US Cargo Control Webbing Donated to Children’s Library Program

US Cargo Control webbing, used to manufacture ratchet straps and other cargo control equipment, will be re-purposed for a children’s library program in Banks County, Georgia. The leftover materials were donated and will be used to create handles on library bags for children who receive new library cards or visit the library for the first time. The program is designed to get area kiddos excited about visiting the library and reading.

US Cargo Control webbing was donated to a library program in Georgia.
A children’s library program in Georgia received a donation of USCC webbing to be used for library bags.

Clickstop Inc., owns and operates several brands including US Cargo Control. The Banks County Public Library contacted the brand about the possibility of donating extra webbing. Company leaders felt it would have been a missed opportunity not to help.

“The webbing we donated was leftover from the manufacturing process,” Clickstop Chief Culture Officer Jim Mayhew explained. “Why wouldn’t we donate it to a program that is helping children learn to read? Those materials could have easily been wasted.”

Clickstop manufacturing
Members of the company’s manufacturing team cut the webbing to specification for the library bags.

Employees in the company’s manufacturing department custom cut the webbing to the size needed for the bags. The company than shipped enough vibrantly colored pieces to create handles for 50 bags.

The tote bags will be assembled by a church sewing club in Banks County, GA. All materials for the bags are donated, mostly by generous community members. Though over time, program leaders began to worry they may not be able to keep creating the library bags because of the cost of materials, especially the webbing for the handles.

That’s when Banks County Public Library Manager Stacy Krumnow went online and began asking companies to donate scrap materials. Very few responded, until she found US Cargo Control.

“We are so excited and thankful,” Krumnow said. “If it helps one child boosts his or her confidence to love to read then your company has made a difference in the future of that child and our community.”

Just this summer alone the library has distributed 50 reading bags to kids. The library also provides tutoring and lunch programs for children in the community, and works closely with the school district that serves about 2,600 students in the area.

Annual Brake Check Campaign Starts Sept. 6th

Inspectors will be on the prowl for faulty brakes in early September.

MVE inspects a commercial vehicle during Roadcheck 2015 at a state operated scale in Brandon, Iowa on June 2, 2015.
An Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officer inspects a semi truck during Roadcheck 2015 at a state operated scale in Brandon, IIA (June 2, 2015). 

During the week of September 6–12, law enforcement officers in the US, Canada and Mexico will perform brake inspections as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Week. Officers will look for out of adjustment brakes and brake-system violations on commercial trucks and buses. Inspectors will use this procedure.

What is Brake Safety Week?

Brake Safety Week is an annual outreach and enforcement campaign designed to improve commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America.

CVSA officials say brake related issues were the most common out-of-service violation during the organization’s International Roadcheck Campaign in 2014. Experts say incorrectly installed and poorly maintained brakes can increase the stopping distance on large commercial vehicles – threatening the safety of other drivers and their passengers.

What do the Brake Inspections Involve?

According to the CVSA, law enforcement officers will look for loose or missing parts, air or hydraulic fuel leaks, worn linings, pads, drums or rotors and other bad system components. Defective brakes will result in the officers putting the truck or bus out of service until repairs can be made.

imagesBrake Safety Week Statistics

This program is not to be taken lightly. Last year, inspectors combed through nearly 13,500 vehicles during Brake Safety Week and placed more than 2,000 vehicles out of service for violations. Law enforcement officers have inspected more than 3.4 million brakes since the program launched in 1998.

New Transport Chain & Binder Packages Now Available

US Cargo Control is now offering chain and binder packages.

There are 45 different combinations of kits available varying in grade, size and style. Each combination includes one chain and one binder and meets the standards of the National Association of Chain Manufactures (NACM), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation (DOT).

The prepackaged kits are cheaper compared to buying the equipment separately. The packages are also a convenient option for those who may not be sure what size chains and binders work together. The kit offerings simply take the hassle out of trying to figure out what you need.

Grade 70, Grade 80, Grade 100 and Grade 120 options are all available.

Kit Descriptions

Grade 70 5/16" x 16' Chain-Ratchet Binder Kit
Grade 70 5/16″ x 16′ Kit

A Grade 70 Transport Chain and Binder Package is available. It includes one, Grade 70 carbon steel chain with a yellow, zinc chromate finish and a ratchet binder featuring a forged steel handle. The size, break-strength and working load limit are displayed on the handle.

