A Complete Guide to Vehicle Tiedown Straps for Beginners

Be prepared for towing and recovery operations by reading our guide on vehicle tiedowns.

You may be wondering how to secure a stuck vehicle to your vehicle or trailer without the risk of damage to any vehicle. Or, you may want to see what recovery equipment is right for your job. After all, a sudden stop, damaged tiedown, or lane change is the only thing between a safe delivery or destroyed cargo. Regardless of what you’re hauling, having the right tiedowns is incredibly important to ensure your cargo is delivered safely.

Continue reading to learn the difference between recovery straps and tow straps, the various types of vehicle tiedowns, and how to use them.

What are Recovery and Tow Straps Made out of?

using tow strap to stuck vehicle

First, let’s learn what they are made out of so you can determine which tiedown is right for your job.

The most common materials used to make vehicle tiedowns are polyester webbing and nylon webbing. The difference is what you should be using in recovery and towing applications.

If you’re in the towing industry or tow a lot, we recommend using straps with polyester webbing. Our Ratchet Straps with RTJ Cluster Hooks are extremely useful because the cluster hook combines three hooks into one chainring, providing multiple options to securely tie down any vehicle. Tow Ratchet Straps are perfect for towing because they have minimal stretch to ensure a firm hold on your cargo.

For recovery operations or quick vehicle recoveries, we recommend using nylon straps. Our 1-Ply and 2-Ply Recovery Straps have high-quality nylon material that contains pliable webbing to conform and support the load. It also has CORDURA® loops (or “eyes”) on each end, providing more resistance to cutting than nylon fabric. This will work well with tow anchor shackles to offer a strong connection point with the ease of a quick-release pin. 

Wait, What’s the Difference between Recovery and Tow Straps?

The main difference between a tow strap and a recovery strap is the fabric and their ability to stretch. The tow strap’s polyester webbing stretches less than nylon, and simply tows a vehicle behind another. 

You should not use tow straps to recover a stuck vehicle. They’re less flexible and are to pull a load that freely moves. 

The purpose of a recovery tiedown is to “recover” a vehicle from a tight situation like mud, rain, etc. These tiedowns have loops on each end and you could use them for both towing and recovery operations. However, it’s important to take special precautions when using these straps for towing. The stretch can cause a bit of a rubber band effect, which can sling-shot the vehicle at uneven speeds. 

Learn more about the differences between Recovery and Tow Straps.

How Do I Find a Tiedown that Safely Secures My Vehicle?

using nylon recovery strap to stuck vehicle

The answer is simple – you’ll want to start by finding the strap that fits the weight of your vehicle best. There are multiple ways to find your vehicle’s weight. You can locate this through your owner’s manual, a sticker on your driver’s door, or even through a Google search.

Once you discover the weight of your vehicle, this can help you determine the Working Load Limit (WLL) and Break Strength (BS) of the tiedown you’ll need. In other words, the amount of weight that’s safely rated for your car tiedowns. A good rule of thumb is for the vehicle weight to be half the break strength of the tiedown.

Confused about what Working Load Limit and Break Strength mean? Read Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength & Safety Factor: What Do They Mean?

Then, you can determine which tiedown is right for the job whether it’s for recovery or towing operations. Read below the different types of vehicle tiedowns.

Different Types of Car Tiedowns, or for Other Recovery Applications

different types of car trailer straps to use

While this isn’t a complete list of vehicle tiedowns, these are common tiedowns to use for recovery and towing operations.

1-Ply Recovery Straps

Made with a single layer of high-quality industrial grade nylon material, 1-Ply Recovery Straps are useful for pulling vehicles out of a tight spot and are an essential tool for anyone to have in their vehicle.

2-Ply Recovery Straps

Made with two layers of high-quality industrial grade nylon material, 2-Ply Recovery Straps are stronger recovery straps than 1-Ply Recovery Straps. 1-Ply has a single layer of nylon material with a break strength of 16,000 – 96,000 lbs, while the 2-Ply has two layers of nylon material with a break strength of 96,000 – 128,000 lbs.

