How to Load and Unload Cargo Safely and Securely

How to Load and Unload Cargo Safely and Securely

Loading and unloading goods from a truck are not as simple as they seem. It exposes the worker to hazards if they don’t follow the right loading and unloading safety procedures. To help protect your business, have truck cargo insurance in place and follow these safety measures when loading and unloading goods from a truck.

Staying Alert

While waiting for a truck to arrive in the loading zone, one must stay alert of their surroundings. Assess the area for potholes, unstable platforms or ramps. Take note of hazardous areas while unloading or loading cargo. Place signs that indicate any potholes so other personnel will be informed.

Machine Safety

Machines inevitably malfunction from time to time, which may lead to injuries. Before using a machine in the loading zone such as a forklift, check for proper maintenance. If it hasn’t been used or maintained for a long period, have qualified personnel perform a maintenance check before use.

Some machines may require qualified personnel to operate. It may be tempting to operate to speed up the process, however; safety should always be a top priority. Encourage workers to request assistance from experienced personnel to operate machines.

Securing Goods 

Ensure all cargo is properly secured prior to taking off. If it is not secure, the cargo may get damaged and you could pay for a hefty fine. To secure your cargo, use straps, load bars or vertical support equipment. By using this equipment, you are assured that your cargo will not move around and cause issues. 


Be certain the truck is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced and secured properly. Inspect the cargo and its securing devices again within the first 50 miles of a trip. Make any adjustments needed.

Re-check the cargo and securing devices as often as necessary during a trip to keep the load secure. Another inspection should take place after 3 hours or 150 miles and after every break. 

Businesses must be fully aware of federal, state, and local regulations for commercial vehicle weight, securing cargo, covering loads, and where you can drive large vehicles. 


You must keep weights within legal limits to prevent overloading bridges and roadways.

Overloading can have dangerous effects on steering, braking, and speed control. During bad weather or in mountains, it may not be safe to operate at legal maximum weights. 

The height of the vehicle’s center of gravity is very important for safe handling. A high center of gravity means it’s at risk to tip over. It is most dangerous in curves or swerving. Distribute the cargo so it’s as low as possible, putting the heaviest cargo under the lightest.

Poor weight balance can make vehicle handling unsafe. Too much weight on the steering axle can cause hard steering and damage the axle and tires. Under-loaded front axles may cause unsafe steering. Too little weight on the driving axles can cause poor traction, making drive wheels may spin easily. Weight that is loaded with a high center of gravity causes a greater chance of rollover. On flatbed vehicles, the load may shift to the side or fall off.

About Tobico Trucking Insurance

Trucking insurance is one of the most difficult types of insurance to obtain, but it doesn’t have to be. At Tobico Trucking Insurance, we are experienced and knowledgable about the trucking insurance market and the needs of trucking operations of all types and sizes. You need an agent who has the specialized knowledge of this ever-changing industry, and we have the products and the dedicated customer service to provide you with what you need. For more information, contact us any time of day at (469) 731-0707 to find out how we can help you.