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How to Choose Tie-down and Ratchet Straps

Thinking of buying tie-down and ratchet straps? Getting confused by the hundreds of products available online? Well, don’t worry. If you know what features to look for and what factors to consider while buying tie-down and ratchet straps, you will be good to go!

Working Load Limit

The first thing that you need to look for is the working load limit and the breaking strength rating of the straps. The working load limit (WLL) of the straps is usually 1/3 of its breaking strength. Generally, a ratchet strap that has a breaking strength rating of 2200 lbs. can safely hold a load of around 730 lbs.

Size of the Straps

The size of the straps depends on the strength of the strap and the size of the load. You don’t expect a 10 ft. strap to keep a 12 ft. load securely in place, now do you? It is a good thing to keep an additional 3.5 ft. of ratchet strap length for every 10 ft. of cargo that you are looking to transport to be on the safe side. You can’t risk losing your cargo or damaging yourself in the process, right?

The heavier the load you need to secure the higher the WLL you need. The strap you use for your needs will be wider as well.

Material

Gear failure is the last thing that you want when you are transporting the load. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you should take a look at the material of the tie downs before buying them. It is a good thing if the metal components of the straps are corrosion-resistant and have a protective coating to keep them safe from the natural elements. 

Some straps come with wire hooks, while others come with flat hooks and D-rings. You should select the hardware based on their application. 

To ensure that the loads are lifted safely or that they are secure in position, the quality and type of metal used in the ratchet straps are important. Consume grade straps will definitely not work well for heavy-duty industrial applications, of course.

Mode of Transportation

This is an important factor when you are looking for the best tie-down and ratchet straps. Whether you are transporting the goods via truck, moving van, ship, air carrier, etc. plays an important role in determining the type of ratchet straps you get.

Ease of Use

You want the straps to make things easier for you, not difficult, right? There are various tie-downs in the market with difficult release mechanisms and hard to use grips. Choose straps with well-designed, comfortable, ergonomic handles along with easy to use release tabs. 

Cost

Remember to check the parameters of the product before placing an order. The higher quality product will cost extra price while providing you better control of your cargo. Therefore, keep your requirements along with your budget in mind. Compare them with the features of the straps and tie-downs you are looking at, and then make a final choice.

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How to Use Ratchet Straps

Going to transport your belongings such as furniture, car, etc. to your new home? With the help of ratchet straps, you can easily tie down the cargo, and rest assured that they will stay put, instead of wobbling all over the place!

What are ratchet straps?

Ratchet straps are tie-down straps for cargo, and they are usually made of polyester webbing. You run these straps through a buckle and tighten or loosen them as per your requirements. They can support different cargo sizes and weights according to their rated weight capacities.

Using Ratchet Straps

Likely, you haven’t used ratchet straps before. However, don’t worry, for we are here to help! Once you learn how to use them, you will be set for life!

Let’s take you through the steps of using ratchets straps.

  1. Press the Tie Down Buckle release

The first step in using the ratchet straps is to thread them. Turn the central slot at a 45° against the ratchet to easily thread the webbing.

  1. Thread the ratchet in the mandrel/central slot

There is a slot at the bottom of the ratchet straps. It is called a mandrel. In order to thread the ratchet strap, you should push the strap through the mandrel from underneath the closed ratchet. You have to place the webbing through the slot present in the center of the rotating spool of the ratchet.

Once you are done, the length of the threaded strap should overlap with the second strap present on the other side of the ratchet.
Until the strap feels taut, you have to keep feeding the strap via the mandrel. Since you can tighten and adjust the ratchet later as well, thus, you don’t have to worry about its length initially.

  1. Placing the ratchet straps over the cargo

It is very easy to secure the cargo in the moving van or truck bed with the help of ratchet straps. All you have to do is to move the cargo in position and then place the straps across the cargo. The ends of the ratchet straps can be hooked in the grooves present in the van wall or over the side of the truck bed.

If you are going to hold some objects together with the help of the ratchet straps, all you have to do is wrap the straps around them and hook the ends of the straps together. However, you need to keep in mind that this will hold them together, not keep them in place. You’ll have to use another ratchet strap to firmly keep them in place.

  1. Tighten the ratchet straps

Once you have placed the straps over the objects you are looking to secure, pull the straps, and tighten them. However, it is not a good idea to over-tighten the straps. If you put too much pressure, you can either damage your cargo or the straps themselves. Try to fit one finger between the object and the ratchet strap. If the finger fits easily, then the straps are not overly-tightened. 

  1. Opening the ratchet straps

It is very easy to release the ratchet straps. All you need to do is press the release tab. It is usually present on the top of the straps. To release the webbing, all you need to do is pul and hold the release tab, and the ratcheting function will be overridden.

Final Word

As you can see, it is very easy to use ratchet straps. All you need to do is follow the above-mentioned steps, and you will be good to go!