These are heavy equipment recovery ropes and are one of the best ways to get a vehicle out of tough situations like water, snow, mud, or other road debris

Tow Ratchet Straps with RTJ Cluster Hooks

Ratchet Straps with RTJ Cluster Hooks are perfect for towing cars and other vehicles. The strap has polyester webbing, having minimal stretch to ensure a firm hold on your cargo. The RTJ hooks give you a variety of options to securely tie down any vehicle.

The R Hook – Ford Vehicles

T Hook – GM and Chrysler Vehicles

J Hook – Foreign Vehicles (these have parts made and assembled outside the country)

Axle Straps

Axle Straps attach around the vehicle’s axle to secure it to trailers of flatbeds for transit. This helps create a securement point to prevent your vehicle from moving or becoming unsecured. Axle straps are easy to use and are made with 12,000 lb. industrial-grade polyester webbing for maximum strength and durability.

Lasso Straps

Car haulers use Lasso Straps as a universal car tie-down strap. They’re especially convenient and often used when low clearance is a concern. When using a Lassp Strap, just thread the strap around the tire and secure it with a ratchet or winch

Tree Saver Straps

Tree Saver Straps are great for protecting your winch cable and the tree from damage when freeing a vehicle from a stuck position. To use, you simply wrap the strap around your tree (or other anchor points) and lock your winch hook into the eyes of the strap. Our 3″ x 6′ Tree Saver Strap is made of durable 3″ wide nylon webbing with a tensile strength of 30,000 lbs., so it’s strong enough to pull vehicles rated 12,000 lbs. or less.

How to Use a Recovery Tow Strap

Using heavy duty tow straps

Choosing the right tiedown for your towing or recovery application is critical. As we mentioned earlier, finding out the weight of your vehicle first will help you determine what tiedown you’ll need to use. Read the steps on how to use a recovery tow strap:

  1. Attach the strap to the rear of the towing vehicle, somewhere with plenty of strucural support.
  2. Secure the strap to the stuck vehicle. If you need help locating the exact mount to place the hook, make sure to refer to the owner’s manual.
  3. Once both hooks are secured, the drivers of both vehicles can get behind the wheel. The recovery vehicle can start accelerating slowly and gradually, straightening the strap to its full extent.
  4. The vehicle being recovered should be in gear, and once they’re moving – the driver should apply some gas and steer their vehicle out.
  5. The recovery vehicle can continue at a slow, safe speed to the nearby destination.

If you’re stuck in snow, learn How to Pull a Car out of Snow Using a Recovery Strap

Helpful Hints for Using a Tow Recovery Strap:

Before you start using car hauler straps, make sure to keep these tips in mind.

  1. Always inspect towing and recovery straps for damage prior to use. If you’re new to this operation, stop every once in a while when driving to check your work and see if the strap is holding up well. 
  2. When using tow straps, wrap around an appropriate frame point and thread the towing strap or snatch strap through the eye of the other end to choke the frame. 
  3. For tow strap recovery use, always securely attach the hardware to the recovery vehicle. Our anchor shackles are great for recovery vehicles.
  4. Get rid of any debris or material that may cut or damage the tie down.
  5. When using a recovery strap, a good rule of thumb is for the vehicle weight to be half the break strength of the recovery strap. 
  6. When choosing heavy-duty nylon recovery & tow straps, you should choose one that is strong enough, but not so strong that it won’t stretch. It is essential for the recovery strap to stretch so the memory of the nylon webbing will help “snap” the vehicle out and take some of the shock out of the initial pull. This tow strap strength is important in knowing how to use recovery straps for the best results.

Getting You What you Want, When You Need it

Recovery straps and tow straps are invaluable pieces of equipment whether you are in the towing business and need a heavy tow strap, off-road recovery straps for recreational use, or truck tow straps for emergency situations.

