When driving down the highway near a large truck, most people are probably thinking, “I wonder what they’re hauling in there…”
They’re probably not thinking about the tarp covering the materials. Or the rules and regulations in your state about keeping those coverings secure. Or how many different states that truck has to drive through, and how those regulations differ from state-to-state.
But you can bet that the truck driver is thinking about these things.
For example, in the Western North Central region of the Midwest (which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota), all materials being hauled must be secured to “prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping or its load covering from dropping from the vehicle.”
In Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota, “sand may be dropped for the purpose of securing traction,” and “water or other substances may be sprinkled on a roadway in cleaning or maintaining such roadway.”
Kansas is the only state in this region to make an exception for “trailers or semi-trailers” that are hauling livestock, but does specify that they must be “equipped with a cleanout trap” and that the trailers should be “cleaned out periodically.”
Minnesota gets very specific about how to transport “sand, gravel, aggregate, dirt, lime rock, silica, or similar material,” saying that drivers must “ensure that the cargo compartment of the vehicle is securely covered” if “the vertical distance from the top of an exterior wall of the cargo compartment…is less than six inches,” or if “the horizontal distance from the top of an exterior wall of the cargo compartment to the load is less than two feet.”
Nebraska doesn’t go quite so far, only saying that that type of material cannot be transported on “any hard-surfaced state highway…if such material protrudes above the sides” of the vehicle and stipulates that the materials must be “enclosed or completely covered with canvas or similar covering.”
Download a PDF from the Industrial Fabrics Association International for a full list of commercial vehicle coverings by state by filling out the form below. This resource includes information about cargo control for all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.