AAA conducted a four=year study that found errant debris was the cause of more than 200,000 crashes. Two-thirds of the 200,000 crashes in this four-year study by AAA were the result of improperly secured truck cargo. 500 people were killed and 39,000 were injured. With approximately 18% of all vehicles sold in the United States being pickup trucks, it is crucial that consumers and drivers consider all forms of vehicular safety, including truck bed anchors, truck bed hooks, truck tie downs and truck tie down straps to avoid accidents like these from continuing on the up rise in the future.
If you plan on transporting any kind of cargo in your pickup, safety is essential. But the reality is that not every driver takes the proper precautions to secure their load with truck bed anchors or silverado tie downs. They may not really understand the possible dangers that unsecured loads can cause or whether truck bed tie downs are actually necessary in all situations.
So what is an unsecured load versus a secured load? An unsecured load refers to cargo in a pickup truck bed that has not been attached or in any way fastened to the vehicle using rope, tarps, netting, chains or truck bed tie downs. This means that no steps have been taken to keep cargo from detaching, becoming loose or flying out of the vehicle while in motion. A secure load is cargo that will not be able to shift, slide, fall or become airborne because the proper safety precautions, such as silverado tie downs, were implemented. It shouldn’t be a question of whether or not you should use tie downs for the cargo in the bed of your pickup truck (in a word, yes). It should be how you are securing the cargo down.
It’s important to secure your cargo any time you drive, regardless of how fast you’re going. It’s actually required by law whenever you drive on a publicly maintained road. If you’re thinking that the load is so heavy it couldn’t possibly fall or shift, you might want to change your thought process. Heavy, unsecured items fall off of vehicles all the time — and when they do, they can cause pure chaos for other motorists. Silverado tie downs and truck tie down anchors connected to these can prevent the fall off of any loose items in the truck bed. When you secure your load, you’ll want to place lighter items lower and heavier items on top. That may sound counter-intuitive, but this ensures everything is kept in place and that you can secure the heavier items to your vehicle itself. Make sure not to overload your vehicle. This will affect gas mileage, tire pressure and more as your trip (regardless of length) moves forward.
How do you know if you have the right tie down tools and materials or if it’s time to go shopping for some? Let’s take a look.
– Your straps have worn stitching. If your silverado tie downs are shredded, you can see loose threads or they look like your old basketball shoelaces and could snap at any moment, you may want to consider looking into new silverado tie downs. Snapping of an old tie down could easily cause cargo to move and/or cause an accident.
– Your anchors are rusted. Corrosion can happen over time, especially when your anchors are made of steel and you’ve had them for a while. This is especially true if you’ve bought a used truck and the anchors haven’t been replaced (or if you bought a new truck years ago and the general wear and tear occurs). Truck bed tie down anchors need to be just as secure as the tie downs themselves.
– Dirt and debris can also have an adverse effect on the general wear and tear not only of anchors (rusting) but in the silverado tie downs themselves. Like any form of fabric, dirt and excessive outdoor exposure (weather) can really corrode the material. Keeping tie downs as clean as possible will eliminate the possibility of wearing down from dirt.