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Safely Securing Your Load Before Traveling

Securing your load

In 2013, a Salt Lake City police officer was seriously injured in an accident caused by debris on the highway. Unsecure items being transported by cars and trucks is an ongoing problem; according to the Utah Highway Patrol, about 25,000 auto accidents occur each year due to litter on the road across the country. An unsecure load is dangerous to you and to every other vehicle on the road.


Lighter goes lower.

When you start packing up, put items that weigh less on the bottom. Also take note of any small items that could fall out and puncture tires. Have a built-in toolbox in your truck bed? Make sure all the tools are in it, and it's securely closed. As your load gets bigger, evenly distribute the weight to keep items from sliding.

Tie it down.

Use ropes, bungee cords, straps or netting to secure large or heavy items directly to the vehicle. Bumps, turns and sudden stops can easily dislodge improperly secured loads. Tie down materials should not be skimpy - they must be able to withstand wind loads of 70 MPH. Check that your restraints are in good condition and aren't frayed, damaged or cut.

Cover it up.

This rule especially pertains to loose items, like leaves, tree clippings or clothing. A tarp or netting can be used to keep these items from blowing off, but remember to secure the tarp properly, as well.

Double-check and question yourself.

Walk around each side of the load (and check up top) to make sure it's secure. Items will move and settle during your drive, which can cause restraints to loosen. If you can, check the load again, shortly after you being your trip. When double-checking your load, ask yourself "Would I feel safe driving behind this vehicle?" and "What will happen if I have to brake suddenly?" Feeling confident that your load is secure can help other drivers stay safe

Finally, be aware of your state and local laws. In Utah, littering or failing to secure your load on the highway is cause for a fine of at least $200 for the first offense. Stay safe and keep your money in your wallet by ensuring your load is properly secured before you hit the road.

For nearly 25 years Burt Brothers Tire and Service has provided the most reliable tires and auto repair throughout Utah. We only employ highly qualified mechanics, and our technicians are ASE-certified. For more information visit or visit one of our eight Salt Lake area locations.