A Helpful Guide to Securing Your Load on a Cargo Trailer

July 11, 2019 by

A Helpful Guide to Securing Your Load on a Cargo Trailer

Your trailer is incredibly versatile, and you’ll probably use it for any number of tasks. Many find it particularly useful when moving to a new home. It can help you transport heavy equipment and can even help with bulky new furniture you’re bringing back from the store. Normally, you’ll be carrying items of significant value, so it pays to make sure they’re secured properly. If they aren’t, there’s a good chance you’re going to damage your possessions, and worse case, harm others on the road. Check out our helpful guide for securing a load in a Cargo Trailer and make sure you’re protected.


Before we get to tying any knots or weight distribution know-how, you need to know that securing a load on your cargo trailer properly is a requirement by law. It makes sense, right? You wouldn’t want to be driving behind a loaded trailer with any unfastened cargo. You may think there’s already enough highway code to remember, but if you fail to comply with this one you could easily become a danger to other drivers on the road.

Before you start loading your trailer you need to how much you can safely transport. You should know your trailer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This information will be somewhere on the trailer and is the maximum weight that your combined cargo and trailer can be. If you see the perfect cargo trailer for sale but its GVWR isn’t sufficient for your cargo, then you’re going to have to keep looking. It’s also important to know the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) – the maximum distributed weight your vehicle axle can handle.


Sure it’s a legal requirement, but you probably care about the items on your trailer too. This being the case, you’ll want to tie your load down properly. There are plenty of options when it comes to tie down equipment and technique, so we’re only going to focus on the most popular cargo options.

One of the best tie-down methods for cargo is to use nets and tarps specifically designed for cargo. They’re shaped to cover multiple items of different shapes and sizes. Think of them as a ‘coverall’. You’ll still need to consider the dimensions of your trailer and make sure that your net or tarp hooks connect with all of the trailer attachment points. Both of these methods are more susceptible to poor weather and intended for light use only. Bungee cords can be used to further secure tarps but again, are more suited to light use.

If you’re looking for something a little more robust, tiedown straps are likely to work. These can be made with super strong material and usually have a ratchet system to give you real peace of mind when securing your load. There’s a chance that sharp edges could fray the material, but generally, this method is considered among the safest. Chains provide a similar tie down method but make sure they won’t damage any cargo surfaces.


Tie down method won’t matter if you don’t spread the weight properly. It’s crucial that you distribute the weight in sections. Generally, 60% of the cargo weight should be stored at the front of the trailer. Obviously, the remaining 40% should be loaded at the back. If you distribute the weight poorly and your trailer becomes back-heavy, it’s likely to sway and whip, causing danger to your precious goods, and others on the road.

Make sure you’ve got the best cargo trailer for the job – you’ll find the perfect one for sale with the trailer experts McFarlane.