Using chains

When loading freight, especially on an open deck trailer, be sure to check how the freight is being loaded as to how you’re going to secure the freight, especially on the front or back of the trailer.  This is more important when the freight needs to be chained down, as securement points at the extreme front and back can be very limited.

When chaining, avoid having the chains pulling perpendicular to the freight, they should be angled along the length of the freight and the chains must be pulling in opposite directions. Most machines have attachment points, so that limits where the chains can be attached and depending where the attachment points are in relation to the tires, you may be limited as to what direction the chains can be used.

When being loaded, visualize how you’re going to secure items, with respect of how the chains will be used.  Chains can’t be in contact with any other securement, so if you need to have chains and/or straps in close proximity to each other, there must be something to prevent contact.  Something learned through experience, when using chains, ensure that they have no twists in them.  If the chain is twisted, you will spend a considerable amount of time retightening the chains.

Always carry WD-40, and keep your binders well lubricated, especially with ratchet binders.  Snap binders must also be secured to ensure they don’t come open as you drive. A bungee cord can not be used to secure the snap binder. It can be used to secure the excess chain to keep it from falling off the side of the trailer. Use made for the job clamps or baling wire to secure the snap in the closed position.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.