Wire Rope Basics

Understand the differences among different types of wire rope so you can buy with confidence.

Differences in Size, Construction, Lay, Core, Grade, Finish

Understanding the basics of wire rope will help guide you on how to choose the right wire rope for your job. Application, required strength, and environmental conditions all play a factor in determining the type of wire rope that is best for you.

wire rope basics

But when it comes to buying wire rope, the various numbers and abbreviations that describe the different types of wire rope can be confusing. EIPS wire rope, 6X19 IWRC wire rope, and lang lay wire rope are just some of the many variations available. But what does it all mean?

These wire rope basics will help you understand the differences among types of wire so you can buy with confidence.

1. Size

Displayed as inch or fractional inch measurements, the size indicates the diameter of the rope. Industry standards measure the rope at its widest point. A wide range of sizes are available from 1/8” wire rope to 2-1/2” wire rope. Thicker sized wire rope has a higher break strength. For example, our 3/8” 6X19 IWRC Galvanized Wire Rope has a 15,100 lb. break strength while our 1-1/2” 6X19 IWRC Galvanized Wire Rope has a 228,000 lb. break strength. 

2. Construction

Wire rope is composed of individual wires that are twisted to form strands. The strands are then twisted to form a rope construction.

7/16" stainless steel wire rope: 6 x 19 construction
7/16″ stainless steel wire rope: 6 x 19 construction


The numbers indicate its construction. For example: in 6X19 wire rope, as shown at left, the first number is the number of strands (6);  the second number is how many wires make up one strand (19).

Numbers may also be followed by a letter combination such as FW or WS which indicates how the outside layer is constructed.

FW= filler wire (same sizes throughout)

WS= Warrington Seale (combination of large and small)

3. Lay

Refers to the direction the wires and strands are twisted during the construction of the rope.

Regular lay 

When it comes to wire rope, regular lay is also referred to as right lay or ordinary lay. This indicates that the strands pass from left to right across the rope and the wires in the rope are laid in opposite direction to the lay of the strands. This type of construction is the most common and offers the widest range of applications for the rope.

Lang lay

This term indicates that the wires are twisted in the same direction as the strands. These ropes are generally more flexible and have increased wearing surface per wire than right lay ropes. Because the outside wires lie at an angle to the rope’s axis, internal stress is reduced making it more resistant to fatigue from bending. This type of rope is often used in construction, excavating, and mining applications.

4. Core

Refers to what makes up the center of the wire rope.

FC= fiber core

Fiber cores are made of vegetable (sisal, etc.) or synthetic (polypropylene, etc.) fiber and offer more elasticity.

IWRC= independent wire rope core

Independent wire rope cores offer more support to the outer strands and have a higher resistance to crushing and heat. Independent wire rope core also has less stretch and more strength.

5. Grade  

Refers to the grade of steel used. Classifications include:

IPS= improved plowed steel.

EIPS = extra improved plowed steel (approximately 10% stronger than IPS).

EEIPS= extra extra improved plowed steel (approximately 10% stronger than the EIPS).

GIPS= galvanized improved plowed steel; galvanized wires add corrosion resistance.

DGEIP= drawn galvanized improved plow steel; galvanized for corrosion resistance. Drawn wires generally have a higher break load than GIPS.

6 x 37 EIPS IWRC 3/8" galvanized wire rope
6 x 37 EIPS IWRC 3/8″ galvanized wire rope

6. Finish

This last tip on wire rope basics refers to the protective coating on the wire rope.

Bright

Made with uncoated wires manufactured from high carbon steel.

Galvanized

Provides extra corrosion resistance.

Stainless Steel

Highly resistant to corrosion and is commonly used in marine applications.

8 x 19 EIPS IWRC bright 3/4" wire rope
3/4″ bright wire rope: 8 x 19 EIPS IWRC

Many of our customers use our wire rope and our wire rope clips to create wire rope assemblies. Check out of video blog on How to Safely Apply Wire Rope Clips to Wire Rope Assemblies to learn more.

