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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has noted that “cargo tank rollovers account for 31 percent of large truck rollover crashes. In 75 percent of those crashes, unsafe driver behaviors such as inattention or excessive speeding are the primary cause.” Numbers like those are quite staggering. Everyone makes mistakes or can become complacent — whether you’re new to driving or an experienced driver with years of experience — brushing up on cargo tank driving is never a bad thing. Here are some best practices to keep in mind on your next trip to prevent cargo tank rollovers:

Truck Maintenance

Up-to-date maintenance on your truck should always be made a priority for the safety of the truck driver and others sharing the road. A pre-trip inspection should always be had prior to any trip. Special attention should be made to brake performance if there is any suspension damage and tire pressure. Additionally, the driver should be comfortable with how the truck handles. Failure to properly maintain a truck can mean the difference between rolling a cargo tank and safely keeping it on the road.  

Know Your Load

How much load you are carrying will affect how your truck will handle the drive. Your speed, turning, braking and changing lanes will all create sloshing and surge. Slosh and surge are inevitable in a moving unit so it is important to take special care to not speed, round your turns, brake slowly and avoid sudden movements to keep all wheels on the ground.

More attentive attention should be made when a driver is moving a partial load. Partial loads are way more dangerous and have a higher rate of rolling over. Be diligent in your driving to do everything more slowly to avoid a mess.

Be Aware of the Road

Sharp curves, steep grades, soft shoulders and narrow drives all can contribute to the rolling of a cargo tank. If possible, talk with dispatch prior to the trip about the route so you know what you’re getting yourself into or to make adjustments.

However, interestingly enough, more rollovers happen on straightaway roads which leads into the next to the next point….

Driver Focus

As stated before, 75 percent of crashes is due to unsafe driver behaviors. That means 75 percent of rollover accidents could have been avoided had the driver’s been paying better attention. Unsafe driver behaviors to avoid are: speeding, using your cell phone, becoming too comfortable, fatigue and road rage. Be focused on the job you are doing to avoid being that 75 percent.

Cargo tank rollovers CAN be prevented. Be sure to keep the best practices listed above in mind to stay safe and on the road.


Roeder Cartage has a commitment to safety and training. Learn why you should come work for Roeder today!


Sources: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-introduces-cargo-tank-driver-rollover-prevention-video