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Ratchet straps are also called ratchet cargo straps or ratchet strap tie downs.
Ratchet strap tie downs help truckers reliably, quickly, and safely secure their cargo to a trailer or flatbed truck.
These cargo control straps are effective because you can use them to secure truck loads of various sizes and weights in minutes.
When you arrive at your destination and need to unload, releasing the ratchet strap is easy – slide the ratchet so it’s open, and feed the webbing through.
Trison Tarps stocks a variety of ratchet straps for your cargo securement needs.
Ratchet strap tie downs are available in various widths and end fittings, so securing your load isn’t just about picking up any ratchet strap and getting the job done.
You need to know the safe working load limit (WLL) of each strap, and then choose the appropriate straps for the particular job.
Several organizations have strict requirements in place when you use ratchet straps for cargo control and securement.
The U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) and the Web Sling and Tie Down Association state that the WLL can’t be more than a third of the rated capacity.
As such, the cargo’s weight can’t exceed the working load limit of all the straps that you use.
If you don’t heed the straps’ working load limits, you could deal with failure of your cargo control system, which can damage your cargo, result in an accident if some of your load slips off the truck, and more.
The Web Sling and Tie Down Association and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all tie down manufacturers stipulate the safe WLL of the ratchet strap via a strap tag.
The ratchet cargo straps you choose should meet various industry standards and requirements to ensure you are making the safest and best choice.
For example, Kinedyne ratchet straps meet the following industry standards:
When you choose ratchet straps for your flatbed truck or trailer’s cargo, there are various factors you need to keep in mind.
Let’s have a quick look at the aspects of a ratchet cargo strap.
The webbing part of a ratchet strap should be made from heavy-duty polyester.
Industrial-grade polyester webbing ensures an optimum strength-to-stretch ratio so your load doesn’t move around during the transport process.
Polyester webbing (also called military webbing) is an ideal choice because it’s:
The polyester webbing of your ratchet straps should have a tight weave, because the tighter the weave, the more durable the webbing.
A ratchet strap wouldn’t be the sturdy cargo securement tool it is without the tensioning device – the ratchet.
The strong and durable polyester webbing works as a team with the tensioning device, which holds and tightens everything together.
The ratchet is usually made from gold dichromate heat-treated carbon steel and has a zinc-plated finish to ensure the tensioning device remains corrosion-free.
There are three main mechanisms on the ratchet:
The Ratchet’s Handle
Most ratchet strap mechanisms have a standard, wide, or long handle (that works like a lever or crank) designed to be user-friendly so it fits your bare and/or gloved hand for convenience.
There’s also two pawls, or movable levers, to keep the webbing in place or to release it.
The pawl on the handle tightens the webbing, while the pawl on the other side of the ratchet holds the webbing.
You feed the webbing through the windlass. As you move the handle, the pawl engages the teeth on the windlass to feed the webbing through until you’ve secured your load, preventing slippage.
Ratchet cargo straps also have end fittings (or end hardware) on both sides that you connect to an anchor point, such as the side rail, on your trailer or flatbed.
End fittings are typically made from heat-treated carbon steel, and like the ratchet mechanism, may also be zinc-plated to ensure they remain free from corrosion and increase the longevity of the strap.
Flat hooks are a popular end fitting because you can hook them onto almost any side rail, while wire hook fittings are more commonly used for narrower anchor points.
We briefly touched on the end fittings of ratchet straps above, but now it’s time to dive into more detail.
The type of ratchet strap tie down refers to what end fitting has been fitted to the strap.
The fitting you choose affects the working load limit and the L-track and E-track rail compatibility.
Choose between these types of ratchet straps:
Flat hooks are a popular end fitting on ratchet straps.
These fittings are commonly used because they are compatible with anchor points that are flat, so stake pockets and almost any flatbed side rail (or rub rail) will do.
Pro Tip: Look for flat hooks with an abrasion clip to ensure the webbing doesn’t wear down.
Wire hooks, also called J-hooks, are a smaller ratchet strap end fitting, so they are compatible with narrower anchor points, D-rings, O-rings, and trailer sides.
