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What is a Load Lock? We Have Your Queries Answered!

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

what is a load lock

Do you know that poorly loaded cargo is one common yet unexpected danger in the truck transit industry? Fortunately, there are measures you could take to prevent such hidden dangers from happening.

And that is by using a truck load lock. But really, what is a load lock? Well, it is a telescopic bar and ratcheted lock used to secure and keep the cargo in place while in transit. It prevents goods from falling at high speed, which might cause a truck rollover.

What is a Load Lock?

If you ever wonder how truck drivers maneuver their vehicle steadily despite the cargo it carries—it is because of a truck load lock!

Using a load lock as a securing device is a smart way to prevent vehicle shifting, overloading, and dropping cargo that might cause unwanted movement to your vehicle.

Load locks are engineered to fit every dimension and cater to every securing need; they have telescopic features that are adjustable to meet both ends of the wall.

Hence, trailer load locks are a must in every heavy-duty transit journey.

What Are the Two Types of Load Locks?


Drivers new to load locks might find them a little confusing because of the load bars vs straps arguments. In this section, I’ll show you the difference between the two load locks and when and where to use them.

1. Lock strap

This reliable load-constraining device is the best friend of every truck driver while on the road. It uses a convenient strap-down to secure objects and prevent cargo damage.

To work correctly, this device has a ratcheting mechanism to hold and lock the strap into its place. It also has a webbing strap to ensure the device’s durability.

2. Load bar

These bar locks are typically made of steel and aluminum, ensuring their durability and ability to withstand heavy-duty securing. Moreover, using a load lock bar offers convenience as it is easy to use and assemble.

Different Kinds of Load Lock Bar

Drivers actively seek creative yet convenient ways to protect themselves and their cargo. At the same time, manufacturers developed different types of load locks to cater to every road situation.

1. E-Track Beams


Do you have a semi-truck and want to maximize all the usable space inside? Then, this type of load lock holder for semi truck is definitely for you!

Aside from its function to restrict the loads from shifting, an e-track beam is good for separating and organizing goods, since you can put multiple beams on different track sections.

2. Lever load lock


A lever lock is yet another type of semi load locks for restricting items from moving while in transit.

This design for semi trailers is durable yet lightweight, and you can use it in pairs for extra security. You can find zinc-plated lock mechanisms and adjustable lengths on this type.

3. Ratcheting load lock


Does adding loads from time to time stress you? If yes, this ratcheting load lock is a must for your job!

Like any type of semi load locks, this variety fits between the walls of any transport vehicle regardless of the size.

What makes it ideal is that the ratcheting mechanism means you can just lift the handle to extend and retract the lock.

4. Load lock bars


If you use a smaller transport vehicle, this type is just for you! Using this load lock, you can secure the cargo for dry van and for pickup trucks.

This versatile design offers more than just holding your cargo in place. In fact, you can use it to keep and push the loads away from the surface. It often comes with rubber foot pads, which keep the bar in place and are available for separate purchase.

Why Use a Load Lock?


1. Load security

As its name suggests, a load lock protects your cargo while on the road and the transport vehicle runs at high speed.

It hinders equipment and merchandise from reacting to the movement of the transport vehicle by keeping them in place and steady. A load shift might result in product damage and drivers’ liability.

2. Driver’s road security

Aside from the risk of traffic accidents, load shifts may result in loss of goods or financial damages, both of which the driver may be responsible for. If you’re a trucker, load locks can provide some security against legal troubles, as they ensure cargo stays in place.

3. Space optimizer

Aside from securing items, load locks work as space savers to accommodate vehicles that cannot house lots of freight.

Moreover, these locks prevent any overloading of cargo as shippers can quickly assess the space situation inside the transport vehicle.

How Does It Work? 


Despite load locks’ seemingly active and heavy-duty cargo constraining job, all trailer load locks offer straightforward usage and installation—making them ideal for every transport vehicle, such as dry van load securement.

Attach the locking bar or strap on either side of the wall, floor, or ceiling. To take advantage of its benefits, use pairs of load locks to further prevent any type of cargo shifting.

Rubber feet are typically attached to the ends of the truck load bars to prevent them from slipping while holding the cargo in place.


Load locks have been in the trucking industry for decades.

They have been helping cargo companies, truck drivers, and customers have the best possible cargo transit experience. Here are the benefits load locks give to the industry:

  • Damaged-free cargo

Since load locks create a barrier for the cargo when attached, they eliminate any possible cargo damage, which is helpful in the delivery industry.

  • High load limits

Whether you use a pickup or semi truck load bar holder, these devices often share one common feature – high load limits. In many cases, one bar will support up to 2,200lbs, an extraordinary number considering their sizes.

  • Vehicle safety

Load bars used for trucks can help distribute cargo weights, preventing goods from being stacked too high or unevenly placed across axles. Moreover, proper organization of freight ensures clear vision while driving and easy access to emergency equipment.

All these benefits make the high load locks price worth it.

How Much Weight Can a Load Lock Hold?

Usually, 1,500 to 2000 pounds are the limits, but you can find options that withstand up to 3,000 pounds as well. Before using a load lock, it’s best to check the product description first, where manufacturers will list the lock’s capacity.



Is a cargo lock the same as a load lock chamber?

No, you cannot use these cargo locks as your load lock semiconductor. The Chamber load lock is much more complicated than the load strap and load bar. It also has a different purpose (being used for vacuum and semiconductor industries rather than shipping).

What is the difference between a load lock and a load bar?

The question “load locks vs load bars” is pretty common on the topic of load locks.

Well, the two are just the same. Load bars are types of load locks, meaning a load bar is a load lock.


Load locks are drivers’ best friends on the road, keeping them in peace during long journeys. These devices ensure heavy and huge loads stay constrained and confined in a specific space.

Knowing what is a load lock and the benefits it brings to the table would make your job safer and easier. Hopefully, you found this guide helpful for choosing the best load lock that fits your situation.

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