Best Ratchet Straps: What are they?
Ratchet straps are used to secure your vehicle’s roof rack. They come in different types and sizes depending upon the type of vehicle you have. Some ratchet straps are designed specifically for use with roof racks while others work well with other types of vehicles such as pick up trucks or vans.
The most common type of ratchet straps are those made from nylon webbing. These straps come in various lengths and widths and are available in both black and white color schemes. Nylon webbing is a good material because it is strong, lightweight, flexible, durable, easy to sew on and off, easy to clean and maintain and it doesn’t rust or degrade over time like steel would.
Another popular type of ratchet strap is made from polyester webbing. Polyester webbing is stronger than nylon but lighter than steel. It comes in many colors and styles including black, red, blue, green and yellow.
Like nylon webbing it also resists corrosion better than steel so it will last longer.
Some ratchet straps are manufactured out of heavy duty plastic which is commonly known as “Boltaron” (pronounced BREE-koh-ron). Boltaron is a high-density plastic that is strong, durable and resistant to abrasion and chemicals. Boltaron straps are typically used for securing loads in the bed of pickup trucks or vans.
How to Use Ratchet Straps:
Ratchet straps are extremely easy to use and operate. Most ratchet straps are quite easy to tighten which is a good feature if the user needs to secure their load on the fly such as when traveling down the road.
The first step in using a ratchet strap is to thread the strap through the buckle end (this can be a little tricky sometimes, especially with heavy-duty straps) and place it over the load you need to secure.
Next the strap must be cinched or drawn tight against the load. This is where the ratchet feature comes into play since ratchet straps are designed with a small mechanism that makes it easy to tighten without needing to use your hands.
The cinched ratchet strap should be left in place and secured at each end using the metal hook. The metal hooks should be firmly attached to the headliner, door jam or some other suitable anchoring point (depending on the vehicle type).
Metal hooks come in many shapes and sizes. Some hooks are S-hooks, some are made with a simple straight design, some are made half-moon shaped to fit around door frames and some are designed to wrap around the vehicle’s headliner.
The best way to secure a ratchet strap is by using the “figure 8” method. This means that the metal hook is passed through the ratchet strap as if doing a figure 8.
The metal hook should then be attached firmly to the headliner, door jam or other suitable anchoring point (depending on the vehicle type).
One of the great things about ratchet straps is that they can be adjusted or loosened at any time simply by operating the ratchet mechanism. This comes in handy if you need to adjust your load while driving down the road.
How to Use Ratchet Straps for Towing
Ratchet straps are widely used by tow truck companies and roadside assistance providers. If you own a truck or van with a hitch receiver then you probably own a set of tow straps in the glove compartment.
Tow straps are designed to pull stuck vehicles free from mud, sand and snow. They can also be used to tow other vehicles that have experienced engine trouble or physical damage which prevents them from moving under their own power.
To use a ratchet strap for towing you will need to thread one end of the strap through the buckle and run it through the hitch on the back end of your vehicle. Use extreme care when doing this since the strap can become very tight and may snap back violently if you accidentally drop it.
If you have a ball hitch on the back of your vehicle then you will need to secure the other end of the strap into the ball. Most straps come with a small metal bracket that can be used for this purpose.
To use the strap, pull on it as hard as you can in order to move the disabled vehicle. Be careful when using tow straps since they can cause serious physical harm if handled incorrectly.
When using ratchet straps for towing, the same rules apply as when using them for securing loads. Always be sure to adjust or loosen the strap as needed since you don’t want to over-tighten the strap and cause physical damage to the vehicle or cargo.
How to Use Ratchet Straps for Bungee Cords
Many people use bungee cords for a wide variety of purposes such as tying down large items on a truck bed or securing equipment while camping.
Sources & references used in this article:
Equation of the standard EN 12195-1 stipulates unreasonable demands for cargo securing by GC Weber, P Firouzi, AM Baran, E Bölke… – European Journal of …, 2018 – BioMed Central
Different measures for load securing create barriers in international road freight transport by J Jagelcak – Communications-Scientific Letters of the University of …, 2007 – uniza.sk
Tie-down system for fabric covered buildings by HY Jin, Q Leng – World Journal of …, 2015 – Baishideng Publishing Group Inc