Ratchet straps and winch straps may seem like hardy items that you can place anywhere you want. However, if you want them to last longer, they need to be stored in a specific manner. Below we’ll outline the best ways to store your ratchet straps so that you don’t have to continuously replace them.
How to store ratchet straps and winch straps: Ratchet straps should not be stored in areas where there is direct sunlight, moisture, or excess heat. Avoid damp pick up truck beds or even a storage box or headache rack tray bottom that gathers water.
After you use your ratchet straps, inspect them for any damage. Then, roll each strap up and secure it with a tie or rubber band. This also helps keep things organized if you use different lengths of straps.
What to consider when storing ratchet straps
Sunlight is powerful and when it comes to strap webbing, direct sunlight can weaken and even break ratchet straps. Wherever you end up storing your straps, be sure to place them in a dark area.
This area doesn’t have to be pitch black but at the very least, avoiding direct sunlight when the straps are not in use is best.
Any time there is moisture in an area, mold can form. Even if your ratchet straps are completely dry, placing them in a damp area can mean that mold will cling to the straps.
Once something becomes moldy, it is almost impossible to use it again. Mold is a major health hazard and no amount of bleach can ensure that the material will be safe to use again.
Furthermore, mold can break down the straps, leading them to be less secure. Never leave your ratchet straps in an area that has a history of attracting moisture.
The issue of heat is often aligned with sunlight. If you place your ratchet straps in the cab of your pickup for example, the sun’s strength is multiplied through the glass.
As a result, the straps can fray or break apart over time from too much heat. It is best to keep the straps somewhere that is room temperature or cooler.
When you store your ratchet straps, try to ensure they aren’t near anything else that can move or cause friction. Likewise, don’t store them in a taut position as this will put extra force on the straps, which can break down the fibers.
Steps on how to store ratchet straps
Before you first use your ratchet straps or winch straps, come up with a plan on how and where you will store them. Think about factors such as how many straps you need to store and how accessible they need to be.
If you are always using your ratchet straps, then find a place that you can easily get to. The back of a tool shed in your garden is probably not ideal.
Likewise, think about the above factors. Where is a cool, dry, dark area to store them?
Once you have the location, it’s time to think about the method you will use to store them.
One of the easiest ways to control the environment in which you will store your ratchet straps is with the use of a bag. This can be a specially made bag just for ratchet straps, or an old sports bag you have in your closet.
Whatever you use, it should be waterproof and have a durable zipper that won’t let any moisture, oil, or insects in.
Check for faults
Each time you store your ratchet straps it is a good opportunity for you to look for defects. It is much better to look over your straps before you store them, rather than when you take them out again. This way, if there are issues, you have time to fix or replace the straps.
Roll the straps
To keep everything neat and tidy, you should roll your individual ratchet straps. This will ensure they stay together and don’t get wrapped up in each other.
Rolling will also preserve the strap material, since any folds can become creases, which are permanent blemishes that can affect how the strap tightens.
After you roll up each strap, you can add in an extra step of securing each individual bundle. Rubber bands work well and can be worth the extra step.
Don’t worry if your rolls aren’t perfect. This isn’t about an artform but rather a convenient and safe way to store your straps and see which straps you have available to use for your next load.
How long do ratchet straps last?
With proper care, you can expect your ratchet straps to last years. If you start with better quality straps from well known name brands like Kinedyne, then there is a greater chance they will last longer.
Kinedyne straps are well known in the industry and we carry them because of their good reputation. They stand behind their product.
While you should always inspect your ratchet straps after using them and before storing them, you should also inspect them before using them again. Even if you follow our steps, there is still a chance that the material can warp or fray.
Should you twist ratchet straps?
Twisting ratchet straps when they are being used to tie down a load is a good practice that can increase the life of your straps considerably.
You only want one twist on each side of your load, and flat across the top where it hits the load, and at the corners.
When putting ratchet straps on without a twist, when you begin driving the strap will make a buzzing type of noise, and this from the strap rapidly vibrating from the wind current.
It can be a surprisingly loud sound as the strap vibrates against the load and smacks it dozens of times per minute. This movement can wear out a strap in a very short amount of time.
Simply giving the strap one twist will avoid this vibrating movement and greatly reduce wear.
Avoid letting a twisted portion of the strap enter the ratchet, as this will reduce the life of a strap as well as they are really designed for only one layer of webbing to advance into the ratchet body as it is being tightened.
Ratchet straps serve an important function and you want to take good care of them so they will last for a few years.
Roll your ratchet straps up and then store them in a waterproof storage box or headache rack if you drive a semi.
If you drive a pickup or van, then a storage box, or somewhere else out of sunlight and out of areas prone to gathering moisture will be a good call. Make sure they are in a cool, dark place to avoid any extra damage.