How to Choose The Right Cargo Bar For Your Transport Needs

Published on 02/24/23

Variety of Different Cargo Bars from Lodi Metals

When it comes to transporting cargo, there are few things more important than ensuring that your items are safe and secure. Whether you’re hauling equipment to a job site, moving furniture to a new home, or simply transporting goods from one location to another, a cargo bar can be an essential tool for keeping everything in place.

But with so many different types of cargo bars on the market, how do you choose the right one for your needs? In this guide, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when selecting a cargo bar, so that you can make an informed decision and transport your cargo with confidence. Let’s begin with how to choose the right cargo bar for your securement application.

The different types of cargo bars and their uses

Load Lock Bars Types from Lodi Metals

1). Load Bars (Load Lock Bars)

When it comes to securing your cargo in the back of a pickup truck or semi, Load Lock Bars are an ideal solution. With rubber foot pads bolted or welded to the ends of each bar, these pads are essential for securely fastening both ends to your vehicle’s walls. It’s crucial to inspect them before each use to prevent any slipping. Our Load Lock Bars also feature an easy-release mechanism that allows for quick height adjustment, even with bulky gloves on.

We offer a range of customization options on our website, including sizes from 50 inches to 112 inches and varying bar strengths. For lighter loads, our Aluminum Load Lock Bar is a lightweight option, while our Standard Steel Load Lock Bar or Heavy Duty Steel Load Lock Bar is recommended for heavier loads. For the heaviest loads, we suggest our Heavy Duty Steel Load Lock Bar with 30% thicker steel than our standard model. Whatever your cargo needs may be, we have a load lock that can fit your specifications.

Square Jack Bar Type of Cargo Bar  Lodi Metals

2). Jack Load Bars (Jack Load Lock Bars)

Jack Load Bars are slightly different from Load Lock Bars. Both bars use pressure to stabilize themselves on the sidewalls of a vehicle but Jack Load Bars use a jack to apply the pressure instead of just a release mechanism. This gives them an advantage over standard load lock bars in this area because the jack allows the user to more firmly secure the bar to the outside walls.

Users need to be careful though because putting excessive pressure on the sidewalls of a semi could cause serious damage to them. Only tighten the bar firmly enough to safely contain your cargo.

These Cargo Bars are available in both square and round versions. The rubber feet on the ends of the Jack Load Bar are 4×4 and can be welded on or bolted on depending on your preference. One question that a lot of people have with the cargo bars and load bars is Where will I store them? Our cargo bars with jacks, make storage much easier. Two types of storage options are available depending on the bar that you purchase. We have a 2-piece jack load bar and a 3-piece jack load bar available on our site. The 2-piece version breaks down into two 48-inch pieces and the 3-piece version breaks down into three pieces around 30 inches in length.

E Track Shoring Beam

3). E Track Load Bars

E Track Load Bars are the perfect solution for anyone looking to maximize the space in their semi. With an E-track system already installed in your truck, there are endless possibilities for using these load bars to separate loads and prevent load shift, or even to create multiple levels and optimize space that would normally be unusable. This versatility makes E Track Load Bars an essential tool in the cargo control industry, allowing truck drivers to move more products in a single load and increase profits for their company.

But E Track Shoring Beams aren’t just limited to semis – they can also be used in smaller trailers or even in garages and sheds. Our wood beam sockets are perfect for creating layers in your crowded garage or trailer, while E-track load bars with hoops provide an extra layer of containment, securing multiple boxes that may be susceptible to shifting or falling. We offer E Track Load Bars in a range of sizes from 87 to 103 inches to fit any type of truck or trailer. Plus, we also have replacement parts available for all of our E Track cargo bars, so if you ever damage your bar, you can simply order a new part instead of an entire bar. With the versatility and convenience of E Track Load Bars, you’ll never have to worry about wasted space or insecure cargo again.

