Semi-Truck Tiedowns, Adjustable Straps | 49 CFR 393.112

Semi-Truck Tiedowns, Adjustable Straps | 49 CFR 393.112


Hey, everybody, this is Ali Kamalzadeh at Gurney Law. And this is One Regular a Day, where we highlight one Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation each and every day. And today we’re going to talk about tie downs or adjustable straps. Have you ever been to the hardware store or maybe even on a road ship and you purchased or had some items that were a little too big to fit inside your vehicle, so you had to put them either on the top, maybe on the back, or maybe you’re pulling them behind your vehicle, and you probably use tie downs, adjustable straps of some sort to keep that load secure? Did you ever read the manufacturer instructions if you did, you would see that they recommend that once you’re on the road that you after 5, 15, or maybe even 30 minutes of driving are to pull off to the side of the road and double check the straps and to tighten and make any adjustments necessary to account for any type of shifting of load. They also go on to say that if you’re on a road trip, they recommend that every time you stop for refueling or make a pitstop or rest stop that you also check your load and adjust for any type of shifting during your travels. So the same should be applied to commercial motor vehicle drivers.

And that is where we go to our federal regulation that we’re highlighting which is 49 CFR Section 393.112, titled “Must a Tie Down be Adjustable.” This regulation states that each tie down or its associated connectors or its attachment mechanisms must be designed, constructed and maintained so that the driver of an in-transit commercial motor vehicle can tighten them. However, the requirement does not apply to the use of steel strapping. Now I had to Google or research a little bit about steel strapping because I wasn’t familiar with it. What I found out is the regulations are likely referring to high tensile steel strapping and this is used by railroad companies and Commercial Motor Vehicle companies to tie down particularly heavy loads. The high tensile steel is kind of like the gold standard of steel strapping. And that makes sense. There’s not a lot of breathing room, not a lot of shifting that occurs with that steel strapping. But going back to what you and I probably most likely use which is the tie downs or adjustable straps, the commercial motor vehicle driver — and it makes sense when they have a load that is tied down or using a adjustable strap — they must also have the ability once in transit and they stop, maybe for refueling or make a pit stop, that they have the ability to make those adjustments and account for any shifting the load and to re secure their load. And that’s it. That’s all we have for today on One Reg a Day. Thanks for coming by! And don’t forget: here at Gurney Law: #itspersonal.

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Nicholas Gurney

Nicholas Gurney is a Trial Attorney and Managing Partner at Gurney Law, PLLC. Nicholas serves as an Adjunct Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Central Florida and acts as a product safety advocate for clients in our community. Outside the office, Nicholas enjoys amateur woodworking and machining, trips to the dog park with his dog, Nate, and spending time with his niece and nephew, both of whom are wise beyond their years.