For both new and pro flatbed haulers, the risk of flatbed load shifting can range from a minor annoyance to major calamity. Ensuring the safety of your cargo is of utmost importance during deliveries, and the use of winch and ratchet straps to prevent load shifting may be one of your easiest options! These tie down straps ensure your cargo will not move or shift no matter how rough the road, with their ability to easily tighten or loosen around your cargo.
Use of Winch and Ratchet Straps
Winch straps are some of the most vital straps in the flatbedding industry, and you can be sure that even your toughest and heaviest cargo will arrive in the same condition and position as it was loaded! Ratchet straps are made of strong polyester webbing and have an installed ratchet for tightening the strap. Frequently used to secure cargo on flatbed trailers, enclosed trailers, and able to attach to L or E-track systems, ratchet straps keep your flatbed load held firmly in place and prevents loose or flying debris, thus keeping other drivers and roads safe!
No matter the weather conditions or how bumpy a ride, winch straps and ratchet straps are essential tie down equipment for flatbed haulers! Made for durability and long lifespans, Mytee Products tie down straps don’t stretch a lot, thus reducing any chance of cargo becoming loose or free during transport!
While it’s certainly not a bad idea to have both winch and ratchet straps at your disposal, it can be confusing or overwhelming when deciding which cargo strap to use for specific loads.
Winch straps are the most common tie-down strap used in the flatbed trucking industry, and are considered the best cargo strap for heavy loads! Unlike the average ratchet strap, winch straps are designed with 3 to 4 inch wide polyester tie down webbing, creating a stronger working load limit for securing some of the heaviest loads! While winch straps may have a higher working load limit than traditional ratchet straps, always use at least four tie down straps to ensure equal distribution of your cargo weight, in the event of a sudden bump, turn, or lane change doesn’t cause a load shift or loose cargo!
Winch straps run along the sides of flatbed trailers for quick and easy securement, and can be adjusted to properly tighten and secure your cargo loads! However, a downside of using winch straps is that some trailers or beds may lack a winch in a location you need your tie down strap to go. Certain cargo may make it difficult to properly apply, tighten, and secure your winch strap, so always ensure you properly prepare your trailer for your cargo needs!
The most common and popular type of tie down cargo strap, ratchet straps are used for a variety of different cargo control and securements! At Mytee Products, we sell our own name brand of tie down strap as well as Kinedyne straps! Ratchet straps are extremely useful for flatbed haulers due to their high customizability. With a wide variety of different hardware, hooks, lengths, and widths, you can make your ratchet strap exactly how you need it for your cargo loads!
However, traditional ratchet cargo straps don’t reach the same working load limit that winch straps can, so always ensure you’re not exceeding the limit of your ratchet straps while securing your loads! Following the working load limit, NOT the strap breaking strength! In the cargo control and flatbedding industries ratchet straps remain a reliable and necessary cargo tool, and you can get the highest quality and strongest options, including Kinedyne straps, at Mytee Products!
Tips for Using Tie Down Straps
When it comes to properly using tie down straps, here are five helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Routinely clean your straps; over time you may get mud or small debris stuck in your ratchets or winch hooks, making them harder to use as that debris builds up. Routinely cleaning your straps will help ensure they keep working efficiently for much longer! Additionally, routinely cleaning your straps and lubing your ratchet hinges helps to keep them in tip-top shape! WD-40 lithium grease on the gears of your ratchet hinges helps to ensure dirt, mud, and other debris don’t get caught as easily!
- Don’t leave your winch straps on your winch when they’re not in use! Properly storing your straps ensures the longevity of them, so removing your winch straps and using tools – such as our Mytee Products Winch Strap Winder and Heavy Duty Bands – to easily wrap and store your straps in dry locations, such as a tool box, is a necessity! Keeping your straps safe on the road with cargo securement tools like our Mytee Products Corner Protectors also give you peace of mind that your straps are protected from being cut or torn during transportation!
- Speaking of cuts and tearing, check your straps before and after each tie down for any signs of fraying, especially if you’re hauling cargo with sharp edges. It is recommended that for heavy or sharp loads you use chains instead of straps, to keep your straps from being frayed or cut. If your straps have already begun to fray, a good technique to keep the longevity of your straps life is to cut off the frayed edges and burn them to prevent the spreading or unraveling.
- Make sure your straps are NEVER twisted while securing a load. Over a period of time, this weakens the webbing of your strap and lowers the overall longevity of your tie down straps! Additionally, you could damage or mark up fragile cargo when your straps are not lying flat against the cargo.
- Try to wrap up any excess strap before you start driving; using velcro or zip ties are very easy and cheap tools to wrap up and tie your extra slack, especially if you’re traveling down highways or at high-speed rates!
How Many Winch and Ratchet Straps Required for Securement
There’s an age-old question in the trucking industry regarding cargo straps: how many straps are required to secure flatbed cargo? According to the FMCSA, the amount of tie down straps you need to restrain your cargo depends on the length and weight of the articles you’re strapping down.
There must be one tie down per article five feet or under or 1,100 lbs or less in weight. For articles that are larger or heavier than 5 feet or 1,100lbs, you must use two tie down straps. Any articles beyond 10 feet in length must be secured by two cargo straps, with another tie down strap for every additional 10 feet. Following the FMCSA’s requirements, you can determine how many winch or ratchet straps are required for securing your cargo!
When in doubt, using four or more cargo tie down straps should help ensure your load is secure and stable. And remember: there is no such thing as too many tie down straps!
At Mytee Products, we offer incredible, high-quality Kinedyne, winch strap and ratchet strap options for your flatbed truck! No matter what strength or length of strap you need, we’re certain we have the right fit for you! All of our tie down straps are durable, strong, and cost less than you’ll find elsewhere. Our cargo straps help prevent flatbed load shifting and will keep your cargo safe and secure, so you can haul safe and earn more!