New Product: Pre-Stretched Wrap

image of pre-stretched wrapOne of the products we’ve gotten the most requests for is a pre-stretched wrap.

Our professional moving company customers shared with us the benefits it offers over traditional stretch wrap and we were happy to add Torque® pre-stretched wrap from Paragon Films to our moving supplies collection.

A pre-stretched wrap is just that- pre-stretched- so it’s lighter in weight than regular stretch wrap. In fact, it’s about 1/3 the weight of a standard roll. Because it’s already stretched, the amount of pressure required when wrapping items is reduced, making it much easier to apply. Another benefit: because less force is required when wrapping, the user can walk forward when applying around a load rather than backward as with traditional file, making a pre stretch wrap safer to use as well.

The lighter weight and easier application of a pre stretch wrap does not decrease its strength. Instead, the rolled edge on the wrap makes it stronger, reduces tears, and creates excellent clinging properties. The thin design also reduces the amount of stretch wrap needed, so it’s an extremely cost-efficient choice for a variety of moving, packing and cargo control jobs. The thinner profile is also clearer, so items can be more easily seen through the wrap.

Torque® HandFilm pre-stretched wrap is available in single rolls and 4-packs.

 

 

New Hours of Service Rules for Interstate Truck Drivers

image of driver using truck drivers log bookJuly 1st is quickly approaching, and with it comes new Hours of Service rules. On that date, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) will begin to enforce the remaining HOS regulations (selected regulations went into effect on February 27, 2012) for truck drivers.

The new guidelines apply only to commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce activity. Drivers and trucking companies that drive within just one state are not required to comply, as the state rule will apply.

According to the FMSCA, the changes that will go into effect on July 1st for property-carrying CMV drivers:

Driving limit: 11 hours

Drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off.

14 hour limit

Drivers may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.

Rest breaks

A driver may drive only if eight hours or less have passed since the end of his/hers last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes.

60/70 hour on duty limit

Drivers may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver can restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. This must include two periods from 1am to 5am home terminal time, and can be used just once a week (168 hours), measured from the beginning of the previous restart.

Sleeper berth provisions

Drivers that use the sleeper berth provision are required to take at least eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate two consecutive hours in either the sleeper berth, off duty, or a combination of the two.

 

For the full outline of the new Hours of Services rules and regulations, see the FMCSA publication, Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service.

image of truck driver safety handbookWhen FMCSA regulations change, it’s important to have the most up-to-date information and supplies on-hand. Be sure to pick up our spiral-bound Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) handbook and see our selection of driver log books.

 

Customer Photos: Ratchet Straps

We love to feature product photos we get from our customers. We received this one from Elaine on Galveston Island, Texas, after she let us know how pleased she and her husband were with our ratchet straps. Elaine purchased our 2″ x 30′ blue ratchet strap with chain extensions.

 

ratchet strap with chain extension

 

“We have a Bobcat business, Jim Abrams Bobcat Services. We now have two machines that we trailer to our job sites, and we’re VERY pleased with the US Cargo products. In fact, our friends own an equipment rental business and have asked just where we get our tie down ratchet straps. Our equipment DEALER commented that ours were the biggest and best he had EVER seen. They were very impressed, especially with the chain leads.

We recently purchased a new compact tractor and new flatbed trailer.  We already have a large Kubota SVL75 skid steer front end loader.  My husband has been a heavy equipment operator for 40 years and I now have a unit of my own to go out and help him do some specialized work.  (At age 65 I am starting a whole new career!)  

My husband does a lot of research online and no one came close to your ratchet straps–it was EXACTLY what he wanted. 

Elaine Forbes
Jim Abrams Bobcat Services, LLC

US Cargo Control Sales Team Profile: Dustin

We pride ourselves on having a professional sales staff ready to take your call if you have a question about a product, or if you’d like to place an order by phone.

image of Dustin, US Cargo Control sales teamDustin is a sales team member that you might speak to if you call us. He’s a new member to our team, which is continuing to expand so we can serve our customers better.

What made you decide to come to US Cargo Control?

I spent seven years at Theisen’s, a major Midwestern retailer of  farm, home, and ranch supplies and equipment, and then decided to get into management which lead me to a service manager position with Wells Fargo bank. Both jobs were based largely on helping customers with daily needs and providing excellent customer service. As soon as I read about the position with US Cargo Control, I knew right away that this was the place for me. It was also about helping customers, but with a dose of fun and camaraderie, too. Where else do you get to compete with co-workers on a regular basis in a game of Ping-Pong, bags, or pool? I must say I can play some Forrest Gump  ping- pong now.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy my co-workers the most. When we are not on the phone assisting customers, we really enjoy each other’s company.

Are there one or two most common questions you hear from US Cargo Control callers?

Where are you guys located?” and “Can I get this measurement on this?”

Which product do you think we sell the most of?

E-Track and related components, specifically plastic end caps. I’ve got some stocks in the product.

Have there been any memorable calls/customers?

Oh yes, I once talked to a hit man and the conversation was very interesting, and actually a little scary. He told me how to take a guy’s legs out while being in a large vehicle using a loading dock.

Hobbies?  Snowmobiling, motorcycling, boating…  anything that makes my heart beat a little faster to give me an adrenaline  rush.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Michael Jordan, so I guess a professional basketball player.

Favorite sport(s) to play?

Basketball, football, and tennis. Do horse shoes, bags, and hacky sack count as a sport?

What three words would your friends us to describe you?

Perfectionist, Loyal, and Friendly.

Favorite sports teams to watch?

Da Bulls back in the day when MJ was tearing it up.

