Laws for Hauling Steel Coils

By Kevin Fobbs
Various federal and state laws govern truck steel coil hauling.

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The federal government and many states have passed laws governing the hauling of steel coils by trucks and the various safety precautions that must be undertaken when transporting steel coils. The U.S. Department of Transportation defines steel coils several ways, including as metal rolls, coils, spools or coated electrical wire. These definitions can be found at the FMCSA website.

Federal Steel Coil Rules

The goal of the federal rules regarding truck hauling of steel coils is to maintain safety standards regarding the possible shifting and falling of metal coils while in transit. The rules apply to one or more coils—whether individual or grouped. Each coil must be secured to “prevent the coils from tipping in the forward, rearward, and lateral directions,” suggests the FMSCA website under “What are the rules for securing metal coils?”

Steel Coil Hauling Certificate

Many states, like Alabama, have passed companion truck steel coil hauling laws that strictly follow federal standards and require the driver to be certified to haul steel coils. When requested, the driver must produce a certified certificate to haul steel coils. Failure to produce it could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and a possible year of incarceration.

Minimum Safety Performance Criteria

There are minimum criteria for federal safety performance to which steel coil truck drivers must adhere. For instance, the rules provide prohibitions against exceeding securement working load limits and require cargo tie downs being able to withstand three measurable g-forces moving separately in deceleration in the forward direction, as well as acceleration in the rearward and lateral directions, according to the FMCSA website under “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Cargo Securement Rules.”

About the Author

Kevin Fobbs began writing professionally in 1975 and has been published in the "New York Times," "Detroit News," "Michigan Chronicle," "Soul Source" magazine and "Writers Digest" magazine. Fobbs obtained a political science and journalism degree from Eastern Michigan University and attended Wayne State University Law School.