If you have any questions about what strap is best for your application, or if you need a custom strap, call us at 800-969-6543 and we’ll be happy to help you.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you have any questions about our products, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

What is D/d Ratio & Why is this Critical for Lifting Slings?

What effect does D/d Ratio have on lifting slings and their sling capacities?

You may wonder what D/d ratio is and what purpose it serves when lifting loads with different types of slings. After all, it can be confusing as there are multiple factors you have to take under consideration such as knowing the weight of the load, the sling’s working load limit (WLL), and the load’s center of gravity.

Identifying the D/d ratio when using any type of sling for a lift is critical, because if the lifting sling tightly bends over too much during the lift – the sling will get damaged. This could then lead to unsafe rigging practices. To have a safe lifting operation, continue reading more about D/d Ratio, and the types of slings we carry at US Cargo Control to identify which is right for your lift.

What is D/d Ratio?

The term D/d ratio works as a simple mathematical equation where you’re learning the diameter or distance of the load you’re picking up. It is the ratio of the diameter (D) around the object which the sling might be bent, which could be a sheave or another object, then divided by the overall diameter (d) of the sling being used.

The Formula for D/d Ratio:

The diameter of the load divided by the diameter of the sling = D/d Ratio

Unirope's definition of D/d ratio
Photo Courtesy of Unirope

For example, you’re picking up an object that’s 12 inches in diameter and you use a 3/8″ chain to pick it up. This is 12″ divided by 3/8″ = 32, which 32 is the D/d Ratio. If the diameter is 10″ and the diameter of the rope is 1/2, the D/d Ratio is 20.

Why is D/d Ratio Important?

The D/d Ratio has a tremendous impact on sling capacity when using slings like wire rope, chain, polyester round slings, and nylon slings. It can determine the sling’s efficiency or capacity reduction, and allow you to make corrections before continuing the lift. If you see a tight bending of the sling, this means there’s a smaller than recommended D/d Ratio.

Using a smaller D/d Ratio that’s not recommended for your lift can aggravate the bending motion. This can result in fatigue, irregular wear, and increased deterioration. Once this occurs, you’d have to perform frequent inspections and go through costly wire rope replacements.

Each sling type has different strength efficiencies, which is why we included a table below that describes the efficiency of various sling constructions with standard D/d Ratios:

Mechanically spliced, single-part slings25 times rope diameter
Hand-Spliced, single-part slings15 times rope diameter
Braided multi-part slings of 6 parts25 times component rope diameter
Braided multi-part slings of 8 parts25 times component rope diameter
Helically laid multi-part slings25 times component rope diameter
Hand-tucked grommets and mechanically joined grommet5 times sling body diameter
Union Rope’s Rated Capacity, Design Factors, and D/d Ratios

What Will Sling Damage Look Like?

wire rope damage

When a sling is tightly bending around another object, there is a loss of sling capacity. As D/d Ratio decreases, this capacity loss becomes greater and the sling will become less efficient. There is a direct correlation between D/d Ratio and the efficiency of the sling (or rated capacity).

Not only is it important to understand the D/d Ratio of the lifting sling, but it’s also equally important that fittings and rigging hardware used in connection points are adequately strong and spatially correct. For instance, if smaller, alloy shackles are used, the webbing edges can get damaged and sling efficiency is lowered due to the bunching of the webbing.

When not used correctly, this could result in bunching, and being crammed into a space will reduce sling efficiency and capacity. Basically, putting too many slings in an undersized shackle or another fitting can result in lost strength.

To understand what slings or fittings should you use for your job, give our team a call at 800-404-7068, and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Different Type of Slings

Now that you have an idea of what D/d Ratio means, continue reading on what lifting slings you should use that’s worth the investment for your lifting situations.

nylon lifting slings

Nylon Slings

Known as synthetic web slings or nylon web slings, our nylon lifting straps perform well for lifting breakable, delicate objects. Its heavy-duty synthetic material has great stretch and flexibility that help the slings mold to the shape of the load. Not only that, the nylon lifting sling’s material is treated to improve abrasion resistance and reduce wear, even in the most rigorous lifting applications.

