More from: chain binder

Recoilless Lever Binder – What You Need to Know

There are two kinds of binders used by flatbed truckers in America: the lever binder and the ratchet binder. The latter option is increasingly becoming the preferred kind of binder because it is generally considered safer and easier to use. Yet there are times when the lever binder is the better tool for the job.

Mytee Products carries several different binder models that our customers can choose from. If you are new to the trucking industry, we certainly want you to be safe and It is for this reason that we decided to put together a blog post providing all the basic information you need to know about one of our more popular products: the recoilless lever binder from Durabilt.

recoiless lever binder

How Binders Work

Lever binders, in general, use the principle of leverage to tighten chains attached to cargo. For all practical purposes, both ends of the chain have to be fairly close together at the point of blinding in order to tighten them appropriately using the lever handle. Think of it in terms of an oil filter wrench or vice grips, if that helps.

By contrast, a ratchet binder uses the same principle as a pulley system. By combining the power of the lever with the energy distribution properties of a ratcheting system, the user can apply less force to the mechanism while still tightening chains to the same degree. There is also considerably less danger with a ratchet binder because resistance is distributed across a larger area.

We say all that to say that the first thing you need to know about recoilless lever binders is that they store a considerable amount of potential energy once chains are tightened down. That potential energy can do an awful lot of damage if it is released too quickly. This is why you have to be extremely careful with these binders.

Tips for Safe Use

A recoilless lever binder is safer than a lever binder without a recoilless handle. Still, you have to be careful. Below is a list of tips for the safe use of our recoilless lever binder:

  • No Cheater Bars – Never use a cheater bar on any lever binder, especially to loosen the handle. That potential energy we talked about could cause the system to come apart quickly and violently enough to injure you.
  • Stand Clear – Whenever tightening or loosening a recoilless lever binder, make sure everyone else is standing clear in case something goes wrong. Neither you nor anyone else should be standing on the load either.
  • One Man Job – You should be able to secure your load properly using a recoilless lever binder alone. If it takes two or more of you to tighten down chains, you need to rethink what you are doing.
  • Wear Protective Gear – It is a very good idea to wear gloves and safety glasses while tightening and loosening loads. Better safe than sorry should something give way.
  • Conduct Regular Inspections – Be sure to check every recoilless lever binder in your inventory before and after each use. Regular inspections make it easier for you to spot problems before something unfortunate happens.

There are times when the recoilless lever binder is the only tool appropriate for the job. Should you decide to use these binders, just be careful and let common sense prevail. You should have no problems as long as you do so.

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Winter Driving 101: Do You Know How to Chain Your Tires?

It only takes a few inches of wet snow and a slight incline to stop a truck in its tracks. Once stopped, a big rig weighing 10,000 pounds or more suddenly becomes a serious problem. That’s why tire chains are required in some locales where snow and ice are routine problems every winter. So when posed with the question: Do you know how to chain your tires? It is surprising to learn how many truckers do not learn this procedure.

snow-chains

The East Oregonian ran a story on February 8 (2016) profiling two men who work as certified tire chain installers along a 30-mile stretch of I-84 in the northern part of Oregon. These certified installers are among a group of five certified by the Oregon Department of Transportation to help truckers install tire chains when necessary. This particular crew is called into action, whenever the DOT declares chains are required on their stretch of highway.

According to the East Oregonian story, professional tire chain helpers often find themselves helping truckers, who have never installed chains before. Some of the drivers are new to the truck driving occupation; others have worked for companies, with policies in place instructing drivers to park when conditions are severe enough to require chains. The pros say the biggest problem they encounter among inexperienced drivers, is chains that are not put on tight enough.

Chains that are too loose are prone to falling off without warning. That could be a big problem in the middle of a steep grade where there is very little room for error. Lose a chain while climbing and it is nearly impossible to get it back on again. The pros make a point of getting chains as tight as humanly possible. More impressively, they can completely chain a truck and get it on its way in about 20 minutes.

Know Your Company Policy

The best advice we can give truckers starts with understanding company policy. If your company expects you to keep running even in the snow, it is important that you learn how to apply chains quickly and effectively. You might also want to maintain a supply of chains on your truck just in case state DOTs either don’t lend them or run out during a heavy snowstorm.

