Stop That, It’s Illegal

It’s not the fine, it’s the liability.

I was at a DOT lecture at the NPSA conference. The point of the lecture was DOT enforcement of moving loaded containers. The lecturer specifically mentioned refrigerated containers, household goods, and office containers as violations.

Office containers are loaded containers, and have to comply with FCMA rules.

If there is anything in the container at all, the four corners have to be on the trailer and the container has to be locked through either the upper or lower corner castings in such a way as to keep the container from moving more than 1″ in any direction. They specifically said the reason you can’t use chains on the lower corner castings is because the container can lift 1″. Lower corner castings have to have a lock down as well as forward and sideways. 

It was very clear and elicited a lot of boos from the audience. Primarily because, how do you in a practical manner chain through the upper corner castings? Have to carry around a ladder or have a trailer with slide-in pins. 

At the 2019 Ohio Freight Conference in Cincinnati, after a lecture on Intermodal freight, I specifically asked the ODOT and the federal DOT lecturers about the same subject. They both referred me to the manual and both said the same thing. 

It only takes one.

I don’t think most state troopers know the rules well enough to stop an office container. But it only takes one. Then, everyone at the station knows. That’s what one of our new customers found—once they got stopped, they got stopped every time they had an office container. We were able to get them a trailer in 30 days, but that was 30 days they didn’t move office containers.

What happens when there’s an accident?

Then there is the whole scary liability that if there is an accident and the load was an office container hanging off the back of the trailer, it is illegal, you know it is illegal, but are doing it anyway because you haven’t gotten caught in the past. You are knowingly violating FCMA rules, will your insurance company cover you? If they do, will they continue to carry you?

Take away the worry. Move loaded containers legally and safely.

The corner locks in every QuickLoadz make it easy to legally lock any loaded container to a bed.

- Sean