Secure Ratchet Straps Right with the Good-N-Tight®

Get 3x the leverage with Good-N-Tight®

If you or someone you know is looking for a smarter and safer way to secure ratchet straps, the Good-N-Tight® may be just what you need.

This mechanical ratcheting aid makes proper tensioning of 2″, 3″, and 4″ ratchet straps much easier than doing it by hand. With 3x the leverage, the Good-N-Tight® gives just about anybody the ability to tightly secure cargo loads.

Good-N-Safe with the Good-N-Tight®

The Good-N-Tight®  also makes ratchet strap tightening safer. In fact, one chiropractor recommends it as a tool to prevent injuries. The Good-N-Tight® is thought to reduce the stress put on your body (back, shoulders, and elbows) when tightening portable ratchet straps. Unlike winch bars, the Good-N-Tight®  will not slip out and cause injury.

Not only is it safer for your body, it also ensures your cargo loads are fully secure. This leads to safer roadways for everyone.

Even better, the Good-N-Tight® is tax deductible because it’s considered a safety item!

Made of high-strength polycarbonate plastic, the Good-N-Tight®  weighs just 1.5 pounds. But make no mistake, this product is made in the USA and designed to last.

The Many Uses of the Good-N-Tight®

Besides giving you a mechanical advantage when securing ratchet straps, there are numerous other uses of the Good-N-Tight®  that make it a great investment.

1. Check your tire pressure – Tap your tires with the Good-N-Tight®  to quickly ensure they aren’t low on air. Properly inflated tires will make a loud and sharp thud, while poorly inflated tires make a dull thud.

2. Use it as a hammer – You won’t be able to chisel concrete with it, but if you need to drive a nail or tap something flush in a pinch the Good-N-Tight®  is built solid enough to handle it.

3. Personal protection – Hopefully you won’t ever need it for this but, much like a baseball bat, the Good-N-Tight® can serve as a self-defense tool if needed.

Chain Grades: Comparing Grade 30, Grade 43, Grade 70, Grade 80, Grade 100, and Grade 120 Chain

We turned one our most popular posts, “What are the Differences Between Grade 70 Chain, Grade 80 Chain, Grade 100 Chain, and Grade 120 Chain?”, into a simple chart for quick and easy chain grade comparison.

We also added information on the Grade 30 chain and Grade 43 chain. While we don’t sell these chain grades on our website, you can always call in to order them.

chain grade information

Typical Chain Uses

Grade 30

General purpose economical chain. Used in a variety of industries and jobs including light construction, agricultural applications, and the marine industry.

Grade 43

Typically used for container securement, logging, farming, towing, marine applications, and as general purpose utility chain.

Grade 70

Made from a higher strength, heat-treated carbon steel that has a load rating approximately 20 percent higher than Grade 43. The gold chromate finish makes it easy for DOT officials to recognize. Typically used by truckers, loggers, and highway crews for load securement and towing.

Grade 80

A high strength, heat treated alloy chain that can be used as a sling component for overhead lifting as well as heavy duty tow chain. The most economical choice that is suitable for overhead lifting.

Grade 100

A high strength, heat treated alloy chain. Primarily used as a sling component for overhead lifting.  Has approximately 25 percent higher strength than Grade 80. Popular in construction, manufacturing, and rigging applications.

Grade 120

An ultra-premium high strength chain designed specifically for the rigorous requirements of overhead lifting applications. The links have a unique square shape and it has approximately 50 percent higher strength compared to Grade 80. There are currently no official standards for Grade 120 chain in the U.S. or Europe, however, it does meet or exceed the standards of Grade 100 chain.

chain working load limits

Safety Standards for Chain

Organizations like ASTM (American Society of Testing & Materials), ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) have released safety standards and regulations for various materials and grades of a chain.  

Essentially, it’s a formal way of recognizing and documenting that not all chain is created equally and therefore, it should not all be used for the same applications. 

