Safe Handling Practices

Bin Transportation

Bins must be secured to the vehicle used for transport in a manner that eliminates bin movement while the vehicle is moving, even if only a single bin is involved. All bins should be forced together without space between them to form a unitized load. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) does not currently have a commodity specific cargo securement technique for the transport of bins. To understand the most effective cargo securement techniques for the interstate transport of MacroBins, the DOT – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) available on the FMCSA website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov. The general cargo securement requirements are listed under 49 CFR 393.100 – 393.114.

For intrastate travel, tie-down methods must comply with local regulations regarding bin hauling. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure they are in compliance with these regulations. Internet links to truckrelated regulation web sites for all 50 states are listed in the index at the end of this User Guide. This information will be updated periodically at www.macroplastics.com. The U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Requirements available on the FMCSA website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov. The general cargo securement requirements are listed under 49 CFR 393.100 – 393.114. Some of the more widespread bin transportation methods are outlined in this section.

Corner Irons and Cables

In many areas of the country, corner irons and cables are utilized in the transportation of empty bins or bins filled with agricultural produce. Due to the rounded corners of MacroBins, corner irons used to secure wood bins will tend to roll around the corner as the cable is tightened. To eliminate this problem, it is highly recommended that corner irons be used that satisfy the following guidelines:

  • The corner iron sides must be at least 5″ wide.
  • Length should be at least 22″ for MacroBin Models 12 and 14.
  • Length should be at least 28″ for Model 16.
  • Length should be at least 34″ for Models 24, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 33 and 330.
  • Length should be at least 40″ for Models 34, 35 and T-Bin.
  • Length should be at least 60″ for Model 48.
  • The cable hook should be 12″ to 24″ from the top of the bin in use.
  • The top hook should be designed to hook over the corner post.

Corner irons can be purchased from:

Harris Manufacturing
4775 E. Vine
Fresno, CA 93725
(559) 268-7422

MacroBin Corner Iron

Modified Wood Bin Corner Iron

If corner irons used to secure wood bins continue to be used, Macro Plastics recommends they be modified in the following manner:

  • A 4″ wide tab that extends to the point where the corner post wall meets the side panel wall must be installed extending toward the center of the side and front of the bin.
  • The corner iron length guidelines referenced on page 3 should be followed.
  • The top hook should also be modified to securely hook over the corner post.

Flatbed Single or Double Trailers

MacroBins offer distinct advantages over wood bins when hauling on trailers due to the interlocking feature of the foot with the top of the MacroBin beneath it. This allows for proper positioning while stacking MacroBins. The upper bin will not fall into the bin below and a more stable block is formed when corner irons and cables are used to contain the bins. MacroBins are lighter than wood bins and the plastic surface is smoother, so they may slide more than wood bins in transport if not properly secured. To minimize sliding issues when transporting MacroBins, precautions should be taken to prevent bins from sliding forward or backward, as well as side to side.

Bin Movement – Forward / Backward

The force of the wind hitting the front stack of bins tends to force the load on a trailer to the rear. Also, depending on the locations of the winches and hooks, cables can force the block forward, back, or just inward and down. A sudden stop may cause the bins to slide forward. 49 CFR 393.102 of the FMCSA general cargo securement rules requires that any securement system prevent movement of the load in a 0.435g deceleration in the forward direction or a 0.5g deceleration in the rearward direction. To ensure that this is done, Macro Plastics recommends that all rows be secured with cargo securement devices meeting the requirements of 49 CFR 393.104 and 393.108 of the FMCSA general cargo securement requirements. In addition to using the proper cargo securement devices, the following points should be considered:

  • Use trailers with front bulkheads.
  • Weld angle iron stops to the front and rear of the trailer.
  • If stake holes are present at the front and rear of the trailer, stakes can be placed in these holes.

Above options must all comply with the requirements of 49 CFR 393.104.

Bin Movement – Side to Side

As double trailers are pulled down the highway, the rear trailer can sway from side to side creating the potential for side drift of bins. Hard corners and high winds further contribute to this problem, increasing the probability of side drift. The FMCSA cargo securement regulation 49 CFR 393.102 states that loads must be secured to prevent movement in 0.25g lateral acceleration. To ensure that this is done, Macro Plastics recommends that all rows be secured with cargo securement devices meeting the requirements of 49 CFR 393.104 and 393.108 of the FMCSA general cargo securement requirements. If winches are not present, suitable rope can be used. See 49 CFR 393.108 in the FMCSA general cargo securement regulations.