Chain Slings

If you’re depending on a sling that requires extra strength and durability, the chain sling is your best choice. The chain lifting sling is the strongest and most durable type of sling and is highly popular to use for heavy lifting operations. They will perform better than polyester round slings or nylon slings because they’re more durable, tolerant to hot temperatures, and cut-resistant.

chain lifting sling
Polyester round sling

Polyester Slings

Manufactured in the USA from a continuous loop of polyester yarn that creates exceptional strength, the round slings are versatile, pliable, convenient, and cost-effective. Because of their many benefits, you can use these in vertical, choker, or basket hitches, making them effective to lift a wide variety of cargo!

Wire Rope Slings

Known as steel cable or wire sling, these are more durable than synthetic slings and more cost-effective than chain slings. Wire rope slings are an excellent choice not only for lifting, but also for hoisting, towing, or anchoring loads. Its fabrication offers abrasion-resistance and heat-resistance, as they are made by weaving individual strands or wire around a core.

Wire rope sling

To understand what lifting slings you should use for any lifting operation, read 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Lifting Slings.

Tackle the Toughest Lifting Jobs with High-Quality Rigging Hardware

We know the importance of quality when it comes to rigging supplies. We carry a variety of rigging hardware, as well as lifting beams and spreader bars that can lift heavy loads safely and efficiently.

Need a custom lifting sling? We can do that! We can customize a lifting sling to meet your specific needs.

Contact our sales team today at 866-444-9990. Our team of product experts is here to answer any questions about rigging hardware, lifting slings, and more.

7 Ultimate Tailgating Hacks with US Cargo Control’s Products

Read some hacks on how to tailgate the right way with USCC’s products.

Tailgating is one of the great traditions of American sports. Nothing beats the amazing atmosphere of small tents, excited fans, live music, and delicious barbecue at these pre-game outings. But, it can also be chaotic planning a tailgate party due to packing, setting up, and many other details. Luckily, there are some ways to tackle the time between packing the car and heading to your seats.

We have some hacks for you to use with US Cargo Control’s products to ensure a smooth tailgate. Follow these tailgating tips and you’ll be ready to handle the day easily. 

Bungee Cargo Nets

bungee cargo net
keep items secured during tailgating adventures

Bungee cargo nets are a simple solution to securing tailgate items in your truck bed or trunk. Having one of these nets beats worrying about things shifting around or flying away from your truck. To attach the bungee cargo net to your vehicle, connect its hooks to the side rails or anchor rings. Watch below on how to secure a truck bed cargo net demonstated by our teammate, Adam Shouse.

Read 3 Popular Heavy-Duty Cargo Nets for Pickup Truck Beds to find which net is right for your truck.

Skin Moving Blankets

Skin Moving to keep your warm during tailgating and football games or as seat pads

Skin moving blankets don’t have to be used just for moving; these durable blankets are also useful for tailgating! With a 6-pack or 24-pack, you can keep yourself, friends, and family warm when the weather gets cooler (they’ll be thanking you). You can also use them as padding to your stadium seat to stay comfortable from kick-off to the end.

Moving Blankets

moving blankets to keep your items safe during tailgating

Besides using skin moving blankets to add padding to your seats or keep yourself warm, we carry high-quality moving blankets that you can use in your trunk or truck bed to prevent abrasions to the vehicle or the tailgate items. Moving blankets like our Econo Deluxe and Supreme Mover are great long-lasting pads that have exceptional durability and protection.

Moving blankets can keep your items from scratching or denting your vehicle, and can even help items from moving around. Perfect for those tailgate trips!

Find out which moving blanket you should get when choosing the right pad for your needs.

Ratchet Straps and Cam Straps

ratchet strap to use in car trunk for tailgating

If you’re packing larger or heavier cargo for your tailgating party, you can’t go wrong with our ratchet straps. Ratchet straps are extremely beneficial for long-haul truckers so their cargo loads do not shift or get damaged, and they’re especially a great resource for securing your heavy tailgate items!

