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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.


Applying Working Load Limit to Cargo Control

You are a professional truck driver browsing the Mytee website looking for new binders to add to your toolbox. At the back of your mind is the knowledge that you could possibly be completely unprepared for a new job if you do not purchase the right kinds of binders. As such, some of the concerns are working load limit (WLL), whether you are purchasing a Durabilt ratchet binder, a removable handle binder, or any of the other binder products we carry.

There is a science behind WLL and how it is applied to every load you carry. For the purposes of definition, WLL is the amount of force that can be applied to a piece of lifting or securing equipment without breaking that piece. WLL ratings are usually stamped on binders to make it easier for customers to know what they are purchasing.


As a general rule for American manufacturers, WLL is about one-fifth of the force necessary to cause failure, also known as minimum breaking strength. By making WLL less than minimum breaking strength, manufacturers give users a little bit of wiggle room without substantially increasing risk.

Calculating Working Load Limit for The Cargo Load

Making sure you have the right equipment to secure a load properly is a matter of a simple mathematics. The total WLL required for safe transport on a flatbed trailer is equal to one-half of the total weight of the cargo being carried. That means 20,000 pounds of cargo must be secured with chains and binders with a minimum WLL of 10,000 pounds.

Ensuring the right WLL for a given load is easy when chains and binders are rated equally. When they are not, the trucker uses the lesser of the two. In other words, assume a binder with a 4,500-pound WLL is paired with the chain rated at 5,500 pounds. The total WLL of the assembly is the lesser of the two – 4,500 pounds in this case.

This seemingly minute detail should never be overlooked. Using the higher of the two ratings could lead to improper securing that could eventually result in a load breaking loose. At the very least, chains and binders can be damaged when WLL is not calculated correctly.

Equal Force Distribution Across Loads

Although calculating WLL is relatively easy in most cases, it means nothing in terms of how loads should be properly secured. The laws in every state require truckers to make sure loads are securely fixed and pose no danger of breaking loose, though they do not necessarily dictate the details of how to accomplish this. Therefore, common sense must be used.

The laws of physics dictate that proper load securing procedures evenly distribute force across the entire load. In simple terms, the trucker is far better off using three chains with a combined working load limit appropriate to the load rather than a single chain of a higher WLL across the center of the load only.

Distributing force evenly across the load will keep cargo in place throughout the journey. It will also minimize the risks of damage presented by the force of chains in direct contact with cargo. The trucker should always remember that uneven force is never a good thing.

Mytee Products is proud to have added a number of new products to our inventory, including a new selection of binders. The Durabilt ratchet binder and removable handle binder now available through our website are both popular options. All of our binders are stamped with WLL ratings and meet or exceed all safety standards required by law.

Truckers: We Now Carry Durabilt Binder Products

When flatbed loads require chains for cargo protection, binders become a necessary piece of equipment to have on board. Binders make it possible to tighten chains down with the appropriate amount of force. In light of that, Mytee is proud to announce that we have added a selection of four binder products from Durabilt to our inventory.

We carry Durabilt because we believe it is a brand name you can trust. Durabilt products are built to last yet still affordably priced for truckers. Our inventory now includes the following four products:

  • Durabilt Folding Handle Ratchet Binder
  • Durabilt Ratchet Binder
  • Durabilt Removable Handle Binder
  • Durabilt Recoilless Lever Binder.


Different Binders for Different Applications

The binders used by truckers are known both as chain and load binders. They are used as chain tensioners to secure cargo to flatbed trailers prior to transport. Whenever chains are used for securing a load, tensioning them with a binder is required.

There are two primary types of binders that truckers use:

  • Ratchet Binder – This kind of binder is designed with a ratchet handle and two opposing hooks that create tension on the chain as the ratchet handle is moved back and forth. It is the easier of the two to use.
  • Lever Binder – The lever binder utilizes tension hooks on either end to tighten chains using leverage. Lever binders are used when more strength is needed to secure a load, but they also require more work from the driver to deploy correctly.

Both kinds of binders are sold according to the size of chain they will be used with. For example, the Durabilt Folding Handle Ratchet Binder we now carry can be purchased in two sizes: 5/16 to 3/8 inches or 3/8 to 1/2 inch. The standard Durabilt Ratchet Binder offers an additional size of 1/2 to 5/8 inches.

It is generally recommended that, truckers carry multiple sizes on board commensurate with the chains they use. Of course, chain sizes also differ depending on the kinds of loads the trucker normally hauls. Truckers who do not want to invest in multiple sizes may choose to go with the largest chains and binders they will use most often.

The most important consideration when purchasing binders, is to make sure that both, the binders as well as the chains they will be used with, are rated equally. For example, a chain rated as grade 70 transport chain must be paired with an appropriate binder to maintain integrity. A binder with a lower rating becomes the weakest link in the setup, and could potentially compromise the protection of the load..

Choosing the Binder for You

Mytee has chosen to carry four binder products from Durabilt because we know that preferences vary between truckers. Each truck driver must determine for him/herself what products are the best. For many, however, it comes down to speed. Truckers spend a lot of time securing loads; this is time for which they may or may not get paid. Those who do not get paid for cargo control and protection don’t want to spend more time on it than necessary. They want the wheels turning and the miles accumulating.

Some drivers may find the folding handle ratchet binder to be the fastest and easiest one to use. Others prefer a binder with a removable handle. The only downside to the second choice is the ever-present risk of losing a handle.

At any rate, we are proud to offer the new selection of binder products from Durabilt to our customers. Feel free to browse our entire inventory for everything you need as a trucker.