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Chain Binders

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Chain Binders come in various sizes and styles, and are used with transport chains to tie down loads and equipment on flatbed trailers.

Whether you are looking for load binders, ratchet binders, or lever chain binders, Trison Tarps has what you need in 5/16”, ⅜”, ½”, or ⅝” size.

Ratchet Binders and Lever Binders are the two main types of binders used for securing chains for the trucking industry.

Each binder we sell at Trison Tarps has a hook on each end; whether you are using a ratchet binder or a lever binder, they both are used for tensioning transport chains, and they each have their advantages and disadvantages.

All lever or ratchet binders we sell meet DOT requirements for tie downs.

Lever Binders

Lever binders are so called because of the leverage they employ to tension the chain.

To use a lever binder, the load binder needs to be opened all the way and then the hooks should be fastened to the chain or deck anchor.

Then, using an over center action the binder is locked into place, thus tensioning the chain.

Lever binders are sometimes called snap binders, chain boomers, and in some places are even known as bear trap binders.

This is because when loosening the binders, you reverse the over center action and all of the force that is required to tighten the load binder causes the binder to recoil.

Depending on how tight the binder was fastened, the snapback can be very powerful.

It is critical to be aware of this, since an unsuspecting user can be hurt pretty badly.

This is why we often recommend an anti kickback or recoilless lever binder if you need to work with lever binders.

This type of binder has a cam action that greatly reduces the snapback or kickback, and is much safer to work with for that reason. This is why we call them Safety Binders.

In summary, the two types of Lever Binders are: regular lever binders and safety (recoilless) lever binders. Both work by using an over center action to put tension on the chain.

Despite the recoil or kickback that is normal with lever binders, they are still used because they are lighter than ratchet binders, so they are easier to handle.

Lever binders are also smaller, so they are easier to store since they take up less room.

And, lever binders can be more efficient, since the closing action is one quick snap.

Binder Locks

To ensure that your lever binders stay secure and do not inadvertently open during travel, we offer 2 cost effective options; they are both the same price, and both are easy to use.

Personally, we find the Binder Lock easier to use especially if you are wearing gloves.

Binder Lock

This metal binder lock with double wire lock safety pin is used once the lever binder is fully secured.

Simply unclip the safety pin, place the binder lock over the binder handle and fasten the safety pin in one of the two holes; whichever most secures the binder lock in place.

Binder Wire Rope Lock

The Wire Rope Binder Lock works in much the same way.

Tighten the lever binder, then unclip one side of the wire rope binder lock and wrap it around the handle of the lever binder.

There are 3 positions available to secure the binder lock closed; use whichever one leaves the least amount of slack while still being able to fully encircle the binder handle.

Ratchet Binders

Ratchet Chain Binders tension the chain using a ratcheting action; they are safer than lever binders because they don’t use an over center action to tighten the Grade 70 chain.

This eliminates nearly all of the kickback that a lever style binder has.

Besides safety during operation, the adjustment in a ratchet binder is another advantage.

For example, with a lever binder you need to hook the binder onto a link of the chain. If that link makes it too tight or too loose to tighten the binder, you need to go to the next link.

With ratchet binders you have more adjustment because you are not limited by one link in the chain or the next.

The ratchet action of the load binder is where the adjustment is, and this is usually in smaller increments than having to move from one link to the next.

Ratchet binders can be considered less efficient, since the ratchet action can take more time than the quick snap of a lever binder.

They are also more bulky than lever binders and take up more storage space.

Ratchet binders also tend to cost more than lever binders.

If you are very comfortable working with lever binders and familiar with the kickback, they are a quick, efficient, and less costly option.

For safety and ease of use reasons, ratchet binders or safety (recoilless binders) are preferred.

Ratchet binders do not need binder locks, since the cog (if properly engaged) in the ratchet mechanism keeps the ratchet binder from inadvertently opening during travel.

Types of Ratchet Binders

There are a few different styles of Ratchet Load binders to accommodate various types of situations.