Trailers Tied-Down with Corner Irons and Cables

Bin Loading on Trailers

When loading MacroBins onto trailers the following guidelines are recommended:

  • On trailers without a headboard or other stops at the front and rear of the trailers, it is recommended that stakes be put in place before loading, if stake pockets are available. Stakes should be placed at both ends of each of the trailers and comply with 49 CFR 393.104.
  • Load the bins starting at the bulkhead end of the trailer with the bins placed tight against the bulkhead, stakes, or stops. The bin stacks should be loaded tightly together to form a unitized block. It is important to pack the bins tightly together before corner irons and cables are put into place. This will require less force to be applied to the corner irons and cables to pull the bins together, as all bins must be touching when the tie-down is complete.
  • After all bins are loaded, corner irons should be put into place so cables can be fitted. To help with fitting corner irons, provisions should be made to safely lift corner irons onto empty bin loads stacked four high. Corner irons, cables, clamps, as well as attachment and anchor points on trailers must be inspected before each use to ensure they are in good condition. See 49 CFR 393.104 of FMCSA Cargo Securement Rules.
  • Cables should then be put in place and tightened.
  • Cables are needed to securely hold down the load and force bins together tightly. Over-tightening the cables can cause deformation of the corner posts, so care must be taken when tightening cables.
  • To ensure that the load is secure as possible, Macro Plastics recommends that each row of MacroBins be secured using straps which meet the requirements as specified in DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) 393.104, in addition to the corner irons and cables. The cargo securement system used must meet the general cargo securement requirements as listed under 49 CFR 393.100 – 393.114.
  • The load should be checked after fifty miles of travel to ensure that it is still secure. If needed, the cables and cross ties should be tightened again to ensure that bins are still packed tightly together, as bins may shift during transit causing slack in the cables. Tightening the cables at this time is a very important step and must not be neglected. Additional checks should be made for longer trips as per 49 CFR 392.9.
  • Posted speed limits for trucks should be strictly adhered to.

Trailer Tie-Down Utilized in Florida

Florida Bin Loading on Trailers

The recommended tie-down method for Florida citrus use is illustrated in the Florida tie-down photograph (above). To tie down a trailer in this manner, six corner irons are required unless the bulkhead of the trailer is equipped with cable guides on the bulkhead as illustrated in the bulkhead photograph.

Bulkhead With Cable Guide

If the bulkhead is prepared in this way, four corner irons are needed, two per side. The front and rear of the top stack must be secured with corner irons and the cables must be crossed at the rear and attached to the trailer as illustrated. Before hanging corner irons and cables, it is important to pack the bins tightly against each other to form a unitized load, as all bins must be touching when the tie-down is complete.

In addition, Macro Plastics also recommends that each row of MacroBins be strapped down using straps which meet the requirements as specified in DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) 393.104. All cables, cable clamps, and corner irons should be thoroughly inspected before use and fixed or replaced immediately if any problems with the equipment are found. FMCSR 393.104(b) specifically prohibits the use of damaged cargo securement devices, including damaged or weakened components that will affect their performance, and specifically prohibits the use of components with cracks or cuts. Loads should be checked after fifty miles of travel to ensure the cables and tie-down straps are tight. If the load has loosened, the straps must be securely tightened. The load should be checked further as detailed in 49 CFR 392.9. Posted speed limits should be strictly adhered to.

Straddle Lift Trailers

No special handling is required when using straddle trailers. Existing straddle platforms consist of steel tubing or wood timbers connected with four or five cross-members. These must be prepared for MacroBin use with the addition of a steel or plywood plate connecting the tubes. This plate must be attached to the top and run the full length of the platform, ensuring the center post area of the bin is supported, regardless of where the bin is placed on the platform. This will prevent damage to the stringer under the open area of the foot.

Pick-up Trucks and Small Trucks With Flatbeds

When transporting full or empty MacroBins in a pick-up truck or small flatbed, the bin or bins must always be secured to prevent loss of bin or contents. On flatbeds, bins must be strapped down as on larger flatbed trailers. After securing a bin, it should be checked to ensure it cannot move. In addition to securing the bin, it is also imperative that the tailgate be closed. If the truck does not contain hooks or cleats to secure a bin, or there is no tailgate in place, bins must not be transported in this truck. It is also essential that nothing is placed in the space between the bin and the tailgate. When transporting bins of differing heights, the taller bin should be secured against the cab, out of the wind stream, and the shorter bin should be placed toward the rear of the truck bed. The secured bin should be checked periodically to ensure that it continues to be secure for transport.

Secured and Covered Bin in a Pick-up Truck

32 / 34 and 33 Series Transportation

The 32, 34 and 33 Series MacroBins can be transported on trailers stacked normally or can be nested using the nesting procedure outlined below. Nesting enables three bins to be transported in the space of two. Macro Plastics recommends that nested stacks be transported on trailers as illustrated in the tie-down photo below with a single nest stacked on top of a single bin. This load should be tied down using straps that meet the requirements as specified in DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) 393.104, in addition to the corner irons and cables. The cargo securement system used must meet the general cargo securement requirements as listed under 49 CFR 393.100 – 393.114.

Typical Nested Bin Trailer Tie Down

Denesting / Nesting Procedure

The following procedure should be followed when denesting bins:

  • Using a forklift, lift the upper bin by the feet, removing it from the nest. (Photo #1)
  • Remove the interior bin using the forks to lift the bin as shown. (Photo #2)

Denesting can also be done using the following procedure:

  • Nested bins should be tilted and lowered to the ground onto their sides as slowly as possible and then denested by hand.
  • Pull the bins apart and place them right side up for use.
  • The nest should never be pushed over and slammed onto concrete or asphalt as this may result in cracking of the interior corner posts.
    Nesting is the reverse of the denesting procedure.


Photo #1: Remaining or Picking Upper Bin in Nest

Photo #2: Remaining or Placing Interior Bin in Nest

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