Which Motorcycle Straps are Best for My Bike?

US Cargo Control offers a full line of motorcycle straps designed to secure any motorbike. 614-1-x6-ratchet-strap-with-s-hooks-motorcycle-tie-down-straps_12_640

Motorcycle tie downs vary by style and size, but are typically made of polyester webbing and come in 1” or 2” widths. Polyester is a popular material for tie downs because it is strong, durable and won’t stretch. Motorcycle straps are fitted with S-hooks or double J-hooks on both ends to secure the strap to the anchor points installed in either a truck or trailer. The hooks are finished with a vinyl or rubber coating to protect the bike’s body and diminish the risk of any scratches to paint and parts.

The straps are tightened with either a ratchet or a cam buckle to keep the bike in place during transport. If you have a bike with a delicate surface a cam buckle is likely a better option as it won’t tighten as tightly.

US Cargo Control motorcycle tie downs come in many colors and can be customized. A variety of color options are available to coordinate with bike brands, colors and logos. Orange is available for Harley Davidson bikers or KTM motocross racers. Green is available for those who prefer Kawasaki, red for Honda and blue for Yamaha. An olive green is also an option for those trying to match military or camouflage products.

1" x 6' Ratchet Strap with S-hooks - Motorcycle Tie Down Straps.
1″ x 6′ Ratchet Strap with S-hooks – Motorcycle Tie Down Straps.

USCC motorcycle straps can be bought as a single strap or as part of a kit for a new bike.

If you aren’t sure which style of strap is best for your motorcycle, trailer or truck call our sales team at 800-956-6543. Any of our sales specialists will be happy to work with to get your questions answered.

Why Use Retractable Ratchet Straps as a Transom Tie Down?

A 1'' retractable ratchet strap used as a transom tie down.
A 1” retractable ratchet strap used as a transom tie down.

Retractable ratchet straps are often used as transom tie downs or as a general tie downs for recreational watercraft.

The transom is the area of a boat that supports the outboard motor or a step/dive platform if the boat has an inboard motor. Retractable straps are used as a transom tie down to keep the boat secured to the trailer and to prevent it from bouncing while in transport.

1" x 6' Retractable Ratchet w/ Vinyl Coated S-Hooks and Push Button Release - 4 PK
1″ x 6′ Retractable Ratchet w/ Vinyl Coated S-Hooks and Push Button Release – 4 PK

Retractable strap are designed specifically to prevent webbing from tangling and flapping during the drive.

 

Simply press the quick button release to automatically retract the strap. That feature will protect the webbing and keep it from tangling. US Cargo Control retractable ratchet straps are made of polyester webbing with a 4.5k break strength. Polyester is safe to use in the water and sun, because it won’t stretch, mold or rot.

USCC retractable straps feature 1” industrial grade, black webbing and are fitted with vinyl coated, heavy-duty S-hooks.

Questions? Give one of our sales experts a call today at 800-969-6543.

 

 

 

How to Install L-Track on a Pickup Bed

L-Track is a great option when creating a tie-down system for a pickup truck. The track is sleek, easy to install and maintains the overall look of the vehicle while expanding its versatility.

L-Track is made from lightweight, heavy-duty aluminum providing a finished look. While it will work on any vehicle or trailer it is ideal for a pickup. L-Track has a much lower profile compared to E Track. The width of the track aligns almost perfectly with the inside of the bed rails and can be installed flawlessly inside the ribs of the truck bed as well.

US Cargo Control offers 2” anchor plates with 6”, 12”, 24”, 48”, 72” and 96” track lengths that are all available in a variety of colors that can be coordinated to match the truck.

L Track installation
US Cargo L Track- Black being installed in a pickup truck.

To install, clamp the track in the interior side rail and mark the mounting holes with a permanent marker. Then, remove the clamps and track and drill through the metal where the spots are marked. Once all of the holes are drilled, line up the track and place the fasteners through the holes. Secure the fasteners with a flat washer and nut on the backside of each  and repeat along the track. After you’ve finished installing the fasteners, use a wrench to hold the fastener in place and tighten the bolt using a hand drill. Do this for all fasteners. Remember, the track is only as strong as it is secure. Make sure it’s fastened properly to the truck rails. Keep in mind, L-Track can also be installed on the floor of the truck bed.

US Cargo Control carries a variety of sizes and colors of L-Track. If you have questions, give one of our product experts a call at 866-444-9990.

Watch the video below for an L-Track installation demonstration.

US Cargo Control to Expand

This week, US Cargo Control announced plans for a multimillion dollar expansion including further investment in its manufacturing division.

Company Founder and CEO Tim Guenther unveiled his preliminary plans when Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham came tocopy-logo.png tour the Iowa based company on Wednesday, June 17. Durham visited Benton County as part of a local economic event hosted by the Benton Development Group. Her visit was just one stop as she sought to better understand the needs of businesses in rural Iowa.

