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Vehicle & Driver · Load Loss & Securement

Preventing Escape of Load

All loads and any required covering must be secured. All vehicles loaded with dirt, sand, or gravel which do not maintain at least six (6) inches of freeboard must have a secured cover.

Any vehicle with deposits of mud, rock, or other debris on the vehicle's body, fenders, frame, undercarriage, wheels, or tires shall be cleaned of such material before the operation of the vehicle on a paved public highway. A broom and shovel should be carried in the truck to accomplish this cleaning.

If the load is a type of material that will be blown from the vehicle while the vehicle is in motion, then that type of load shall be covered to prevent this from occurring.

The six (6) inches of freeboard shall be maintained, if the load is not covered, after the load has had an opportunity to settle. See RCW 46.61.655.

For additional load and product specific load information click on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Cargo Securement Rules link at: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/truck/vehicle/cs-policy.htm


Reporting a Lost or Unsecured Load

If you have witnessed or been a victim of a lost load you can call 911 or the Washington State Patrol and provide the following information that is needed by law enforcement:

  • The location that you last saw the truck or trailer
  • Direction of travel (toward where)
  • What road or highway
  • Color(s) of the truck or trailer
  • License plate number
  • Truck Company's name
  • What happened?
  • Are you a victim or a witness?

If you have witnessed or been the victim of a lost load or observed an unsecured load, you can report Loss of Load Online.

This Web site is set up for citizens to report loss of loads and provide the WSP with detailed information about the area(s) where loss of load violations are occurring. Your information will be forwarded to the appropriate WSP personnel so our Troopers and Officers may focus their enforcement efforts in the area(s) they are most needed.

If you are seeking owner information to pursue restitution for damages caused by a commercial motor vehicle losing loaded materials and have the license plate number, you can complete the Department of Licensing Vehicle/Vessel Disclosure Request at www.dol.wa.gov/forms/22403.pdf, or by calling (360) 902-4000.


Log Loads and Other Resources

Contact Information


If you have additional questions about regulations, equipment, inspections, or other standards for large commercial trucks and buses, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page. For laws, rules, and regulations please see our MCEP page or you can contact the Commercial Vehicle Division at:

Commercial Vehicle Division
Washington State Patrol
PO Box 42614
Olympia WA 98504-2614
Phone: (360) 596-3800
Fax: (360) 596-3829


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Load Diagram
Six inches of freeboard shall be maintained