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Cargo Van E Track Instillation

Solar

Expert Expediter
Owner/Operator
My first time installing E Track into the floor of my van.

A friend told me that his E Track was just a small bit above the wood floor, and it really helped sliding in and out loads. I fear this, over the long haul, will end up damaging the tracks to being unusable.

Should the wood be above, equal to the tracks, or is that actually helpful, for the tracks to be slightly taller than the floor?
 

RoadTime

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Personally, I prefer the equal or slightly less then the floor option. The one van I had with E Track above the floor, I found more times then not, the skids would get hung up on the E-Track, and not as easy to slide.
 

terryandrene

Veteran Expediter
Safety & Compliance
US Coast Guard
Either at or below the floor is your best bet. If above, a loose pallet nail or a damaged metal bin leg could fetch up on the e-trak and make a heavy forward load nearly impossible to remove. I found that the best method for me was to have two rows of parallel e-trak mounted on the sides rather than the floor. Whatever you do, I suggest that you apply three or four coats of urethane on your plywood. Min-wax water based urethane dries in ten minutes. This will make your floor impervious to any liquids that may drip from your freight. It'll be easy to clean and look good for your customer.
 

Turtle

Administrator
Staff member
Owner/Operator
1/2" plywood is actually 15/32" thick, so 0.46876" high.

E-track is 0.44" high.

So, if you mount the E-Track and the plywood flush to the floor, the plywood will sit 0.02876 above the E-Track.

That's not quite a 32nd of an inch, but it's enough. And three coats of Minwax Polycrylic will add another 32nd of an inch.

Over time the plywood will wear down and compress slightly, but annual scrubbings of the plywood and new coats of the Minwax will keep the plywood in good shape.

Mine is still in good shape after 12 years. I've had a few gouges and rips that I've repaired with Bondo and a sander.
 
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RoadTime

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Either at or below the floor is your best bet. If above, a loose pallet nail or a damaged metal bin leg could fetch up on the e-trak and make a heavy forward load nearly impossible to remove. I found that the best method for me was to have two rows of parallel e-trak mounted on the sides rather than the floor. Whatever you do, I suggest that you apply three or four coats of urethane on your plywood. Min-wax water based urethane dries in ten minutes. This will make your floor impervious to any liquids that may drip from your freight. It'll be easy to clean and look good for your customer.
Great advice. I should have mentioned in my response that my best option to date has been no E-Track on the floor. I also did the urethane on quality wood. Best thing left on my van when I retired it after 6 years, was the wood floor :D
 

Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
My first van I used plywood for the floor. My second van I used solid plastic composite fascia planks, durable but heavy. My current van has a ⅜" plywood subfloor topped with vinyl garage door jamb. Royal® Building Products 11/16" x 5-13/16" x 7' White PVC Jamb Trim The door jamb came in 10' lengths and is screwed into the subfloor. All 3 vans had the E-track set slightly below the floor.

To secure the E-track I used stainless steel fasteners, bolts with lock washers where I had access from underneath and self tapping screws elsewhere. This is a link to different threads about cargo vans. There are several threads dealing with floor and E-track installation. https://www.expeditersonline.com/forums/threads/cargo-van-threads.44083/


.Transit Stuff 3 - Copy.JPG van 36.JPG
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Transit Floor 66.JPG
 

Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
I use the vertical E-track to strap tall and odd shaped stuff like this 1500 pound furnace liner I delivered Saturday. The side panels are attached to vertical blocking shown photo (post 8) There is also blocking bolted to the floor at various points to anchor the E-track.
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Furnace Liner 1.JPG
 
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terryandrene

Veteran Expediter
Safety & Compliance
US Coast Guard
OK Roadtime, here's the way that I did my vans. I bought a 10' x 5' x 1/2" baltic birch plywood from a specialty hardwood store in MO. On the sides, I cut out the wheel well profile and some minor cutting in the rear corners to accommodate that area so that I could drop the sheet onto the floor. No fasteners needed! I added a piece of steel 1/2" angle iron to the rear end of the plywood to protect from towmotor forks. Next, I cut 3/4" 'AC' plywood lengthwise into three 16 inch wide lengths until I had two 8' lengths and three 4 foot lengths. I made a cardboard template of the inner wheel well side and traced the outline onto the appropriate location of each of the 8' sections on the 'C' side. I used a router to remove a 1/2 inch of the wood within the outline. These plywood pieces will be 16" tall walls, so picture a 3 sided box, open at the rear. I made a 12' long box but the longer vans can adjust accordingly.

Layout one 8' and one 4' plywood end to end and fasten a 10' section of e-track to the long top ends of the 'A' side with 3/4" pan head screws. repeat on the bottom; the OCD part of me put a screw in every e-track screw hole. (A few will be removed later) I bought about 4 lengths of slotted angle iron and cut one into several 3" to 4 " pieces. These will be used to fasten this box wall to the floor. Place a piece of masking tape down the center of the floor and with a marker, draw a line down the centerline of the cargo area. Place one piece in position to mark securement points on the wall and floor. Measure from the centerline to the wall when pressed against the wheel well. This will be a bit over 2' and should be the same distance all along the wall. Remove a pan head screw and replace with a machine screw, washer and nut to fasten the slotted angle iron to the wall. Do this in about 4 - 5 places ensuring the distance is the same so the two long walls will be paralell. I drilled holes in the floor at each angle iron and placed a barbed T-nut from the floor underside. A machine screw fastens the wall securely to the floor.