Three pet peeves?

Food on a person’s face or teeth…. or even just a long hair hanging off of someone, sick! I always tell the person though. Driving a car that’s dirty both inside and out.

What are few things your bucket list? 

Play Jordan in a game of one-on-one. Ride a wheelie in every gear on my bike. Parasail.

You have a 10 minute speech to give at a high school graduation. What would it be about?

You live life only once; take chances and stay humble.

 

How to Use a Ratchet Strap

Some of the most common questions we receive from our customers are about the use of a ratchet strap. Along with questions about break strengths, working load limits, and safety guidelines, are those about how to use these versatile tie down straps:  “How to thread a ratchet strap,” “How to release a ratchet strap,” or something similar. If you’ve never used one of these versatile tie down straps, assembling one for the first time can be confusing.

You can check out this video about ratchet straps and cam straps, which shows how to put together an assembly. We’ve also created the handy photo demonstration below for quick and easy reference.

All of our ratchet straps are DOT-approved and are manufactured with labels attached that include break strength and work load limit information. They also meet several requirements, including:

  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)  guidelines
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations
  • Web Sling & Tie Down Association (WSTDA)
  • California Highway Patrol (CHP)
  • North American Cargo Securement

To see our full line of tie downs, visit our Ratchet Straps & Tie Downs page.

 

infographic for how to use a ratchet strap

 

Expansion of Nylon Lifting Slings Selection Includes New Bridle Slings

Tim Guenther, CEO
Tim Guenther, CEO

A big goal we’ve initiated for 2013 is taking a good close look at all of our product categories. We want to be sure we are offering the products our customers need, at the best prices possible.

Our most recent overhaul was the updating of our nylon lifting slings. While we were already offering a wide selection of the most common lifting straps like eye & eye slings and endless slings, one area we were not covering was bridle slings.

An entire category of nylon bridle slings is now available, including single-leg, double-leg, triple-leg, and quad-leg options in a tough, durable nylon webbing.

A bridle nylon lifting slings offer some advantages over other types of lift slings because the leg design on the double, triple, and quad styles allow bearing points to be rotated with each use, extending the sling’s life. It also offers benefits in comparison to a similar lifting slings in wire rope or chain, since the fabric body offers more flexibility and is generally easier to handle. Nylon also stretches (each leg of the sling will stretch approximately 3% at rated capacity), which allows the sling to absorb shock and create a load distribution that’s more even.

Our bridle nylon lifting  slings are made in the USA and custom-made to your specifications so we ask that call our lifting sling sales team at 800-660-3585 to place an order.

Another new change to the nylon lifting slings page is the addition of a simple online form where you can request a price quote for a boat sling.

image of boat lifting slings order form

Find quote form here: Boat lift straps

Options such as keel pads, edge guard, and chine sleeves can be indicated, as well as sling length and weight requirements. Once submitted, a sales team member will contact you with a quote. Keep in mind that no boat is too big or too small, so feel free to call us whether need a single ply lift strap for a small boat like a kayak, or a thick 4-ply web sling for a travel lift or mobile boat hoist.

Our product lines are constantly evolving and we’re always interested in knowing what products our customers need. Leave us a comment below, email us at customerservice@uscargocontrol.com or give us a call toll free at 866-444-9990 and let us know what you’d like to see available on US Cargo Control.

-Tim

 

 

How to Use Wire Rope Clips

A wire rope clip, sometimes called a u-bolt clamp or u-bolt clip is used to clamp the loose end of a length of wire rope, once it has been looped back to form an eye. These fittings consist of a u-bolt and has a saddle secured by two nuts. Generally, wire rope assemblies need at least two or three wire rope clips to secure the ends properly to the length of the rope.

Drop forged wire rope clips vs. malleable wire rope clips

image of wire rope clips from US Cargo ControlWhile wire rope clips are not designed to be used in an overhead lifting situation (swage sleeves should be used instead), drop forged wire rope clips are a heavy duty wire rope clip that can be used for sustaining overhead loads. Examples include guy lines, support lines, scaffolding, etc. Drop forged clips are galvanized, meaning they have a heavy coating of a zinc solution that will hold up to worksite abuse and the elements for a long time. Drop forged steel are excellent for use as guy wire clamps for heavy duty guying applications because they are both strong and resistant to corrosion.

Malleable Clips are a light duty wire rope clip and are not for anything overhead. As the name “malleable” indicates, it is a softer wire rope clip, thus a lighter duty option. They can be used for fences and other applications that do not sustain loads overhead.

Overhead lifting vs. sustaining overhead loads

The ‘overhead lifting’ versus ‘sustaining overhead loads’ can be confusing, but a good rule of thumb to ask is: “Is the object being moved or being held in place?” If it is being moved, then wire rope clips are not to be used. If it is being held in place, then the next question is: Is it above ground (suspended from ceiling, an awning, scaffolding, etc…) or will it be on a fence or on another object near the ground? If it is above ground, heavy duty drop forged is the best choice. If on a fence near the ground, malleable clips are acceptable.

It’s important to note that wire rope clips diminish the working load limit of the wire rope to generally about 80% of its original strength.

How to use wire rope clips

The proper way to use wire rope clips can be remembered this way: “Never saddle a dead horse.” The saddle of the clip is the piece that fits into the U bolt. The dead end of a wire rope is the end of the eye that contains the cut side. The U bolt should always be in contact with the dead end, while the saddle should be on the live end. To see a video demonstration, see our post on How to Safely Apply Wire Rope Clips to Wire Rope Assemblies.

wire rope image