5 Tips to Ensure Securely Fitted Cargo in a Truck Bed

A four year AAA study concluded that debris in the road was responsible for more than 200,000 crashes of which two-thirds were caused by improperly secured cargo. These crashes resulted in 500 deaths and 39,000 injuries of innocent drivers. No one wants to be responsible for causing an accident or death and no one wants to live with that guilt. Normal precautions should be taken when hitting the road, but extra precautions should be taken when hitting the road with a truck bed full of cargo. One of those precautions should be properly securing the cargo in the truck bed. While this may seem like a no nonsense topic, it’s important nonetheless. Even if you are well versed in properly securing truck cargo, consider this a refresher course to ensure the safety of you, your cargo and other cars on the road with you.

Double Check

No matter how few times you have used your truck bed tie downs there are steps you should take to ensure that they are still usable and in working order. You should check and inspect for frayed edges. Over time when truck tie downs are used, especially over sharp objects, the edges can become frayed. It is better to inspect and replace before hand rather than tie a load down then realize the straps don’t work. Always inspect hooks to ensure that they are shaped properly and the metal is still strong, if hooks show visible signs of wear it is the best practice to replace your truck tie down straps.


Aside from the normal pickup truck tie downs, you want to make sure that you have the right truck bed anchors for your truck tie down straps. Anchors are important and the type of anchors are important. Some are meant for an “S” hook tie down, while others are simply meant for the tie downs to wrap around to hold it secure. Know where your anchor points are, and which ones serve which purpose. This helps you determine where to put the truck tie down straps when securing the cargo.


When loading things into the bed of a pickup truck the location of said items plays a bigger role than you might think. Larger items should be placed near the cab of the truck. Try to position heavy items on each side of the truck to even out the load while traveling. Not only will this help when securing the load, but it will help while driving to make it easier to steer and handle while transporting the load.


The entire load in the bed of the truck should be properly secured, and this is where truck tie down straps can become beneficial. You want to secure the load on two sides. Between those two sides, you also want to ensure that the anchor points are used to hold the truck tie down straps in place. When possible secure the straps to the entire load itself to prevent the load from shifting or moving. The tighter the better so that no movement occurs during transport.

Extra Protection

It is impossible to prepare for every unthinkable situation, but it is possible to prepare for some of them. Use friction mats to keep cargo from sliding, especially during sudden breaking. Use edge beams to prevent cargo from tipping and becoming off balance. If your load is extra long, be sure to attach a red flag to the end of any overhanging materials. Not only is this precautionary but it’s the law.

When you take to the road with a truck bed full of cargo, drivers around and behind you are trusting that the cargo load is secured and safe. Tie downs provide some of the security, but the rest is on the user. Never assume and always check, and double check. There is nothing worse than being a statistic, unless you are the reason for the statistic. No one wants that kind of guilt. Even a small trip can turn into a disaster without proper planning, checking and securing.

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