International Roadcheck 2017: More vehicles, drivers placed out of service over last year

International Roadcheck in Brandon, Iowa
Ryan Glade, a Motor Vehicle Enforcement officer with the Iowa Department of Transportation, performs an inspection during the International Roadcheck event at a state-run weigh station near Brandon, Iowa, on June 7, 2017.

International Roadcheck 2017 saw more vehicles and drivers placed out of service than last year.

The 30th annual event, sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), took place June 6-8.

Enforcement personnel conducted a total of 62,013 Level I, II and III inspections, including 54,300 in the United States and 7,713 in Canada. According to the CVSA, 19.4 percent of all commercial motor vehicles and 4.7 percent of all drivers inspected were placed out of service.

Of the 40,944 North American Standard (NAS) Level I Inspections, 23 percent of vehicles and 4.2 percent of drivers were placed out of service. The 37-step procedure examines both the driver and vehicle.

Other inspections involved the Level II walk-around (12,787) and Level III driver-only (8,282).

Being rendered out of service means officials identified critical violations, and the driver cannot operate the vehicle until mechanical conditions or defects and/or driver qualifications are corrected.

In 2016, CVSA reported a total of 62,796 inspections, with 17.8 percent of vehicles and 4 percent of drivers placed out of service. Of the 42,236 Level I inspections last year, 21.5 percent of vehicles and 3.4 percent of drivers didn’t meet the pass criteria.

International Roadcheck is the largest targeted commercial motor vehicle inspection effort in North America. More than 13 trucks or buses are inspected, on average, every minute during a 72-hour period.

More breakdowns from the CVSA’s full report:

Vehicle violations

• The top three out-of-service violations were for brake systems (26.9 percent of vehicle out-of-service violations), cargo securement (15.7 percent) and tires/wheels (15.1 percent).

• 2,267 vehicles carrying hazardous materials or dangerous goods received a Level I Inspection; 12.8 percent were placed out of service for vehicle-related violations.

• 398 motorcoaches encountered Level I Inspections; 10.1 percent (40) were placed out of service for vehicle-related violations.

Driver violations

• The top three driver violations were for hours of service (32.3 percent), wrong class license (14.9 percent) and false log book (11.3 percent).

• Of Level I, II, and III inspections of vehicles carrying hazardous materials/dangerous goods, 1.9 percent were placed out of service for driver-related violations.

• 598 motorcoaches received Level I, II or III inspections; 3.8 percent (23) of drivers were placed out of service for driver-related violations.

• 710 safety belt violations were found.

Cargo securement emphasis

While checking for cargo securement compliance is always part of roadside inspections, this year’s International Roadcheck placed a special emphasis on this category as a reminder of its importance.

Cargo securement violations (not including hazardous materials/dangerous goods loading/securement) represented 15.7 percent of all vehicle out-of-service violations this year.

Of 3,282 instances in the United States, the top five violations related to cargo securement were:

1. Lack of proper load securement (423).

2. Unsecured vehicle equipment (379).

3. Leaking, spilling, blowing or falling cargo (281).

4. Insufficient tie downs to prevent forward movement of loads not blocked by headerboard, bulkhead or cargo (256).

5. Unsecured vehicle load (178).

Brake Safety Day is Sept. 7

Heads up: Brake Safety Day is Thursday, Sept. 7.

The enforcement and compliance campaign is a companion to International Roadcheck, the largest targeted commercial motor vehicle inspection effort in North America, which took place in June.

Brake Safety Day again targets large trucks and buses. Law enforcement agencies across the United States, Mexico and Canada will primarily conduct a Standard Level 1 Inspection, a 37-step procedure that examines both the vehicle’s mechanical fitness and driver operating requirements.

Officer inspects truck
Ryan Glade, a Motor Vehicle Enforcement officer with the Iowa Department of Transportation, inspects a truck during International Roadcheck at a state-run weigh station near Brandon, Iowa, in June.