Grade 80 5/16" x 15' Chain- Peerless Ratchet Binder Kit
Grade 80 5/16″ x 15′ Chain- Peerless Ratchet Binder Kit

Another Grade 70 kit is available. It includes one, Grade 70 Transport Chain and one, Peerless QuikBinder Plus Ratchet LoadBinder. The Quikbinder is a trademarked tool that is boasted as a safer, stronger, faster and more functional load binder compared to the more basic ratchet and lever styles. A Grade 80 kit is also available, featuring a QuikBinder and Grade 80 alloy chain.

Grade 100 5/16" x 15' Durabilt Ratchet Binder Kit
Grade 100 5/16″ x 15′ Chain- Durabilt Ratchet Binder Kit

The Grade 100 Kit includes one, Grade 100 Chain made with alloy steel and one, Durabilt Truck-Tight Ratchet Chain Binder. The Truck-Tight binder is made with forged alloy steel and features a powder coat finish.

The Grade 120 package includes one, Grade 120 Pewag Grade Square Link Transport Chain and one, Pewag Ratchet Binder. This powerful chain features a square link profile that provides superior strength and is resistant to damage. The blue color is also known industry-wide as the identifying color for Grade 120.

Grade 120 9/32" x 16' Pewag Chain- Pewag Binder Kit
Grade 120 9/32″ x 16′ Pewag Chain- Pewag Binder Kit

Contact US Cargo Control 

Product experts are available by phone to answer questions, take orders and provide information on bulk quantity pricing. You can call one of them toll free at 866-348-3473. Free shipping is available on orders of more than $2,000.

Tips for Avoiding Injury with a Lever Load Binder

Safety is a priority in the trucking industry.

In 2012, truck drivers were three times more likely to receive a nonfatal injury on the job compared to the average US adult worker, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also reports the most common injuries in the trucking industry include strains and sprains, bruising, fractures, cuts and soreness. These issues are typically caused by drivers overexerting, crashing, failing or being hit with an object.

Lever load binders can contribute to that risk, but there are precautions drivers can take to keep themselves and others safe.

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A lever chain binder used to tighten chain and secure a load to a flatbed trailer.

Lever Load Binders

Lever load binders have been used in the industry for decades and still are today. They use leverage to tighten chain and secure cargo to a trailer.

This specific style requires a lot of energy to engage, about 170 lbs., according to the organization Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis, or TIRES. The force needed to operate the lever can easily cause sprains and strains.

Cheater Bars

Because lever binders require so much strength, drivers are often tempted to use a cheater bar to help tighten and release the handle. Using a cheater bar increases the risk of injury.

If the driver loses his or her grip, the lever and bar can snap or kickback and hit the driver. The bar can also fly off the lever and risk hitting people or property nearby.  Cheater bars can also exceed the working load limit, causing the strap or chain to break.

Cheater bars are considered dangerous, and are not recommended.

Peerless QuikBinder Plus™ Ratchet Loadbinder - 1/2"-5/8"
Peerless QuikBinder Plus™ Ratchet Loadbinder – 1/2″-5/8″

Alternative Binders

Ratchet binders are generally known throughout the industry as the safer option and require less energy to engage, about 10 lbs., according to TIRES. The ratchet design also gradually releases unlike a lever.

Another option includes the patented QuikBinder PLUS which is touted as stronger, safer and more functional compared to a standard ratchet or lever binder.

 

Lever Binder Safety Tips  

If you are going to continue using a lever binder here are a few precautionary safety tips:

  • Routinely inspect the binder for wear, do not use it if you see bending and cracks.
  • Do not operate the lever binder with more than one person
  • Do not operate the lever binder while you or someone else is standing on the load
  • Operate the lever binder in a way that you are on the ground, with secure footing
  • Never use a cheater bar to tighten or release the load
  • Always tighten, by hand, in a downward manner
  • Be aware of the line of fire should you lose your grip
  • Always wear gloves to keep your grip and to protect your hands.

US Cargo Control offers many styles of chain binders, including lever, ratchet and the QuikBinder Plus. You can check out the full binder inventory by visiting the website or by calling a sales specialists at 866-348-3473.

Customer Photos: Hotshot Rig & Tie Downs

A special shout out to loyal US Cargo Control customer Randy Eilerts.

