Efficient load securing depends on the nature of the goods and starts with the correct transport-suitable packing, loading, stowage and securing of the load. Only goods that are well packed and stowed can be secured and transported in a safe and roadworthy manner.

Load securing methods

The "form-fit" load securing method

Form-fit load securing: Securing in the direction of travel with pallets Form-fit load securing: Securing in the direction of travel with pallets

With "form-fit" load securing, the goods are loaded perpendicular to the boundary of the loading hold (front wall, side panel, stakes, etc.) without gaps between the loads.
Form-fit loading, in combination with XL trailers, is considered a particularly efficient method of securing loads.

If this is not possible due to the nature of the goods, form fit can be achieved with the aid of tensioning straps and tools.

Force fit by lashing Force fit by lashing

The "force-fit" load securing method

With "force-fit" load securing, lashing the goods down increases the weight force of the goods, thus achieving a better load securing.

This is achieved e.g. by lashing with tensioning straps.

Form fit and force fit combined Form fit and force fit combined

The "combined load" securing method

With combined load securing, elements of form-fit and force-fit load securing are combined. The load is, for example, loaded to the front wall and lashed down with form-fit and force-fit tensioning straps. In practice, this method of load securing is very frequently used.

The pictures printed in the pre-text are symbolic images. Information sheets with specific practical examples in accordance with EN 12195-1 on the different methods of load securing for different product groups are available from your contact person.

Video clip "Types of load securing"

Types of load securing play

Physical principles of load securing

Force acting on the load during road transport

In normal driving conditions (including full braking, acceleration, evasive manoeuvres and poor road conditions), enormous forces act on the load.

Example: 0.5 G sideways means that cargo with 10 tonnes of net weight can press into the tarpaulin with forces of up to 5 tonnes in weight: 0.5 G = 50% of the net weight.

Force acting on the load during road transport Force acting on the load during road transport

Coefficient of friction µ (Mu)


When a load is on a trailer floor, friction is generated between the load and the trailer floor, which is expressed by the coefficient of friction. This is used to calculate the slip of the load and the required number of tensioning straps.

Tensioning straps and aids for load securing

A sufficient number of load securing aids (straps, edge protectors, anti-slip mats), in perfect condition, is a basic prerequisite for effective load securing.
Tensioning strap with long lever ratchet Tensioning strap with long lever ratchet Pretensioning gauge Pretensioning gauge

Tensioning straps and pretensioning gauge

Tensioning straps are primarily used to produce force-fit and form-fit load securing on the vehicle. By lashing the load down, the weight is increased and a better load securing is achieved. In principle, a distinction is made:

  • Short lever ratchet with approx. 350 daN (kg) of tension force
  • Long lever ratchet with approx. 500 daN (kg) of tension force

The effective tension force generally depends on the force required to tighten the tensioning strap using the ratchet. Therefore, the effective tension force achieved can only be determined using a pretensioning gauge.

Video clip "Handling of straps"

Handling of straps play

Aid: Non-slip mats and edge protectors

In principle, non-slip mats increase the coefficient of friction. However, this quality is only an advantage for certain products. For other products, their use may even have adverse affects (e.g. goods shift on a pallet, increases tipping effect).

Edge protectors not only protect the load and the tensioning strap, they are also an effective aid for securing loads. They distribute the pretensioning force evenly.

LKW WALTER carries 20 tensioning straps as standard equipment. Anti-slip mats and edge protectors are not standard product. The customer must define what product, including characteristics, is required according to the intended use.

Responsibilities in load securing


The CMR is the most important legal basis for carrying out international transport and also regulates the responsibilities regarding load securing.

Article 17.4. b. and c.

The carrier shall be (...) relieved of liability when the loss or damage arises from the special risks inherent in one or more of the following circumstances:

  1. The lack of, or defective condition of packing in the case of goods which, by their nature, are liable to wastage or to be damaged when not packed or when not properly packed.
  2. Handling, loading, stowing or unloading of the goods by the sender, the consignee or third parties acting on behalf of the sender or consignee.
Responsibilities in load securing

The responsibilities of load securing are regulated by different legal bases. Fundamentally, the shipper (loading staff) and the carrier (driver) share the responsibility for proper load securing.

Transport-safe loading

  • Goods and their packaging must be in an orderly condition and suitable for transport (stable packaging unit).
  • Used pallets or other load securing equipment must be technically faultless.
  • Loads must be stowed and secured in such a way that it can not slip, damage is avoided and a fall from the vehicle is excluded.

Operation-safe loading

  • Compliance with the permitted gross weight
  • Compliance with the permitted axle loads
  • Compliance with the permitted dimensions of the vehicle incl. load
  • Roadside inspection of executed load securing measures regarding their effectiveness, e.g. retensioning of lashing means
  • Vehicle functions must not be hindered (one-sided stowage, top-heavy loads)

Load securing standards

EN standards are valid throughout the EU. They define an international standard for uniform and proper load securing.

The most common standards for our scope of applicability are:

  • DIN EN 12195-1:2014 Calculation of securing forces
  • DIN EN 12642 Body structure of commercial vehicles (L-/'Normal' or XL trailers)
  • DIN EN 12640 Lashing points (e.g. holding force and arrangement of lashing eyes on the trailer)
Combined Transport Combined Transport

Load securing in Combined Transport

In Combined Transport, the load must be secured against strong force effects in both directions of travel (rail - 1 G) and sidewards (ferry 0.7 G) to prevent slipping. In rail transport, trailers/swap bodies are loaded on to the waggon both in and against the direction of travel.

XL trailer versus standard trailer

In contrast to standard trailers, XL trailers exhibit load securing characteristics that positively support load securing - e.g. reinforced front wall, stronger structure and reinforced side panels. Our cranable private fleet consists solely of XL trailers.

Experts on the topic of load securing

The shipper, who knows the goods and packaging, is responsible for stowing and securing the goods in a way that is safe for transport!

LKW WALTER does NOT provide expert advice and does NOT advise customers or shippers with regard to optimised or correct load securing measures!

Correct load securing depends on the nature of the goods and packaging. Therefore, seek personal advice from load securing experts, according to your product.

  • TÜV
  • European Commission
  • Insurance experts
  • Consultancy firm Load securing

Further information:

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