Cargo Bars with Hoops

4). Hoop Load Bars

Upgrade your cargo protection with Hoop Load Bars, the ultimate solution for containing large, heavy boxes during transit. Unlike ordinary cargo bars, our Hoop Load Bars come equipped with large metal hoops, which provide an extended coverage area for even more protection against load shift. You can choose between welded or bolted hoops, depending on your preferences, and the bolted hoops can be easily removed for storage purposes.

Our Hoop Load Bars are specifically designed to contain large, heavy boxes that are otherwise difficult to handle. The rectangular shape of these bars ensures that even the most challenging loads remain secure during transport. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the hoops are properly secured with the bolted version of our Hoop Load Bars to avoid any mishaps.

Our Load Bars with hoops are available in various sizes, ranging from 89 to 112 inches, and can be made with either standard or heavy-duty steel, depending on your cargo needs. Whether you’re transporting large boxes or other heavy objects, our Hoop Load Bars provide the ideal cargo control solution, ensuring maximum safety and security for your goods during transit.

Pickup Truck Bar

5). Pickup Truck Load Bars

Our Pickup Load Bars are designed to make your transportation experience hassle-free, no matter if you’re a busy contractor or a soccer mom on the go. Made from durable steel, our cargo bars are built to withstand heavy loads without adding unnecessary weight to your vehicle. With a user-friendly ratcheting mechanism, extending and shortening the bars is a breeze.

Available in sizes ranging from 50 to 73 inches, we’ve got you covered whether you’re driving a compact or full-size pickup truck. Worried about storage? Our Pickup Cargo Bag is the perfect solution for safely storing your bars when not in use. Please note that some assembly is required for our Pickup Load Bars, but rest assured that we’ve made it as simple as possible for you.

Jack Load Bars

Tips for Properly Installing and Adjusting Cargo Bars

1). Choose the right size: Make sure that the cargo bar you choose fits snugly between the walls of your vehicle or trailer. Using a cargo bar that is either too small or too large can compromise its effectiveness.

2).Position the cargo bar correctly: Place the cargo bar at the right height to prevent cargo from shifting during transportation. The bar should be positioned as close to the cargo as possible for maximum stability.

3). Apply even pressure: Apply even pressure to the cargo bar to ensure that it’s properly secured. This will prevent the bar from slipping or moving during transport.

4). Use the right surface: The surface where the cargo bar is placed should be dry, clean, and free of debris. This will help create a strong grip between the bar and the surface, ensuring that it stays in place during transport.

5). Check for obstructions: Before installing the cargo bar, check for any obstructions that may prevent it from fitting properly. This includes items such as handles, hooks, or tie-down points.

6). Test the tension: Once the cargo bar is installed, give it a firm shake to make sure it’s properly tensioned. If the cargo bar moves or feels loose, adjust it until it’s secure.

7). Regularly inspect the cargo bar: Regularly inspect the cargo bar for signs of wear and tear. If the bar is damaged or worn, replace it immediately to ensure proper function.

8). Store the cargo bar properly: When not in use, store the cargo bar in a dry, cool place to prevent rust and other damage. Avoid storing the bar in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, which can affect its performance.

Pickup Truck Load Bar in Use  Lodi Metals

The Importance of Regular Maintenance for Cargo Bars

When it comes to cargo maintenance and inspecting your bars often for potential damage or defects is always a good rule of thumb in order to keep your bars in good condition and the cargo you are transporting safe. Here are some steps you can take in order to help maintain your cargo bars:

1). Clean the bars regularly: Wipe down the cargo bars with a clean cloth to remove any dirt, dust, or debris that may have accumulated on them during use. Use mild soap and water if needed, but avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may scratch or damage the bars.

2). Check the tension mechanism: If your cargo bars have a tensioning mechanism, inspect it regularly to make sure it’s functioning properly. Test the tension by placing the bar in position and checking that it’s snug against the cargo. If the tension isn’t working as it should adjust or replace the mechanism.