If you have lighter cargo, we recommend our cam straps as these provide more flexibility. Securing a smaller or lighter load with a heavy-duty ratchet strap can overkill your items, so we suggest using a cam strap since this is more convenient. The cam strap will still provide sufficient strength and holding power to your lightweight items, just like a ratchet tiedown will with a heavier load.

If you’re unsure of how to use a ratchet strap, read our Simple Guide on How to Use a Ratchet Strap and How to Release It.

CUSTOM AND COLOR OPTIONS: we have custom options that are available for you to customize your perfect tiedown. We also have multiple color choices so you can match your vehicle or show your team spirit!

Bungee Cords

Bungee Cords to tent during tailgating

Did you know you can hang a paper towel roll with bungee cords? If you’re bringing a tent to tailgate, you can use these cords to hang the paper towel from the tent’s struts. You may not think you need it, but you’ll notice how much easier your life will be once it’s hung.

use bungee cords to hang paper towels at the tailgate
Photo Courtesy: Tailgating Ideas

Another use with the bungee cords is attaching a portable fan to the tent. If you don’t have a fan that has a hook to clip onto the struts, this is the next best thing to do. Air circulation, here we come!

USCC Tool Bag

USCC toolbag for grilling utensils and tailgating

Pack all your tailgate essentials in your vehicle’s trunk or truck bed. The USCC tool bag is a useful storage option to keep tools and tiedowns in one place, and you can use this carry-on tote for your tailgate adventures too. With 12 interior pockets and 8 exterior pockets, store your BBQ sauce, grilling utensils, and paper plates, and you’re ready to go!

USCC Tumblr – 2 in 1 Can Cooler and Tumblr

can cooler and tumblr for tailgating

Need to keep your drink cool or hot? Have a can that needs to stay cool during the hot weather? You can do both with our 2 in 1 Can Cooler and Tumblr. Use the Tumblr to fill your drink inside and maintain its temperature, or place your can to keep it cool. This will keep beverages cold or hot for 24 hours and it is super easy to clean.

Enjoy the Big Game!

Now that you’ve figured out some hacks to make the tailgate experience smooth, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the game. Have fun, and be safe!

Our team looks forward to getting you the quality products you deserve. If you wish to learn more about our products, head over to US Cargo Control or give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

What is Wire Rope, and How is it Different from Cable Rope?

Read what is wire rope, what are important specifications to look for, and how it’s different from cable rope.

Did you know wire ropes were used as far back as the 1830s for mining hoist applications? Nowadays, we can use steel ropes for many different applications such as lifting and hoisting in elevators and cranes, and for mechanical power transmission. US Cargo Control’s wire rope slings are an excellent choice for heavy-duty jobs as their fabrication offers excellent abrasion resistance and heat resistance for extreme conditions.

Although these slings are beneficial for the lifting and rigging industry, there are a few specifications to know before purchasing them. Continue reading what is wire rope, what are important specifications to look for, and how it’s different from cable rope.

What is Wire Rope?

Up close shot of wire rope sling on shackle
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

These slings carry different properties that can determine their performance. Wire rope is constructed where a strand consists of two or more wires arranged and twisted in a specific arrangement. The individual strands are then laid in a helical pattern around the core of the rope. Once the wires are formed, they all come together to create greater strength and flexibility.

These slings work well for lifting, hoisting, towing, or anchoring loads. They’re manufactured in a variety of configurations, with 6×19 and 6×36 being the most common. When you see 6×19 or 6×36 from our website, these numbers represent the number of wires making up the strand and the number of strands wrapped around the core.

For example, a 6×19 indicates that there are 19 wires making up a strand, and 6 strands wrapping around the core. To learn more about our 6×19 wire ropes, look into our bestselling 1/2″ Galvanized Wire Rope EIPS IWRC, 1/2″ Stainless Steel Wire Rope IWRC T304, and 1/2″ Bright Wire Rope EIPS FC.