Next week’s event will particularly focus on brake-system components to identify loose or missing parts; air or hydraulic fluid leaks; worn linings, pads, drums or rotors; and other faulty brake-system components. Anti-lock braking system malfunction indicator lamps are also checked, and inspectors will measure pushrod stroke, where applicable.

In addition, in the 10 jurisdictions using performance-based brake testing equipment, vehicle braking efficiency will be measured.

Vehicles with defective or out-of-adjustment brakes will be placed out of service.

According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), which sponsors the event, commercial motor vehicle brakes are designed to hold up under tough conditions, but must be properly installed, routinely inspected and carefully maintained for optimal performance throughout a vehicle’s life. Failure to do so can reduce braking efficiency and increase the stopping distance of trucks and buses, a serious safety risk.

Out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations combine to represent half of all out-of-service violations issued for commercial motor vehicles on the road, the CVSA says. The past two years alone, brake-related violations have comprised the largest percentage of out-of-service vehicle violations cited during International Roadcheck — 45.7 percent in 2016, and 26.9 percent in 2017.

Brake Safety Day, part of the CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program, is sponsored by CVSA in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The event is a follow-up to an unannounced Brake Safety Day on May 3, and replaces the seven-day Brake Safety Week campaign from previous years.

Since the program’s inception in 1998, more than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected.

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.

A First Look at International Roadcheck Results

The 30th annual International Roadcheck is a wrap!

For three days earlier this month, certified officials in jurisdictions throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada conducted inspections of commercial motor vehicles and their drivers, placing a special emphasis on cargo securement.

The initiative, created by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute during the 72-hour period.

While CVSA is still compiling statistics for North America, the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement reported the following:

  • Commercial Vehicles Inspected                                                    1,085
  • Violations Found                                                                              3,769
  • Vehicles Out of Service                                                                   350
  • Drivers Out of Service                                                                     107
  • CVSA Decals Issued to Vehicles that Passed Inspection            580

Ryan Glade, a Motor Vehicle Enforcement officer with the Iowa Department of Transportation, performs an inspection during the International Roadcheck event at a state-run weigh station near Brandon, Iowa, on June 7, 2017.

In 2016, CVSA’s roadside campaign totaled 62,796 inspections. Of those, 42,236 were a North American Standard Level 1 Inspection, a 37-step procedure that examines both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. Level 1 inspections resulted in 21.5 percent of vehicles and 3.4 percent of drivers being placed out of service because of critical item violations. Of vehicles placed out of service, brake adjustment and brake system violations combined to represent 45.7 percent of out-of-service vehicle violations. Top driver out-of-service violations were for hours of service and false logs representing 46.8 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively, of all out-of-service driver violations found.

Other inspections conducted are Level II walk-around driver/vehicle, Level III driver/credential, and Level V vehicle-only.

According to CVSA, top load securement violations — a particular focus this year — typically include:

  1. Failure to prevent shifting/loss of load.
  2. Failure to secure truck equipment (tarps, dunnage, doors, tailgates, spare tires, etc.).
  3. Damaged tie-downs (unacceptable wear on chain or cuts and tears on web straps).

    Ryan Glade performs an inspection during International Roadcheck near Brandon, Iowa, on June 7, 2017.
  4. Insufficient tie-downs.
  5. Loose tie-downs.

International Roadcheck is sponsored by CVSA, North America’s leading commercial motor vehicle safety enforcement organization, with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

Other CVSA events include Brake Safety Day on Sept. 7 and Operation Safe Driver Week in October.

 

NEW ARRIVALS: Coil, Machinery, 3-Piece & Lightweight Tarps

We recently expanded our line of flatbed trailer tarps, launching coilmachinery, and three-piece lumber styles. Our inventory also now includes lightweight versions of our lumber and steel tarps, as well as a wider selection of sizes.

Coil tarps, or coil bags, are commonly used to keep steel or aluminum coils tight and dry. The upper half is rounded at the front and rear to better fit cylinder-shaped loads, eliminating the need to fold and strap down tons of excess material before hauling. This allows for easier on/off and faster securement.