ASTM Chain Specification 

What does A413, A391, and A973 all mean? Those are simply how the ASTM categorizes and references their specification standards. Each specification outlines the different manufacturing and testing requirements as well as the appropriate performance standards, grades, and applications.  

Determining Chain Grades

Chain grades are a standard method for showing the ultimate breaking strength (tensile strength) of a chain. Grades help determine what sort of applications are appropriate for a given chain. 

Chain grades are determined by calculating newtons per square millimeter, using the formula “N/mm2”.

Where “mm” is the area of the two cross-sections of a single chain link, and “N” is newtons. A newton is approximately 0.224805 lbs. 

So, to determine a chain grade, manufacturers must find the ultimate breaking strength. Then, divide that number by .224805 to determine ultimate breaking strength in newtons. Next, take that number and divide by the total area of two cross-sections of a single link. That number is the chain grade. 

You could reverse this formula to determine ultimate breaking strength if all you know if the chain grade.  

Note: chain grades advertised by manufacturers are one-tenth of the actual mathematical grades. So grade 80 is really 800, and grade 120 is 1,200. 

Determining Chain Working Load Limits

Working load limit (WLL) of a chain is another designated safety measure. WLL is a weight significantly less than the weight that would cause a chain to fail (tensile strength).

WLL = MBL / SF. Where MBL is minimum breaking load and SF is the safety factor.  

A safety factor is the ratio between allowable stress and actual stress. In other words, it’s the ratio between the chain strength and the expected maximum stress.

In lifting and rigging applications, factors such as gravity and the additional force caused by angles must be considered.  

Always adhere to the WLL to ensure a chain does not break or wear quicker than it should.  

2018 Trucking Industry Trends: The Year of the Truck Driver

“This year [2018] will be the best for the trucking industry since 2005”, says David Ross, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp. 

What makes Ross so confident? It’s all about freight rates, truck sales, and ELDs.  

Learn how 2018 trucking industry trends are hauling the trucking industry towards one of its best years ever.  

freight rates

Freight Rates are Soaring 

According to the American Trucking Associations For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, January 2018 saw an 8.8 percent increase in freight tonnage compared to January 2017. 

Combine this with the current driver shortage, and you begin to understand why we are seeing record shipping rates in 2018.  It’s all about supply and demand. 

And those who are in the industry can capitalize. In January 2018, freight rates for refrigerated trailers reached $2.66 per mile. That’s a 71-cent increase from the same time last year. 

Similarly, dry van spot rates shot up by 59 cents ($2.26 per mile), and flatbed rates climbed 47 cents ($2.39 per mile) compared to last year. 

Experts expect rates to grow even higher as we move towards spring freight season. 

Truck Sales are Surging 

Many carriers have been investing in new trucks instead of continuing to spin their wheels investing in new drivers. This is due to a combination of the economy’s health, new tax policy, and high driver turnover rates. 

According to Americas Commercial Transportation Research Co. (ACT), big-rig manufacturers received orders for more than 49,100 trucks in January 2018. A 121 percent increase from the same time last year. 

 

 

 

 

 

And Class 8 truck orders just rose to the second-highest level since March 2006. 

Peterbilt is already forecasting sales of a quarter-million Class 8 trucks this year. 

Also, according to ACT, the industry saw a 250 percent increase in refrigerated trailer orders compared to last January.

ELD Mandate Passes Pressure to Shippers 

Interestingly, lingering concerns related to the ELD mandate has partially contributed to rising shipping rates. At least temporarily. 

But, there are also positive long-term ELD effects to expect. 

truck shippers

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you know, ELDs track the exact amount of time a driver spends waiting for loading and unloading. Shippers can be quickly analyzed, compared, and dropped if they are found to be inefficient.

This means shippers will have to work harder and smarter for drivers. 

With such high freight tonnage, and a low number of drivers, the power of choice lies more in the hands of carriers and drivers.  

