5 Pieces of Flatbed Trailer Equipment Every Driver Should Have

We carry quality products to keep you and your flatbed trailer moving forward. Check out the five most popular pieces of equipment made for flatbed owners.

From corner protectors to tire chains, we have the flatbed equipment for your trailer to keep you running smoothly

Being a flatbed trailer owner, you know there is not much your trailer cannot hold. Your load is exposed, and you need the equipment to hold it down tight while protecting it from abrasions or damage. Whether you’re a new flatbed truck driver or an experienced one, we carry supplies that can help you deliver your cargo load safely and on time.

Tire Chains

These tire chains, also known as snow tire chains, are designed to help transport you and your cargo to your destination through snowy or icy conditions. These snow chains provide added control behind the wheel when you’re stuck in the snow, and allow better traction as well.

We carry light-duty tire chains and heavy-duty tire chains. The difference is in how you plan on using these types of chains. If you think you will rarely use a tire chain during the cold months, consider the light-duty chain. If you know you will be using chains frequently, then you might want to invest in a heavy-duty chain.

Keep in mind that even if you don’t travel regularly in winter conditions, some states do have DOT regulations requiring drivers to carry or use tire chains during the winter season. So make sure to carry tire chains in your vehicle during the chilly months.

Tarps

Tarps are one of the best ways to protect your cargo load. We carry heavy- duty tarps that fight against elements such as rain and snow. Not only can they combat certain weather situations, but these tarp covers can also prevent scratches and marks on your precious cargo. These truck tarps contain two or three rows of d-rings across the length of the tarp, so the tarp can be tied down firmly to the truck bed. Some of the different types of tarps we carry are lumber tarps, steel tarps, machinery tarps, smoke and nose tarps, and more.

We even create custom flatbed tarps at our facility in Urbana, IA. In this video, Adam explains how our team creates long-lasting custom tarps at your convenience.

Corner Protectors & Vee Boards

Corner protectors are an inexpensive way to protect your cargo. Not only can they protect your cargo from being smashed or damaged, but these guards can also protect your straps, chains, and tarps. They are designed to protect the tarp material from any ripping or abrasions caused by sharp corners. The purpose behind these wall corner guards is providing a layer between the cargo and the strap or chain, and having this extra layer can decrease the pressure on the load from the strap/chain.

Learn more about which corner protector to use for your cargo.

Fun fact: the plastic corner protectors can extend the life of your ratchet straps by reducing rubbing.

Winch Straps & Ratchet Straps

Both ratchet straps and winch straps work well for heavy tie down applications for the trucking industry. The only differences are in how to tighten the straps, and what type of lock the two straps carry.

When using the ratchet strap, you slide the strap to the spool, bring it back over on itself, and pull the strap. After this, you can start to ratchet and repeatedly crank the lever until the load is tightened. Both tie-down types are available with a flat hook, wire hook, chain extension, or grab hook.

We carry many colors like red, green, blue, and yellow so you can recognize what strap you are using, as well as matching your company or vehicle’s colors.

D-rings

A D-ring is a piece of hardware shaped like the letter D, that can connect to the strap or be mounted directly to your flatbed trailer to secure your cargo. D-rings and straps are a flexible way to supply a trailer with many tie-down points to secure the cargo load. We carry many different styles of d-rings, and we have d-ring parts and accessories that allow you to customize your trailer configuration.

We also carry transport chains and binders, rubber/bungee tarp straps, safety supplies, winch bars, and more. Learn more about the flatbed trailer equipment we carry on our USCC website.

Call our team of experts at 800-404-7068 if you have any questions or need more information.

Extracting a Stuck Vehicle

When extracting a stuck vehicle, many factors can affect the actual pulling force needed. Read on to learn what they are.

How to Calculate Minimum Winching Effort & Minimum Working Load Limit

extracting a stuck vehicle calculation formula

When extracting a stuck vehicle, many factors can affect the actual pulling force needed, as well as selecting recovery equipment with high enough load ratings.

During a recent Iowa Corn Growers Event hosted at US Cargo Control headquarters, Tim Sanders, a Trucking and Transporation expert, and USCC business development specialist, gave an informative overview of what goes into effectively extracting a vehicle that’s stuck in the mud, sand, gravel, snow, etc.

When work needs to get done, it may seem tempting to just grab a strap or chain and pull until something happens. However, if you take a few minutes to do some simple calculations, you’ll likely save time in the long run and more importantly, help ensure the safety of those around the extraction scene.

The formula for calculating the required minimum recovery capacity

Total vehicle weight (W), additional rolling resistance (ARR), and additional gradient resistance (AGR). Once you have these calculations, you can quickly determine the recovery equipment strength you will need:

  1. What does the stuck vehicle weight, including all cargo, attachments, trailers, etc.?

    This is the “W” part of the formula.
  2. What factors will add to the pulling effort and safe working load limits required to pull the total weight of the vehicle?

