The final regulation requiring all interstate commercial motor vehicles to comply with new performance standards for securing cargo went into effect Dec. 26, 2002. However, motor carriers have until Jan. 1, 2004, to fully comply with the new regs. Until then, carriers have the option of complying with the existing or the new set of standards.
In some cases, the changes may require motor carriers to increase the number of tiedowns used to secure certain types of cargo. However, the regulation generally does not prohibit the use of tiedowns or cargo securement devices currently in use.
The new standards address all types of articles of cargo, except commodities in bulk that lack a fixed shape or structure (sand, gravel, liquids, etc.) that are transported in a device that forms part of the structure of the commercial motor vehicle (hopper, tank, etc.). In general, the standards address cargo placement and restraint; minimum strength of cargo securement devices and systems; how the working load limit of a tiedown is determined; and how to determine the minimum number of tiedowns required.
The new standards also address specific securement requirements for certain commodities, including logs, dressed lumber, metal coils, paper rolls, concrete pipe, intermodal containers, automobiles, light trucks and vans, heavy vehicles, equipment and machinery, flattened or crushed vehicles, roll-on/roll-off or hook-lift containers, and large boulders. LL