The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently issued a Technical Review of cargo securement practices for square bales of hay and straw. Based on previous testing, FMCSA concluded that current industry practice, with the addition of one or two lateral cargo securement devices (depending on load length), should be considered by enforcement to satisfy 49 CFR 393.102.
The current cargo securement regulations were adopted in 2004. Since that time and until this finding was issued, square bales of hay and straw were considered general cargo because there was not a commodity-specific section in the regulations for them, and carriers were required to use an inordinate amount of securement devices in order to comply.
FMCSA’s action now enables carriers to continue to largely haul hay using traditional industry practices that have proven to be effective.