Standard Ratchet Binders

Nothing fancy here, simply a ratchet binder to do the job. A ratchet action handle, and a hook on each end of the binder.

Folding Handle Ratchet Binders

These binders were created to solve the issue that can sometimes occur when the handle of the ratchet binder is in the way.

Having the ability to simply fold it down once the binder has fully tensioned the G70 chain ensures a ratchet binder can be used even in tight quarters.

Anti-Theft Ratchet Binders

These binders come equipped with a Load and Lock created by Durabilt which has a hole strategically located near the cog for a common sized padlock to fit through.

Ratchet Load Binder

This ensures that once the ratchet is fastened and the padlock is locked, the binder cannot be removed without unlocking the padlock.

Binder Sizes

We carry chain load binders in 5/16”, ⅜”, and ½” sizes.

In general, you can use a binder that is one size up from the chain you are tensioning. For example, if you have 5/16” chain, you can use a ⅜” binder.

But, it is best to be sure that the hooks on the binder are compatible with the size chain you plan to use.

Also, you do not want to use a binder that is smaller than the chain you are using since it will become the weakest link.

For example, if you are using a 1/2” G70 chain with a working load limit of 11,300 lbs and you use a 3/8” binder with a working load limit of 7100 lbs, you have to count only 7100 lbs of tie down strength since it would go by the lowest rated part in the chain and binder assembly.

Binder Grades and Working Load Limits

At this time, we only carry Grade 70, or G70 lever binders and G70 ratchet binders (sometimes called chain boomers) in the below working load limits:

As explained above, it is important to pair the right binder with the right chain.

Using a 5400 lb working load limit (WLL) binder with a chain that has a higher WLL results in counting only 5400 lbs.

This is especially important with 5/16″-3/8″ chain binders. Some places will sell a binder that has hooks that can fit both 5/16″ and 3/8″ chain, but only has a working load limit that matches 5/16″ chain.

That means that using this binder – even though it fits 3/8″ chain – will downgrade your chain to only 5400 lbs WLL instead of the full 6600 that 3/8″ chain is rated for.

On the other hand, using a binder with a higher WLL than the chain doesn’t mean you count the higher number.

While it is acceptable to use a binder that has a higher WLL than the chain you are using, be sure to only then count the chain’s WLL towards the overall working load limit of the chain and binder assembly.

In other words, using a binder with a working load limit that is higher than the chain doesn’t increase the working load limit of the chain, so consider only the working load limit of the chain when calculating the required number and strength of tie downs needed.

It’s important to ensure too, that the G70 chain with hooks has hooks with the same or greater WLL than the chain.

How to maintain load binders

Lever Binders

Lever binders will have joints and pivots that can be oiled on a regular basis.

Ratchet Binders

The hooks on ratchet binders can be unscrewed partially and oiled, as well as around the moving parts of the ratchet mechanism and the cog.

Do not use a heavy grease on your ratchet binders; even though it is likely readily accessible and in use when you grease up your 5th wheel plate, using a heavy grease like this can cause big trouble if the grease dries out or freezes.

The best thing to use is a silicone lubricant spray. This will keep them from freezing up too, like grease can do.

Ease of use of your ratchet binder as well as longevity of the binder will be greatly benefitted if the binders are stored out of the weather.

Some open headache racks don’t offer much cover, so an enclosed headache rack or storage box is an ideal storage location.

How to store load binders

As mentioned above, a storage box, headache rack, or enclosed headache rack are all good options for storing load binders.

In particular, we offer 2 different ratchet binder racks, both of which are lockable to prevent theft.

One holds 7 binders and another holds 11 binders.

Chain racks are another option, or a headache rack with a chain/binder tray.

With ratchet binders, the screw in hook ends can sometimes unscrew themselves in transit when being stored.

One way to avoid this is to clip the binder hooks on a chain hanging beside them, so they can’t unscrew themselves.