Flatbed Starter Kits Convenient for New Drivers, Growing Fleets

Flatbed Starter Kits bundle essential must-haves to get your rig or fleet rolling. Whether you’re hauling lumber, steel, or both, our sales reps have carefully selected tarps, straps, chain, and additional accessories to properly secure and protect most any load. Or, we can put together a product mix just for you!

Easy, convenient, and value-priced — particularly for growing companies and setting up new drivers. Outfitting your trailer in a single step saves you valuable time and money, which are among our top priorities here at US Cargo Control. That, and providing quality offerings to help ensure your deliveries arrive safely and damage-free. Check out these application-specific assemblies:

Lumber

USCC’s Flatbed Starter Kit for Lumber Hauling features two of our largest (24’ x 27’) heavy-duty lumber tarps, each with an 8’ flap to seal the ends of the lumber units. This tarp style is also used as an all-purpose cover for hay bales, pallets, and other bulky cargo. Roughly two lumber tarps are needed to go across the entire surface of a load on standard 48’ or 53’ flatbed trailers.

The pack has 50 21” rubber tarp straps with crimped S-hooks that attach to the tarps’ integrated grommets and D-rings. Other tie downs include 10 4” winch straps and four 2” ratchet straps to further anchor the tarp and limit damage from whipping in the wind. A total of 20 plastic corner protectors will keep straps from crushing your cargo, as well as pad sharp edges of the load to extend strap life.

We’ve tossed in a winch bar for tensioning and releasing winch straps, along with a strap winder.

Steel

Designed to protect steel rods, sheets, cable, and lower-profile items, the Flatbed Starter Kit for Steel Hauling comes with two 16′ x 27′ steel tarps. Similar to a lumber tarp but without the end flap, each steel tarp is constructed from heavy-duty, 18 oz. PVC-coated polyester for superior tear resistance. A 4′ drop on all sides means your cargo is fully encased and shielded against rain, snow, wind, and road debris.

Two rows of D-rings on each side of the tarps, along with grommets spanning the perimeter, make tying down easy using the included 50 21” rubber tarp straps, six 4” winch straps, four 2” ratchet straps, and 12 plastic corner protectors for webbing up to 4” wide.

The kit comes with other tools, too. Eight grade 70 chains with grab hooks offer durability for stabilizing large loads. You also receive eight 5/16″ – 3/8″ ratchet chain binders and 16 steel corner protectors. Eight coil racks and eight coil mat friction pads reduce the risk of injury and damage caused by shifting during transit.

Deluxe (Lumber & Steel)

Prepare for hauling nearly anything. The versatility of the Flatbed Deluxe Starter Kit covers it all, including both lumber and steel. This version contains:

Custom

Don’t see the combination of products you need? Design your own! Any equipment can also be purchased separately. Call our sales team at 866-348-3473 to discuss custom options and pricing. We’re committed to supporting your operation’s success. What you want, when you need it.

Auto Recovery Straps vs. Tow Straps

We get a lot of questions about which straps to use when hauling and towing a vehicle versus the best straps for recovering cars from ditches or other situations. There is a difference between recovery straps and tow straps, and each type has its benefits.

Recovery Straps, Snatch Straps, Tow Straps
Situational usage of recovery straps.

Recovery Straps

Recovery straps are best used to “recover” a stuck vehicle. Say your car or off-road recreational vehicle gets stuck in the mud or a ditch and you’re not going anywhere no matter what you try. If you don’t want to call a tow truck, you can use another vehicle and recovery straps to do the job.

Recovery straps are made of a nylon fabrication that stretches when necessary. These straps, also called “snatch straps” since they can snatch a vehicle out of a sticky situation, have loops on each end.

3x20 strap with looped ends and Cordura eyes
Recovery straps have loops on both ends.

To use a recovery strap you attach the strap to the back of the vehicle performing the recovery at an appropriate frame point, and also to the front of the vehicle being recovered. Thread the strap through the eye of the other end to choke the frame. Make sure the strap is not rubbing against any sharp edges. If you need hardware to secure the strap, anchor shackles are great for recovery vehicles. As the first vehicle begins to move forward, the strap stretches and pulls the stuck vehicle free.

Recovery straps are safer for this type of usage than chain, they’re easier to use and they are not nearly as heavy. Making sure your recovery strap is in good shape is very important before using. Any straps that are frayed or warn increases the likelihood of breakage during a recovery. Straps with faded color are also more apt to break during usage. Store straps out of sunlight and away from excessive heat. Straps perform well in cold temps as well as heat, but should not be used in temperatures in excess of 194 degrees Fahrenheit. To clean your strap, spray with water and do not use chemicals.

Tow Straps

The biggest difference between a tow strap and a recovery strap is the stretchiness of the fabric. A tow strap is made of less-stretchy polyester, and is intended for the towing of a freely-moving vehicle behind another vehicle. Typically, tow straps have metal hooks on each end. Tow straps should not be used in the recovery of stuck vehicles simply because they are less stretchy and can more easily break under the pressure a recovery entails. Traditional tow straps and chains are similar in their towing applications.

Strap Safety

No matter which type of strap you’re using, there are standard safety protocols. Because straps can snap, or break, and launch through the air at a high rate of speed, it’s a good idea to keep any bystanders at least the distance of the length of the strap away from the application.

Choosing the right size strap is also very important. US Cargo Control straps come in widths from 2” to 12” with break strengths from 20,000 lbs. to 400,000+ lbs., and can be made to any custom length since we manufacture them in-house. We can also layer the strap from 1- to 4-ply designs, so you can get the width you want with the strength you need. More plies allow for a narrower strap with greater break strength than single ply.

Our straps are designed with CORDURA® at the eyes of the strap for better resistance to wear and tear. It’s important to note that US Cargo Control straps are manufactured with high-quality, heavy-duty nylon designed for both recovery and towing uses.

If you have any questions about what strap is best for your application, or if you need a custom strap please call us at 866-444-9990 and we’ll be happy to help you get you what you want, when you need it.