3 Reasons Webbing Is the Perfect Material for Winch Straps

Every flatbed truck driver keeps a selection of winch straps on board. Winch straps are a very important piece of trucking supply equipment. They are one of the fundamental tools truck drivers use to control cargo. Knowing that, have you ever been curious as to why winch straps are made of webbing? It turns out that webbing is the perfect material for them.

winch-strap

Webbing is a woven fabric manufactured in long strips for a variety of purposes. It can be made from different kinds of fibers, such as cotton or flax, but most modern webbing materials are made of synthetic fibers including polyester, polypropylene, and nylon. Webbing is the perfect material for winch straps for three primary reasons:

1. Webbing Has High Tensile Strength

Tensile strength is the ability of a material to withstand forces that would tend to tear it apart. Scientifically speaking, this is known as longitudinal stress. The best way to think of tensile strength is to picture a winch strap connected at either end to arms that slowly stretch it apart. The force required to rip the strap apart would be considered its tensile strength.

Because webbing is made from small fibers that are woven together in a compact area, it has very high tensile strength. The truck driver can tighten winches down with a considerable amount of force without damaging the integrity of his/her webbing straps. Those straps hold firm without risk of breaking, even at highway speeds.

2. Webbing Is Versatile

The principle of manufacturing webbing as long strips naturally creates versatility. For example, a less strong webbing can be manufactured in extremely large quantities for seat belt applications while a more durable product can be manufactured for winch straps. Both can be produced on the same machine using the same process.

Webbing straps can also be made in various widths and lengths without sacrificing strength and durability. Even custom products are possible when unique needs have to be met. In that sense, webbing is a lot more versatile than chains.

3. Webbing Does Not Absorb Water

One of the strongest properties of webbing for winch straps is the fact that it does not absorb water. Webbing is less likely to shrink, rot, or develop mold and mildew the way rope can. It is certainly not subject to oxidation like chains, either. A truck driver can use the same webbing straps for years and never have to worry about breakdown caused by water.

Along those same lines, the synthetic fibers used to create webbing hold up very well to sunlight and acidic industrial chemicals. They perform very well in temperature extremes, too. Simply put, there’s not much by way of environmental conditions you can throw at webbing straps that will cause significant damage. Webbing is a very durable and reliable material that simply gets the job done.

Webbing is the perfect material to create the winch straps that flatbed truck drivers depend on for secure cargo. Most truckers carry a variety of straps in different lengths and widths for different jobs. We invite you to check out the complete Mytee inventory for all of your winch strap needs. We carry straps with chain anchors, wire hooks, flat hooks, and sewn loop ends.

Here at Mytee Products, we understand how valuable winch straps are to flatbed truckers. Therefore, we strive to always supply only the highest quality products at the best possible prices. Our webbing straps are just what you need to control cargo effectively on every job.


5 Things Truckers Should Know about Moving Blankets

A lot of what we write about in our blog deals with flatbed truckers and various types of cargo control equipment such as, tarps, winches and straps, bungees. This post is a little different. We know that a considerable number of our customers haul dry goods vans instead of, or in addition to, flatbed trailers. As such, they come to us for moving blankets and other related cargo control supplies better suited for dry vans.

moving-blanket

Mytee Products carries two different kinds of moving blankets as well as filler pads. We want to make it clear that the quality of a driver’s moving blankets is just as important as the quality of his/her straps and winches. A low-quality product is not going to perform as well or last as long as a high-quality product.

If you are a dry van trucker who uses moving blankets, here are five things you need to know about them:

1. The Difference Between Woven and Non-Woven Blankets

When you look through our inventory of moving blankets, you will see that we sell both woven and non-woven products. What’s the difference? It is how the fabric used to create the blankets is manufactured. A woven fabric utilizes long threads that are actually woven together on a mechanical loom. Non-woven fabrics are made of fibers that are bonded together through some sort of heat, chemical, or mechanical process. There is no weaving or knitting involved in creating them.

Woven moving blankets are more expensive. They are more durable and longer lasting than their non-woven counterparts, and they tend to hold up much better under tremendous stress. Non-woven blankets are designed for more routine use and are less expensive.

2. Moving Pads Are Not the Same

In addition to moving blankets, we also sell moving pads. Drivers should note that pads and blankets are not the same things. Pads are meant to fill empty space between objects to protect them from damage that might be incurred during travel. Some truckers simply buy pads and use them both for filling space and doing the job of the moving blanket. This isn’t a better choice when hauling fragile loads.

