What is Load Securement?
Load or cargo is defined by section 2(e) of the Cargo Securement Regulations as: “all articles of material carried by a vehicle, including those used in the operation of the vehicle, but does not include passengers.”
A securement system includes: vehicle structure, blocking and bracing equipment, and securing devices. Securement of the load means it is safely attached to the vehicle hauling it.
Why is Load Securement a Concern?
Loads that are improperly secured can pose a traffic obstruction if they fall onto the road. Accidents can result from cargo that falls, tilts, sticks out or is toxic.
Depending on the type of load, it can pose personal or environmental hazards if it is improperly contained.
If the load shifts, but does not come off the vehicle, it can still be a traffic hazard, as it may result in the vehicle becoming unstable or hard to steer.
Who Polices Load Securement?
The North American Cargo Securement Standard is a co-operative project of Canada and the United States. It is jointly administered by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).
The agreement was last amended in June of 2013.
Compliance with the standards for load securement in North America is checked in random stops by Commercial Vehicle Inspectors.
What “Cargo” does the Regulations Apply to?
Load securement regulations apply to:
- A vehicle transporting cargo on a highway within the province
- A vehicle that exceeds a registered gross vehicle weight of 4500 kilograms
- Cargo transported by an intermodal container
Who is Responsible for Load Security?
The securement system -- vehicle structure, blocking and bracing equipment, and securing devices -- are the responsibility of both the carrier and the driver.
The equipment must be maintained and operated by carriers and drivers. This means the equipment needed to secure the load must be in good working order, with no obvious signs of damage or weakness. Moreover, it must be the security needed for a load of specified weight capacity. This means the load securement equipment must be capable of performing the job, strong enough to contain, immobilize, and secure the cargo if it is subjected to forces like: braking, accelerating, making a turn and climbing a hill.
A carrier must not allow a driver to operate a vehicle if the cargo is not considered to be secure.
A driver shall not operate a vehicle where the cargo transported in or on the vehicle is not in compliance with the North American Cargo Securement Standard.
The cargo must be secured so that the load does not leak, shift, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle, or shift to such a degree that it makes the vehicle’s stability, or its maneuver ability is adversely affected.