How to Care for Ratchet Straps

Ratchet Straps and Tie Downs
US Cargo Control Ratchet Strap

Ratchet straps are one of the best ways to tie down and secure loads during transport. They’re relatively easy to use and care for, and US Cargo Control can customize them to your specific needs. Knowing how to care for your ratchet straps properly can extend their life and be more economical for you.

Our strong, yet lightweight, polyester straps are ideal for a variety of applications. The fabrication allows for very little stretch, and resists abrasions, as well as damage from UV rays and most common chemicals.

Their minimal absorption of water prevents shrinkage, mold, mildew, and rotting, even after being exposed to the elements over time. These qualities also make them a long-lasting and economical choice, especially for outdoor uses.

Ratchet Strap Maintenance and Storage

When straps are not in use, there are recommended ways to maintain and store them.

First, before storing them for any length of time, it’s important to make sure the webbing is clean and dry. To wash your straps after usage, before storage, simply hose them down with water and let them dry before storing.

If you find that your straps are not coming clean with this method, you can mix a mild detergent with warm water and scrub with a quality scrub brush to loosen any dirt and debris. Avoid bleach-based cleansers or any with acid additives.

Also, keep in mind that although it’s tempting to toss straps in a pile after usage, taking the time to wind up a strap is also an ideal time to inspect the webbing for rips, tears and abrasions. If you work with a lot of tie down straps, especially the 2”, 3″ and 4″ widths, check out our Strap Winder.

You preferably want to store ratcheting straps in a dry place away from sunlight. The actual steel ratcheting mechanisms build up corrosion over time if you leave them exposed to moisture–then they just become more difficult to use.

Items to Help Store Your Ratchet Straps

Bungee balls. These handy ties come in a bulk package of 100 so you’ll have plenty to wrap up your tie down straps, and some left over for other uses: securing canopies, keeping box lids closed, anchoring yard ornaments, bundling tent poles, etc.

Bungee cords. Like bungee balls, the uses are endless with bungee. Our bungee cord selection comes in a wide range of sizes, sure to fit around even your largest 4″ winch straps or ratchet straps.

Cinch strap. Velcro cinch straps are great for securing loose webbing. If you have a trailer with E-track installed, you can loop the strap through an E-track fitting with O-ring to keep straps up and off the floor.

If you have any questions about all things ratchet straps, give us a call at 866-444-9990.

Guide to Using Ratchet Straps

If you’ve been relying on bungee cords and rope to avoid confusing yourself with how to work a ratchet strap, we’re here to help. Follow these simplified, step-by-step ratchet strap instructions:


Step 1

Keeping the ratchet handle positioned upward, loop the strap around the cargo you’re securing, or hook the end(s) of the strap to an anchor point, depending on your application.

 

 

 

 

Step 2

How to start a ratchet strap: Grip the ratchet handle and release it by pulling upward on the spring-loaded center lever.

 

 

 

Step 3

Feed the loose end of the webbing from the bottom of the ratchet and through the open mandrel/axle slot, up over the top of the axle and back out the same way it entered. NOTE: If needed, crank the ratchet handle until the axle slot points outward and easier aligns with the webbing being inserted. Then, holding the ratchet handle firmly, pull the loose end of the strap away from the ratchet to eliminate slack.

Step 4

Ratcheting straps: Raise and lower the ratchet handle, which
allows the strap to wind around the axle and tighten against your load. Continue cranking until you reach your desired tension. When finished, pull upward on the center spring lever and fold the ratchet handle back and flat against the assembly to lock in place.

Step 5

How to loosen ratchet straps: Pull up on the center plunger, open the handle as wide as possible, and remove the webbing.

Visit uscargocontrol.com for a wide selection of ratchet straps and end fittings, along with corner protectors, fabric sleeves, and other accessories to prolong the life of your tie downs.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on strap maintenance.