My Secured Load Story in Washington State

Posted by Benjamin P. Melnick | Jul 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

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I wrote about the story behind Washington's secured load law and I have to share what got me interested.

My Personal Secured Load Story

My family and I recently moved into a new (to us) house. We love it. 

But I hate moving. The process of gathering boxes, sorting possessions, deciding what to keep, discard, or donate, organizing possessions, packing, moving, unpacking, and settling in is an exhausting drain. The idea of a “moving day” actually takes weeks on either side of the move. 

The trips to donation centers always make me nervous. I have to rent or borrow a truck, load it, and hope the items are deemed to be in good enough condition to donate. Most of the time, the items are accepted.  When the stuff cannot be donated, it is time to head to a local transfer station.  

When we moved, there was almost exactly one truckload full of items that could not be donated. That included an old and filthy mattress and its broken box spring. I stacked them on top, threw a cargo net over the top of the whole thing, and secured down by the hooks.  Good to go, right?

The transfer station was less than three miles from my house, and I went at the crack of dawn on a weekday. I was less about a quarter-mile from the entrance when I heard a snap, and I looked in my mirror to see the box spring flying through the air, barely held on by the cargo net.

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I Felt Like I Did Everything Right 

It was scary. I was shocked. I had a cargo net. How did this happen? 

I don't know the answer, for sure. Best I can tell, one of the hooks may have been faulty. I hit a small bump and combined with the wind, that's all it needed. That snap was the sound it made breaking in half.

I am so thankful there was nobody around, that the cargo net held, and that the three remaining hooks stayed secure. Nobody was hurt, and other than the net, no property was damaged. I was not cited, and I was probably not even negligent. But morally, I would carry that with me if someone had been hurt.

My experience taught me a big lesson, one I thought I knew but probably didn't feel to my core like I should have. Securing a load is not about complying with a law to avoid a ticket. It is about keeping others safe. Even if you hate moving. Even if you are exhausted from hauling load after load, and moving box after box.

The next time I loaded up my borrowed truck, the load was secure, without a doubt.

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About the Author

Benjamin P. Melnick

Ben Melnick joined the firm in 2018. He graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor's degree in 2010, and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law. In 2016, he was named as the Clark County Bar Association's Rising Star. His practice focuses on personal injury, auto accidents, biking accidents, wrongful death, and insurance disputes. Outside work, Ben likes spend time with his wife outdoors—mostly running, hiking, and skiing—and playing soccer.

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