Wire Rope Clips from USCC Used to Construct 100+ Foot Suspended Bridge

In October 2017, US Cargo Control received an order for over 300 wire rope clips from an engineer in northern Connecticut. 

Lacy Curtis, a Business Development Consultant on the Red Team here at US Cargo Control made sure the customer got exactly what they wanted, when they needed it. 

It turns out the wire rope clips were used to assemble a 100+ foot suspended footbridge over the Hockanum River in Vernon, Connecticut. 

This bridge grants a direct connection for hikers to cross between two growing trail systems along the Hockanum. 

In his Hartford Courant Newspaper article, reporter Peter Marteka describes it as “the kind of bridge you want to build when you are out blazing trails in the woods as a kid.”

The construction site was once a trolley bridge crossing.

What did it Take to Construct? 

The job took 16 ¾” Drop Forged Style Stainless Steel Wire Rope Clips, and 320 5/16″ Type 304 Stainless Steel Wire Rope Clips 

Vernon town engineer, Dave Smith, led the design and execution of the project with some help from Bridges to Prosperity; a Denver-based company that has built over 200 footbridges in 20 countries. 

Then, teams of local volunteers came together and put in over 1,300 hours to help Smith complete this project.

Over 1,300 volunteer hours went into this impressive project.

The Volunteers 

Vernon Greenway Volunteers is a group of dedicated individuals who assist the Town of Vernon through the maintenance, enhancement, and proper use of the 30+ miles of trails in Vernon. 

Friends of the Hockanum River Linear Park is a non-profit organization that brings awareness to the importance of clean rivers through public education.

Now it’s Your Turn.  

This was an impressive project and USCC is grateful to have been a small part of. Thank you very much to Dave Smith for sharing all these photos with us. 

Show us what you’ve done with USCC products and you could be featured in our next post. Big or small, we love seeing our products in action. 

Email us your story here, or message us on our Facebook page! 

To learn more about the differences among wire rope clips, and how to choose the correct one, see our How to Use Wire Rope Clips post.

7 Tips for Smarter Truck Parking

There’s no question that lack of available parking is a major challenge for truck drivers across the United States. Even after the introduction of Jason’s Law back in 2012, commercial drivers are still struggling to consistently find safe parking spots. 

In 2017, truck parking ranked fourth overall on the ATRI’s list of Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry survey. If you look only at the responses of commercial drivers, truck parking is the second most critical issue. 

While these tips won’t make new parking spots magically appear, they can help you park smarter and sleep easier. 

1. Plan Ahead  

Pre-plan when and where you’re going to stop each day. Obviously, the goal is to avoid highly congested areas and areas with high crime. Tools like Google Earth and the TruckerPath app are great ways to see how crowded an area is in real time.

 2. Park Early  

Truck stops usually start filling up early in the evening. If you start your day earlier, you can park before others. If you can’t park early, try reserving a parking spot at the truck stop where you plan on stopping.

 3. Avoid Parking Near an Entrance  

It will be tempting to grab the closest spot when you pull in tired. But parking spots on the end of rows, and in the front third of a parking lot, are where the heaviest traffic and highest chance of accidents are.

4. Be Picky About Who You Park Next to  

If the truck next to you is parked over the line, or at an angle, try finding a different spot. If you must park there, it’s not a bad idea to take down their license plate and DOT information.

5. Avoid Backing Out of Spots  

It will be much quicker and easier getting back on the road if you choose a spot you can either pull through or back into.

6. Choose a Well-Lit Area  

Parking near plenty of bright lights will decrease your chances of being targeted by thieves. Seek out truck stops and department store parking lots that are filled with floodlights.

7. Seal Your Truck 

If you’re going to sleep in your truck, close all your windows, put up window screens, and keep valuables out of sight. Consider installing a dash cam for extra peace of mind. Sometimes just the sight of them is enough to deter potential thieves.  You can also use bungee cords or tie down straps to latch your truck’s doors shut from the inside.