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Inspection of Cargo, Cargo Securement and Devices (49 C.F.R. § 392.9)

Legal Commentary: As with the many other regulations that govern the way motor carriers must operate, these regulations provide for the way in which commercial vehicles are to handle and carry cargo. For example, trucks of all kinds carry cargo, but because of the size of these vehicles, the weight distribution and securing of that cargo must be correct. If a commercial motor vehicle’s cargo is not properly distributed or secured within the vehicle, it is possible for the vehicle’s center of gravity to shift making it dangerous or deadly.

In addition, the driver must not be hindered in any way by the cargo that he or she is carrying on board and cargo must be secured to avoid movement during transportation.

The regulations that provide for how cargo is handled can come into play in a Georgia tractor-trailer accident if a vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer or semi-truck overturns or jackknifes. If a commercial vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed and overturns or jackknifes, all other vehicles become at risk for collision.

It is evident that an experienced truck accident lawyer is key to the successful recovery for victims and their families after an accident involving a motor carrier covered under these regulations. At The Law Offices of Charles Scholle we have the expertise to help with medical care and other damages that such accidents cause. Contact our law offices using our online form or call toll-free at 866-972-5287 or in Atlanta at 770-717-5100 to schedule a free confidential consultation with Atlanta’s truck accident lawyer, Charles Scholle.

§ 392.9 Inspection of Cargo, Cargo Securement Devices and Systems

(a) General. A driver may not operate a commercial motor vehicle and a motor carrier may not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle unless—

  1. The commercial motor vehicle's cargo is properly distributed and adequately secured as specified in §393.100 through 393.136 of this subchapter.
  2. The commercial motor vehicle's tailgate, tailboard, doors, tarpaulins, spare tire and other equipment used in its operation, and the means of fastening the commercial motor vehicle's cargo, are secured; and
  3. The commercial motor vehicle's cargo or any other object does not obscure the driver's view ahead or to the right or left sides (except for drivers of self-steer dollies), interfere with the free movement of his/her arms or legs, prevent his/her free and ready access to accessories required for emergencies, or prevent the free and ready exit of any person from the commercial motor vehicle's cab or driver's compartment.

(b) Drivers of trucks and truck tractors. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, the driver of a truck or truck tractor must—

  1. Assure himself/herself that the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section have been complied with before he/she drives that commercial motor vehicle;
  2. Inspect the cargo and the devices used to secure the cargo within the first 50 miles after beginning a trip and cause any adjustments to be made to the cargo or load securement devices as necessary, including adding more securement devices, to ensure that cargo cannot shift on or within, or fall from the commercial motor vehicle; and
  3. Reexamine the commercial motor vehicle's cargo and its load securement devices during the course of transportation and make any necessary adjustment to the cargo or load securement devices, including adding more securement devices, to ensure that cargo cannot shift on or within, or fall from, the commercial motor vehicle. Reexamination and any necessary adjustments must be made whenever—
    1. The driver makes a change of his/her duty status; or
    2. The commercial motor vehicle has been driven for 3 hours; or
    3. The commercial motor vehicle has been driven for 150 miles, whichever occurs first.
  4. The rules in this paragraph (b) do not apply to the driver of a sealed commercial motor vehicle who has been ordered not to open it to inspect its cargo or to the driver of a commercial motor vehicle that has been loaded in a manner that makes inspection of its cargo impracticable.

[67 FR 61224, Sept. 27, 2002, as amended at 72 FR 55703, Oct. 1, 2007]

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