Properly Securing Your Pickup Cargo

Women smiling holding a box inside a moving truck and text "Properly securing your pickup cargo"

We’ve all been there – we’ve had to ask a friend to borrow his or her pickup so that we can move something (or we’re the friend who is always asked). You might be moving something to a self-storage unit or you may be picking something up from the local hardware store, but having a truck bed makes loading and unloading easier.

However, how many times have you been driving down the road, and you’ve seen an unsecured pickup load? How many times have you been picking something up and you’ve only had bungee cords or rope to tie it down with? At EZ Storage® in Pittsburgh, we want everyone to be safe, whether you’re bringing something to one of our facilities, taking something home, or simply helping a friend move to a new house. In this blog, we’ll look at some tips for properly securing cargo in a pickup bed.

Get The Right Straps

dreamstime_xxl_70330082There are local laws and regulations that stipulate how a load must be tied down in a pickup. One of the best ways to adhere to these rules is to make sure you have the right tie-down ratchet straps. These can be found at pretty much any hardware store in your neighborhood, and you’ll want to make sure they’re long enough and strong enough to do the job. It’s a good idea to buy four straps and be sure to ask what their load and break strength requirements are. You may think that you’ll be able to drive slowly all the way to the storage facility, but in reality, you may have to hit your brakes suddenly or swerve to avoid an accident, and the last thing you want is for your cargo to crash into the pickup cab or go tumbling over the side onto the road!

Wrap and Flag Long Loads

If you have lumber, piping, or other materials that extend past the pickup’s tailgate, make sure you wrap them with something (such as tape or plastic cling film) to protect against breakage should you hit a major bump. This will also keep them from bouncing and banging into the tailgate which, depending on the material, can leave some serious dings.

For anything that extends past the tailgate, it is required to add a red flag or piece of material to the end of the cargo. This warns any driver who comes up behind you that there is something sticking out of the pickup bed and they need to keep their distance. If you don’t flag your cargo, you run the risk of damaging someone’s windshield and/or getting pulled over by local law enforcement.


If you’re planning to move large items into storage, and you have a pickup or you’re borrowing one from a friend, be sure you have the right straps, tape, and other required materials for your cargo. You may not be driving very far to visit your closest EZ Storage® location, but anything can happen between your house and our facility.

Visit us today to find your new storage space!