Randy runs a hotshot rig out of Algona, Iowa. His company Tallgrass Trucking LLC ., uses a heavy duty pickup truck to pull a flatbed trailer. That compares to a more traditional setup, like a semi tractor-trailer combination. Randy trusts US Cargo Control to outfit his rig with tie down equipment. Pictured, he’s hauling a heavy, flatbed load and secured it with US Cargo Control ratchet straps, corner protectors, chain and lever binders.

Thanks for the photos, Randy!

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Randy Eilerts of Algona, Iowa operates a hotshot rig outfitted with US Cargo Control equipment.

 

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Randy Eilerts of Algona, Iowa operates a hotshot rig outfitted with US Cargo Control equipment.

 

Why Should I use a QuikBinder Plus as a Chain Binder?

Safety is a big concern when it comes to securing large loads to a flatbed trailer.

The Peerless QuikBinder Plus Ratchet Loadbinder is boasted as a safer, stronger, faster and more functional load binder compared to the more basic ratchet and lever binder styles. It can be quickly installed and can be used in three positions: the ratchet extension, the ratchet take-up and a free-spin setting that allows for adjusting in either direction.

Peerless QuikBinder Plus™ Ratchet Loadbinder - 1/2"-5/8"
Peerless QuikBinder Plus™ Ratchet Loadbinder – 1/2″-5/8″

This trademarked chain binder is compatible with both grade 70 transport chain and grade 80 alloy chain. There are three available sizes 5/16’’-3/8’’, 3/8’’-1/2’’ and 1/2’’- 5/8’’ with working load limits of 7,100 lbs., 12,000 lbs., and 18,100 lbs., respectively.The working load limit is also permanently displayed on the handle.

The folded handle is an enhanced safety feature that keeps the handle out of the way after the load is secured. It also makes the binder easy to hang and store.

Security is another perk. The QuikBinder Plus can be locked with a padlock, making it more difficult to mess with the binder, assembly and load.

This chain binder is heat treated, proof tested and is in compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) and Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) standards.

If you’d like to learn more give a US Cargo Control sales specialist a call at 866-348-3473.

Beautiful Big Rigs & Antique Trucks Descend on Walcott for Jamboree

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The 36th annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree runs Thurs. July 9, 2015 -Sat. July 11, 2015 at the World’s Largest Truck Stop off of Interstate 80 in Walcott, Iowa.

There’s a big trucker party happening in eastern Iowa.

The 36th annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree kicked off Thursday morning and runs through Saturday. The event is happening at The World’s Largest Truck Stop located off of Interest 80 in Walcott, Iowa. Organizers at the truck stop are expecting upwards of 45,000 people over three days.

“We are having a party about everything trucking,” Iowa 80 Truck Stop Marketing Manager Heather DeBaillie said. “Whether you are a driver looking for a new job, or if you want to see some of the new things in the industry … we’ve got it all here.”

The big bash features truck-themed events including the Super Truck Beauty Contest, Antique Truck Display and more than 175 exhibits.

beauty contest
The Super Truck Beauty Contest opened the Walcott Truckers Jamboree on Thurs., July 9, 2015.

Super Truck Beauty Contest

The crowds were bustling Thursday morning as the show got underway, starting with the Super Truck Beauty Contest. People came from all over to show off their beautiful big rigs.Many of the trucks were recently redone from the inside-out and sported a custom paint jobs and flawless interiors.

Rod Jaeger has been coming to the Walcott Truckers Jamboree for 15 years. This year, he showed off a truck he rehabbed by hand.

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The inside of Rod Jaeger’s refurbished 1976 Peterbilt at the Walcott Truckers Jamboree, Thurs., July 9, 2015.

“It’s a 1976 and I completely redid it. I went through the whole thing,” Jaeger explained. “Everything is pretty much new.”

Jaeger is in the trucking business and hauls large farm machinery and construction equipment for a living, but revamps rigs on the side. He loves to show off his work once the truck is complete.

“It’s neat to see people’s reactions to what you did,” he said.

Participants in the contest range from hobbyists to businessmen.

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Members of DB Kustom Trucks pose next to a rig they revitalized, showing it off during the Walcott Truckers Jamboree on July 9, 2015.

Dave and Dan Brown revitalize old trucks for a living. The twin brothers started their business DB Kustom Trucks about a year ago. The pair showed two finished trucks during this year’s Super Truck Beauty Contest.

