Cargo Securement for Lumberyards

In the September Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association newsletter, they have a good tip & advice on Cargo Securement for Lumberyards. Below is the article or a PDF can be downloaded by clicking on the title.

Cargo Securement for Lumberyards

Recently in Cape Cod, there was a large accident involving a lumber truck which caused Route 6 to be closed for several hours. This is just one current example of several accidents involving lumber trucks across the country in 2011. A Google search for “lumber truck accidents” returns over 2.5 million results, with some involving log trucks and many involving trucks carrying packages of lumber boards. These losses are usually accompanied by negative news headlines such as “huge delays,” “major headaches,” “closes Interstate,” or worse, “serious injuries.” As a result, Acadia Insurance has several recommendations that can help you avoid these accidents and the negative publicity that unfortunately follows these events.

First, truck drivers hauling lumber should be well-trained on the rules for securing dressed lumber or similar building products. You can find the complete rules on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. Additionally, it’s important to note the specific requirements for securement of unitized bundles[1] of wooden lumber, panel and board products, in the complete rules of FMCSR 393.118. Gypsum board is also included in this commodity. A basic summary of these rules are as follows:

[1] Lumber of building products that are not bundled or packaged should be treated as loose items and transported in accordance with the general cargo securement requirements. However, these rules can be used as additional guidance on securing lumber loads.

Bundles One or Two Tiers High:

  •  Bundles must be secured with tiedowns over the top tier.

Bundles Three Tiers High:

Bundles require tiedowns over the top tier, plus one of the following:

  • Stakes on vehicle sides to prevent lateral movement;
  • Blocking or friction devices between tiers to prevent lateral movement;
  • Tiedowns over the middle tier;
  • Tiedowns over each tier;
  • Loaded in a sided vehicle or container of adequate strength (does not include curtain vans or tautliners).

Please note that at least two tiedowns are required for bundles two or more tiers high and longer than five feet. All tiedowns required for each tier must be secured under the WEIGHT and LENGTH requirements in FMCSR 393.106 and 393.110.

Next, Acadia suggests that those hauling lumber should review the “General Cargo Securement Requirements” (Chapter Two), and the specific securement requirements for “Dressed Lumber and Similar Building Materials” (Chapter Four), contained in the Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement. For these requirements, it’s essential to recognize the driver’s inspection responsibilities, which we have reproduced below:

Inspection Requirements (Section 2.3.2)

Driver inspection checklist


  •  Make sure that cargo is properly distributed and adequately secured according to the

FMCSA Standard.

  • Make sure that all securement equipment and vehicle structures are in good working order and used consistent with their capability.
  • Stow vehicle equipment.
  • Make sure that nothing obscures front and side views or interferes with the ability to drive the vehicle or respond in an emergency.
  • Inform carrier if packaging is not adequate. For example:

o Banding is loose or not symmetrical on package.

o Banding attachment device(s) are inefficient.

o Wrapping is broken or ineffective.

o Pallets are broken.

Periodic inspections during transit

  • Inspect cargo and securing devices.
  • Adjust cargo or load securement devices as necessary to ensure that cargo cannot shift on or within, or fall from, the commercial motor vehicle.
  • As necessary, add more securing devices.

Your drivers’ strict adherence to Department of Transportation protocols and their continuous attention to the status and condition of their load will go a long way toward preventing accidents.

This means safety for your driver and the traveling public as well as preventing negative publicity and unwanted headlines.

For more information, please visit:

FMSCA’s Educational Materials for Cargo Securement:

Background and explanation of the current rules:

Rules & Regulations, Subpart I, Protection against shifting and falling cargo, 393.100 through 393.136:

*This material is for informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness. Recipients of this material must utilize their own individual professional judgment in implementing sound risk management practices and procedures.

About Acadia Insurance

Acadia Insurance Group is a regional company offering commercial and specialty property casualty insurance coverages through independent insurance agents with local offices in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, Acadia Insurance is a subsidiary of W. R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE: WRB), one of the nation’s premier commercial lines property casualty insurance providers, and one of the 50 largest diversified financial companies in the United States. Please visit


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