Guidelines for Loading 53′ Trucks

A red 53' truck on a hot summer day

When loading a truck it’s important to keep in mind the needs of your customers, the truck driver, and legal requirements. Adhering to weight requirements and properly organizing a load so it’s easy to unload will ensure goods are delivered on time and in good condition. There are a lot of decisions to make when loading a truck; here is our guide to effectively and safely loading a 53’ truck with baled textiles:

Note: The following tips are a general guide but they vary with the size and weight of the bales. The number of bales stacked in each row must be adjusted for the average weight of each bale. The desired loading weight is between 43,000 lbs and 45,000 lbs. The following guide assumes bales that measure 30x48x60 inches and weigh 1050 lbs on average.


  1. Before you start loading the truck, make sure you get the empty weight scale ticket from the driver. Do NOT load without it! To learn more about why scale tickets are so important, click here.


  1. Start by loading three small bales in each of the first two rows; this keeps excessive weight from piling up on the front axle.


  1. Load row one from the left and row two from the right. Keep alternating this pattern until the last row. ALWAYS start on the left.



  1. Load the next five rows (rows 3-7) with five bales each. Load the top two bales stacked together on each row at the same time. This is safer than trying to load a single bale on top by itself.



  1. Load the next two rows (rows 8 and 9) with four bales each and continue to alternate the side where the stacked bales go. Load the last row (row 10) with three bales to give you a total of 42 bales.



  1. You will have space left, but do NOT load more than 42 bales or you will overload the trailer.



  1. Don’t forget to make a bill of lading for the driver. You can find examples online, or call our office and our staff will be happy to assist!



  1. Loading a truck can be tricky, but practice makes perfect. Most drivers want to load and go in under two hours. Some companies will charge YOU for any extra time it takes to load.



  1. Ask the driver to fax the loaded weight to you when he gets it. You need the loaded weight so you can receive payment.

When loading standard sized bales (30x48x60) they should be in double stacked rows with the 48 inch side down. It’s also important to invest in a good weight scale that is durable and will last many years. With a scale you reduce the risk of overloading a truck, and you are able to maximize a load’s possible weight.

For further tips, don’t hesitate to contact our logistics team!

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