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In the UK, there are a number of laws and rules to follow when securing loads. In this article we will go over a few of the most important ones and some tips for added safety. Although we can’t cover all of the rules, you can visit this comprehensive government guide.

Safety Tip

The DVSA recommend a simple, six-question “test” that you should ask yourself as a basic risk assessment when securing any load. This will help you to establish any potential risks and goes as follows:

  • Can the load slide or tip, forwards or backwards?
  • Can the load slide or tip sideways?
  • Is the load unstable?
  • Is there anything loose that could fall off?
  • Is the load securing equipment suitable and in good condition?
  • Does the vehicle present an immediate likelihood of causing danger of injury due to its load security or stability?

Load Securing: The Basics

You should always make sure that the vehicle you use is fit for the load you want to carry. If you are transporting heavy, long items then a strong and long vehicle would be best. 

The vehicle should be loaded properly: stack the load against the headboard and make sure the centre of gravity is as low as possible. Make sure the items are stable on their own, to avoid them tipping during unloading.

Choose the correct load securing method. Cargo straps and Ratchet Straps are often best, however consider the fragility of your loads. If something is fragile, it may need a different form of equipment to prevent any damage.

Communication is key. Drivers should be given clear information on the loads they are carrying, how to unload them and what to do if they shift.

Responsibility for Load Securing

Everybody in the transport chain is responsible for the safety of a load and should make themselves aware of these rules:

If you are responsible for loading vehicles, you should make sure that the load remains in a safe condition during loading, transit and unloading. You should also decide who will carry out the loading, what training they should have and how they will be supervised.

If you are responsible for unloading vehicles, you should help drivers by making them aware of what’s expected on our site and who is responsible for each process. You should also consider what to do if a vehicle arrives with a shifted load.

If you are responsible for hauling the load, then you must make sure that the vehicle used is suitable for the load, and that the vehicle has been loaded safely for road transit.

Consequences of poor load securing

Poor load securing can result in death and serious injury. It can have serious consequences for the driver, other road users and those responsible for unloading. 

An incident caused by poor load securing could damage reputation – there may be adverse publicity in the press, or you may lose business contracts due to unreliability. 

You may be prosecuted for causing serious injury or death of an employee or member of the public due to negligence. 


Prohibition and Fixed Penalty: a prohibition prevents the vehicle from being moved until the load has been resecured properly. When a prohibition is issued, the driver is given a fixed penalty notice. The driver has 60 minutes to resolve the problem, otherwise the DVSA immobilisation policy is followed with a release fee incurred.

In certain conditions, penalty points may be issued. If the vehicle is deemed to be in a dangerous condition due to the condition, suitable purpose, weight, distribution, packing or adjustment of the load, then 3 penalty points may be issued.

In serious incidents, there may be legal proceedings against you or there may be a report issued to the Traffic Commissioner.

Now that you are familiar with some of the rules and regulations when it comes to load securing, you should be able to play a safe role in the transport chain. Be sure to read the full guide on all of the rules and regulations that are involved Here.

Looking for UK ratchet straps that have been tested, and conform to UK road securing laws? Shop here for the UK’s best prices!