In addition, each corner of the bottom portion is split to form four flaps that let transport chain slide through, so the tarp slips on quickly whether the coil is mounted in either shotgun (coil has the potential to roll off the side of the trailer) or suicide (coil can roll onto the truck) position.

Sturdy grommets around the hems and two rows of D-rings spanning the perimeter provide plenty of tie-down points for S-hooks, rubber tarp straps, or rubber rope.

Both sizes we offer — 6’ x 6’ x 6’ and 7’ x 7’ x 7’ — are made of 18 oz. vinyl-coated polyester to handle extreme outdoor conditions and heavy stress.

Machinery tarps are essentially larger versions of steel tarps to fully wrap large, expensive, and often irregularly sized manufacturing or machinery equipment. They are great, too, for encasing wood or steel products such as plywood, cables, rods, or sheets.

These are available in 24’ x 24’ or 30’ x 30’ with grommets the entire way around the tarp and multiple rows of D-rings — the number depends on size. The 18 oz. polyester has a PVC exterior coating to ensure the tarp stays waterproof and resistant to dirt, oil, salt, chemicals, and ultraviolet rays. Plus, the coated fabric gives the material added strength and durability.

Three-piece lumber tarps split the weight over three separate pieces, making them easier to handle when covering a full load on a standard flatbed trailer. These systems connect a rectangular steel tarp in the center to a lumber tarp on each end. Sections can be used individually or combined to accommodate various load sizes.

Constructed in 18 oz. or lighter-weight 14 oz. fabric, these tarps have lots of D-rings and grommets for attaching straps and rope. Each D-ring comes with an abrasion-resistant pad underneath. Like our other styles, the PVC-coated polyester acts as a tough barrier from the elements and road debris.

Lightweight lumber and steel tarps feature 14 oz. vinyl-coated polyester. Lumber sizes include: 20′ x 20′, 20′ x 27′, 24′ x 20′, and 24′ x 27′. Lightweight steel tarps come in 16′ x 27′, 20′ x 16′, and 24′ x 18′.

We also added two new sizes of heavyweight lumber and steel tarps: 20′ x 18′ and 24′ x 18′.

Don’t forget about our other heavy-duty and 14 oz./18 oz. combo options for lumber and steel hauling, along with a smoke/nose shield and designs for roll/dump trucks. Consider corner protectors, tarp repair kits, and other accessories to prolong the life of your tarp.

For one-stop shopping, we’ve assembled flatbed starter kits with tarps, tie downs, and essentials for hauling lumber, steel, or both. Be sure to check out our entire selection of Flatbed Trailer Equipment.

Need a different tarp size, color, or style? Custom options are available! Call 866-444-9990 to discuss with a member of our sales team.

Prepare for Targeted Inspections in June

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement recently stopped a driver who didn’t realize his load had come unbundled, butting up against the trailer’s wooden removable side boards. This year’s International Roadcheck will focus on cargo securement safety.

Fleet companies and truck drivers have just a couple of weeks left to prepare for the largest targeted commercial motor vehicle inspection effort in North America.

The 30th annual International Roadcheck is June 6-8. Certified inspectors in jurisdictions across the United States, Mexico and Canada will focus on a Standard Level 1 Inspection, the most thorough roadside inspection that examines both the vehicle as well as driver operating requirements.

Each inspection can take up to an hour or more. Vehicles found in compliance will receive a special decal that generally spares them from re-inspection during the month of issuance, plus two months.  

This year’s event is placing an emphasis on cargo securement. Inspectors are trained to look for the proper loading and securement of cargo on commercial vehicles. They also check that equipment is functioning and tied down safely and correctly. Inspectors take load securement regulation seriously. Loads that are improperly secured can cause road damage, injury and death.

Past spotlighted categories include tire safety (2016), cargo securement (2015) and hazardous materials/dangerous goods (2014).