US Cargo Control brings in more than 90 percent of revenue for its parent company Clickstop, which owns and operates several brands that serve diverse markets ranging from the moving and cargo control industries (uscargocontrol.com), to energy efficient insulation (ecofoil.com), fasteners (fastenersplus.com) and home storage solutions (spacesavers.com & justplasticboxes.com).

Two years ago the company began manufacturing tie-down products for its flagship brand US Cargo Control. Since then, the brand’s customer base, product lines and manufacturing sector have boomed.

Officials expect to break ground in September 2015 with an estimated completion date of August 2016.

 

 

US Cargo Control Adds Kayak Straps

US Cargo Control is now offering kayak, canoe and boat tie-down equipment as the busy water sport season gets underway. These straps are specially designed to withstand the wear and tear of recreational water sports.

1" x 2' Endless Cam Strap w/ Wear Pad
1″ x 2′ Endless Cam Strap w/ Wear Pad

The straps are 1’’ wide and come in a variety of lengths. They are made with water resistant polyester meaning they will not mold, mildew or rot. Polyester can also withstand the sun’s UV rays and will stretch minimally.

USCC watersport straps feature a wear pad on the buckle as well as vinyl on all hooks to protect the boat from any cosmetic damage from metal pieces. US Cargo Control Category Manager Kerry Trenkamp brought on the new line of tie downs. She says her team prioritized protection when searching for the right equipment to add to the brand.

“The last thing we want our customers to worry about is damage,” Trenkamp said. “We understand the importance of keeping the watercraft secure and scratch-free.”

Many of the water recreation straps offered by US Cargo Control are outfitted with a cam buckle. People can over-tighten gear like a kayak or canoe with a traditional ratchet strap. That risk is limited with a cam buckle.

Retractable ratchet straps are also available as transom tie downs. They are designed to keep extra material from tangling and flapping during transport.

whitewater-park-gift-certificate2

The release of the new product line comes as Iowa’s newest and largest white-water course celebrates its grand opening. Manchester White Water Park in Manchester, Iowa will host its Let It Flow Riverfest June 19-21. US Cargo Control donated four, $25 gift cards and a gift basket containing US Cargo Control watersport straps to be given away during the event.

“We wanted to celebrate with area water sport enthusiasts and let them know these new products are available to keep their gear safe as they travel this summer,” Trenkamp said.

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Manchester White Water Park (Courtesy: Manchester White Water Park Facebook Page).
Manchester White Water Park (Courtesy: Manchester White Water Park Facebook Page).

 

What’s the difference between L-Track and E Track?

There are some big differences between L-track and E track for those looking to outfit their truck or trailer with a new tie-down system.

8 Piece 4' L Track Tie Down System- Blue
8 Piece 4′ L Track Tie Down System- Blue

L-Track is made from lightweight, heavy-duty aluminum providing a sleek look. While it will work in any vehicle or trailer it is ideal for a pick-up truck. L-Track has a much lower profile compared to E Track. The width of the track matches nearly perfect to the inside of the bed rails and can be installed flawlessly inside the ribs of the truck bed as well. US Cargo Control offers 2” anchor plates with 6”, 12”, 24”, 48”, 72” and 96” track lengths that are all available in a variety of colors that can be coordinated to match the truck.

E Track made in a horizontal style.
E Track made in a horizontal style.

 

E Track is much more industrial. It is commonly installed inside trailers, cargo vans, moving vans and enclosed semi-trailers. It is the industry standard for cargo control. These rails are heavy and powerful made from high strength 12 GA steel. US Cargo Control offers E Track in 2′, 5′, 8′ and 10′ sections and can come painted or galvanized.

US Cargo Control also offers wide selection of accessories, straps and fittings for L-Track and straps and tie-downs designed for E Track.

When deciding between the two systems consider your purpose and what you’re trying to secure. L-Track is light, sleek and can be coordinated with the paint on your truck or trailer. E Track is stronger, heavier and much more industrial. Both will work inside of a trailer — just consider what you were trying to do. If you need more information or help deciding give one of our product experts a call today at US Cargo Control 855-206-6269.

 

 

How to Get Your Trailer Motorcycle Ready

US Cargo Control offers a variety of tie-down systems so you can haul just about anything. If you’re planning to spend your summer on the road with your motorcycle we have a system that will work great for you.

