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Island County > Public Works > Solid Waste > Secure Your Loads

Secure Your Load


Washington law requires motorists secure their loads (RCW 46.61.655) to prevent cargo from breaking free. Since 1994, Island County Code (13.02A.095has required an unsecured load fee to be charged for vehicles arriving at transfer stations that do not have secured loads.

$3 Cars (with Passenger License Plates)
$5 Trucks with loads up to 1 ton
$10 Trucks with loads more than 1 ton


Tips for Securing Your Load

  • Secure your load with tarps. netting, rope, bungee cords, and/or straps. Tie large items directly to your vehicle.
  • Put lighter items at the bottom of the load to weigh them down so they don't blow out.
  • Don't overload, keep material level with the truck bed or trailer if at all possible.
  • Always double-check to make sure your load is secured. Loads can move and settle during transport allowing restraints to loosen, it’s a good idea to stop after a few miles to check if your tarp or tie-downs have loosened.

​ ​DO...

SecureNetting.bmp ​Netting, straps, rope, and bungee cord can be used to tie each large item to the vehicle. Since there is nothing in the load that can blow out, a cover is not needed.
SecureCans.bmp ​Garbage cans are secured to the truck with a strap. 
Lids are secured with bungee cords.


SecureTarp.bmp ​Tarp covers the entire load and is secured with cargo netting.
​ ​


SecureMissingTies.bmp ​Tie downs are missing. Debris can fall or fly out of moving vehicle. Load should be covered with tarp and cargo net.
SecureOneTie.bmp ​Tie downs are inadequate.  Top, sides and back of load is not secure. Vehicle is overloaded. Load should be secured with straps and/or cargo net.


SecureNone.bmp ​Debris can fall or fly out. Load should be secured to the trailer with rope, netting and/or straps.



Ask Yourself

  • Is there any chance of debris falling or blowing out of my vehicle?
  • Would I feel safe if I were driving behind my vehicle?
  • Would I want my loaded vehicle driving through my neighborhood?
  • What would happen to my load if I had to brake suddenly or if I hit a bump?
  • Do I need to drive slower than I normally do?
  • Is my load secured at the back and on the sides AND top?
  • Did I double-check my load to make sure it is secured?



Secure Your Load, General Safety Information
Washington Department of Ecology



WSP Good to Know - Secure Your Load
Washington State Patrol



Please secure your load to keep our roads safe and Island County clean!