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Lost Load Truck Accidents

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Semi-trucks or 18-wheelers are the heartbeats of our economy because they transport the vast majority of our goods throughout the United each year the big rigs transport over 36,000,000 tons of cargo.

Lost Load

Lost Load Truck Accidents

Unfortunately, sometimes the cargo is not adequately secured and ends up on the highway, which results in a serious injury accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations have specific provisions that relate to the procedures that the truck driver must go through to ensure that every load is adequately secured.

Recently a study found that cargo shifting and securement issues were either a primary cause or a contributing factor in at least 7% of 18-wheeler truck racks in the United States. This does not include non-injury accident statistics.

Obviously, shifting cargo or loads that end up on the roadway is a significant danger to other motorists.

The safety regulations require that cargo shall be contained or secured so it does not, leak, spill, blow or fall off the vehicle or fall through the vehicle, or otherwise become dislodged from the truck. Further, loads are to be secured so that the load does not shift to an extent that the vehicle stability or maneuverability is affected adversely.

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Truck Drivers Are Responsible For The Load

It is the driver of the commercial vehicle that is primarily responsible for ensuring that the cargo is properly secured and safely distributed throughout the trailer. To further that responsibility, the driver must inspect the load before each trip to ensure the cargo’s safety.

In random stops on the highway, roughly 7% of all trucks have safety infractions that may take the vehicle out of service. At least 10% of the safety violations from random checks involved improper loading of a commercial vehicle.

Federal Loading Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides a loading handbook for drivers to help educate drivers on the safe loading procedures and inspection requirements.

Sections 392.9 of the safety regulations provide the specific procedures that a truck driver must follow to ensure the load is secured.

Inspections Required

The safety rules provide that the driver must inspect the load to make sure it is secure within 50 miles of beginning the trip and make any necessary adjustments that may be required.

While the primary duty falls upon the truck driver to inspect the load to make sure it is adequately secured and safe the trucking company also has responsibilities under the safety regulations to make sure procedures are in place for ensuring loads are safely secured.

Types of Loading Accidents

Loading Rules for Big Trucks

Improperly Secured Loads

Unsecured loading or improperly secured loads are ones that have not been appropriately secured. Loads that are not properly tied down can cause problems for the truck driver and other motorists.

If the load can shift, it impacts the balance of the big rig making it harder to control. Particularly risky is shifting during a curve or a turn. If there are issues with the load, it can make it difficult for the driver to retain control in some cases. Barbro

Of course, falling cargo is an immediate danger to vehicles behind the tractor-trailer. When items fall off the back of a trailer, they create obstacles in the road that can cause an accident or cause multiple accidents.

Even when the cargo does not directly strike a car when falling off the semi-truck, the driver may strike the cargo causing an accident. And on busy highways, many other drivers can be subjected to dangerous conditions because a truck driver did not follow the rules.

Overweight loading

18 Wheelers have a set gross vehicle weight rating under federal regulations. This is the maximum weight that the truck is allowed to carry. That is the purpose of the waystations that you see on major highways across the country. Excess weight can impact breaking, stopping distance and make the big truck more difficult to control.

Loads Not Balanced

A load that is not evenly distributed across the trailer can impact the operation of the semi. Weight distributed too far forward, too far backward or to one side all can be dangerous conditions for the operation of the big truck. Balance is an important element for the safe operation of tractor-trailers.  If one side or the other of the trailer is overweight, the potential for a jackknife or rollover increases substantially.

Specific Cargo have Minimum Requirements for Securing Loads

There are regulations for securing these commodities:

  • Logs
  • Lumber
  • Building products
  • Metal coils and pipe
  • Concrete pipe
  • Vehicles and others

Recent Loading Cases We Have Won

Our Houston truck accident law firm recently represented a truck driver who was seriously injured when the big rig flipped due to improper loading. The insurance company paid out substantial demand after we filed the lawsuit. We have been helping victims of truck collisions for over three decades. Often trucking companies and drivers ask us to represent them.

If you have been hurt in an accident with a big truck- call us at (281) 587-1111.


Helpful links:

18 Wheeler Accident Settlements

Negligent Hiring of Trucker Drivers

How to Hire the Best Truck Accident Lawyer

Jackknife Truck Accidents

Lost Loads

Blind Spot Truck Accidents



Contact Us

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a semi-truck or 18-wheeler losing part of its load. Call the Houston 18-wheeler accident attorney at the Baumgartner Law Firm for a free no-obligation consultation as soon as possible after the accident.

It is very important that the motor carrier be identified in order to be able to have an opportunity to hold the truck driver and the trucking company accountable.

(281) 587-1111

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