When moving items from one place to another, you need to ensure that your load stays safe and secure during transport. Ratchet straps are like the load’s safety belt. They can be used to hold down boats, motorcycles or other heavy loads.
Safety during transport should always be your top priority. In today’s article, we are going to look into this fascinating piece of equipment.
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Ratchet Straps Defined
A ratchet tie-down strap is a strap that is used to secure items that need to be transported. This safety tool holds the load in place and stops it from moving around. The strap can be used on a truck, car or trailer. If you use a ratchet strap your load should arrive at its destination safely.
The strap is made up of a fabric belt that is attached to a ratchet device. This clever piece of equipment allows you to tie down the object that needs to be transported. The strap can be adjusted and set to different tension levels. The hooks on the end are secured to the truck then pulled over the load, so the straps hold the load in the correct position.
The Different Pieces of a Ratchet Strap
The reason that ratchets are so popular is that they ensure that your load gets from one destination to the next one safely. Let’s look at the different parts of the ratchet strap.
- Handle and release: The handles are attached to the ratchet straps and the axle. Pull the handle to create tension. When you need to release your load, push the straps release button to release the tension.
- Axle: This part allows the strap to move. Keep spinning it till you have the correct tension
- Slot: The opening that the strap is fed into.
- Strap: There are two pieces of the strap. The front end is attached to the handle. The other end that isn’t attached is threaded through the slot and axle. The straps can be loosened and tightened until the load is secure.
- Hooks: There are two metal hooks attached to the sides. These act as the anchor points. They can be hooked to the vehicle that is transporting the load.
What’s the Perfect Number? How Many Ratchet Straps Do I Need?
You should always use as many ratchet straps as possible when transporting your load. The more straps you use, the safer the load will become. The number of straps that you require will depend on:
- What you are transporting.
- How far you need to drive.
- The condition of the road you are travelling on.
An expert tip when using ratchet straps is to first cover the load with a tarp. This will keep the items together. Once the items are covered, secure the tarp by using a ratchet strap.
When moving a boat, you will need a minimum of two ratchet straps. Items that have wheels should have the front and back wheels secured by ratchet straps. Bicycles or motorcycles can be secured to the car’s roof, and should be secured using an X pattern and securely strapped down.
Things to Avoid when using Ratchet Straps
- The way you store them can have an effect on the lifespan of your ratchet strap
- Keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible. UV light can be very damaging
- The heat from friction can cause damage to the tie-downs
Safety Tips when Using Ratchet Straps
Follow these safety tips when using ratchet straps. One of the most dangerous things that can happen when using ratchet straps is friction. This is when the strap rub against the item. If there is enough friction the strap can catch on fire! The tie downs and webbing can be damaged and you could lose the load.
If the straps burn, this could cause serious harm to your cargo. You should check your straps as soon as you offload your cargo. Check carefully for any burn marks that occur.
On the other hand, if there isn’t enough tension in the straps, the load could move around. It could potentially fall off if you go over a bump or need to brake heavily. So, finding the right tension is very important.
Try to keep your ratchet straps dry and away from moisture at all times. If the straps get wet, it could lead to mould or mildew. Mould can weaken the strength of the tie down straps and can destroy the polyester webbing. If you notice mould or other damage, you will need to replace the ratchet strap. It will no longer be safe to use.
The best way to store your ratchet straps is in an air-tight container. If you have many ratchet straps to store, they can be stored in a room that is well ventilated and free from moisture.
Always use multiple ratchet straps when transporting your load. The straps ensure that your load arrives at the next destination in the same condition it left point A. So, using them is how you can give yourself some peace of mind. Always store a few ratchet straps in your car. You never know when you may need them.