By Brian Larocque, Ancra Canada

With all the changes to load secure-ment since 2004, when FMCSA 49 CFR parts 392/3 was implemented in the USA, and 2005, when NSC10 went into effect in Canada, the num-ber of misconceptions and myths about load control con-tinue to grow. Despite education programs, qualified government inspectors in the field and a precious few quality vendors, there continues to be problems and issues to this day. Some problems arise from interpretation issues by inspect-ors, some come from drivers or fleets who have been fined and do not understand what they did wrong and start spreading a tale of despair and misguided truths across a region or province. Finally, some come from vendors who are out to interpret and "advise" on the regulations, to make a quick dollar. Keeping all this in mind, here is what I consider to be the Top 10 load control myths in Canada.

Myth 1

If a product is tagged or rated and has a WSTDA logo, it has been tested and approved by a third party.

FACT: Neither the WSTDA or any government agency requires its members to submit product for testing. Many of its members have never attended a meeting, several of which have been held here in Canada. There is only one company in North America which has required a third party accreditation for following the standards.

Myth 2

My vendor says his product is DOT approved.

FACT: here is no such thing as DOT (Department of Transportation), MTO or other agency approval on load securement products. There are suggested or recommended standards for manufacturers, there are regulations for fleets concerning where and when to use load securement and there are service criteria. Unlike selling a light bulb in Canada, companies selling load securement products requires no third party approvals to sell in Canada.

Myth 3

Bungee cords and tarp ties require a Working Load Limit (WLL).

FACT: The properties of rubber and/or synthetic bungee cords/tarp straps are not suitable for use as tie-downs. They do not require a WLL to perform their function of holding down a tarp or as a supplementary restraint for light weight cargo and equipment.

Myth 4

Chains used to tie down a load must be marked G70.

FACT: Chains used to tie down a load need to be marked in accordance with the National Association of Chain Manufacturers Standards. For Grade 70 chain, the required markings are to be embossed at intervals not greater than one foot, depending on the size of the chain. The recognized markings are seven, 70 or 700 and must also include a mark identifying the manufacturer. For example, at Ancra we mark our Grade 70 chains with a BU7 every fourth link. We also mark some chain product G7 every fourth link, but then two links away it is marked BL to identify it as ours.

Myth 5

Chains require a supplementary tag stating its WLL.

FACT: This is not required legally anywhere in North America and a chain equipped with such a tag does not have to be passed or accepted by an inspector. See facts for Myth 4 for the legally required markings.

Myth 6

Whether as part of a winch strap or a ratchet strap, all hardware items are required to be marked and rated with a WLL.

FACT: Items such as winch straps and ratchet straps are rated and tested as assemblies and their individual components are not required to be marked with WLLs. In fact, doing so could create confusion and lead to dangerous situations.

Myth 7

Winch straps or ratchet straps require both a tag and stencil with a WLL on each of them.

FACT: Items such as winch straps and ratchet straps are required to be marked and rated with the name or trademark of the manufacturer and the WLL in both pounds and kilograms. The marking can be on a tag and/or stenciled to the webbing but both are not required. Many quality manufacturers do provide both a tag and a stencil.

Myth 8

Ratchet binders can only be used in Canada.

FACT: Items such as ratchet binders are often preferred by many carriers because of their ease of use; the lever style load binder is very much legal to use anywhere in North America.

Myth 9

Adding a single twist to a winch strap is out of service.

FACT: Adding a single twist to a winch strap does not violate the regulations and is a recommended practice to help prevent wind abrasion.

Myth 10

Edge protection for tie down straps is only required for sharp corners on cargo.

FACT: Actually, all abrupt edges or abrasive surfaces, such as stake pockets and sharp edges of trailer decks, can damage tie-down straps during transit and wear protection as the straps needs to be provided for these areas as well. Straps should also be inboard of the rub rail where practical.


Did you know?

Natural Gas: Abundant and Naturally-Occurring

Natural gas is an abundant and a naturally-occurring resource in Canada. Our country is the world's third-largest producer of natural gas, with an average annual production of 6.4 trillion cubic feet (tcf). Natural gas mainly consists of methane and other gas types. Wells are drilled into the ground to remove the gas and from there the resource is trans-ported through pipelines to a plant where it is then processed. During the pro-cessing stage, liquids and gases are separated. Once this has been done, the natural gas is then transported to consumers for use in products like plastics or heating. Natural gas exists in a variety of different formations; some are harder to access than others. Shale gas, which is gas that is stored in shale rock formations, and natural gas from coal, which is gas found in coal deposits — also known as coal-bed methane — are two types of natural gas that are found in different formations.

Natural gas is an abundant and a naturally occurring petroleum product in Canada. British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories all have significant natural gas resources. Currently, our industry is also exploring natural gas reserves in offshore Nova Scotia, along with shale gas in northeastern British Columbia and Quebec.

This excerpt was provided by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). For more information about CAPP or to learn more about natural gas, go to www.capp.ca.

Original document