Pro Tip: Look for wire hooks that have a zinc-plated finish to prevent corrosion.
Ratchet straps with chain hooks, also called grab hooks or chain extensions, are typically used for heavier cargo.
The chain end fitting increases the working load limit of the tie down.
Chain hooks work with most types of anchor types.
Ratchet straps can also come with S-hooks and an optional keeper to ensure the tie down won’t slip off the anchor point.
S-hooks are usually used for light-duty cargo securement.
Pro Tip: Check for vinyl-coated S-hooks to ensure the end fitting doesn’t scratch or damage the paint of your truck.
Snap hook end fittings are also a popular option for truckers because they are super easy to hook into place.
These are mostly compatible with D-rings but can hook into other types of anchor points on your flatbed truck or trailer too.
Choose between flat snap hooks or swivel snap hooks, with swivel snap hooks locking or snapping into place to ensure your cargo securement tie downs don’t come undone.
E-track ratchet straps are compatible with the E-track anchoring systems or E-track rails that are installed along the walls or flooring of your truck.
E-track tie downs offer versatility to truckers since you can choose the best securement method, either vertically (via vertical E-tracks) or horizontally (via horizontal E-tracks), for your cargo.
Plus, you can secure your load from almost all angles.
The size of a ratchet strap tie down doesn’t refer to the overall length of the strap. Instead, ratchet strap sizes refer to the width of the webbing.
The length of the ratchet strap is important for truckers because they need to know how much webbing they need to secure the cargo.
But it’s the width of the ratchet strap webbing, that is, the size, that determines the tensile strength or working load limit.
The working load limit of a ratchet strap dictates the maximum amount of stress that the tie down can take before it’ll fail or break. And the WLL is a third of the break or tensile strength of the strap.
Not sure what size ratchet strap is ideal for your trucking and cargo securement job?
Ratchet straps come in four sizes, from 1 inch wide to 4 inches wide.
Here’s everything you need to know about the webbing widths on ratchet straps and usage guidelines.
NOTE: It’s always recommended to check the actual working load limit and break strength of the ratchet straps you buy to ensure your cargo is safely and properly secured and to prevent any failure of the securement method you choose.
Commonly used for: Light-duty cargo
General WLL: 500 lbs – 1,000 lbs
1” ratchet straps are easy to store in your trucker’s toolbox because they are smaller than the other ratchet tie down sizes.
You can choose what end fittings, from S-hooks, J-hooks, and wire hooks to snap hooks and E-track fittings, you want with your 1” ratchet strap tie downs.
The most popular lengths of 1” ratchet straps are 12 feet and 16 feet.
Benefits of 1” ratchet straps:
Currently, we have the following 1” ratchet cargo straps in stock:
Commonly used for: Light-duty cargo
General WWL: 915 lbs – 3,335 lbs
2” ratchet straps are a popular option for dry vans, enclosed vans, tractor-trailers (or semi-trucks), and box trucks, but that’s not to say you can’t use these 2” straps for your flatbed truck.
Most popular length of 2” ratchet straps are also 12 feet and 16 feet.
Benefits of 2” ratchet straps:
Trison Tarps currently stock these 2” ratchet straps:
Commonly used for: Heavier-duty cargo
General WWL: 5,000 lbs – 5,670 lbs
Professional flatbed truck drivers commonly opt for 3” ratchet strap tie downs for their cargo securement needs.
Just the hardware of these straps can weigh between seven and eight pounds.
Typical 3” ratchet strap lengths are 27 feet and 30 feet.
Benefits of 3” ratchet straps:
Commonly used for: Heavy-duty and odd-shaped cargo
General WWL: 5,400 lbs – 5,670 lbs
Similarly to 3” ratchet straps, the 4” variety is also a popular choice in the professional trucking industry, especially among truckers that drive flatbed trailers.
The most common lengths of 4” ratchet strap tie downs are 27 feet and 30 feet with wire hook or flat hook fittings.
Benefits of 4” ratchet straps:
There is, of course, also the option of getting a ratchet strap made if none of the traditional options work for your cargo securement needs.
