Carrying loads on a pickup truck, whether it be a small, light load, or a large, heavy one, is all about proper planning and careful management. Unlike going for a drive in your car, taking a truck on the road with a load in the bed behind you means you have an added responsibility.
If anything goes wrong, and if someone else gets hurt as a result, it will be you who has to answer, so it’s definitely best to get it right from the start. Knowing how to load a truck bed properly and safely, and then knowing how to tie or strap in that load properly, are the two key elements to travelling safely with a loaded pickup truck.
Start by getting good quality tie downs for your truck bed. These are designed to be fitted into the stake pockets on the edges of the bed. These pockets are normally covered by a plastic cover, which can be popped off easily with a screwdriver. This will expose the hole where the tie down can be attached.
Tie downs come in different types. The most common are the retractable type. These can either be a simple gravity retractable type, where the eye that a rope can go through, simply drops down into the tie down when not in use, and can be pulled up again when needed.
Another type of retractable tie down is spring loaded. The tie down eye can be pressed down to lie flush with the top of the stake pocket, and popped back up at the press of a button. This type of tie down is simple and easy to use, though on balance, the gravity dropped tie down is probably a more sturdy option.
A non-skid bed liner is an important investment when carrying loads of all kinds. This is simply a rubberized sheet that helps to prevents the movement of a load. However, the most important method of preventing a load from moving is through tying it down.
Ropes can be used, or ratchet straps, to tie down a load. First of all though, make sure the load is properly positioned. There should not be too much weight on either side. Balance the load evenly on each side, and try…