The brothers take old trucks and completely gut them, installing new parts and mechanics, and then customize the paint and interior to the driver’s specifications. The pair revamp about 60 trucks per year, and this year it was a mad-dash to get one truck ready to go.

“Before the show we had nothing in the interior, like the day of,” Dave Brown said. “So, it was scrambling the last hour, getting up early in the morning and putting everything together.”

 

Antique Truck Display

For some attendees the Walcott Jamboree is all about history built on tradition.

Ohio resident Dave Schroyer makes the drive every year to experience and contribute to the Jamboree’s Antique Truck Display.

“It [antique truck collecting] is a disease,” Schroyer laughed. “It’s an expensive disease.”

Members of the Schroyer family have been coming to the annual jamboree since it started in 1979. The family is in the trucking business – mostly hauling hazardous materials, but is heavily involved with antique truck collecting on the side. Schroyer’s favorite part of the long weekend is seeing the vintage trucks.

“The old stuff is more our cup of tea,” he explained.

old mac
Larry Steve, of Dubuque, Iowa, stands next to his 1927 Mack A13 during the Walcott Truckers Jamboree Antique Truck Display on Thurs., July 9, 2015.

The same can be said for Iowa resident Larry Steve.

Sporting a button up, denim and cowboy hat, Steve stood proudly next to his bright blue, refurbished 1927 Mack truck. It was a massive undertaking to get the old truck to the beautiful place it is today.

“When we got it, it was a dump truck. Really, rough,” Steve explained. “The motor was stuck. The transmission bearings were all gone. It took my Dad and me five years to put it back together.”

old mac 2Steve and his father were in the towing business together, so they also installed a wrecker on the back of the truck.

Steve has attended the jamboree annually for more than two decades and proudly keeps coming back.

“I get to visit with some of my buddies. It’s just a good time. People are great here,” he said.

Jim Peterson made the trip from Illinois to show off his 1947 Ford pickup truck. He bought an old farm truck that has been in his community about 30 years ago. It’s been a work in progress restoring it.

IMG_3319
A 1947 Ford Pickup truck belonging to Jim Peterson of Maple Park, IL.

“I remember when I was a little kid a neighboring farmer had it, and before him another farmer in our area had it,” Peterson said. “It came up at auction and I bought it.”

Peterson’s father-in-law and brother-in-law did most of the body restoration. His in-laws have been coming to the Jamboree since its inception. Peterson started tagging along a few years ago as he approached retirement as a driver himself. He comes back each year to chat with the other truckers.

“Oh, just talking. Old stories, truck stories,” he laughed.

Trucker Appreciation

The Walcott Jamboree is held each year as a thank you to drivers and to celebrate the trucking industry as a whole. What started 36 years ago as a small party with a few hay bales and a cookout has turned into a huge bash featuring an Iowa pork chop cookout, two firework displays and two nights of live country music.

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A photo of a group of trucks entered in the Super Truck Beauty Contest at the Walcott Truckers Jamboree on Thurs., July 9, 2015.

“Our goal for this is twofold: it’s to appreciate customers and truck drivers but also to expose the general public who maybe don’t know much about the trucking industry,” Marketing Manager Heather DeBaillie said. “It gives them a chance to come out, look at trucks up close and hopefully gain a better appreciation for what everybody does.”

On Thursday night, the truck stop featured Natalie Stovall & The Drive live on stage. Last year, the group was named as a must see act by Rolling Stone Country.

Friday night, The Josh Abbott Band will perform live as part of their ‘Where’s The Party Tour.’ Fireworks will light up the sky at dusk.

Admission is free and parking is free throughout the entire event.

“We just encourage everyone to come on out and have a good time,” DeBaillie said.

The 36th annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree will close at 5 p.m., Saturday July 11th.

What’s the Difference between Ratchet Binders and Lever Binders?

A chain binder, is a tool used to tighten chain as a method to secure cargo to a trailer for transport. There are two common styles; the ratchet binder and the lever binder.

ratchet chain binder
Ratchet Chain Binder 5/16″ – 3/8″

The Ratchet Binder 

A ratchet binder also known as a ratchet chain, uses a ratcheting mechanism to create tension in the chain and secure the load. It features a ratchet handle and two tension hooks on each end. Ratchet styles are often noted as the safer option between the two types because it’s design does not store as much energy in the handle, reducing the risk of the bar recoiling or snapping back.