I secured the wall ends to the rear door frame, used the 48+ inch wall distance between wheel wells to determine the length of the 16" xy 48+ inch piece. This piece need not be secured to the floor, just the wall ends. After installing the entire wall to the floor, we need to secure the top. I fastened a full length of slotted angle iron to the van verticle frames and secured the wall top to it, here and there. I cut 1/2" plywood to fit as a seat on the wall so that I had hidden storage for tools and securement equipment and other stuff. No all you need is e-track sockets into which you drop 2 x 4s. Eight sockets and four pieces of 2x4 will give you upper and lower securement for and aft of any cargo. Some DOT (not Wal-mart) approved ratchet straps and the load bars will secure most anything.
 

Solar

Expert Expediter
Owner/Operator
I want to thank everyone for the responses. All good advice.

I never thought about a nail, etc. getting caught in the track. I’m not putting it on the floor, I’ll be putting on the lowest part of the walls.

Initially, I just wanted a stopper, but the more I think about it, it wouldn’t save me that much time, but have the potential of getting caught up and costing me a LOT more time.

Thanks for the advice.
 

terryandrene

Veteran Expediter
Safety & Compliance
US Coast Guard
Neither you nor anyone else should just want a stopper. You want securement front to rear and side to side. In my opinion, all van drivers should want to comply with the spirit of the federal securement regulations and be safe with a total load securement.
 
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Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
The only problem I have encountered with recessed, floor mounted E-track is that it requires periodic cleaning. Dirt, stones, pieces of wood etc. find their way into the slots. Occasional sweeping and vacuuming is all that is required.
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E-Track 1.JPG
.E-Track 2.JPG
.E-Track 3.jpg
.E-Track 4.jpg
 

Solar

Expert Expediter
Owner/Operator
Neither you nor anyone else should just want a stopper. You want securement front to rear and side to side. In my opinion, all van drivers should want to comply with the spirit of the federal securement regulations and be safe with a total load securement.
Federal Securement Regulations
“Cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by structures of adequate strength, dunnage (loose materials used to support and protect cargo) or dunnage bags (inflatable bags intended to fill space between articles of cargo or between cargo and the wall of the vehicle), shoring bars (aka Stoppers), tiedowns or a combination of these.”

Cargo Securement Rules

There’s nothing wrong with using stoppers.
 

Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Federal Securement Regulations
“Cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by structures of adequate strength, dunnage (loose materials used to support and protect cargo) or dunnage bags (inflatable bags intended to fill space between articles of cargo or between cargo and the wall of the vehicle), shoring bars (aka Stoppers), tiedowns or a combination of these.”

Cargo Securement Rules

There’s nothing wrong with using stoppers.
The FMCSA cargo securement rules apply to CMVs. I believe what Terry is suggesting is for vanner's to voluntarily adopt the FMCSA rules for our safety and that of the motoring public. Not pictured in post 14 is a split bulkhead I have for extra protection from loose parts getting airborne as well as for sound and temperature insulation.
 

terryandrene

Veteran Expediter
Safety & Compliance
US Coast Guard
You are correct Moot. I interpreted hapearce1's comment, "Initially, I just wanted a stopper" as a reference to the commonly seen lack of nothing but a stopper of forward motion of freight in cargo vans. My follow-on comment was not intended to be offensive to hapearce1.

I've also seen much the same poorly secured freight in straight trucks and trailers. More often than not, I found load bars sliding around in each size and type of trucks. It's amazing to me how many drivers are seemingly oblivious to the most basic freight securement techniques.
 
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Solar

Expert Expediter
Owner/Operator
You are correct Moot. I interpreted hapearce1's comment, "Initially, I just wanted a stopper" as a reference to the commonly seen lack of nothing but a stopper of forward motion of freight in cargo vans. My follow-on comment was not intended to be offensive to hapearce1.
I didn’t know the appropriate name, so I probably mislead with my language. I would see the E Track and load bars, which I called stoppers, that would click into the E Track at most all truck stops, and many people use them, so I was surprised by your post.

I completely agree with the necessity of correct and proper load securement. I worked a few months on flat bed, and if you don’t get it right, you potentially could end up in prison if someone was hurt because of it.
 

Turtle

Administrator
Staff member
Owner/Operator
I use those E-track fittings for a 2x4, but I use a 2x8 plank. A 2x4 in there will certainly stop a pallet from skidding forward, but it won't stop the freight on the pallet from sliding right over it

A load bar like that (is it called a stopper now?) is all you need for a lot of cargo van freight. Freight in a cargo van has nowhere to slide from side to side, and it ain't going backwards, so it's immobilized in those directions so a load bar to prevent it from moving forward solves that problem.

But there's a really lot of cargo van freight where a load bar won't cut it and you need to strap it down securely. When in doubt, strap it. Sometimes I'll use a load bar and strap it down.

I've never had a freight claim, and I don't know if I could handle the embarrassment of having a claim simply because I failed to secure the freight.
 

Treadmill

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
I use those E-track fittings for a 2x4, but I use a 2x8 plank. A 2x4 in there will certainly stop a pallet from skidding forward, but it won't stop the freight on the pallet from sliding right over it

A load bar like that (is it called a stopper now?) is all you need for a lot of cargo van freight. Freight in a cargo van has nowhere to slide from side to side, and it ain't going backwards, so it's immobilized in those directions so a load bar to prevent it from moving forward solves that problem.

But there's a really lot of cargo van freight where a load bar won't cut it and you need to strap it down securely. When on doubt strap it. Sometimes I'll use a load bar and strap it down.

I've never had a freight claim, and I don't know if I could handle the embarrassment of having a claim simply because I failed to secure the freight.
After 21 yrs in the biz, notta.
 
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