dunnage air bags in railcar

Knowing how to use dunnage air bags correctly will allow you to effectively brace cargo loads in trucks, overseas containers, or railcars to prevent damage during transit. While dunnage air bags are a simple and convenient option for filling empty cargo space, they need to be installed properly in order for them to work as intended. When used correctly, dunnage air bags can stop unwanted movement and help save thousands of dollars in damaged merchandise, as well as time spent re-packaging fallen cargo.

Using dunnage airbags in your packaging and shipping strategy couldn’t be easier. Compared to other bracing methods available, airbags are by far the cheapest and most efficient option. The different types of dunnage air bags make it possible for them to fit into almost any industry who ships products by freight or railcar.

Once you’ve chosen the type of dunnage air bag you need for your application, installing it can be done in a few simple steps. Here’s exactly what needs to be done in order for your dunnage air bag to perform at its best.

Positioning the Bag

Positioning a dunnage air bag in the right location is the first step of the process. Place the deflated dunnage air bag between the sections of your load that require some added bracing. You should size the bag to completely fill the space on it’s inflated. Square bags are a great option for extra-large gaps that require more than your average dunnage air bag. Make sure you have full access to the inflation valve of the bag so you can easily hook up an air compressor tube.

When positioning the bag, you can add a corrugated board on either side to prevent it from rubbing against the pallets and bursting. This is a critical step for products that may have sharp edges or rough pallet surfaces.

dunnage air bag in freight truck

Inflating the Bag

To inflate a dunnage air bag, you’ll need access to an air compressor. Air compressors are tools that create and move pressurized air, which provides a great level of force. This force is what makes a dunnage air bag strong enough to support the weight of your load and prevent movement. Air compressor lines can be installed at your warehouse, or you can purchase portable air compressors.

You will also need the correct inflation tool for the type of dunnage airbag you’ve chosen. Modern options are available that work with all types of bags, so you can choose something like this if you plan to work with multiple bag styles.

Now that the bag has been positioned correctly, you can start inflating the bag by hooking up the air compressor tubing to your tool and then the tool to your inflation valve. You want to fill the bag up until the void space has been filled and the bag feels secure. Each bag will have the recommended pressure written near the valve, so pay close attention to the final pressure level. Many air compressors and tools will automatically shut off once the bag reaches the correct pressure.

Make sure you double check the pressure of your bag before sending off the load. Once the bag is filled to the correct pressure level between the load sections, it’s ready to go.

Disposing of the Bag

When the load arrives at its final destination, removing the bag is just as simple as installing it. Cut a hole in the bag at arm’s length, and then deflate and discard the bag. Some poly woven or vinyl bags might be reusable, so you can open the valve to deflate the bag and then remove it and save it for the next load. Many bags are designed to be recyclable, so be sure to drop off the materials at the right facility to help with waste management.

As you can see, dunnage air bags are simple to use and easy to install. These helpful packaging products allow you to ship and receive loads with confidence. If you want to order some dunnage air bags today, you can view our inventory at The Packaging Group. Find everything you need to secure your load in just a few clicks.