Know your limits
Every situation will have unique securing procedures, but it is important to know the load rating of your trailer and the weight of your load. Load ratings are typically located on the trailer identification plate, and the weight of the load can be determined by using a certified scale.
Understand the law
The maximum legal load in the majority of states is 80,000 lb. Heavy or oversized loads will need specialized trailers and permits to legally transport. If you are unaware of the law in your state, or not certain of the requirements for your load, be sure to check with the local authorities before transporting your equipment.
Don't overload your trailer
It's best to use a trailer with a maximum capacity that is more than the weight of the load plus the weight of the trailer itself. If your load is close to the capacity for your trailer, use a heavier capacity trailer.
Always use properly rated tie downs
The Federal Motor Carrier Regulations determines the number of tie downs required based upon the weight of your load, as well as the tie down capacity. The basic requirement is that tie downs must have a combined strength equal to at least 50% of the load being secured.
Check your chains
Inspect tie downs and chains before each use, and discard any that have visual signs of wear or damage.
Distribute weight correctly
It is important to place loads so the weight is distributed evenly between the semi-tractor drive axles and the trailer axles. Too much weight on the front can make steering unresponsive, while excessive weight on the back can affect braking and decrease traction.
Don't damage equipment during tie down
Check the tie down points located on your load, and be sure to use them properly to avoid damage. 45˚ tie down angles offer the best protection and should keep your load from shifting or sliding.