    When we say “additional factors” we’re mainly talking about two things: additional rolling resistance (ARR) and additional gradient resistance (AGR)

Minimum Capacity Required = W + ARR + AGR

tim sander USCC sales and trucking gear expert
USCC Business Development Specialist, Tim Sanders, shares how to determine the minimum recovery equipment capacity required for extracting a vehicle to a crowd of Iowa Corn Grower Members

Calculating additional rolling resistance

Additional rolling resistance (ARR) is essentially the surface in which the vehicle is stuck or will need to get over in order to become free. Different surface types have different multipliers that, when multiplied by the total vehicle weight, give you the “ARR.”

Keep in mind that these calculations assume the wheels are level with each other.

how to calculate additional rolling resistance by surface type
This chart shows the multipliers for different surface types. Multiply the total weight of the stuck vehicle by the appropriate multiplier to get total “ARR.”

Calculating gradient resistance

Gradient resistance (AGR) is simply the degree of slope that the extraction may take place on. The greater the slope, the higher the multiplier. Again, you will take the total weight of the stuck vehicle and multiply by the appropriate multiplier.

chart for calculating gradient resistance when extracting a stuck vehicle
This chart shows the multipliers for different degrees of slope. Multiply the total weight of the stuck vehicle by the appropriate multiplier to get total “AGR.”

Example Calculation

Let’s say the total weight of the stuck vehicle is 42,000 lbs., and it’s stuck in the snow with a 15-degree slope. Can you figure out the minimum capacity required? Remember the formula is:

Minimum Capacity Required = W + ARR + AGR

See below for the answer.

example calculation of minimum capacity required
Assuming all the factors on the left side of this chart, here is how to calculate the minimum capacity required for extracting a vehicle

Selecting the right recovery straps

Make sure the working load limit of the recovery equipment is greater than the minimum capacity required. Additional resistance could be encountered when the stuck vehicle is deeply submerged, or there is damage to the vehicle that prevents it from moving. When in doubt contact a vehicle recovery expert.

More Vehicle Recovery Resources

If you’re needing to pull an automobile out of snow that’s close to a public roadway, there are specific steps to take to ensure safety beyond just recovery capacity. Click the link above to learn what they are.

We also have resources that cover the common questions our team gets like how to choose a recovery strap and auto-recovery straps vs. tow straps.

If you have further questions on recovery straps and safe vehicle extraction, give Tim or anyone on our team a call at 800-969-6543.

NOTE: This article contains important safety information about the use of synthetic web slings. However, it does not contain all the information you need to know about handling, lifting, and manipulating materials and loads safely. Sling use is only one part of a lifting system and it is your responsibility to consider all risk factors prior to using any rigging device or product. Failure to do this may result in severe injury or death due to sling failure and/or loss of load

Snap Shackles: What Can I Use a Quick Release Shackle for?

A snap shackle has unique features, like a captive pin, which makes it great for certain applications.

What is a Snap Shackle, how are they used, and what are their similarities and differences?

We carry many different types of shackles, but a snap shackle is not like an anchor shackle, d shackle, bow shackle, etc. While these other shackles are more heavy-duty and powerful, a snap shackle has unique features, like a captive pin, which makes it great for certain applications. The captive pin on these stainless steel shackles allows you to use them without worrying of dropping or losing the pin. This makes them great for many rigging and lifting applications, especially those near water or marine-like environments.

The Similarities Among Snap Shackles

First, it is important to know that all snap shackles we carry have certain similarities. They each contain a spring-loaded captive pin, which stays locked and cannot be removed from the body. In order to open this pin, you must pull to engage the opening.

These shackles are made of Stainless Steel Type 316, also known as Marine Grade Stainless Steel. Obviously, this also makes them great for marine use and nautical applications. Type 316 contains an element called molybdenum, which helps prevent against corrosive damage from saltwater. Another distinctive characteristic is you can use these shackles quickly with one hand, which is excellent for jobs where speed is important.

So, What Are the Differences?

The Eye Swivel has a circular shape, or eye shape, on one end. Note that this end has no opening. In order to use this swivel shackle, you can simply clip something to it. The Jaw Swivel has a screw pin on the end, instead of an eye-shaped opening. The pin is kept in place by a “keyring” that must be removed before the pin can actually remove from the body.