3). Check for damage: Inspect the cargo bars for signs of damage, including cracks, bends, or other deformities. If you notice any damage, stop using the bars immediately and replace them.

4). Lubricate moving parts: If your cargo bars have moving parts, such as adjustable feet or tensioning mechanisms, lubricate them with silicone or lithium grease to prevent corrosion and ensure smooth operation. We personally strongly recommend using WD-40 as it is easy to find in a variety of hardware stores and is fairly cheap for the amount of effectiveness on the bars.

5). Store the cargo bars properly: When not in use, store the cargo bars in a dry, cool place to prevent rust and other damage. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, which can affect their performance.

6). Follow manufacturer instructions: Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and care of your cargo bars. They may have specific recommendations or requirements based on the type and model of the bars you have.

How Cargo Bars Can Help Prevent Damage to Goods During Transport

If you’re in the business of transporting goods, you know how important it is to ensure their safe arrival. Damaged goods can mean lost profits, unhappy customers, and a damaged reputation. That’s where cargo bars come in. These versatile tools are an essential component of any transportation operation, playing a critical role in preventing damage and ensuring successful deliveries.

By using cargo bars, you can rest easy knowing that your valuable cargo is secure and stable throughout its journey. These sturdy bars create a secure barrier between your vehicle or trailer walls and your goods, applying pressure to create a stable and secure platform. This prevents your cargo from shifting or sliding around during transport, reducing the risk of damage caused by impact, vibration, or other factors. And with their ease of use and versatility, cargo bars are the perfect solution for anyone who needs to transport goods safely and efficiently.

So whether you’re a professional transporter or simply need to move goods from point A to point B, cargo bars are an indispensable tool for protecting your cargo and ensuring your business’s success. Don’t leave anything to chance – make sure you have the right equipment for the job and invest in the reliable security of cargo bars.

Shop our popular Cargo Bars


4×4 Rubber Foot Pads

Adjusts from: 91” – 107”


50”-65” to fit most compact trucks
1.5” Steel Tube makes this a sturdy bar


4×4 Rubber Foot Pads

Adjusts from: 96” – 112”


50”-65” to fit most compact trucks
1.5-inch Heavy Duty Steel Tube


59”-73” to fit most full-size trucks
1.5-inch Heavy Duty Steel Tube


Load Bar with Bolt-On Hoops and 4×4 Rubber Foot Pads

Adjusts From: 91” – 107”


4×4 Rubber Foot Pads

Adjusts from: 96” – 112”


Jack Load Bar with Square Tube

Adjusts From: 91” – 107”


48” pieces for easy storage

Adjusts from 91”-107”


For 102” wide trailers
Adjusts From: 93”- 103”


HD for 96” wide trailers
Adjusts From: 87”- 97”

Inventory of Cargo Bars at Lodi Metals 2016  Lodi Metals

Frequently Asked Cargo Bar Questions

Are cargo bars safe to use? – When used properly, cargo bars are safe and effective at securing cargo. However, it is important to select the right bar for your needs and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and use. Always test the bar’s stability before loading any cargo and make sure to regularly maintain and inspect the bar for any signs of damage or wear.

How do I select the right cargo bar for my needs? – To select the right cargo bar, consider the type of cargo you are transporting, the size of your vehicle or container, and the weight capacity you need. Choose a bar that fits your space and that can support the weight of your cargo. Look for features such as adjustability or locking mechanisms, which can increase the versatility and security of the bar.

What types of cargo bars are available? – Cargo bars are available in different materials such as steel, aluminum, or composite materials. They also come in different lengths, widths, and weight capacities, and may have an adjustable or fixed length. Some cargo bars have additional features such as locking mechanisms, padded ends, or rubber feet. If you have any questions that you can’t find the answer to you can always reach out to our experts at 800-807-5634 or by using our online contact us form located at the top of the website our experts would be happy to help assist you further with further information or quotes.