Art 45a

Article 45 bis of the Belgian law on "cargo securing". This article was added to the law of 1 December 1975 on 27 April 2007 and stipulates that a load unit must be able to withstand the forces that arise in the event of deceleration in the direction of travel of 8m/s², acceleration in the direction of travel of 5m/s² and transverse acceleration of 5m/s².

European guidelines

The Belgian traffic regulations do not define what a good cargo securing is. However, reference is made to the "European best practice guidelines on cargo securing for road transport". This guideline is drafted in a rather general way and refers to specific standards for details. In other European countries, legislation does not refer to this European guideline. In any case, in concrete cases, more importance should be attached to the European standards as a benchmark of good practice than to the European guideline.


The Comité Européen de Normalisation is an institute headquartered in Brussels with as members the national standardisation institutes of the 27 European member states, Croatia, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. There is a well-defined procedure for drawing up or renewing a European standard. The technical work is done by a TC, a Technical Committee. EN12195 falls under TC168. A proposal for a standard is submitted in English, French and German to the national standardisation bodies for a vote. Once an EN standard is approved, the national standardisation institutes have a certain period of time to convert the European standard into a national standard, in Belgium for example NBN-EN12195. For this purpose the original EN standard is either translated or not. In Belgium, an NBN standard comes into force by publication in the Belgian Official Gazette, for EN12195-1:2010 on 10 February 2011. According to numerous European treaties, a European standard cannot be overridden by national standards or standards with the same field of application.

Directive 2007/46/EC

Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 September 2007, known as the European Framework Directive for Vehicle Construction. In principle, this directive does not impose any specific rules on XL vehicles, anchor points, tarpaulins, etc.

However, a manufacturer who builds a vehicle must be recognised by the national government, which requires a system of strict quality assurance. It is therefore logical that a recognised constructor can issue certificates of conformity for a self-produced vehicle body.

Shared responsibility

Securing the cargo is a shared responsibility in almost all European countries, where the exact responsibilities of the different parties involved are not defined in most countries.

Belgium is relatively clear in this respect: the carrier must ensure suitable securing of the cargo, the principal (called the shipper in professional terms) must ensure sufficiently solid transport packaging to make proper securing of the cargo possible. The carrier can also ask the shipper for guidelines on how the cargo must be secured.

Number of lashing straps

The European directive does not provide numerical values for the number of lashing straps to be used. It refers to calculations that may be carried out according to IMO model course 13, to EN12195-1 or to any other valid method.

Fuse principle

The securing of a load unit must ensure that the inertial forces are transferred from the load to the (braked) wheels of the vehicle. This can be done by blocking, direct securing and lashing down.


Blocking is by far the most efficient way of cargo securing. It consists of placing the various load units against each other or against a sufficiently solid vehicle component. According to European guidelines, a driver of a vehicle in which blocking is used must be able to present a certificate proving that the vehicle is sufficiently sturdy. A certificate of compliance with EN12642-XL is accepted throughout Europe.

Direct securing

With direct securing, inertial forces are absorbed by lashing devices (straps, cables, ropes, chains) attached to vehicle anchorage points. Belgian law and EN12640 describe the minimum forces that an anchorage point should be able to absorb. In principle, the force guaranteed by the manufacturer can be absorbed in any direction.

Lashing down

When lashing down, the load is pulled against the loading surface, which increases the contact force between load and loading surface. The inertia force that can be absorbed by lashing is the product of this contact force and the friction factor. Parallel to increasing the contact force, the friction factor can also be increased by using anti-slip mats or a specific coating on the loading surface. Wet and dirty are in most cases detrimental to friction.

Anti-slip mats or anti-slip foil

When using anti-slip mats with a coefficient of friction of 0.6 or more on the lower and upper sides, only a fuse must be used to prevent sliding in the forward direction. The missing fuse of 0.2 g can usually be provided by the headboard of the vehicle. Anti-slip mats reduce the problem of load securing (in case of sufficiently stable load units) considerably. It is sufficient to determine the coefficient of friction as described in EN12195-1.

Sailing vehicle

Many vehicles are constructed with sails on the sides, either sails from the top to the loading floor or sails from the top to low side bulkheads. The roof of such a vehicle is often supported by a number (2 to 4 spread over the length) of "stanchions". These are actually posts that can be quickly removed to allow long goods to be loaded from the side. It is possible to build a tarpaulin vehicle that complies with EN12642-XL by using appropriate stanchions and sails.

Dynamic vehicle test (EN12642 annex B)

This dynamic test actually consists of three different tests: a brake test where a deceleration of 8m/s² has to be achieved, driving in a curve with a centrifugal acceleration of 5m/s² and making an S-curve with sudden braking on exit. To carry out the test, a test area of 100m by 200m and a run-up track is required, the vehicle must be equipped with an extra support wheel on the left and right, and the braking system must be adapted to achieve the 8m/s². The vehicle must be equipped with measuring equipment described in the standard. If a version of a vehicle body passes these three tests, an XL certificate can be issued. EN1295-1:2010 refers to the driving tests in EN12642 as an alternative for calculating the load securing. In this case, the combination of vehicle body and a specified load is certified.


Form-stable load unit

The calculation of load securing described in EN12195-1:2010 only applies to form-stable load units. These are load units that do not deform significantly under the influence of inertial forces. The testing of the form stability is best done according to the standard EUMOS40509:2010.


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