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Applying Working Load Limit to Cargo Control

You are a professional truck driver browsing the Mytee website looking for new binders to add to your toolbox. At the back of your mind is the knowledge that you could possibly be completely unprepared for a new job if you do not purchase the right kinds of binders. As such, some of the concerns are working load limit (WLL), whether you are purchasing a Durabilt ratchet binder, a removable handle binder, or any of the other binder products we carry.

There is a science behind WLL and how it is applied to every load you carry. For the purposes of definition, WLL is the amount of force that can be applied to a piece of lifting or securing equipment without breaking that piece. WLL ratings are usually stamped on binders to make it easier for customers to know what they are purchasing.


As a general rule for American manufacturers, WLL is about one-fifth of the force necessary to cause failure, also known as minimum breaking strength. By making WLL less than minimum breaking strength, manufacturers give users a little bit of wiggle room without substantially increasing risk.

Calculating Working Load Limit for The Cargo Load

Making sure you have the right equipment to secure a load properly is a matter of a simple mathematics. The total WLL required for safe transport on a flatbed trailer is equal to one-half of the total weight of the cargo being carried. That means 20,000 pounds of cargo must be secured with chains and binders with a minimum WLL of 10,000 pounds.

Ensuring the right WLL for a given load is easy when chains and binders are rated equally. When they are not, the trucker uses the lesser of the two. In other words, assume a binder with a 4,500-pound WLL is paired with the chain rated at 5,500 pounds. The total WLL of the assembly is the lesser of the two – 4,500 pounds in this case.

This seemingly minute detail should never be overlooked. Using the higher of the two ratings could lead to improper securing that could eventually result in a load breaking loose. At the very least, chains and binders can be damaged when WLL is not calculated correctly.

Equal Force Distribution Across Loads

Although calculating WLL is relatively easy in most cases, it means nothing in terms of how loads should be properly secured. The laws in every state require truckers to make sure loads are securely fixed and pose no danger of breaking loose, though they do not necessarily dictate the details of how to accomplish this. Therefore, common sense must be used.

The laws of physics dictate that proper load securing procedures evenly distribute force across the entire load. In simple terms, the trucker is far better off using three chains with a combined working load limit appropriate to the load rather than a single chain of a higher WLL across the center of the load only.

Distributing force evenly across the load will keep cargo in place throughout the journey. It will also minimize the risks of damage presented by the force of chains in direct contact with cargo. The trucker should always remember that uneven force is never a good thing.

Mytee Products is proud to have added a number of new products to our inventory, including a new selection of binders. The Durabilt ratchet binder and removable handle binder now available through our website are both popular options. All of our binders are stamped with WLL ratings and meet or exceed all safety standards required by law.