Though I might make my living as a freelance writer now, it wasn’t always that way. Among the many jobs I have had in my 40+ years of working was a route sales job I worked for more than five years. I drove a box truck filled with products I sold to customers on my route. I would have liked to have had cam straps to keep everything in place.
Why didn’t I? First of all, I didn’t know them back then. And even if I had known, they were largely the domain of flatbed truck drivers. Cam straps were specialty items. I couldn’t have gone down to the local department store and bought them had I wanted to. They just weren’t as big an item as they are today.
At any rate, I now know that cam straps are good idea even in box trucks and enclosed trailers. You might have three walls, a door, and a roof to keep cargo from falling off, but there is nothing to keep it secure inside the box. Enter cam straps. My preferred brand is Rollercam, by the way.
Things Move Around
It didn’t take long for me to learn that things move around inside a box truck. A few weeks on the job was all I needed to figure out that packing my load a certain way could limit movement to a certain degree. But even at that, there was a problem.
My truck gradually got emptier as the day progressed. The fewer items in the box, the more the remaining packages were free to move. It was more or less a free-for-all for the last couple of hours of the day. Cam straps sure would have been nice.
A few well-placed cam straps attached to the tracks on either side of the truck box would have kept everything in place. The tracks were there for deploying load bars. But in my case, load bars would have been overkill. Cam straps anchored to the tracks would have been the ideal solution.
Accidents Happen, Too
Another thing I learned as a truck driver is that accidents happen, too. No matter how careful a driver is, they can’t account for everything. I learned that the hard way traveling through a parking lot at a busy office complex. Unfortunately, I learned the lesson in a brand-new truck my employer had acquired just three days earlier.
I was driving through the parking lot when another driver backed out of his space. I was already starting to pass him when he backed out, and I saw him coming almost in slow motion. It was surreal. The back of his car made contact with my truck right where the rear of the cab met the box.
His car suffered more damage than my truck, but the impact sent all the contents inside the box flying. The only thing worse than having to call my boss to tell him I wrecked the brand-new truck was actually cleaning up the mess that awaited me behind the rolling door.
If I had secured my load with cam straps, nothing would have moved. I could have filled out the police report and went on my way. But instead, I had to clean up a mess of thoroughly strewn cargo. More wasted time and a later day than I had planned.
Cam straps are a good idea even with box trucks and enclosed trailers. If I were still driving for a living, you bet I would keep an ample supply on hand.