An improperly secured I-beam flies off of a truckload of scrap metal and into the dash of an unsuspecting motorist. The truck driver was in possession of cargo netting, but failed to use it.

Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officer Loren Waterman has seen a lot in his 22 years with the Iowa Department of Transportation. Examples of violations he’s found while on patrol are scattered throughout this post. Many accidents, fines and citations are preventable, he says.

“Take the initiative to go through everything,” Waterman said. “It takes you 5 minutes to update your logbook. Make sure your load is properly secured. When in doubt, scale it out.”

With truck stops sprinkled along most major highways and interstates, drivers typically have access to additional tie downs or weigh scales, if needed, prior to getting pulled over for an inspection.

Waterman said tighter regulations accompanied with initiatives like International Roadcheck are paying off.

“You don’t see those really bad trucks out there anymore,” he said. “The safety of the road depends on how all these companies are keeping their equipment up.”

A roadside inspection guide published by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance ahead of the International Roadcheck three-day event, happening June 6-8, 2017.

International Roadcheck times and locations will vary by state. In Iowa, most weigh station facilities will be staffed daily with four to five inspectors, along with someone on patrol, Waterman said.

International Roadcheck, created by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, is expected to average nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected every minute during the 72-hour period. Participants include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

Since the program’s inception in 1988, more than 1.5 million roadside inspections have been conducted.

Moving Blankets Protect Flatbed Cargo, Tarps & Straps

Tim Sanders, USCC senior account managerMoving blankets are not just vital for professionals and do-it-yourself movers to avoid scuffed furniture. They’re also popular with flatbed haulers to cushion cargo and extend the life of tarps and straps.

Without a covering, items on flatbed trailers are completely exposed to the elements and road debris. Utilizing a weather-resistant tarp and tie downs helps ensure shipments arrive at their destination unscathed.

But before you roll out a tarp, consider wrapping a quilted blanket around any freight that is fragile, painted, sensitive, or not packaged (crated or cartoned).

“The main goal when securing cargo is making sure it doesn’t shift or move, but accomplishing this can be potentially damaging to cargo and securement equipment,” says Tim Sanders, senior account manager in sales at US Cargo Control. “When used properly, moving blankets will save you time and money by making sure your load and your equipment remain in place and in good condition.”

Blankets drape across the sides and top of the most irregularly shaped items, and can be anchored firmly in position with big rubber bands, ratchet straps, or plastic stretch wrap. The soft layer acts as a shock absorber from knocks and bumps associated with loading, road vibration or heavy braking in transit, and possible impact when unloading. It also fills any gap between adjacent goods that may shift and rub against each other during the journey. Not only that, extra padding preserves the condition of the cargo when tensioning load securement straps or chain.

In addition, lay a blanket directly over sharp edges on machinery, metal parts, etc. This eliminates direct contact with straps and tarps, which protects your investment by preventing snags, cuts, and abrasions. Check out our selection of corner protectors to further alleviate premature equipment wear, as well as reduce the risk of harm to whatever you’re carrying.

While frayed webbing will likely need replaced, damaged tarps aren’t necessarily a total loss. On-the-spot tarp repair kits are available with black, blue, or red vinyl squares to easily patch and seal minor rips, holes, tears, and wear marks.

We include four of our Econo Saver moving blankets with every value-priced Flatbed Deluxe Starter Kit, which contains essential supplies for flatbed drivers. The lightweight yet durable Econo Saver features a tough polyester fabric shell and cotton batting inside for limited-use jobs.

If you’re looking for a higher level of protection, we offer a range of material quality, color, style, and size options:

Keep in mind that moving blankets are not waterproof, so the entire surface of a load must be tarped to shield against rain and snow.

As always, our expert sales team is happy to assist with questions about any of our products. They’re here to get you what you want, when you need it. Call us at 866-444-9990.

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.

New Products: Wheel Nets & Car Tie Downs

Our selection of wheel nets and car tie downs continues to expand.