TrackStar L-track Motorcycle Chock
TrackStar L-track Motorcycle Chock

Our TrackStar L-track Motorcycle Chock includes everything you’ll need to install the chock on a trailer or truck bed. The bundle includes a wheel chock, 8” long L-track, flathead phillips screws, nylock nuts and flat fender washers. To install the track, line-up the two nuts on the base plate with two holes on the track and push down. This will make the plunger mechanism pop-up. Then, slide it forward until the plunger sinks and locks the wheel chock in place. To remove, pull the plunger up and slide back until the wheel chock releases from the track. Keep in mind, standard L-track does not work with the TrackStar motorcycle wheel chocks. You will need to use USCC Extra 8” L-Track Kit if you want the ability to move the wheel chock to a different location on the trailer. Be sure to shop our entire line of motorcycle straps to find the right tie-down accessories for your bike. We offer a variety of colored straps to coordinate with your motorcycle.

Watch the video below to learn how to install the L-track and chocks onto a trailer.

 

 

What are the Different Types of L-Track Fittings?

L-track is a very versatile option to quickly create custom cargo-control systems. L-track is made of a simple, aluminum rail and is paired with special fittings and straps used to keep cargo snug and secure in pickups, cargo vans and trailers.

L-track featuring a single stud fitting O ring.
L-track featuring a single stud fitting O ring.

People use L-track because it’s easy to make their own, especially with its plethora of accessory options.

US Cargo Control offers two types of L-track fittings: single stud and double stud. Each type is placed in a grove along the track creating a secure, adjustable tie-down point. Various types of straps and hooks are compatible with both types of fittings. The difference between single stud and double stud fittings is in the name. Simply put, single stud L-track fittings fit into one slot, where double stud L-track fittings fit into two slots, making the connection point stronger with a higher break strength.

445-double-stud-fitting_4_640
L-track featuring a double stud fitting and strap.

Consider the type of ending you want on the fitting. US Cargo Control offers many different types including single stud fittings with an O ring and D ring plus a double stud with an O ring, D ring, pear link, delta link and others. USCC also offers various ratchet straps equipped with e-track fittings to keep all the pieces together.

US Cargo Control provides many options so you can make the best custom system for whatever you are hauling. If you don’t see exactly what you need, give one of the USCC sales specialists a call at 855-206-6269. They’ll work with you to track down what you need.

 

 

Roadcheck 2015: Behind the Scenes

International Roadcheck 2015 has come and gone.

Officials estimate nearly 20 commercial vehicles were inspected every minute across the United States, Canada and Mexico during the three-day, targeted enforcement event.

An officer talks with a commercial driver during Roadcheck 2015 at a state run scale in Brandon, Iowa on June 2, 2015.
An officer talks with a commercial driver during Roadcheck 2015 at a state run scale in Brandon, Iowa on June 2, 2015.

In eastern Iowa, truck-drivers approached a small weigh-station on the southbound side of Interstate 380. A small sign illuminated “open” directing commercial vehicles to exit and line-up along the ramp. Commercial drivers patiently waited to be weighed and to learn if their trip might take a little detour. Five officers manned the scale, their small facility expecting to handle roughly 1,500 commercial vehicles over 72-hours.

The Iowa Department of Transportation participates in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck each year. This is the 28th year of the program, running June 2-4, 2015. The Iowa DOT’s enforcement agency, Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement, ran the state’s scales at full staff to check out as many commercial vehicles as possible.

For more than two decades, MVE Officer Loren Waterman has slipped on a pair of black gloves and crawled under truck after truck during this effort. In his time on the force, he’s participated in events where some scales don’t shut down – running constantly for days.

“It keeps the [truck] companies aware and on their toes, you know, they could be inspected at any time and it’s one of our ways to let them know we are out here trying to make the road safer,” Waterman explained.

MVE inspects a commercial vehicle during Roadcheck 2015 at a state operated scale in Brandon, Iowa on June 2, 2015.
MVE inspects a commercial vehicle during Roadcheck 2015 at a state operated scale in Brandon, Iowa on June 2, 2015.

This year, roughly 10,000 CVSA – certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors got their hands dirty with a Level One Inspection. This is the most thorough examination and can take upwards of an hour between paperwork and maintenance checks.

“That’s crawling underneath checking the brake suspension, air lines the whole works,” Waterman said.

Commercial vehicles in the United States are required to go through a Level One Inspection once a year. Checks completed during this CVSA effort do count toward that mandate. Those who pass will receive a CVSA decal that will likely spare them from this magnitude of inspection the rest of the year.

“If they’ve got a new sticker we generally let them pass through and then check one that doesn’t,” Waterman said.

Each year, authorities emphasize a specific category of regulation, and 2015 focused on cargo control violations and opportunities to educated drivers about equipment and procedures. This is an especially important topic as loads that are improperly secured can cause road damage and crashes resulting in injury and death.

“I always tell them [commercial drivers] you’ll never get in trouble for having too many tie-downs or going above or beyond,” Waterman said.

According to CVSA officials, the most common cargo control violation involves drivers who neglect or fail to secure their own equipment like spare tires, tarps, blocks chains or other tie-downs.

