How to Load Pipe on a Truck
Pipe, whether it is for sewers, gas lines or water lines, is usually rigid and comes in lengths of eight feet or longer. As cargo beds on most trucks do not exceed eight feet in length (many are six feet), the pipe has to be transported with the cargo gate at the end of the bed left open. Securing the pipe to the truck bed is an important procedure, especially if there are many pipes in one load, though it is not time-consuming.
Open the cargo bed gate at the end of the truck. Unroll two ratchet straps (at least two inches wide) and lay them out across the gate four feet apart, and parallel with each other. The hooks on the end of the straps will be hanging out of each side of the cargo bed area, with the ratchet facing the base of the cargo bed on the underside of the strap.
Load the pipes into the cargo bed so that ends of the pipes are resting out through the end of the bed. Push all pipes up so that they all touch the cargo bed end behind the truck cab. Secure the hooks together on the end of each ratchet strap, so that one hook rests in the other.
Pull each strap around, so that its ratchet is accessible on one side of the pipes. Turn the ratchet on each of the straps to tighten the straps around the pipe. Keep turning the ratchet until the pipes are held tightly together.
Unroll four ratchet straps (one-inch wide). Thread one strap between the pipes and the secured two-inch strap, on each side of the pipe load. Do the same with the second secured two-inch strap.
Pull each of the one-inch straps so that their end hooks are together, side by side. Attach the two hooks on each one-inch strap to a securing bracket attached to the side wall of the cargo bed (there will be two brackets or more on each wall). Tighten the ratchet on all four one-inch straps until the straps become tight.
Attach a small yellow piece of plastic sheeting (roughly 12 inches square) to the end of the pipe load that sticks out past the end of the cargo gate. String or tape can be used to secure the flag to the pipe. This is used as safety flag. The pipe load is now ready to be transported.
- The flag is attached to the pipe load to let other drivers know that a load exceeding the length of the truck's cargo bed is being carried. This is required by law.
- Ratchet straps come in different lengths, though longer straps (at least 10 feet long) are best for securing multiple pipes in one load.
Steve Sloane started working as a freelance writer in 2007. He has written articles for various websites, using more than a decade of DIY experience to cover mostly construction-related topics. He also writes movie reviews for Inland SoCal. Sloane holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and film theory from the University of California, Riverside.
- Pipes and more pipes image by rider from Fotolia.com