Commercial trucks are very important to America’s economy. More freight, goods and industrial machinery is transported via commercial trucks than any other type of transportation in the continental U.S. According to a report from ATA the trucking business, “deliver ten billion tons of virtually every commodity consumed—or nearly 70 percent of all freight transported annually in the U.S.” Virtually all goods and supplies transported in the U.S. use commercial trucks for transportation from oil and fuel to pharmaceuticals to fresh drinking water. Without cargo and flatbed trucks, our nation could not survive. Therefore maintaining safety standards with approved chains, binders and securement devices is of the utmost importance.
Any type of commercial hauler, whether it’s a full size semi-trailer or store delivery truck, needs to have contents secured. Chains are used the most on commercial trucks with chain binders for securing heavy machinery, steel, logs, portable buildings, vehicles and shipping containers. Chain binders offer the most securement when transporting heavy loads and with the proper chain grade are approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and American Trucking Association (ATA). Ratchet and lever or snap binders are two types of chain binders; however, snap binders are used less due to the risk of snapping out of position. Foldable handle binders are becoming more popular in the commercial trucking industry.
Chain grade is determined by the stress on a chain link at its breaking strength, according to the National Association of Chain Manufacturing (NACM). They have provided a breakdown of the different grades and applications of chains in the chart below.
|Grade 30 Proof Coil Chain||General Purpose, carbon steel chain.|
|Grade 43 High Test Chain||A carbon steel chain widely used in industry, construction, agricultural and lumbering operations.|
|Grade 70 Transport Chain||A high quality, high strength carbon steel chain used for load securement.|
|Grade 80 Alloy Chain||Premium quality, high strength alloy chain, heat treated, used in a variety of sling and tie down applications. For overhead lifting applications, only Alloy Chain should be used.|
|Grade 100 Alloy Chain||Premium quality, highest strength alloy chain, heat treated, used in a variety of sling and tie down applications. For overhead lifting applications, only Alloy Chain should be used.|
Grade 70 transport chain is the recommended grade for chain binders and boomers in the commercial trucking industry. All chain binders must be secured using the attachment points on a truck. The minimum is four according to the NACS; however, the total weight of the load and the chain binder size determines how many attachment points are needed to properly secure the load. Attachment points should not exceed 45 degrees in order to secure any movement.
The best security is one which is carefully executed for the safety of the driver and other drivers on the road.
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