The Ultimate Trucker’s Guide To Ratchet Straps

The Ultimate Trucker’s Guide To Ratchet Straps

Jeanne tarazevitsMay 11, 2022

When transporting materials and items on your truck, whether they be pallets or cargo containers, it’s important to make sure you have them properly secured. There are several different methods to secure your cargo, but one of the most common ways is to utilize truck straps to keep everything down.

With these straps, there are many different varieties, each one providing its own advantages and challenges. It’s your job to make sure you have the best straps for your current job, whatever it is you may need to transport.

When deciding on the perfect tools for your job, remember to keep the ultimate trucker’s guide to ratchet straps on hand to help inform your decisions. Know what you need, and don’t substitute the ideal tools with something that may not be suitable for the task of securing your loads.

The Different Truck Straps To Consider

With the different loads that you may need to transport come different straps to consider for the job. Be aware of some of the most common ones to utilize when on the job, as some may offer great general use while other straps may lend themselves more for specialized utility.

Ratchet Straps

A versatile piece of equipment, the ratchet strap is arguably the most common strap truckers use to tie down their load. This great utility comes from the fact that they are highly customizable pieces of equipment.

It’s all up to you whether you want to alter the strap width, increase or decrease the length, switch out the hook, or just generally modify the hardware. With the wide range of strap widths comes the opportunity to use it for a variety of different loads; the ratchet tow straps are some of the most versatile pieces of equipment you’ll run into.

E Track Straps

A more specialized strap, the E track straps utilize E tracks; you can install these tracks on the sides of your truck trailer. From these tracks, truckers can hook up the straps, attaching them from multiple different angles to secure a load.

One of the biggest advantages of the E track strap is that truckers have multiple points of security when tying down their loads; it’s not just a single point. This ensures that no single point has too much stress pulling on it, spreading out the weight evenly among the different straps.

While this does offer greater security, it does require a specific space, and you need to install the tracks themselves for them to function properly.

Winch Straps

When you need to deal with transporting materials on a flatbed truck, a winch strap is among the most common tools for the job, right after ratchet straps. Coming in with three- to four-inch-wide straps, they deal with heavy-duty loads and will tie down whatever you need securely.

Their heavy-duty nature makes them ideal when transporting large and heavy equipment, but may be overkill when you need to move smaller loads. Know what you need to deal with; you may be able to get away with more affordable straps if your load is light enough.

You must also be aware of the fact that even though winch straps have tremendous strength, it’s best practice to use at least four during transit. Utilizing four or more will help distribute the weight evenly, taking the pressure off the straps as a whole. Using only one strap increase the chances of it failing during transit.

Cam Buckle Straps

There will be times when you need to transport sensitive cargo, such as equipment that may be heavy but is also easily susceptible to damage. In these occasions, truckers often use cam buckle straps to secure the load without ruining the equipment.

To achieve this more delicate touch, cam buckle straps tighten only as much as you can with your own hands, and they don’t utilize mechanical tightening methods. With mechanical tightening, truckers run the risk of over-tightening their loads, potentially causing damage.

When dealing with delicate or antique equipment, it’s essential to avoid this at all costs. The cam buckle may be the way to go for the times you need a more deft touch with your strapping.

Recovery Tow Straps

Sometimes, truckers need to pull vehicles out of ditches or other situations where the wrecked car can’t get the traction it needs to escape. That’s why truckers employ recovery straps to give them that extra boost to rescue stuck vehicles.

Whether it be sand, mud, or snow, recovery straps are ideal for pulling a vehicle out of a precarious situation, getting it back on the road, and possibly to the nearest mechanic. These straps largely use nylon webbing, giving them a little more give than regular straps.

This ensures that there isn’t too much tension on the line; too much, and it’ll snap. Using a polyester strap in this situation will most likely result in it breaking before you have a chance to get the vehicle out of trouble.

How to Spot When You Need New Ratchet Straps

Even the best of straps will eventually deteriorate, and it’s your job to know when to switch out what you have with new equipment. Luckily, there are some telltale signs of strapping at the end of its life, and those signs include:

  • Frayed, worn-out stitch
  • Signs of too much UV exposure, discoloration of material
  • Excessive wear or crushed webbing
  • Knotted webbing
  • Corrosion along metal buckles
  • Melted or charred webbing
  • Signs of chemical burns along webbing

Whether you notice one or several signs, switch out the material immediately. The longer you use faulty straps, the more likely it is to fail during transit.

Make Sure You Have What You Need

Securing your load is an essential part of transportation, and improves not only your safety, but also the safety of other drivers on the road. Know the types of straps you need for your particular job, whether you’ll need a softer touch with cam buckles or something stronger with winch straps. Have what you need on hand and consult the ultimate trucker guide to ratchet straps.

The Ultimate Trucker’s Guide To Ratchet Straps