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Safely Securing Items in Your Truck Bed - Dos & Don'ts of Truck Bed Storage

Safely Securing Items in Your Truck Bed - Dos & Don'ts of Truck Bed Storage

Whether you're lugging cargo for work or are packing equipment for that routine camping trip, it's crucial to have a way to secure items within your truck. Those bumps along the road and unexpected rain or snow can do a number on the tools or cargo you've got in your truck bed. If you've been struggling with keeping your cargo from getting harmed along the ride, here are things you should and shouldn't do when securing items in your truck bed.

Dos

1. Prepare Your Truck (bed rails, covers, truck racks, toolboxes, straps)

Before you set out on your next voyage, you need to have a plan for how you'll safely store items in your truck. The first step is preparation. Do you have a way to cover your items to protect them from potential thieves or bad weather? If not, you may need to invest in a tonneau truck cover.

Are you carrying something that you need to make sure doesn't move at all? If so, then you want to get tie-downs for pickup trucks. If you need even more cargo space, you should consider getting items like bed rails, tool boxes, and truck racks. Take stock of what you don't have and might need so that you'll have everything at your disposal before you set out on the road.

2. Know Your Truck's Load Capacity

This may be one of the most important aspects of transporting cargo. You must know how much your truck can safely move. Every truck has limitations on how much it can safely transport. So check out the factory sticker on your driver's side door to see the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Exceeding your truck's load capacity can cause damage to the suspension and even harm other parts of your truck — like its transmission or brakes.

3. Utilize Flags to Alert Other Drivers When Needed

Not only do you want to ensure the safety of your cargo and yourself, but you also want to make the road safe for others. If you have supplies extending beyond your truck bed, it's vital to always attach a red flag or cloth to it. That is a great way to safely alert other drivers to watch out for your cargo and keep a safe distance behind you or on the side of you.

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Don'ts

1. Arrange Heavy Loads Toward The Back

How you arrange cargo in your truck will have a direct impact on how you're able to manage and handle your truck while driving. Always take the heaviest items and position them toward the front of your truck bed. Putting all the weight toward the back of your truck can negatively impact your driving and handling. You’ll also likely want to secure larger items once you move them to the front.

2. Use Risky Fastening Material

When tying down or fastening cargo, it's important always to use quality materials that are durable. You want to use the best rope for tying down loads. For optimal security, avoid materials like twine, braided rope, and even thinner nylon ropes, as these items can weaken and even break apart as you're driving.

Whatever rope you choose, you want to ensure that it's at least a 1/4-inch thick to help secure the load and prevent your cargo from shifting or being damaged. Look at ropes made of polyester. If you want some give or for your rope to have the ability to stretch, consider thicker nylon ropes.

3. Use Sloppy Tying Technique

So, you've got the best rope for tying down loads and have some tips on securing these items. What else is there? Well, one of the most critical aspects of securing items in your truck bed is making sure you tie down cargo correctly. Always tie your items on two sides to increase their security. A good best practice is to use the ropes to make an "X" over the cargo. Doing this will help to ensure your cargo stays put.

Also, before you pull off, don’t neglect to always check the stability of the rope. You may determine that you need to reinforce your ropes or add more to increase security.

Safely securing items in your truck bed protects you from harm and makes the road safer for those around you. So, before you step out onto the open highway or road, use the tips above to ensure your cargo stays where it should be in your truck bed. If you're looking for the right equipment to tie down your items, check our inventory. We have several options — from cargo straps to ratchet tie-downs — for you to choose from. View our products if you're looking for the best ropes for tying down loads.

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