Flatbed truckers have a handful of tools that are considered staples of the job. Ratchet straps are one of those tools. During their shipping run, from beginning to end, they can work alone or in combination with bungee straps, tarps, and chains to keep a load secure. Cargo control equipment is some of the most essential tools and systems used by today’s transportation industry.
Avoid Loose Hanging Straps
The full length of your ratchet strap is not always used because not all loads are tall enough to require the entire strap length. Now you’ve got this tail hanging off. What do you do with it? What you don’t want to do, under any circumstances, is to just allow that “tail” to hang loose. Not only does it shorten the length of the material used to make the strap, it can damage your cargo if left flapping in the wind. There are lots of tricks of the trade when it comes to handling the excess ratchet strap. Here are a few of them:
- Use a technique of looping the strap and secure it with the excess.
- A series of knots can be tied with any remaining strap being tucked under the tarp or under the tense part of the strap.
- Use a bungee cord to secure the rolled-up excess.
Provide Ratchet Extension Space
There is a tension pin used on a ratchet strap that, under load, keeps the strap in place. To release the tension, the ratchet strap must be extended past the gear teeth. With that in mind, when tying down a load, enough space must be left beneath the ratchet. To fully extend the ratchet to release, you must be able to reach underneath it.
Threading From Underneath
Rather than over the top, always run the strap from underneath when threading ratchets with new strap material. If threaded incorrectly, the chance of slippage increases.
Ratchets Need Regular Lubrication
Though the straps themselves may not be subject to the weather, ratchets are affected by rain, salt, snow, etc. Use lithium grease to regularly lubricate them and keep them in good working order. Under extreme temperatures, it holds up very nicely. Make sure that you grease every moving part.
Inspect Your Straps
Always, above all else and on a regular basis, thoroughly inspect each and every one of your ratchet straps. No matter how reliable and tough they seem, just like everything else, they are subject to wear and tear. Address immediately any signs of excessive wear. Remember that roadside inspectors will be more than happy to check those straps – so it’s best you beat them to the punch.
Ratchet straps are only one of the parts that we carry at Mickey Genuine Parts. If it has to do with transportation and trailers, chances are, Mickey not only sells the part, but stocks it in our impressive inventory. If we receive your order by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time, we can begin shipping it to you the very same day. Out of stock orders will be expedited ASAP, usually within three days. If you would like to talk to someone about ordering a part, or if you would simply like to speak to one of our knowledgeable, friendly customer service representatives, do not hesitate to call us, today.