Company drivers who are encouraged by their employers to park during heavy snow should obviously abide by those recommendations. Pressing on in extreme weather and winding up in an accident, not only jeopardizes one’s own safety and health, but it could also jeopardize one’s job. It’s better to just park and wait it out, than to violate company policy.

Independent contractors should certainly consider purchasing chains as well. We carry them here at Mytee, along with a full range of truck tires for all positions. The right combination of tires and chains will keep you on the road except under the most extreme conditions.

Making a Living in the Snow

We commend the dedicated workers in Oregon who brave miserable weather conditions to help truckers apply tire chains. It cannot be easy to spend an entire workday kneeling in the snow, being dripped on by dirty, melting snow underneath wheel hubs, and constantly having to worry about other truck traffic that could be potentially deadly. These individuals certainly deserve the respect of the entire trucking community.

Should you ever have need of their services, we hope you will show them your appreciation and respect. Getting professional help to chain your tires will get you back on the road quicker and ensure that your chains are properly fastened. Everybody wins in the end.

Sources:

  • East Oregonian – http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20160208/chain-men-embrace-cold-and-dirty-job

Tires and Tire Chains: Time to Get Ready for Winter

The beginning of the football season means something outside the sporting world – that winter is just around the corner! In some places like Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado and northern California, the snow will not even wait until the official start of winter in December. Truckers need to begin planning for winter driving now. Those plans include key components – tires and tire chains.

Owner-operators and large carriers, need to examine truck tires to make sure there is sufficient tread to make for a safe winter season. Just a trace of snow can be treacherous when tires are worn. As for tire chains, much of the planning centers around where your trucks normally travel and the various state laws having to do with chaining up.

truck-tire-chain

Truckers who operate from I-80 north should seriously consider carrying chains on board at all times. The same goes for many parts of Colorado between high I-80 and I-70. Weather can change rapidly enough that chains may be needed at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, the states are not necessarily cooperative in maintaining consistent laws across state lines. Below are two examples: California and Colorado.

California Law and Chain Announcements

The law in California does not stipulate specific times of the year when chains are necessary. Chaining is a decision left entirely up to Caltrans. If the weather does necessitate chain use, officials from Caltrans will send out a bulletin and activate signs located along the affected roadways. It is then up to drivers to make sure their vehicles are in compliance.

California has three different requirements depending on weather conditions and vehicles. For truck drivers, there is a choice between chains, cable chains, and spiders. However, cable chains are not permitted on some roadways under some weather conditions because they are not deemed reliable enough.

Affected roots in California include Interstate 8, Interstate 15, U.S. Highway 50, Interstate 5, and a few others. The law in California is significantly different compared to other states, like Colorado for example.

Colorado Chaining Laws

The chaining law in Colorado applies to every state, federal and interstate road in the state. Colorado has two levels of chaining requirements, depending on the severity of conditions. Furthermore, there are specific stretches of I-70 on which truck drivers are required to carry chains with them at all times from September through May.

Colorado does offer chaining banks where drivers without chains can pick them up as needed. However, drivers are better off buying their own chains if they regularly pass through Colorado on I-70. Otherwise, it is too easy to arrive at a chain bank only to find there are none left. Drivers found in violation of the law could face fines of up to $500. Blocking traffic as a result of not chaining up could double that fine.

Mytee Products carries a full line of tires and tire chains for America’s truckers. Our tire chains come in a variety of sizes, in both single and double configurations. If you do not see the right chains for your tires on our website, please contact us directly for more information. We may still be able to provide what you need.

We also carry a full line of tires for drive, trailer, and all positions. Once again, you may not see the particular size you need for your rig on our website. Nevertheless, we can likely still provide what you need if you give our sales department a call.

Winter is on its way so don’t get caught off guard by not having the right tires and tire chains. Prepare now before the first signs of snow fall.

Sources:

  • OOIDA – http://www.ooida.com/EducationTools/Info/chain-laws.asp

Tire Chains and Bad Weather: When to Chain and When to Park

Driving in winter weather is just part of the over the road driving career. There is no way around it. As such, the vast majority of truck drivers have to think about tire chains from time to time. There are two questions to consider in this regard, the first being whether to purchase chains or to use chain banks along major routes that supply them. The second question is one of deciding whether to chain your truck or to park it instead.

The answers to both questions really depend on the individual driver and how much risk he or she is willing to take. Ultimately, though, it is the driver who decides whether to proceed in bad weather or not. Federal and state laws prevent employers or dispatchers from forcing drivers to continue driving when they believe weather conditions endanger their safety.

