How to Load a Flatbed Trailer

by Contributor

You need to move some household appliances or furniture and you've borrowed a truck and trailer to do it. Moving day has arrived and you're pumped, motivated and ready to roll. Remember a couple of common sense factors before you take off.

Read the vehicle specifications sticker on the tongue of the trailer. It gives you the gross weight that the trailer can safely haul. Do not load more weight on the trailer than the sticker lists as the maximum.

Choose your heaviest items and load them first over the axles. To keep the trailer balanced while towing the weight needs to be centered. The axles are the strongest area.

Distribute the rest of the items in front and back evenly in terms of weight. Place the front items close to the tongue to prevent bouncing when towing. Place the back items close to the center where the heavy items were loaded.

Secure your load with ratchet straps. Hook the straps to one side of the trailer and then pull them up and over the load to the other side, fastening securely. Use the ratchet to tighten the straps. Make sure to use enough straps to prevent your load from shifting or falling off when towing.

Call your State's Department of Transportation before loading items that extend upwards. There is a height restriction and they will inform you how high you can load.

Tie a red safety flag on any portion of your load that extends behind the back bumper of the trailer. This will signal other motorists not to follow too closely behind the trailer.

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