The proper loading of any commercial vehicle is essential to its safe operation. Improperly loading a truck beyond its recommended weight or failing to properly secure the load can create an extremely dangerous situation for drivers and everyone else sharing the road with them. When a truck is driving with an improperly secured load, it poses an extreme danger to the safety of those driving cars, motorcycles, and users of the road in general. There is no doubt that large objects such as machinery, concrete blocks, and pipes could have disastrous results, but even small objects could cause a collision if they should crack the windshield of another vehicle or cause a driver to perform a sudden evasive maneuver. In many cases, loading a truck beyond its recommended weight or failing to properly secure the load can make the truck unstable; difficulty stopping, an increased potential for jackknifing and rollovers are just a few of the problems that can arise when a truck is not properly loaded.
Overloaded semi-trucks on the nation’s roadways are an extremely serious hazard that can lead to significant damages and harm to other vehicles. Semi-truck drivers hold a responsibility to ensure that their trucks are loaded both securely and safely. Thus, they are liable for any circumstances in which their trucks are either loaded improperly or overloaded.
Fortunately, there are many federal and state guidelines that control the operation and maintenance of these over-sized vehicles in an effort to ensure these transporters of heavy goods are as safe as humanly and mechanically possible.
The federal government has regulations in place to ensure the safe operation of all commercial vehicles that engage in interstate commerce. Within the scope of these regulations are rules for properly securing a load; all loads must be properly tied down in order to prevent the contents from moving, shifting, or falling out. Drivers must follow this rule whether the materials are within a tractor trailer or on a flatbed truck.
Responsibility for ensuring a truck complies with Department of Transportation load securing regulations is on the shoulders of the truck driver. This means the driver must make sure he has enough tie-downs and those tie-downs are constructed of the proper materials.
Improperly securing a load is a misdemeanor offense in Texas. Besides jail time, the more serious risk is that these negligent drivers are creating dangerous situations for all nearby vehicles. Although most domestic truck drivers take all the necessary precautions when it comes to properly securing their trucks’ trailers, the problem is that even a single driver not showing this caution can cause a deadly trucking accident.
There is a weight limit of 40 tons for commercial trucks in Texas, and they are not allowed to exceed fourteen feet high and 8-1/2 feet in width. Trucking companies are able to purchase special permits that allow them to travel with oversize and overweight loads on Texas roads, but even with these permits, both truck drivers and commercial trucking companies can be held responsible for any accidents that occur.