We’ve launched more than 20 new products, including value-priced 4-packs of wheel nets and 2-packs of tow dolly straps.

Also, the category page design itself has been revamped, so you can more easily find a strap to fit your needs. Shop using dedicated pages for Wheel Nets, Tow Dolly Straps, Wheel Straps, Axle Straps & Auto Tie Downs, and Tie Down Hardware. The Wheel Nets subcategory allows you to shop by wheel/tire size or by specific application.

Consider these factors when choosing a tie down:

  • Type of trailer being used and available anchor points. Do you plan to install additional attachment points?
  • Type of vehicle(s) being hauled.
  • Tie down restrictions, such as for racecars, custom models, and other low-clearance vehicles.
  • Vehicle weight. The combined working load limit of each tie down should be equal to or greater than the vehicle’s weight.

New ideas are constantly being explored and tested, so check back often! Among the changes and additions rolled out so far:

Stronger working load limit

Upgraded stitch patterns for two of our tow dolly basket straps – available with flat hooks or twisted snap hooks – bring the working load limit to 3,333 lbs. instead of 2,000 lbs. This allows them to be used on vehicles that exceed 4,000 lbs.

Larger tow dolly basket straps

Extra-large tow dolly strap

Extra-large tow dolly basket straps are now an option to fit most wheels larger than 17”.

These come with your choice of end fittings: two twisted snap hooks or two flat hooks.

The loose tail of the wheel bonnet can be paired with a 2″ ratchet or lashing hook to secure it to a trailer.

Our smaller versions accommodate most 14” to 17” tires.

Adjustable wheel nets with D-rings

Adjustable tow dolly strap with 4” top strap

D-rings have replaced cambuckles to increase the working load limit on adjustable models.

Several styles featuring height adjustability have joined our lineup. Two slots on both sides of the top strap let you position the horizontal webbing higher or lower when securing different vehicle tire sizes. Simply insert the horizontal strap through the bottom loop for large tires, or jump up a level for a snug fit on smaller wheels. Tighten the front-to-back strap around the wheel with the integrated D-ring, and the loose tail feeds into a trailer-mounted winch or ratchet.

Those with a 2” top strap are ideal for most wheels 14” to 17”, while a 4” top strap provides stability around wheels with diameters of 17” or larger.

Replacement straps for professional auto hauling

2″ x 10′ replacement wheel strap

We now offer replacement straps designed for double-deck car carriers.

These assemblies are similar to our existing wheel straps but do not come with a ratchet. Instead, the loose end feeds into trailer-mounted winches.

For easy connection to the trailer deck, choose two swivel J-hooks or two double-J wire hooks.

Three adjustable, cleated rubber blocks grab a tire’s treads for extra securement.

As always, call us at 866-348-3473 for help determining the right style of tie down for your application. We’re here to get you what you want, when you need it.

Tire Chains: Choose the Right Fit & Style for Safer Winter Driving

Tire chains can help keep your rig on the road when traveling through snow and ice, especially in steep mountainous regions.A sturdy set of tire chains is something every vehicle owner should consider carrying along during the winter months. Some states require drivers to have them on hand in case weather makes roads difficult or dangerous for driving. Tire chains bite into heavy snow, slush, and ice to give your rig extra traction and help ensure safe arrival at your destination.

Tire chains are available for many different tire sizes and specific travel needs. Be sure to check your vehicle’s instruction manual for recommendations regarding the use of snow chains.

Know your tire size

One tire chain may fit multiple tire sizes. To figure out your tire size, locate the letter/number combination on the tire’s sidewall. The first three-digit number refers to the tire width in millimeters (measured from one sidewall to the other). The two-digit number immediately after the slash mark is the aspect ratio percentage, calculated by dividing a tire’s height off the rim by its width. For example, a tire branded with 225/75 has a width of 225 mm, while the tire’s height is 75 percent of its width.

Consider your application

Are you part of the lumber industry or a utility company replacing downed power lines through hills and rough terrain? Or, more commonly, a trucker or highway service worker navigating hard-surface roads and steep mountain passes?

