Load securing terminology

Safe load securing = a shared responsibility!

Art. 45 bis:

Article 45 bis of the Belgian law on ‘load securing’. This article was added on 27 April 2007 to the law of 1 December 1975 and imposes the fact that a load must be able to resist to the forces resulting from an 8m/s² longitudinal deceleration, from a 5m/s² longitudinal acceleration and from a 5m/s² transversal acceleration.

European guidelines:

The Belgian traffic regulations do not define what a good load securing is. However, they refer to the “European best practice guidelines on cargo securing for road transport”. These guidelines are rather general and specific standards are used to refer to details. In other European countries the legislation does not refer to these European guidelines. Anyhow, in concrete cases, more attention must be given to the European standards as being the reference for good practice than to the European guidelines.


The Comité Européen de Normalisation (European Committee for Standardization) is an authority having its head office in Brussels. Its members are the national institutes for standardization of the 27 European member states, as well as those of Croatia, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. A well-described procedure to edit or renew a European standard does exist. The technical work is taken care of by a TC, a Technical Committee. TC168 is responsible for EN12195. A standard proposal in English, French and German is submitted to the national institutes for standardization for voting. Once an EN standard  is approved, the national institutes for standardization have a particular period of time to change the European standard into a national standard, in Belgium e.g. NBN-EN12195. Therefore, the original EN standard can be translated. In Belgium, a NBN (Belgian Standard) enters into force by publication in the Belgian Official Gazette, e.g. for EN12195-1:2010 on 10 February 2011. According to many European agreements a European standard cannot be overwritten by national standards or norms with the same field of application.

Directive 2007/46/EC:

Directive 2007/46/EC of the European parliament and Board of 5 September 2007, known as European framework directive for vehicle construction. Basically, this directive does not impose any specific rules on XL vehicles, anchoring points, tarpaulins, etc. A constructor building the vehicle must however be recognized by the national government, which is something whereby a system of strict quality assurance is required. Therefore, it is logical that an authorized constructor is entitled to issue conformity certificates for the auto-produced construction of a vehicle.

Shared responsibility:

Securing a freight is in almost all European countries a shared responsibility whereby the exact responsibilities of the various parties concerned are not deliminated in most countries. On this matter, Belgium has a quite obvious policy: the carrier is obliged to adequately secure the load and the client (called ‘shipper’ in technical language) is obliged to provide a sufficiently strong transport packing to enable a good load securing. The carrier can also ask the shipper to give him guidelines on how to secure the freight.

Number of lashing straps:

The European directive does not include numerical values on the number of lashing straps to be used. It refers to calculations that can be made in accordance with the IMO model coarse 13, in accordance with EN12195-1 or in accordance with another relevant method.

Securing principle:

The objective of securing a loading unit is to pass the inertia forces from the load to the (blocked) wheels of the vehicle. This can be done by blocking, direct lashing and pulling it down to the load platform.


Blocking is about the most effective way of load securing. Several loading units are placed against one another or against a sufficiently solid part of the vehicle. In accordance with the European guidelines the driver of a vehicle in which the cargo is blocked, must be able to present a certificate that proves that the vehicle is strong enough. A EN12642-XL conformity certificate is accepted all over Europe.

Direct lashing:

In case of direct lashing the inertia forces are captured by fastening devices (lashing straps, cables, ropes, chains) that are attached to anchoring points of the vehicle. The Belgian law and standard EN12640 describe the minimal forces that an anchoring point should be able to capture. Basically, the force guaranteed by the constructor can be adopted in any direction.

Pulling down to the load platform:

When the cargo is fastened down to the load platform, the contact force between freight and load platform increases. The inertia force that can be captured by pulling down is the result of this contact force and the friction. Parallel with the increase of the contact force, the friction can also be increased by using antiskid mats or a specific coating of the load platform. In most cases water and dirt have an adverse effect on the friction.

Antiskid mats or antiskid foil:

When using antiskid mats with a adhesion coefficient at the rear and top side of 0.6 or higher, securing is only required to prevent forward sliding. The missing securing of 0.2 g can mostly be supplied by the drop-end of the vehicle. Antiskid mats significantly reduce the load securing problem (in case of a sufficient number of stable loading units). It suffices to determine the adhesion coefficient as described in EN12195-1.

Vehicle with tarpaulins:

Many vehicles are constructed with tarpaulins on the sides, either tarpaulins from top down to the load platform, either tarpaulins from top to the lower side boards. The roof of such vehicle is often supported by a number (2 to 4, distributed over the full length) of stanchions. These are actually stakes that can be quickly removed to load long products from the side. It is possible to construct a vehicle with tarpaulins that complies with EN12642-XL provided that adequate stanchions and tarpaulins are used.

Dynamic vehicle test in accordance with EN12642 annex B:

This dynamic test is actually composed of three different tests: a brake test whereby a 8m/s² deceleration must be obtained, drive in a road curve with a 5m/s² centrifugal acceleration and make a S-curve with sudden braking when coming out of the curve. To perform these tests a test area of 100×200 m is required, plus a take-off run. Besides, the vehicle must be equipped with an extra stand wheel left and right, and the braking system must be adapted in order to obtain 8m/s². The vehicle must be provided with measuring equipment as described in the standard. If a vehicle enclosure is made that passes these three tests, an XL certificate can be granted. EN1295-1:2010 refers to the road tests in EN12642 as an alternative to calculate the load securing. In that case the combination of vehicle enclosure and a well-determined cargo is certified.

Shape stable load unit:

The calculation of the load securing as described in EN12195-1:2010 is exclusively applicable on shape stable load units. These are loading units that do not significantly deform under the influence of the inertia forces. Testing of the shape stability is best performed in accordance with standard EUMOS40509:2010.