Tire Chain Basics

Tire chains are available in two basic options: the ladder design and the zigzag design. The ladder chains looks just like a mini version of an aluminum ladder you use to paint your home, except that it’s made with chain links instead of pieces of aluminum. The ‘steps’ of the chain ladder go across the horizontal surface of the tire while the rails fit over the side.

tire-chains

The zigzag tire chain looks a lot like a shoelace, crossing from one side of the tire to the other. A zigzag chain can consist of one or two ‘laces’ held together by two side rails. Some truck drivers prefer this pattern because they believe it provides extra bite; others prefer the ladder design.

Regardless of which type a driver chooses, the chains are applied to the tires and held in place with either additional chains, bungee cords, or rubber rope. It is important for drivers to check chains within a few hundred yards of installation to make sure they are tightly secured. It is possible for chains to fall off during travel if not properly secured.

State Regulations

The states have different regulations when it comes to tire chains. For example, California does not require truckers to use chains in a general sense. However, police do have the authority to prevent truckers from entering certain roadways, under certain weather conditions, without chains. Colorado is a bit stricter.

The laws in Colorado apply to every interstate and state and federal highway when weather conditions warrant. When the regulations are in effect, DOT officials post signs along roadways warning truckers to chain up. Chains can only be removed when bare pavement is encountered on a descending grade.

Parking versus Chaining

Truck drivers ultimately have to decide whether or not to chain or to park. Having said that, some trucking companies have established policies indicating they do not want their drivers ever using chains. If weather were bad enough to require chaining, these companies would prefer drivers pull over and park their rigs instead. They do not want to risk driver or equipment in such bad weather.

Independent contractors do not have the luxury of a company policy making chaining decisions for them. Therefore, they have to consider their own schedules and financial requirements. The one thing that should always be remembered is that human beings cannot be replaced. Delivery schedules can be changed, extra work can be taken to make up for lost income, and equipment can be repaired or replaced. However, a dead trucker is a dead trucker.

Chains are appropriate in certain weather conditions and inappropriate in others. At the end of the day, a driver needs to be objective when it comes to deciding between chaining and parking.


Tips to use Grade 70 Chain and Chain Binder

Binders are used to tie down the loads to avoid any mishaps. Load binders are valuable instruments and as they keep the load in position; they are coated with steel to give you maximum strength for the tie down. If you use appropriate chains and binders you do not need to worry about your loads at hairpin turns and sudden stops.

The following tips with help you efficiently use Chain binder and Grade 70 chains:

Choosing a binder:

You need to double check the strength and durability of the binders when you go to buy a binder. There are many different types of binders available in the market like ratchet load binder, standard lever load binder, alloy ratchet load binder and many more. Some people are comfortable using lever style binders while others prefer ratchet style binders. You can choose the one that you are comfortable with, but you need to take some precaution while using either style of binder. If you use lever style binders make sure that it has not gotten lose, and for ratchet binders you need to carry a proper lubricant with you like a spray Teflon grease to ease the binders if they freeze. But do not use heavy grease it will dry and solidify causing more trouble.

About Grade 70 chains:

Grade 70 chain binder are widely used for carrying vehicles on flatbed trailers. According to rules in some states you need chains at each corner if your equipment weighs over 10,000 lbs and for less than 10,000 lbs weight one chain at each end will do. G70 chains are strong and reliable; they have gold tone finish and G70 inscription on it. Each chain has capacity of up to 4700 lbs with grab hooks at each end. G70 chains are preferable as they perform well on hilly terrains and can hold heavy objects in place.

Some security measures:

As we know there are two types of chain binder i.e ratchet and lever. While using these chain binders there are some necessary precautions to be taken. People using these binders should be trained well and should know the areas of application. You must regularly check the chains and binders to determine the binding, and wear of the binders. It is advisable not to use the chains or binders that are cracked easily. Prefer to use 70 degree chains to bind the heavy load. Do not use G70 chains for overhead lifting, and avoid using binders when someone is standing very close to the loaded truck.

These tips will help you use your chains and binders effectively and you will be also to haul heavy machineries and other heavy load easily. If you use proper hardware in a right way, you can secure your load efficiently and also keep yourself safe while dealing with heavy objects and binders.