3. Moving Blankets Are Not Weather-Resistant

There are legitimate uses for moving blankets on flatbed trailers. For example, you might cover fragile cargo so that it’s not damaged by straps winched down tightly. But moving blankets are not weather-resistant. When using them on flatbed trailers, the entire load must be covered with tarps to provide protection against the elements.

4. Buying in Bulk Is Cheaper

Truck drivers can save money by purchasing their moving blankets in bulk. Companies like ours receive inventory directly from manufacturers in preset packages. Rather than break up a package of blankets, we prefer to sell them intact and at a lower price. It is better for our customers and easier on us for inventory purposes.

5. It’s Best to Have a Variety

As with truck tarps, it’s best to have a variety of moving blankets on hand in order to accommodate any kind of load. The average trucker will probably have mostly economy blankets with a smaller number of premium blankets and moving pads. Variety gives a driver the most possible options for any given job.

Truck drivers who haul dry goods vans need to secure their cargo every bit as much as flatbed drivers. When the job calls for it, moving blankets can be invaluable for cargo control. We invite you to shop with Mytee Products for your cargo control equipment , for both flatbed trailers and dry goods vans.


Save Time with a Cargo Control Checklist

Working as a flatbed truck driver involves spending time waiting for cargo to be loaded and secured before hitting the road. This is time a driver is usually not compensated for, so getting things done as quickly as possible is paramount to getting the wheels turning again. Still, drivers have to be thorough in their cargo control procedures so as to not jeopardize their loads.

A good way to save time and ensure cargo is properly secured is to establish a cargo control checklist that becomes a standard operating procedure. While this may sound obvious, you might be surprised how many drivers have no such checklist in place. They approach every load in a random matter, where cargo control is dictated by immediate circumstances. Having a checklist in place is a better option because it ensures all of the necessaries are addressed in a way that eventually leads to the driver following his or her checklist routine as a matter of habit.

checklist

It should be noted that a cargo control checklist does not have to be a formal document that the driver prints out by the hundreds so that each load has its own piece of paper. A driver may create a document to start with, but after following the checklist routine numerous times, most drivers are going to memorize it. Then it becomes a mental exercise rather than a paper one.

Cargo Control Checklist Basics

How a driver organizes his or her cargo control checklist is a matter of preference. There should be certain categories of things on every driver’s checklist, things that are appropriate to cargo control. For example:

  • Tarps and Straps – Truck tarps and straps should be inspected prior to arriving to pick up a load. Not inspecting cargo control supplies increases the likelihood of getting to a job and finding that damaged equipment cannot be used. Then the driver is slowed down while he or she searches locally for replacements.
  • Inspecting Loads – Flatbed truck drivers are ultimately responsible for how cargo is loaded on their trailers. There should be a process in place for inspecting loads to make sure weight issues are addressed, there is no unnecessary space between cargo items, and that cargo is properly blocked if necessary.
  • Securing the Cargo – Once a trailer has been loaded and securing has commenced, a system should be in place so that tarps and straps are always applied in the same way. For example, some truckers will first make sure all of their straps and/or chains are applied, then walk around the trailer to tighten down each winch consecutively.
  • Final Inspection – Just prior to departure, the truck driver should be performing a vehicle safety inspection as a matter of routine. Within that inspection, he or she can also make provision to do a final inspection of cargo control equipment. Straps, chains, and tarps should all be given the once over.
  • Inspections on the Road – Lastly, an important part of a cargo control checklist that should not be ignored are the inspections done while on the road. Drivers should be checking their loads within the first 50 miles of departure and then with every additional stop along the way. The same checklist used for the final inspection is appropriate to on-the-road inspections.

Cargo control is a normal part of flatbed trucking. Drivers can save time and do a better job of securing cargo by developing a cargo control checklist and following it on every job. A well-designed checklist turns what could be a random exercise into something that becomes routine.


Tax Deductions for Trucking Supplies: What You Need to Know

The arrival of fall means truck drivers start seeing things pick up on the business side as well, especially in advance of the holiday season, which always brings with it, more loads to haul. The increased activity makes fall the perfect time to start thinking about taxes.

Truck drivers file their taxes as either self-employed independent contractors or employees of their carriers. How they file determines the kinds of deductions they can take for the trucking supplies they purchase. Those supplies can include everything from truck tarps to protective clothing to in-cab electronics.

 

winch-straps

Before we get into the differences between filing as a self-employed individual and a company employee, we need to first discuss state and federal taxes. The IRS is the primary taxing authority in this country. States do assess their own taxes, but they tend to defer to the federal government. For example, those that collect income tax will often rely on federal calculations for things such as deductions and taxable income. Therefore, it is of vital importance that truck drivers understand the federal regulations to keep the IRS happy and correctly file state returns.

