Trucks can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it’s time to get down to work. In the latest installment of our How to Truck series, we’ll walk you through what you need to know to haul a payload.
Step 1: Get Good Straps
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It’s not possible to stress this enough. Good equipment is worth the money. Buy the good stuff, because when you’re messing with others lives on the highway, it’s not worth the cash you saved. Buy good straps with heavy weight ratings. Ratchet straps tend to be the strongest way to hold down your cargo.
Step 2: Know your Numbers
For hauling heavy loads, you need to know your max payload rating, the rear axle rating and the GVWR. These numbers will help you determine how much weight you can take.
Step 3: Proper Loading
When you’re loading weight into your truck bed, you want that weight to be as evenly distributed as possible. It’s best to get the majority of the weight in front or on top of the rear axle. This will keep all four wheels evenly on the ground.
Step 4 : Tying Down
When it comes time to tie things down, use common sense. If the tailgate is open, make sure things are tied in a way to keep them from sliding backwards. It’s usually best to attach things to the lowest point in the truck, and you’ll always want to tie it down from at least two opposite sides so that your straps are putting opposing pressure on your cargo. If you’re going over the top, an X pattern should stop it from moving in all directions.
And remember, you can’t over tie something down.
Step 5: Flag Long Items
If you’re hauling long items that stick out of the truck like lumber, you must put a visible red flag on the end of them.
Step 6: Circle Check
Just like when you have a trailer attached, do a circle check around your truck before you take off, just to be totally sure all of your tie downs are hooked up correctly.
Step 7: Stop and Double Check
After rolling down the road for a few minutes, get back out and check your straps, to make sure nothing has shifted or loosened.
And that’s how you haul a payload.