How to Secure a Load in a Pickup Truck

Properly securing cargo in your pickup truck is not only important for protecting your vehicle and the items that you are carrying, but it is also a critical step in helping to prevent dangerous accidents. Transporting items in your truck means more than simply throwing items in the back and being on your way. You need to make sure that items are properly secured.

Here are a few tips for securing your load and helping to keep everyone safe on the road.

Make sure you have the right equipment

Depending on what you are transporting, there is different equipment available to help you secure items in your truck. Most pickup trucks will have tie down points already installed. For more added security, it is often a good idea to purchase some additional equipment.  

BACKRACK™ truck racks and safety racks can give you a solid foundation for tying down items and accessories. Our tool racks are ideal for smaller items. If you need additional anchor points, you might consider adding BACKRACK™ siderails.

For loose items, you may want to add a toolbox or Tonneau cover which is both compatible with BACKRACK.

You will also want to make sure that you have some good quality ratchet straps, bungee cords or tarps depending on what you are carrying.

Know how much load your truck can carry

Especially if you are transporting heavy items, you need to know your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) as well as your load capacity. You should be able to find this information on a label inside your driver’s door or in your owner’s manual. Under no circumstances should you exceed this limit because doing so could damage your vehicle.

Put heavier items toward the front

When loading your pickup truck, always try to put heavier items toward the cab to prevent your vehicle from becoming back-weighted and affecting your power steering. You should also try to distribute the weight fairly evenly from side to side.

Secure items on at least two sides

Once you’ve following all of the tips listed above, it is important that your items are tied down on at least two sides. This will help keep items from moving around and potentially coming loose. Items that bounce around inside your truck can cause damage or become damaged themselves, and if they end up falling out of your truck, they may cause a serious accident.

Flag long loads

If you are transporting longer items that extend beyond the length of your truck bed, you are required by law to attach a red flag or cloth to the end of the load. If you do not have something at home that you can attach to the load, you may purchase a tailgate flag at your local home improvement centre.

Knowing how to secure loads in your pickup truck properly is important for many reasons. It will help preserve your vehicle and the items inside it, but more importantly, it will help protect your safety and the safety of others on the road.