Filing as an Independent Contractor

The IRS regards independent contractors as self-employed individuals operating their own businesses. There can be some gray areas depending on the relationship of the truck driver to the company or companies he or she hauls for, so any questions about tax status should be referred to an experienced tax attorney.

The independent contractor who truly qualifies as self-employed under the law can essentially deduct any and all trucking supplies obtained for the purposes of conducting business. This would immediately bring to mind things like truck tarps and cargo control equipment such as bungee cords, chains and straps, wide load flags, etc. But it also includes other things as well.

For example, a trucker required to invest in steel-toed boots and a hard hat in order to haul certain kinds of loads would be able to deduct those expenses as long as the purchased items are used exclusively for work. The same holds true for things such as GPS units, hand tools, and so on.

Filing as a Company Employee

The number of deductions allowed for company employees can be significantly less depending on how trucking supplies are obtained. Anything an employer gives directly to the driver is obviously not deductible. A driver also cannot deduct the cost of any trucking supplies for which he or she is reimbursed by the employer.

With those restrictions understood, the same kinds of things qualify for deductions. Drivers can deduct cargo control supplies, protective clothing, electronics, hand tools, and even limited transportation expenses. For example, if a trucker has to fly to some specific destination to pick up a truck, the cost of airfare and accommodations can usually be deducted if not reimbursed by the employer.

The one thing to be aware of for both independent contractors and company employees are deductions for meals. This is one area where IRS regulations are ambiguous. The reason is simple: truck drivers have to eat just like every other kind of worker. The fact that they eat while on the road does not change that. So just like an office worker cannot deduct groceries as a business expense, truck drivers can only deduct meal expenses under certain conditions.

Truck drivers can use work-related expenses to reduce the tax liabilities. This is actually a smart thing to do. But truckers need to be careful, too. If they don’t know what they’re doing, they should leave their taxes to the professionals.


Horizontal or Vertical: How Do You like Your E-Track Straps?

When you walk into a store that sells cargo control supplies and ask for e-track straps, and you’ll have to choose between horizontal and vertical. Yes, there are two kinds of e-track for different types of cargo control strategies. Both work the same way. The only difference is how the anchor points are presented in relation to the length of the track. The difference though, is important to certain types of loads.

 

etrack

Horizontal E-Track

The more commonly used of the two e-track options is horizontal. The track gets its name from the fact that it is designed to be mounted horizontally along the inside of a dry goods or a box truck, either on the walls or along the floor. As for the anchor points, these are engineered to be perpendicular to the top and bottom edges of the track.

Box trucks are the ideal environment for horizontal e-track because they tend to haul all sorts of loads that don’t necessarily take up all of the dead space in the box. Horizontal tracks offer the maximum number of anchor points for an unlimited combination of cargo control strategies.

For example, a truck driver could use load bars that stretch across the entire width of the box to keep cargo from moving front to back or vice versa. Provided that a load is secure from side to side, load bars may be all that’s necessary to keep things in place. The main advantage of load bars is that they can be deployed and removed in just seconds. They have specially designed ends that slip quickly into anchor points and snap into place.

Loads requiring a bit more control can be secured with bungee cords, ropes, or mesh straps. Drivers can use the built-in anchor points or attach D-rings, hooks, or other anchor points as needed. And because horizontal tracks can be secured quickly and easily with screws, it doesn’t take much to outfit a trailer or box truck with the appropriate number of e-tracks in just minutes.

Vertical E-Track

Vertical e-tracks are names so as they designed to be installed vertically. The anchor points are engineered to be parallel to the inside and outside edges of the track, making it possible to adjust the height of load bars, straps, and bungee cords. A vertical system is preferred when the height of hauled loads changes from trip to trip.

Some flatbed truckers have found creative ways to use vertical e-track by attaching it right to the bed of the trailer. This provides anchor points that run parallel to the outside edges of the trailer, giving drivers plenty of options for tying down cargo. Having said that, e-track should not be relied on as the sole means of anchor points for flatbed loads. They should offer only supplemental anchor points for extra anchoring or to secure tarps over loads that have already been solidly anchored.

We Carry E-Track

When shopping for e-track, look for a galvanized product made of high-grade steel. Mytee Products carries both horizontal and vertical e-track in 12-gauge galvanized steel with anchor points every 2 inches. We sell them in 5-foot lengths for easy configuration.

As with any of your trucking supplies, quality means something. Paying a little extra for a high-quality product goes a long way toward saving money in the future by not having to replace your products as often. Please take a look at our e-track along with related items such as ratchet straps, cam straps, load bars, and cam buckles. We have everything you need to keep your cargo safe and secure.