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Michigan Cargo Securement Regulations Guide

General Michigan cargo securement regulations

According the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) the general Michigan cargo securement regulations are that the cargo must be immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by the following methods:

  • structures of adequate strength
  • dunnage (loose materials use to help support and protect cargo)
  • dunnage bags (inflatable bags)
  • shoring bars
  • tiedowns
  • combination of methods listed above

New Michigan cargo securement regulations

In September 2002, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published new regulations for Michigan, based on the North American Cargo Securement Standard Model Regulations. (Note: The rules have not been changed or otherwise updated since they took effect in 2002.)

The new load securement regulations are based on new performance criteria for deceleration and acceleration which require semi-truck drivers to change the way they use load securement devices to prevent articles from shifting on or in, or falling from commercial motor vehicles. The intent of these new Michigan load securement regulations is to reduce the number of truck crashes caused by cargo shifting in or falling from commercial tractor-trailers operating in interstate commerce.

The new performance criteria that load securement systems must be capable of withstanding in terms of forces associated with deceleration and acceleration are:

  • 0.8 g deceleration in the forward direction
  • 0.5 g acceleration in the rearward direction
  • 0.5 g acceleration in a lateral direction

The changes may require Michigan truck drivers to increase the number of tie-downs used to secure certain types of cargo.

Commodity specific requirements vs general requirements

The FMCSA has commodity specific requirements for commodities that are considered hard to determine the most suitable way to secure the load. These commodity specific requirements take precedence over the general requirements. The types of commodities that have specific Michigan cargo securement regulations are:

  • Logs
  • Dressed lumber and similar building products
  • Metal coils
  • Paper rolls
  • Concrete pipe
  • Intermodal containers
  • Automobiles, light trucks and vans
  • Heavy vehicles, equipment and machinery
  • Flattened or crushed vehicles
  • Roll-on/roll off or hook-lift containers
  • Large boulders

What appens when truck drivers ignore these Michigan load securement regulations?

Since the result of a load shift or lost load can be disastrous,  cargo securement regulations have been put into law for the safety of the truck drivers and other drivers on Michigan roads.

The key point for any lawyer handling a truck accident caused by a truck load shift due to improper load securement must be to understand that such accidents are almost always preventable. Often, working with the right truck accident expert and doing a thorough investigation on how the truck was loaded and by who, is crucial to proving negligence in these cases.

The general rule is that a truck driver is responsible for the load securement that he or she is transporting. To avoid accidents, the truck driver must have knowledge of the cargo, the cargo weight limits, optimum placement of the load and how the load has been secured.

Further, the load securement must be inspected by the truck driver during the pre-trip inspection and again after the first 25 miles of travel. More truck inspections are required after driving for a certain amount of time and distance, in addition to when the truck driver takes a break or has a change of duty.

Sealed load truck accidents

It is only when the load is sealed and the truck driver has been instructed not to open the seal, that he isn’t required to make that inspection. However, sealed loads still can cause truck accidents.

Regarding the Michigan cargo securement regulations of a sealed load, the shipper who loaded and sealed the truck is legally responsible for the respective crash. These “sealed load” cases are often pursued as strict liability cases against the shipper.

Often the injured party is the truck driver, who is helpless in these situations and at the mercy of the shipper who loaded his trailer.

Experienced truck attorneys should investigate all of the underlying facts of the load securement.

Injured in a truck accident? Call Michigan Auto Law now!

If you were injured in a truck accident due to violations of the Michigan cargo securement regulations, call now (855) 781-7747 for a free consultation with one of our experienced truck accident lawyers. There is no cost or obligation. You can also visit our contact page or use the chat feature on our website.

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