 

 

The Lever Binder

lever binder
Lever Binder 5/16″ – 3/8″

Lever binders also known as a lever chain or snap binder, uses leverage to tighten the chain and secure cargo. The tool features a tension hook on each end. Lever binders are typically easier to install because they have a more simple design. This style stores energy in the handle and can be tougher to tighten as it requires more strength. People often use cheater bars because of it. Those bars are considered dangerous and are not recommended.

 

Binder Pricing 

There is a difference in price between the two types of load binders. Lever binders are typically the more economical choice. US Cargo Control offers binders individually or in packs. Free shipping is available on orders of $2,000 or more.

Selecting the Right Size

Once you’ve zeroed in on your preferred style, it’s time to determine the size.

US Cargo Control lever and ratchet binders feature the same forged steel handle, break strengths and working load limits based on the size of the binder. Both types are designed to work with designated sizes of grade 70 and grade 43 chain. It is important to know the size and grade of chain you are working with when shopping for a compatible binder.

Two measurements are listed on each type. The numbers indicate the size of chain the binder is recommended to work with. The first number indicated grade 70 transport chain while the second number shows grade 43 test chain. For example, a 5/16’’ – 3/8’’ binder is compatible with 5/16’’ grade 70 chain and 3/8’’ grade 43 chain. Be aware of these numbers. The assembly is only as strong as its weakest link. A smaller binder may fit, but it will bring down the working load limit of the entire operation.

Deciding on a Binder 

Many factors come into play when deciding which binder is best. Operators should select their preferred style based on their comfort level when it comes to tightening the mechanism. If you need further help give one of our US Cargo Control sales specialists a call at 866-348-3473.

Truckers Can Expect a Crowd Independence Day Weekend

The roads will be congested this Fourth of July weekend. traffic congestion

The Independence Day holiday travel period runs from Wednesday, July 1 through Sunday, July 5. An estimated 35.5 million people or 85 percent of travelers will drive to their holiday getaway, up about 0.7 percent from last year, according to the AAA travel forecast.

“Students all across the nation are also celebrating freedom from homework, making this an ideal time for a family vacation,” AAA President Marshall L. Doney said. “Independence Day is typically the busiest summer travel holiday for this reason, and more Americans are planning a holiday getaway than any year since 2007.”

2015-July-4th-Travel-ForecastGas prices aren’t holding people back in terms of travel expenses. Despite seasonal spikes at the pump, motorists will notice significantly lower prices compared to recent years. Most drivers will fill-up at the lowest Independence Day price they’ve seen in the last five years, according to AAA. Gas prices are averaging about $2.76, nearly $1 less than the average price during the Fourth of July travel period last year.

AAA is predicting that a total 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Independence Day holiday travel period.

 

Kits Make Motorcycle Tie Downs Easy

US Cargo Control offers many different types of motorcycle tie down systems. Kits are available to make selecting and installing a custom securement solution simple. The kits contain all of the pieces you’ll need to assemble a system that will allow you to transport your motorcycle safely. 3460-motorcycle-combo-strap-kit_4_640

Kits vary in complexity ranging from basic tie downs wit L-track rails and fittings to a more robust tie down system that will secure two motorcycles to an 8 ft. trailerAnchor point tie down kits are handy for those looking to install a securement system in a smaller space, like the back of a pickup truck. Anchor points can be installed really anywhere on the truck, allowing you to put them exactly where you need them.

Some kits include L-track rails. US Cargo Control L-track comes in a variety of colors that can be coordinated to match your truck, trailer or brand of motorcycle. Options include blue (Yamaha), green (Kawasaki), orange (Harley Davidson) and red (Honda). The olive green also matches military and camouflage products. Standard black and classic aluminum are also available. The L-track product is finished with a powder coat that amps up the color and protects the underlying aluminum from scratches.

8' Motorcycle Tie Down System with Wheel Chock
8′ Motorcycle Tie Down System with Wheel Chock

Strap kits are sold as a supplemental option to complete some tie down system offerings. Options including a combo strap kit and a 4-pack of motorcycle ratchet straps. Motorcycle straps feature a 1” rugged, polyester webbing that won’t stretch, mold or mildew.

US Cargo Control kits can be customized. If you do not see a kit that fits your specific needs or would like help selecting a kit call  800-969-6543. A sales specialists will be happy to work with you and help you find exactly what you need.