Ratchet Strap Beginners Guide – Part 1

May 1, 2023 | Uncategorized

This guide answers the popular questions: What are ratchet straps and how do I use them?

What are ratchet straps?

Ratchet straps are cargo tie-down straps that are used to tie down a tow load or heavy equipment by securing it to a trailer. Ratchet straps use a method of locking and securing the strap via an easy-to-use ratcheting system. Ratchet straps can also be used to tie down and secure cargo to the sides of the interior of an enclosed trailer so the cargo doesn’t slide around inside the trailer and get damaged or damage the trailer walls.

What are ratchet straps made of? 

Ratchet straps are commonly made of polyester webbing, but can also be made out of High-strength materials like Dyneema or Kevlar (bulletproof vest material). Kevlar or Dyneema straps are most often used for heavy-duty purposes.

How to use ratchet straps

Ratchet straps work by running the polyester strap through a buckle that lets you loosen and tighten the strap. You lengthen the strap until it is loose enough to pull it across your entire cargo load, then tighten the strap until there’s enough tension to secure the load.

To loosen the ratchet strap, hold and release the lever or tab. Open up the ratchet so it lays completely flat, which will release the pressure on the strap. Once the strap is free of tension, you’ll pull the strap out from the ratchet and then unload your cargo. 

Watch this video for a visual guide on how to use ratchet straps

Ratchet strap working load limits (WLL)

Before tying down your cargo, check the working load limits (WLL) of the ratchet straps. Different sizes and types of tie-down straps have specific break strengths and working load limits. Be sure to match the appropriate strap to the cargo or gear. If the item is too heavy and exceeds the load limit, the strap may fail. If your cargo load exceeds your ratchet straps WLL, you might have to use multiple straps in short length-wise intervals to disperse the tension enough to secure the load safely. 

Secure your straps

Have you ever been driving down the road and had a trailer or semi truck with a ratchet strap tail blowing in the wind? It is important to always remember to secure the loose ends of your ratchet straps so they aren’t blowing in the wind or dragging on the ground. This causes excessive wear on the straps and will cause them to fray and become weaker over time.