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How to Safely Secure Your Load

How to Safely Secure Your Load

If you own a pickup truck, one of the rules of the road is knowing how to secure any items you are transporting properly. It is paramount that you practice safe hauling for both you and other motorists. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCS) passed regulations in 2002 that provide instructions on safely securing your load, including making sure that all tie-downs are secured to prevent your load from becoming loose while you are driving. Our guide will help you select the best way to secure your load safely.


A rope is an easy way to safely secure your load if you do not have anything else on hand. Be sure to use rope that is in good condition and not fraying or damaged. If you plan on always using rope, it can be beneficial to learn how to do a bowtie knot. This consists of running the free end of the rope through the knot, providing you with a fixed loop at the end.

Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps are tie-down assists that consist of a strap, metal handles, and a buckle. The webbed portion of the strap and the tension device will allow you to stretch it over your items and secure it onto a tie-down point. It should be noted that you should always purchase a reputable brand of ratchet straps, as poorly-made ones often malfunction due to stripped grip teeth and damaged internal mechanisms.

Cargo Bags

A cargo bag such as this one comes with cinches and will attach to a bar installed in the bed of your truck. You can safely secure items such as tools, groceries, or sports equipment in this bag.

Cargo Stabilizer Bar

A cargo stabilizer bar can be installed in the bed of your truck. HitchMate offers two options: one for compact trucks that extends from 50” to 65” and one for full-size trucks that extends from 59” to 73”. Each stabilizer bar comes fully assembled; however, the divider bar is sold separately. The ratcheting system adjusts easily and comes equipped with rubber feet to prevent slips or scratches.

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