Ratchet Straps – Your Loads Safety Belt
If you want to move things, chances are you want to do it as quickly as possible. Do you need to haul a load of heavy paving stones? Transport a boat or a load of motorcycles? If your answer is yes, then you want to accomplish the task quickly. But safety is always the top priority. That’s where the ratchet strap comes into play.
A ratchet tie down strap is something that you need if you want to transport items. The tie down straps act as a safety tool and essentially holds the load in place so it doesn’t move around. The strap can be used for a trailer, truck or car. It only takes a few extra minutes to secure and increases the safety of your load.
Ratchet Strap Defined
This strap is made from a fabric belt and a ratchet device. The tool allows you to tie down an object. Furthermore, the ratchet allows you to set the strap at different tension levels. Each end features hooks that are secured to your truck or car. These straps hold your load in place.
The Different Parts of a Ratchet Strap
The reason that ratchet tie down straps are growing in popularity is that they ensure your load gets from one destination to the next in one piece. Let’s look at the different parts that make up a ratchet strap.
- Handle and release: The handle is attached to the ratchet straps and the axle. Pull the handle to create tension on the straps. When you need to release your load simply press the straps release button
- Axle: This is the part that allows the strap to spin and move until you have the correct tension
- Slot: The opening that the strap is fed through
- Strap: There are two pieces of the strap. The front end is attached to the handle while the end that isn’t attached is threaded through the slot and axle
- Hooks: Attached to the side are two metal hooks. These act as the anchor points
Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Ratchet Strap
Although it’s easy to use a ratchet strap once you know how too it can still be tricky at first. If the strap is used incorrectly, it could snap and you could lose your load or hurt yourself. Follow these steps for added safety:
- Lay down the strap on a flat surface and locate the handle
- Hold the handle firmly then push the release button
- Open the handle then lay it flat
- Thread the end of the strap without the hook into the end of the slot. Pull it until it’s the length that you require
- Close the handle
- Secure the hook to your vehicles anchor point
- Secure over the load and attach the hook to the opposite anchor point
- Close and open the handle repeatedly to build up tension until you feel your load will be safe to transport
- Drive to your destination
Once you arrive, you will need to slacken the ratchet strap. Simply squeeze the release and pull back the handle. Once released pull the strap slowly to release your load.
How Many Ratchet Straps Do I Need?
It’s always recommended to use multiple ratchet straps when transporting your load. The more straps you use, the more secure the load will be. The amount you require will depend on what you are transporting, how far it needs to be transported and the condition of the road you will be travelling on.
Another clever way of using ratchet straps is to first cover the load with a tarp. This keeps the items together. Once the items are covered, secure the tarp using a ratchet strap.
If you’re moving a boat, you will need a minimum of two ratchet straps. While items that have wheels should have the front and back wheels secured by ratchet straps. Bicycle items secured to the car’s roof should be secured using an X pattern and must be securely strapped down.
What’s the Difference Between a Ratchet Strap and a Slackline?
Although a slack line and strap look similar, they aren’t the same thing. A slackline is essentially used as an exercise tool. It can handle the weight of a full-grown man. On the other hand, a ratchet strap would most certainly snap.
It’s not recommended to use a normal ratchet strap to exercise with. Slacklines should be purchased from a reputable store that sells gym equipment. There are different weight recommendations so it’s best to speak to an expert before you decide to purchase.
In the same fashion, it’s not recommended to use a ratchet strap to exercise with. It could snap and won’t provide the same tension. If you don’t have a ratchet strap on hand, rather use a bungee cord or rope.
When transporting cargo from one place to the next, you should always use multiple ratchet straps. The straps stop the load from being damaged or moving around. If you thread the strap through the wheels the vehicle won’t be able to move.
As long as you know how to use ratchet straps safely, they are the perfect solution to keep your load safe. You should keep a few in the back of your truck.