Cargo Securement Standards Guide
The term “securement” has been used for centuries in the transportation industry. Originally, it was a marine term relating to ship loading. Stowing a ship meant loading the ship so that the cargo would become an integral part of the ship and remain securely in place despite rolling and pitching.
Today, the trucking industry also uses the term securement to describe the way cargo is held in place during trips. In Quebec, there are even securement standards that trucking companies are required to meet when transporting cargo to ensure that it is properly secured, guaranteeing the vehicle’s stability. These measures also prevent cargo from falling off and colliding with other vehicles or hitting other road users.
In this article, our LTL transport specialists give you a summary of the Guide to Cargo Securement Standards published by the Ministère des Transports du Québec, which describes the best practices to adopt in terms of cargo securement in the trucking industry.
Cargo securement on heavy vehicles from a legal standpoint
In Quebec, the Cargo Securement Standards Regulation governs the cargo securement of heavy vehicles (or a combination of road vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,500 kg or more). The provisions of this regulation are based, among other things, on Standard No. 10 of the Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Safety Manual.
From a legal point of view, cargo securement on a heavy vehicle consists of:
- Properly placing loads on or in the vehicle
- Securing cargo to vehicle platforms and walls by suitable means
- Preventing the movement and spill of goods during road transport
Securement equipment that can be used
Based on the regulations, different means can be used to prevent the displacement, sliding or tipping of cargo:
- Structures of adequate capacity (walls, floor and anchor points)
- Blocking devices, dunnage materials or bags
- Reinforcements or shoring bars
- Friction mats
- A combination of these
What about light and medium-duty vehicles?
Heavy vehicles are not the only vehicles that need a proper securement system. Section 471 of the Highway Safety Code applies to all vehicles carrying goods. This section of the law states that regardless of the transport vehicle used, cargo must be secured in such a way that it cannot:
- Move around on or inside the vehicle
- Become detached from the vehicle
- Obscure lights or headlights of the vehicle
- Reduce the driver’s field of vision
- Adversely affect the stability of the vehicle
Who is responsible for compliance with the Cargo Securement Standards law?
The Cargo Securement Standards Regulation is intended for owners, operators and drivers of heavy vehicles using Quebec’s public road network. It also applies to personnel responsible for logistics and the shipment of goods within a freight transport company.
However, this regulation does not apply to the cargo securement of a farm vehicle or farm trailer when all of the following conditions are met:
- The appropriate warning sign is affixed to the rear of the vehicle
- The vehicle is travelling at a speed of less than 40 km/h
- Cargo is confined against the vehicle’s structure and the structure is strong enough to prevent horizontal movement, or the cargo is secured to prevent horizontal movement
How do you ensure that cargo is properly secured to the transport vehicle?
According to Standard No. 10 of the Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Safety Manual, there are several points to check when it comes time for a driver or person in charge to ensure that a load is properly secured.
The driver of a vehicle transporting cargo must check the cargo being transported and the securing system, adjusting it appropriately before departure and within 80 km or less of the loading site.
The same requirements apply periodically, including the addition of other securing devices, at the earliest of the following opportunities:
- There is a change in the work situation
- The heavy vehicle has been driven for 3 hours or 240 km
However, these inspection requirements do not apply if the cargo is sealed in a vehicle and the driver has been instructed not to open the vehicle or if the vehicle is loaded in such a manner that the cargo or parts thereof are inaccessible.
Inspection of securement systems
All components of a securement system must meet different requirements:
- Must be in good working order
- Must be suitable for their intended use
- Must not have any knots or damaged or weakened components that could impair their performance
- Must not have any cracks or cuts
Tie-downs, integrated locking devices, mobile structures and blocking devices must be secured in such a way that they cannot unlock or release when the vehicle is travelling on the highway system.
Wherever possible, securement devices should be located inside the vehicle’s guard rails if the vehicle is equipped with them.
We suggest that the tie-down devices be rigorously inspected at the same time as the heavy truck circle check.
Performance criteria audit
The securement system used must be able to counteract the forces generated by, among other things:
- Driver maneuvers under normal and emergency conditions
- Vehicle acceleration and braking, including emergency braking
- Road geometry
- Road conditions
- Wind conditions
The securement system must also be capable of preventing the load from shifting when a force is applied to the load equivalent to:
- 50% of its mass to the sides
- 80% of its mass to the front
- 20% of its mass upwards, if the cargo is not fully contained
Verification of securement system compatibility with the nature of the cargo
Again according to Standard No. 10 of the Standard No. 10 of the Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Safety Manual, the securement system used must:
- Be appropriate for the dimensions, shape, resistance and characteristics of the goods transported
- Be designed and manufactured for its intended use
- Be used and maintained as recommended by the manufacturer
At Transport Econo Nord, we follow the Guide to Cargo Securement Standards
As a leader in the secure transportation of all types of cargo, we are committed to consistently meeting all the recommendations and requirements outlined in the official Cargo Securement Standards Guide.
When you hire us for truck transportation, you can rest assured that the merchandise will reach its destination in perfect condition and that the safety of the road users and the driver will be guaranteed.
Request a shipping quote online to Canada or the United States now and you’ll also benefit from our fast delivery times and competitive prices!