure a load on your flatbed trailer safely

Instead, we will discuss the different options available to you from a spec standpoint regarding securing your load. 

Payload Securement Minimums

The requirement is at least one-half of your load must be secured. That means, for example, if you’re hauling 40,000 lbs. of cargo, at least 20,000 lbs. of the load must be secured by chains and binders.

Load securement is essential to your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road, and it’s also good business practice to understand where and how to secure a load to help keep product damage to a minimum.

6 Load Securement Options for your Flatbed Semi-Trailer

1. Winches and Straps


Flatbed Trailer winch and strap.


Available in steel, galvanized steel, low profile for use with toolboxes and drop decks, winches are a very common way to secure a load on a flatbed.

They can be mounted on the driver side, curbside, or both sides of the trailer. It all depends on your philosophy. For the driver, it’s easier to work with straps on the driver’s side; however, it’s safer to adjust your load from the curbside if you’re pulled off the side of the road.

You might consider load securement points on both sides for taller loads to help prevent the load from shifting. Utility has a proprietary side rail with the winch tracks built into it, which allows placement of winched on both sides of the trailer.

Working Load Limits on Winches and Straps

A working load limit is the weakest point of the winch/strap assembly. For example, if the winch is rated at 5500 lbs., and the strap, or tie-down, is rated at 5400 lbs., the working load limit of the winch/strap assembly is rated at 5400 lbs.

2. Spools and Pockets


Pipe Spools on a Flatbed Semi Trailer.


Depending on the manufacturer, you may or may not be able to use a pocket to secure a load.

Spools working load limits (WLL) will vary depending on the manufacturer. Be sure to check with them to understand what that pipe spool is rated at.

For example, wrapping a chain around one spool can have one rating, but it may change if you wrap it around two spools. The angle at which the chain comes off the spool will also determine the load limit rating on the spool.

Consult with the manufacturer for chain ratings. Also, check with the DOT for load securement regulations, tie-down requirements for heavy equipment, chain ratings, etc.

3. J-Hooks


J Hooks for Flatbed Semi.


J-Hooks (Flatbed J Plates) are an adjustable load securement system used with flat hook straps or chains. 

The J Hook plates slide into tracks located on both sides of the deck and can be placed anywhere along the track.

  • Provide many options for placement throughout the length of the trailer.
  • They are removable and can be stored on a standard bar rack or a toolbox.
  • J Hook ratings can vary based on manufacturer.


4. Pop Up Chain Adapters


Pop up chains on flatbed semi-trailer.


Pop up chain adapters are chains recessed into the floor of your trailer.

  • They can be spec’d how and where you want them, but they must be placed adjacent to a cross member to function properly and provide the needed support.
  • Working loads limits vary based on manufactures.


5. D-Rings


D-Ring on flatbed semi-trailer.


D Rings are one of your strongest options for load securement, with a typical working load limit of 15,000 lbs.

  • Half metal rings recessed in the floor
  • Their working load limit rating is typically around 15,000 lbs.


6. Container Locks

Container lock on flatbed semi-trailer

Read Full article “How to Buy the Best Flatbed Trailer”

Container locks, or twist locks, used on Chassis, are sometimes used on step-deck flatbeds and can be spec’d to haul 20 ft. or 40 ft. containers.

They must be spec’d ahead of time and cannot be retrofitted later onto your trailer.

Please talk with your trailer sales specialist to help you choose specs to increase your load securement options.



Read more in this series, How to Buy the Best Flatbed Trailer.



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