Do you have all-season — year-round — radial tires, or those designed for snow/mud? Snow tire shoulders are squarer and have a different tread than all-weather versions. Therefore, they require a longer chain to cover the added surface area.

Also, how often do you plan to mount the chains — after every snowfall or only when necessary? Do you require single chains, or duals?

We offer two styles of snow chains from Pewag, a leader in chain manufacturing. Both meet or exceed DOT and National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM) regulations:

Glacier chains deliver durable traction with a 6mm twist link that penetrates icy and snowy conditions. They’re an economical choice for light-duty and emergency use.

Premium chains in a 7mm square link design last four to six times longer than the traditional twist link tire chains. They also provide about 32% more surface contact than typical truck/tractor tire chains. These are best for regular use and can be mounted in reverse for longer life, less risk to the tire, and ease of installation.

Watch your speed with chains installed. Going faster than 30 mph will increase the risk of a chain failure. As road conditions improve or you’re back on bare pavement, remove the chains to avoid premature wear, increased fuel consumption, and damage to the road. They also can affect vehicle handling.

Practice installing beforehand

Don’t wait till you’re in trouble and standing in freezing temperatures to try putting chains on your tires for the first time. Make yourself familiar before you need them by reading mounting instructions and attempting an installation on dry ground. Always pre-fit tire chains before use to ensure correct fit.

If possible, “chain up” prior to reaching poor driving conditions. Always pull your car off the road away from traffic, like into a garage or parking lot. Lay the chain on the ground, remove twists or kinks, and check for signs of damage. Drape the chain relatively centered over the top of your tire, straightening it out to evenly distribute over both sides of the tire. Drive forward a few feet to expose the rest of the wheel that was previously touching the ground, and secure the chain squarely on the remaining surface. Depending on the style, tighten as instructed. After moving forward about 100 yards, stop and inspect the chains for correct tension and fit. Re-tension if necessary or if the chain starts to hit the wheel well. However, too much tension can lead to tire damage, wheels spinning, and increased chain wear.

Shop our entire selection of tire chains, or call and talk to one of our sales experts at 866-348-3473. We can find just about any size you need.

Moving Blankets vs. Sound Blankets: What’s the Difference?

Moving blankets have gained a reputation as cheap acoustic treatment for recording studios, do-it-yourself vocal booths and other audio/video production areas. However, if you’re looking to effectively block out or dampen noise for your home, basement, garage or music studio, it’s important to choose the right tools for the job. Not all blankets are constructed the same!

Econo Mover - Single
Moving Blanket

Ordinary moving quilts are typically easy to find and relatively inexpensive, but as their name suggests, they’re designed for just that: to wrap around furniture and fragile items to prevent nicks and scratches during transport. They are not designed or tested for sound absorption.

Sound blankets are engineered to reduce the amount of noise reflecting off walls and ceilings, which is critical for producing quality recordings. A woven cotton/polyester shell and 100% recycled cotton filler allow for superior sound absorption.

Sound Blanket
Sound Blanket

Woven polyester binding adds durability to sound blankets, and preinstalled grommets along the top edge make for quick, easy mounting and removal.

Check out these great uses for sound blankets:

Rehearse without disturbing the neighbors. A sound blanket is an excellent alternative to costly acoustic foam, panels and curtains. Fewer echoes and distortions improve the clarity of vocals and instruments, while their soundproofing quality means you won’t wake up the neighborhood. They’re portable, as well; easily take them down and fold to carry along to your next gig.

Use around the house. Hang over windows to darken a home theater and block unwanted outside noise from street traffic, neighbors and lawnmowers. Drape over the top and sides of a dishwasher or washing machine to muffle loud cycles.

Ready to order? You’ll find all of our moving blankets on our Moving Blankets & Moving Pads page. Find the right tool for your next home or studio project!

Need help deciding which moving blanket will work for you? Call our dedicated moving supplies team today: 800-989-4863.