Cargo Webbing: What’s the Difference Between Nylon and Polyester?

Cargo webbing is used for a variety of tie downs, cargo nets, seat belts, etc., but there’s a difference in the fabrication of the webbing. Polyester webbing and nylon webbing are the two major categories, along with another polyester fabric webbing that’s known in the industry as seatbelt webbing. While all three may seem similar, some differences will make one better than another for certain applications.

 Nylon webbing

Nylon Cargo Webbing
Nylon Webbing

 

Nylon webbing offers a good combination of both stretch and strength. It has the ability to stretch about 5% to 7% at rated capacity and approximately 30% at break strength. This snap-back quality makes nylon cargo webbing a great choice for recovery straps because of its ability to recover stuck vehicles.

Nylon tie downs should not be used in temperatures above 194 degrees F (90 degrees C) or below -40 degrees F (-40 degrees C). It should also not come in contact with objects above or below those temperatures, including anchor points, the cargo being secured, or a vehicle.

Polyester webbing

polyester cargo webbing
Polyester Webbing

 

Like nylon webbing, polyester webbing is strong and durable, but it lacks the ability to stretch the same way nylon does. This makes it ideal for tie-down applications where cargo must stay secure and not be allowed to bounce: ratchet straps, motorcycle tie downs, cargo nets, etc. Polyester cargo webbing is also versatile as you can add your own tie-down hardware to create your own custom tie-down straps.

Like nylon, polyester webbing should not be used in temperatures above 194 degrees F (90 degrees C) or below -40 degrees F (-40 degrees C), or come in contact with objects (anchor points, cargo being secured, or vehicle) above or below those temperatures.

Seatbelt webbing

Polyester Seat Belt  Cargo Webbing
Polyester Seat Belt Webbing

 

Seatbelt webbing is also a polyester webbing so it offers the same benefits of strength and little stretch. While still a tough, high-quality webbing, it is a less expensive option because it’s offered in just one size and three color options. Seat belt webbing also has a thinner profile than typical polyester cargo web, so it’s great for lighter duty applications such as bag handles, life jacket straps, etc.

When using seatbelt webbing for any application, you should also follow the maximum and minimum temperatures guidelines outlined above for polyester webbing.

Sizes and strengths of cargo webbing

Webbing ranges in widths from 1” to 12” and various lengths. It’s important to keep in mind that a longer strap will not increase the break strength ability, but a wider width will. Each strap width should include tensile strength information, which is the maximum amount of stress a strap will take before failing or breaking. The work load limit will vary by the use or application.

15 Winter Driving Kit Essentials

Winter driving emergency kit: 15 must havesWinter driving has been upon a few areas of the country already this year, but it’s never too late to stock your vehicle with essentials that could be potential lifesavers should you become stuck, stranded, or lost in snowy, sub-zero conditions.

A quick, informal survey of our customers turned up these 15 must-haves for a winter safety kit:

1. Blanket or sleeping bag. This is a no-brainer. A heavy blanket or two will do the job, but many of our truck-driving customers recommend a nice camping-quality sleeping bag for superior warmth. Several of our customers keep a few of our Supreme moving blankets in their trucks since they’re heavy-duty yet washable.

2. Water and food. Another no-brainer. But what are the best food items to keep in your vehicle? Choose nutritionally dense food that won’t go bad quickly. Jerky, granola bars, and crackers with peanut butter are all good choices. Stash a gallon of water in your vehicle as well.

3. Extra clothing. A pair of quilted coveralls or an insulated jacket/snowpants combination was also suggested by our truck-driving survey respondents. Even if you’re not an over-the-road trucker, extra socks, gloves, and hats are always smart to have on hand for cold weather travel.

4. Hand warmers. Battery-operated or air-activated hand warmers can produce heat for up to 24 hours, and are an excellent addition for any emergency kit. These are especially useful if you need to make car repairs in frigid temps.

 5. First aid kit. An inclusive kit is indispensable if you become stranded and basic first aid is needed. We sell a 97-piece first aid kit, or you can make your own. The Red Cross recommends that first aid kits contain gauze, bandages, antibiotic ointments, and antiseptic wipes. Stocking up on medical supplies is also a good reminder that the kit should include personal medications and the phone numbers of your emergency contacts.

 6. Flashlight with extra batteries. Look for a large, bright flashlight to keep in your vehicle, and most importantly-  make sure it works and you have extra batteries! Lots of flashlights on the market today are multi-functioning, with a radio, cell phone charger, etc. built-in, so it might be worth spending a few more dollars and getting more bang for your buck.

 7. Glow sticks. Glow sticks, or light sticks, can be purchased at department stores, drug stores, and dollar stores. Wearing a glow stick will alert your presence to other motorists or safety personnel.

 8. Reflector triangles. Safety/emergency triangles can be placed in front of and behind your car to alert other drivers. These triangles signal a roadside emergency, and can help keep you and your vehicle safe until you can get back on the road.

 9. Jumper cables.  Jumper cables are worth every penny, so invest in a good set. What to look for: heavy-duty steel clamps and an extra-long cable length.

10. Portable power unitPortable power units have been around a few years now and continue to improve in quality and durability. The best part about investing in a unit is that it can be used at home in the event of a power outage, or while camping, tailgating, etc.

 11. Tools. Our truck-driving and moving industry customers say they always have a basic tool kit in their emergency winter driving kit. If you’re putting a traveling tool box together, look for tools that are brightly colored to make them easy to find in low visibility conditions. Multi-use tools like a Gerber® tool is also an excellent addition to any emergency kit. Other smart additions: pliers, duct tape, screwdriver, and hammer.

 12. Tow strap / recovery strap. While a tow strap and a recovery strap are known as two separate types of equipment, ours can be used for both towing and recovery. Learn more here: Recovery Straps / Tow Straps.

13. Shovel and ice pick. A long-handled ice scraper, an ice pick and snow shovel are also requirements for a kit. While it may be tempting to go for the small folding shovels to save space, if you can afford the room, stock a full-size shovel in your vehicle. The compact variety of snow-moving gear is generally not as durable as standard-sized equipment. Another tool in fighting ice is a spray de-icer, which is usually available at auto-parts stores.

 14. Sand or kitty litter.  This may sound a little old-fashioned since it was made popular well-before front wheel/all-wheel drive cars became so common, but sprinkling a layer of sand or cat litter can provide some traction if you’re stuck. Common sandbox sand works well and is usually available at any home improvement store. If you choose to keep kitty litter in your vehicle, pick up the non-clumping kind.

15. Battery-powered radio and paper maps. If you’re planning to drive a long distance through more rural areas, it’s not a bad idea to go old school and keep a current atlas and a battery-powered radio in your travel gear kit. Cell phone chargers can get lost, GPS units are not always guaranteed a signal, etc. It’s better to be safe than sorry out on the roads in the winter!