With custom-made ratchet straps, you can choose:
You don’t need to worry about ol’ black and boring ratchet straps. No, these cargo securement devices come in some funky colors so you can identify them at a glance.
Popular color options for ratchet straps include:
Other ratchet straps can also be white, black, camo, olive, and more.
Two top-rated brands that manufacture ratchet tie down straps are:
Kinedyne was established more than 50 years ago.
The company is in the cargo control and securement niche, offering various products to help you secure and transport your loads safely.
Kinedyne has various types of ratchet straps on offer, from 1” to 4” wide webbing, different webbing lengths, and various end fittings.
The company also takes innovation to a new level with their K-FORCE ratchet straps.
The 2” K-FORCE ratchet tie down straps have one of the highest working load limits at 4,000 lbs, which is 20% more than the industry standard of 3,335 lbs.
The 4” K-FORCE ratchet straps have a working load limit of 6,670 lbs, which is 1,000 lbs more than most other 4” ratchet straps.
Ancra Cargo has also been in business for more than 50 years, and the company offers various cargo securement solutions to the trucking and other industries.
Ancra straps, including their ratchet straps, undergo vigorous testing for strength and durability to ensure the company only offers the best.
Ancra Cargo’s X-Treme line of straps are the most abrasive-resistant since it’s made from a special weave and features added coating for increased strength retention.
Learn how to use ratchet straps by following these steps to correctly tighten a ratchet strap over your cargo for safe and secure transportation:
Follow these steps to release the ratchet strap:
There are various accessories that you can use with ratchet straps:
A strap saver bolts onto the ratchet strap so you can safely store the excess webbing once your cargo is secured.
Simply feed the extra polyester webbing through the spool using the hand crank to wind it up. Then use the rewinding handle to lock the spool in place, ensuring the webbing doesn’t unspool.
You can also opt to use a strap winder rather than a strap saver.
The strap winder attaches to the side rail of your truck, and then you simply wind the excess polyester webbing of the ratchet strap around the strap winder.
The extra webbing is kept neat and secure.
The purpose of strap bands is to keep your ratchet straps and winch straps secure once they are rolled up and ready for storage.
Another benefit of these bands is that they ensure your straps don’t become tangled in your toolbox.
Corner protectors, edge protectors, and vee boards work wonders to keep the edges or corners of your cargo safe and free from damage.
These kinds of protectors also increase the longevity of your ratchet straps and other cargo securement tools.
Whether you are a professional or newbie in the trucking industry, you need ratchet straps on boards to secure your cargo.
When buying ratchet cargo straps, ensure you choose the right type and size of ratchet straps for your load securing needs.
Reach out to the team at Trison Tarps to help you choose the right ratchet straps.
Ratchet straps, ratchet cargo straps, or ratchet strap tie downs are cargo securement tools made of heavy-duty polyester webbing, a tensioning mechanism (the ratchet), and end fittings.
Truckers use ratchet straps because they are durable and can attach to various anchor points depending on the end fitting.
Ratchet straps also allow truck drivers to use the right amount of tension in the tie down to secure the load without causing damage.
There are various benefits to choosing ratchet straps as your cargo securement option.
Ratchet strap tie downs are lighter and softer than cargo chains, so they are easier to lift, carry, and store.
You don’t need to worry about installing winches or unique anchor points since the end fitting options work with various tie down points on your truck.
You can secure your load from all angles as you can pull ratchet straps diagonally, horizontally, and vertically over the cargo.
The number of ratchet cargo straps a trucker needs depends on the size and weight of the cargo they are transporting.
It’s recommended to tie your cargo with at least 4 ratchet straps, but use as many as you need so your cargo remains safe and secure during transit.
Ensuring your ratchet strap tie downs are well-maintained increases the lifespan of these cargo securement devices so you can keep on securing your loads.
To maintain your ratchet straps, avoid sharp corners or edges, use corner protectors, and use strap bands when storing the straps.
Always inspect your ratchet straps before securing your cargo to ensure they are in good working conditions.
If a ratchet strap is damaged, see if you can replace the broken part of the tie down, but if the strap is broken beyond repair, it’s best to use a new ratchet strap to ensure the safety of your cargo.