Securing Loads in Your Truck Bed

unsecured Load
Protip: don’t do this

If you own a truck, chances are you spend a lot of time moving your (or, more likely, your friends’ and families’) stuff around. We all know that you can’t just load up the truck bed and be on your way. Every move requires some form of securing, whether it’s simply throwing on a tonneau cover or strapping things down. Properly securing your items is not just a matter of making sure you don’t lose anything. It’s also a matter of safety. Poorly secured truck loads are common culprits of serious road accidents. Not only do you need to consider the safety of other on the road, you also have to remember who bares responsibility when an accident like that occurs – you. Here are some tips for securing different kinds of cargo to your truck bed.

Securing Large Items

We’ll start with oversized items, since this is where most problems occur. When you’re transporting especially long materials, such as lumber, always put the tailgate down. Raised tailgates are not designed to withstand top loads. Folding the gate down also makes securing the items much easier in the long run. When transporting long, flimsy material like lumber, plastic conduit, or siding, wrap them up with stretch cling film. It keeps them together, prevents them from damage, and allows them to be more easily secured.

Next come the all important straps. A word to the wise: don’t rely on ropes and bungee cords. While they can help add extra security, ropes and bungee cords are much too flimsy to be used alone. They’re far more likely to fail you, especially in any unforeseen circumstances like bumps or sudden stops.

Always use ratchet straps as the primary strap for securing your load. Ratchet straps are far sturdier, and they have a much greater securing capacity. The ratchets allow you to tighten the straps beyond the capability of other kinds of straps, and you can do so far more easily and safely. Take advantage of the hooks and divots in your truck bed as much as possible for the most secure load. Don’t hook anything to a wide edge expecting it to stay. You want to be able to give the strap a good yank without anything budging. Ratchet straps are especially useful when securing taller items like motorbikes as well. Since you won’t be able to cover the bikes, having good strong straps is even more important.

Securing Smaller Items

For items that fit in your truck bed, a tonneau cover is hard to beat in terms of security. Straps can be used in conjunction with tonneau covers when you don’t want stuff flying around, but tonneau covers provide a one-stop solution to most truck bed security problems. Simply load up your truck bed, throw on the cover and you’re good to go. The added advantage of a tonneau cover is that no one can access what’s inside. Aside from physically securing your stuff inside your truck, they also keep everything safe from theft. Tonneau covers are also great for protection from the elements. Most good tonneau covers are water and weatherproof, making them an invaluable addition to your truck and its load.

James Kennedy