Other common issues include failure to prevent cargo from shifting or falling along with cargo that leaks, spills, blows or falls.

CVSA offers several tips for drivers to keep their loads safe and secure. Officials especially emphasize learning the rules, securing all equipment and inspecting every tie-down for wear and damage.

A weigh-station outside of Brandon is operating at full capacity during Roackcheck 2015 on June 2, 2015.
A weigh-station outside of Brandon is operating at full capacity during Roackcheck 2015 on June 2, 2015.

Officials also recommend drivers familiarize themselves with rules across all regulation categories. Those who neglect to do their homework could find themselves off the road. Last year, officers placed nearly five percent of those inspected out of service during Roadcheck 2014. Officers expected many would be pulled this year as well.

“On average we probably put one out of every four or five trucks or drivers out of service for violations,” Waterman said.

 

Iowa Numbers June 3, 2015

Commercial Vehicles Inspected 229
Violations Found 661
Out of Service 67
CVSA decals with no CMV violations 80

Why Should I Use L-Track as a Tie-Down System?

1398-6-black-l-track-coated-black-finish_1_640
L Track, black.

 

It’s that time of year again. Time to get out those dirt bikes, motorcycles and ATVs and enjoy the summer sunshine.

If you’re in the market for a new tie-down system, you might want to consider L-track, also known as logistic track. This tie-down system is incredibly versatile. It incorporates aluminum rails, fittings and straps to secure both commercial and consumer cargo to pickup beds, trailers, vans and enclosed trailers. L-track features several round openings where people install fittings to create custom tie-down points for whatever they are hauling.

US Cargo Control offers L-track is a variety of colors: black, blue, olive, orange, red, green and traditional aluminum. People like to have the color selection so they can consider coordinating with their vehicle and straps. All of the colored L-track features a power-coated finish to resist damage and protect the metal. USCC stocks  6”, 12”, 24”, 72” and 96”. L-track can also be customized by special order, just call one of our sales specialists at 855-206-6269.

 

 

 

Three Day Targeted Inspection Begins Today

IMG_2810
A roadside inspection completed by the Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement Agency in March 2015.

Truck drivers on the road during the next three days can expect to be pulled over. The largest, targeted commercial vehicle inspection effort in North America begins today.

The 28th annual International Roadcheck is happening June 2-4th. During the next 72 hours, roughly 10,000 certified inspectors across North America will perform a Standard Level 1 Inspection, the most thorough of roadside inspections. During the three-day event, officials estimate that 17 vehicles will be inspected every minute in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Inspectors perform compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at cargo securement, driver, motor carrier, security and vehicle regulations.

Each year, a special emphasis is placed on a section of regulation. This year, it’s cargo securement. Inspectors are trained to look for the proper loading and securement of cargo on commercial vehicles. They also check to make sure equipment is functioning and is tied down safely and correctly. Inspectors take load securement regulation seriously. Loads that are improperly secured can cause road damage, injury and death.

International Roadcheck is an initiative created by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Participants include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

In the program’s nearly three decades, inspectors have completed more than 1.4 million inspections, preventing an estimated 318 fatalities and more than 5,800 injuries. The effort is repeated annually in an effort to educate the industry and motoring public about the importance of safe, commercial vehicle operations and roadside inspections.

 

Inspector Guide
A roadside inspection guide published by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance ahead of the International Roadcheck three day event, happening June 2-4, 2015.

 

 

Consider Donating Used Moving Blankets

Your move is done. Woof. What a relief.

But now you have several used moving blankets on your hands. Some people find alternative uses for them, anything and everything from camping to pet care. Even though there are other uses for blankets besides moving, you’ve decided you’re done with them and want them out of your house, garage or storage shed. What’s next? 3531-moving-blankets-pro-mover-blanket-72-x80-bl-bl-82-87-lbs-dz_1_375

Consider donating your blankets to a cause or organization you’re passionate about. Several organizations have contacted US Cargo Control asking if we can or are able to donate used moving blankets to a variety of non-profit organizations. We’ve received inquires from animal shelters, children’s organizations, churches and even museums. While we do help several charities, including organizations like Move For Hunger, we typically do not have used blankets readily available to donate. However, you may.

We suggest calling around to some of the non-profits in your area and inquiring about their needs. Remember, moving blankets can be used for tasks besides moving. You might consider calling an animal shelter? Blankets could be used for pet bedding. What about an area Boy Scout troop? They could use them for camping. Maybe a homeless shelter? Moving blankets could provide additional padding or cushion. What about a church? Officials may have use for them, or are aware of a non-profit or family that is moving and could benefit from the blankets.

Keep in mind, The Salvation Army and Goodwill are other large organizations always seeking donations and  are willing to take  a variety of items.

There are plenty of opportunities to help. It might just require a little investigating.