If you are not familiar with ratchet straps yet, then perhaps this article can equip you with the knowledge on how to use them.

What are Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps are tools that you can use to fasten your cargo during transport. It can support many different cargo sizes and weights if used properly.

They are made from hardwearing webbing created with a tie down hardware and a ratchet for the tensioning of the strap. Such straps are basically used to fasten down goods transported in boxes, containers, pallets, trailers, and trucks.

Threading a Ratchet Strap

  • Put the webbing through the slot at the center rotating spool of closed ratchet to thread a ratchet buckle.
  • Pull the webbing through and ensure that you have left some slack. Start to raise and lower the handle.
  • The webbing will wind itself eventually and lock in place. Further ratcheting will add up to the tension in the strap.

Releasing the Ratchet Strap

  • Release the strap by pulling and holding the release tab above the ratchet and open both until either sides are aligned.
  • Pull the webbing from the side not yet fixed down to release the strap.

Storing Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps can also experience wear and tear, as well as damage due to factors like friction, molds, and ultraviolet radiation. So before you store your ratchet straps, always check for any damage first.

  • Roll the ratchet straps separately, but always do so with care. This will avoid straps to get tangled during the storage. You may keep the rolls of straps in place by using a rubber band or zip ties.
  • Put the secured ratchet straps away from moisture or direct sunlight to keep them away from damage during the storage.
  • You may also keep them in duffle bags or plastic toolboxes to keep them safe.

Weight Limit for Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps can hold different cargo sizes and weights, but it can’t be denied that there are also limitations. That is why it is important to note the break strength and working limit of the strap.

This can be determined at the tag attached on the strap marking its effective capacity. The break strength is measured in kilograms wherein any load-bearing part of the ratchet part would fail.

When it comes to working load limit, it is the maximum possible load to be applied to each ratchet strap as assigned by the manufacturer. So this must not exceed the overall assembly breaking strength which is only one-third.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have recently updated the guidance on load securing. These are useful information for operators and haulers on how the loads are expected to be secured during transit by the DVSA and other regulators.

Adjusting Ratchet Straps

You can adjust your ratchet straps for tightening the hold on the cargo.

  • Put the hooks into position and pull the loose end of the strap away from the ratchet to tighten your ratchet strap.
  • This will enable you to remove any slack before raising and lowering the ratchet handle and tighten it.
  • After the strap has been fully extended, you can close the handle to lock and keep it in place.

You can also loosen the strap after you reach your destination before unloading the cargo.

  • Pull the release handle and open the ratchet completely in order to loosen the strap.
  • After the strap has been loosened, you may now pull the ratchet so that you can loosen the strap.

Using Ratchet Straps On A Truck

When you are securing a cargo in or on the truck, you can put the ratchet straps over it.

  • Hook the ends over either sides of the truck bed. You may put the lashing rings or anchor points or in-grooves on the truck wall.
  • Then, you can pull the ratchet back and forth in order to tighten the strap after feeling that it has been totally tightened.
  • Check the strap to make sure that it is securely locked.
  • Flip the ratchet back into its closed position to lock the strap securely.

Endless Ratchet Straps

If you are going to bundle items together on a pallet or moving dolly, it is ideal to use endless ratchet straps. These are also known as endless loop ratchet straps.

These are available on a wide array of colors, lengths, and widths that should suit your needs. But note that if you are going to strap together loads that can be damaged when ratchet straps are very tightly tensioned, you have to use corner protectors.

Using Endless Ratchet Straps

  • Feed the endless ratchet strap through the bottom if you are going to secure a load to a pallet. Just make sure that the strap is going in the same direction as the fork truck tines to avoid predictable damage.
  • Put the loose end of the strap towards the top of the pallet. Then, feed the webbing through the take-up spool on the ratchet.
  • Pull the extra webbing through to avoid any slack in the strap.
  • If necessary, you can put your corner protectors over the cargo edges. This will protect your endless ratchet strap from damage due to abrasive cargo aside from protecting the load itself.
  • You can begin ratcheting to your desired tension after the slack has been removed.

How Often to Replace Ratchet Straps

It is important to inspect ratchet straps before and after using to make sure there is no damage during transit. Regardless if your straps are stored away, it is always recommended to check them each couple of weeks to ensure they haven’t been corroded or damaged.

It will take around 2-4 years for a ratchet strap to last, which depends of course to how well you have protected it from any causes of damage. Take note that there are a lot of factors that can impact its lifespan.

Such would include direct sunlight, mildew, and moisture. So it is always advisable to check them regularly.

Tying Down a Car With Ratchet Straps

Smaller vehicles can benefit from tire straps to keep the tires steady and secure during transit. Such straps are made to protect the body of the car.

  • After securing the tires, you can wrap the main strap around the back of the left-front tire.
  • Then, feed it through the diverter strap before pulling it tightly.
  • Put the exposed end of the main strap through the center hole of a ratchet strap buckle. Just leave a bit of a slack and crank the handle to connect the straps completely.

The main strap will be able to squeeze into the side of the tires. Otherwise, you need to repeat the process until it does.

Ratchet straps are essential in securing your cargo for transport. You will be wondering why you ever used anything else once you understand how to use them.

Ratchet straps are able to hold the tension in the cargo weight with a built-in tensioner device. With rated weigh capacities, it will be a reliable and safe tie-down choice.

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