Both swivel snap shackles have a swivel on one end that can rotate 360 degrees. This helps prevent tangling, which makes it ideal to use with high-movement items. These shackles come in the following sizes: 2-3/4″, 3-1/2″, and 5″.

stainless steel eye swivel snap shackle
Eye Swivel Snap Shackle

quick release jaw swivel snap shackle
Jaw Swivel Snap Shackle

Fixed Snap Shackle and Rope Sheet Snap Shackle

The end of a Fixed Snap Shackle has an identical circular shape like the eye swivel, but it functions differently. The end is non-twisting, so the fixed snap shackle is not recommended for applications that require twisting and spinning movement. The Rope Sheet Snap Shackle has an end that is “rope friendly” for your marine and sailing applications.

The fixed snap shackle comes in sizes 2″, 2-3/4″, and 4″, and the rope sheet snap shackle comes in sizes 2″, 2-1/2″, and 3-3/4″.

stainless steel fixed snap shackle
Fixed Snap Shackle

rope shackle
Rope Sheet Snap Shackle

What Can I Use Snap Shackles For?

You can use a snap shackle in several ways. You can apply these quick release shackles for your lifting and rigging needs, or marine applications. Or, you can even use them for personal use, such as using it as a dog leash clip, for halyards (line of rope used to hoist a ladder, sail, or flag), or even on a gate.

The key to remember is that the swivel shackles are used for frequent spinning movements, while the fixed snap shackle and rope sheet snap shackles are suitable for more straight-line applications.

Keep in mind that it’s extremely important to check the working load limit (WLL) of the clip or hook to ensure it will work for your intended use. These snap shackles are designed to be quickly and easily opened, so we recommend that you consider these shackles to meet your application’s workload before purchasing them. Also, we advise that you do not use these to lift heavy loads, so be cautious.

Learn More About Shackles in this Video

In this short video, Lacy talks about other types of shackles and brands we have available.

source: US Cargo Control

If you would like to know more about these snap shackles or the other shackles, check out the complete shackles section of the USCC website, or call our team of experts at 800-404-7068.

Protect Your Valuables with the Strongest Security Chain

Protect your items from theft with a case-hardened security chain and a high-quality lock.

What is Pewag Security Chain, how can you use it, and what sizes are available?

Have you had any of your valuables stolen, or felt nervous that someone might steal them? Have you had a chain that someone was able to cut loose? Do you need a stronger chain to secure your valuables? Better yet, do you want to feel secure knowing your items will be safe? Consider looking into a Pewag Security Chain.

hardened security chain pewag
Pewag 9/32″ Square Hardened Security Chain

A Resistant, Bolt Cutter Proof Chain

Protect your items from theft with a case-hardened security chain and a high-quality lock that comes with two security keys. We carry Pewag Security Chains that are considered to be the toughest security chains out there. By being the toughest chain, we mean the Pewag chain is the hardest chain to cut with bolt cutters. The biggest reason is the hardened steel chain is squared, so it will not allow bolt cutters to cut through it.

strongest security chain

With the chain link’s squared shape and impressive chain hardness of 63 HRC, this is a bolt cutter resistant chain that requires tremendous effort to cut, unlike standard round chains. This can get rid of the thief or even help catch the person who is attempting to steal and damage your item.

What Can I use a Pewag Security Chain for?

This type of specialized chain is very beneficial and recommended for people who do not want their items stolen or damaged. For example, you can use the Pewag security chain as a bike chain lock or a motorcycle chain lock. You can also use for larger items such as boats, vehicles, trailers, gates, and properties. The use is not limited, as long as you get the appropriate chain width and length for your application, you can use on anything you feel is worth protecting against thieves.

Sizes of Security Chains

We carry three sizes of Pewag security chain and they are mostly used for commercial and industrial applications. More specifically, the 9/32″ Security Chain is designed for securing smaller items like bikes and mopeds. The 3/8″ Security Chain and 1/2″ Security Chain are used to protect more industrial items and facilities. Keep in mind that the 1/2″ x 2′ Chain is the largest size Pewag produces and is designed to protect large valuable items and facilities.

Along with the hardened steel chains are chain locks that work with Pewag Security Chain for maximum security. We carry the Viro Panzer Lock For 9/32″ Security Chain, Viro Panzer Lock For 3/8″ Security Chain, and Viro Monolith Lock For 1/2″ Security Chain. The heavy-duty chain lock is a unique design that does not allow any tools to cut open the lock. These locks also come with top security profile nickel-plated brass keys for only you to unlock.

These chains can be sold by the foot. If you would like a complete setup, then check out the security chain packages that include the chains, locks, and keys.

If you lose your keys or need to duplicate them, then make sure to keep the included card that comes with the key code.

Want to learn more about Chains?

Check out this short video to get a better visual of what Pewag chains look like!

source: pewag

If you are ready to add an uncuttable chain and lock to your valuables, then head over to the chain section of the USCC website or give our sales team a call at 800-404-7068.