Improper Flatbed Fastening Leads to Severe Back Injuries

This case study explores an incident where a police officer sustained severe back injuries while attempting to clear a large sign from the road, which had fallen off a flatbed delivery truck due to alleged improper fastening.

ByExpert Institute


Published on February 6, 2024

Semi-truck flatbed

Case Overview

This case study examines the incident of a police officer who sustained back injuries while removing a large sign from the road. The sign, initially transported by a flatbed delivery truck, allegedly fell off due to improper fastening procedures.

Upon arriving at the scene, the officer attempted to move the obstructing sign out of the roadway, resulting in significant back injuries. This case necessitates insights from an expert in commercial vehicle operations to shed light on the standard of care expected in such scenarios.

Questions to the expert and their responses


Could you describe your experience in commercial vehicle operations, particularly concerning proper fastening techniques used while hauling cargo on an open flatbed truck?

With over 30 years as a commercial driver and 11 years managing a small trucking company, I’ve gained extensive knowledge about securing loads on trailers.

Additionally, my role as a driver trainer/safety director for approximately 20 years has allowed me to train hundreds of commercial drivers on these practices. FMCSA regulations require any load on a trailer to be secured to prevent movement. This is crucial not only for public safety but also for those involved in transporting the load, including truck drivers and loaders/unloaders.


What standards exist for drivers to re-secure loose or dismounted cargo while operating a commercial vehicle?

Drivers must periodically check their tie-downs while in transit. If they notice any loosening, they should immediately find a safe place to pull over and re-tighten them.

It’s imperative to note that cargo removal should not be attempted by drivers, police officers, or anyone else. This is due to potential safety risks.

About the expert

This expert boasts over 40 years of experience in the transportation industry, serving as a driver, driver trainer, and safety manager. They hold certifications as a forklift operator, driver trainer, and director of safety from the North American Transportation Management Institute. Currently, they serve as a truck driver, driver trainer, and safety director at two transportation companies while presiding over a transportation and trucking safety consulting firm.

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