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E-Track Load Bars vs. Shoring Beams: What's the Difference?

E-Track Load Bars vs. Shoring Beams: What's the Difference?

Load bars and shoring beams are great tools to use for securing cargo for transport to a confined space within enclosed trailers. Both lock bars act as trailer load straps and prevent shifting of heavy and bulky items that might cause damage to products. However, while these products act very similarly to one another, there are some key differences to know before choosing the right load bar for your needs.

What Are Load Bars?

Load bars, also known as cargo bars or lock bars, work by attaching to any trailer or truck wall via tension or an installed track system. These lock bars perform ideally for use in pickup trucks, SUVs, and smaller trailers where they create barriers that prevent any cargo such as barrels, drums, and large boxes from moving around during transportation.

Our cargo bar products are made with a heavy-duty steel and come with a ratcheting body that makes for easy adjustments to the length and tension of the lock bar using the designed handle. They also have non-skid cargo bar foot pads that grip onto the side walls and prevent slipping while under tension.    

Types of Load Bars

U.S. Cargo Control carries two models of load bars that cater to your specific needs:

What Are Shoring Beams?

Shoring beams, also known as decking beams or E-Track load bars, are very strong and adjustable lock bars that, similarly to cargo bars, work to safely secure items inside of an enclosed trailer and prevent them from moving around during transportation. These lock bars are also popularly used to create “decking,” the process of making shelves by securing plywood to two or more shoring beams for extra space.

Both ends of each shoring beam have E-Track fittings that slide out of the metal frame and attach to an E-Track rail within an enclosed trailer. These ends adjust the length of the shoring beam from 92” to 103”. Using the release mechanism, these shore beams can be connected and disconnected from the E-Track rail with ease.

Types of Shoring Beams

U.S. Cargo Control offers both steel decking beams and aluminum decking beams for a total of 6 different kinds of shoring beams, listed below:

How Are Load Lock Bars and Shoring Beams Different?

Both lock bars work to shore up cargo and prevent it from causing damages within the trailer or vehicle. But there are a couple differences that make these products applicable for different cargo transport situations.

  • Space Usage
    Shoring beams are designed to handle heavier cargo loads and create additional storage space through decking. Cargo bars are not able to create decking for storing cargo and therefore are not the best choice if you’re looking to optimize the space within the trailer or vehicle.

  • Attachment
    Both lock bars adjust to the appropriate length of the enclosed trailer. However, shoring beams require attachment to E-track or other track that matches the end fitting of the beam. Cargo bars do not require such connection and only rely on the tension of locking itself within the confines of the trailer.

  • Working Load Limits
    Because cargo bars rely on tension fit, they do not have a working load limit. If you have heavier or more sensitive cargo that may benefit from or require a working load rating, then shoring beams will have the appropriate ratings that you desire.

Which Load Bar is Right for Me?

Before deciding on which load bar – cargo bar or shoring beam – you need, ask yourself what you will be hauling and how tall and heavy these items are altogether. Another thing to consider is whether the trailer has an E-Track railing or not since shoring beams require some sort of connection in order to work.

Cargo Bars work best when:

  • You need to secure cargo anywhere within the trailer or vehicle.
  • You want a lock bar with more adjustability in length.
  • Tall items need to stay in place within an enclosed trailer.

Shoring Beams work best when:

  • You are hauling heavier or more sensitive cargo that requires heavy-duty beams for security.
  • The enclosed trailer has E-tracks for cargo securement.
  • You’re looking to create a deck for optimal cargo storage.

Safety Measures for Load Bars and Shoring Beams

We care about the safety of our customers here at U.S. Cargo Control. Regardless of which load bar you prefer to use, we recommend taking the following precautions when securing cargo in an enclosed trailer or pickup truck:

  • Use a cargo bar holder to make sure they stay where they are when the trailer is moving.
  • Always wear gloves when handling heavy cargo or attaching/de-attaching shoring beams to protect your fingers.
  • Abide by the working load limits of shoring beams – do not exceed these limits.
  • Don't exert too much pressure to the load bars that'll cause damage or injury to yourself or to the trailer.
  • After arriving to your destination, be cautious on opening trailer doors or gates. Open one door at a time to ensure that heavy cargo won’t fall out on top of you.

REMINDER: The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all cargo loads be properly secured during transportation. It is illegal to transport improperly secured cargo.

Other Solutions & Accessories

U.S. Cargo Control offers alternative solutions to securing cargo within enclosed trailers, vehicles or other modes of transportation.

Wood Beam Socket for E-Track
Also known as a wood end socket, this product lets you create an inexpensive shoring beam using a simple 2x4. Simply cut the wood to the desired length, fit it into the socket, and clip the ends to the E-Track bracket within the trailer.

You can also use E-Track tie down straps for trailers, cargo vans, moving vans, trailers and other vehicles that can constrain a wide variety of cargo and equipment in any direction necessary. Our E-Track strap options work for any cargo securement that involves using E-Track brackets. Learn more about the differences between ratchet straps and cam buckle straps to see which one is right for you.

    More Articles You May Like:

    3 Accessories Every Enclosed Trailer Hauler Should Have

    3 Popular Heavy-Duty Cargo Nets

    Beginner’s Guide to E-Tracks and E-Track Accessories

    How to Install E-Track in a Trailer

    Moving Blankets & Furniture Pads: A Guide

    Moving Checklist: Remove the Stress of Moving in 15 Steps


    To learn more about our products, get in touch with one of our technical experts by calling (855) 240-1891 or by emailing We’ll help get you what you want, when you need it.


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