The configurations will offer different benefits for certain applications. In general, a smaller number of large outer wires offers better wear and corrosion resistance, while a larger number of small wires provides a better level of flexibility and fatigue resistance. Continue reading to learn which wire rope fits your job.

Terms that Define Construction and Properties of Wire Rope

Before immediately purchasing a wire sling, there are 7 properties that you should know about:

  1. Different Types of Wire Rope Slings
  2. Length
  3. Size
  4. Direction and Type of Lay
  5. Finish of Wires
  6. Grade of Rop
  7. Type of Core

1. Different Types of Wire Rope Slings

There are different versions of wire rope slings, ranging from single leg to 4 legs, as well as braided wire rope and domestic wire rope slings (manufactured in the U.S. with Crosby® hardware). When looking at the types of slings we offer at US Cargo Control, be sure to consider how much versatility and capability you need.

For example, a braided wire rope has increased flexibility and friction to grip loads over a regular wire rope. Adding an additional leg to the sling can add additional versatility and strength.

2. Length

the length of the wire rope sling

This is the total number of feet that are cut to size when wrapped around.

3. Size

the size and strand pattern of a wire rope

This is the measurement of the rope’s diameter and can be displayed in inches or millimeters. These sizes commonly display different strand patterns where the number of layers, wires per layer, and size of the wires per layer all affect the strand pattern. Wire rope can be constructed using one of the following patterns below or using two or more patterns.

  • Single Layer – a common example is a 7 wire strand. This has a single-wire center with six wires of the same diameter around it.
  • Filler Wire – this has two layers of uniform-size wire around a center with the inner layer having half the number of wires as the outer layer.
  • Seale – has two layers of wires around a center with the same number of wires in each layer. All wires in each layer are the same diameter.
  • Warrington – this construction has two layers of wires around a center with one diamter of wire in the inner layer, and two diameteres of wire alternating large and small in the outer layer.
  • Combination – when a strand is formed in a single operation using two or more of the above constructions, it’s referred as a “combined pattern.”

4. Direction and Type of Lay

The type of lay refers to the way the wires are laid to form a strand. They’re how the strands are laid around the core which can be regular lay, long lay, or alternate lay.

Regular Lay

The wires line up with the axis of the rope. This is where the wires are twisting in one direction, and the strands in the opposite direction create the rope. Regular lay is less likely to untwist and less likely to crush.

LAng Lay

This is the opposite of regular lay where the wires form an angle with the axis of the rope. The wires and strands spiral in the same direction and run at a diagonal to the centerline of the rope. Lang lay is more flexible and resistant to abrasion than regular lay wire ropes. The only con is this type of lay will be more likely to twist and crush than the regular lay.

Alternate Lay

Sometimes known as reverse lay, this type of lay consists of alternating regular lay and long lay strands. This unites the best features of both types, and it’s using relatively large outer wires to provide an increase of abrasion resistance.

5. Finish of Wires

steel wire rope sling in heavy industrial
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

This refers to the protective coating that’s applied to the wire rope. There are three types of finishes which are galvanized (zinc-coated), stainless steel, and bright (unfinished steel).

Note that the galvanized material will provide extra corrosion resistance, and stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion.

6. Grade of Rope

The grade of the rope means the grade of steel being used. The plow steel strength calculates the strengths of most steel wire ropes. Some classifications include Improved Plow Steel (IPS), Extra Improved Plow Steel (EIPS), Extra Extra Improved Plow Steel (EEIPS), Galvanized Improved Plowed Steel (GIPS), and Drawn Galvanized Imrpoved Plow Steel (DGEIP).

EIPS is 15% stronger than IPS, and EEIPS is 10% stronger than EIPS. Along with that, GIPS and DGEIP wires can add corrosion resistance to your application, but DGEIP wires have a higher break load than GIPS.

7. Type of Core

The type of core is what makes up the center of the wire rope. There are three types of core: Fiber Core (FC), Independent Wire Rope Core (IWRC), and Wire Strand Core (WSC).

A fiber core can be made of synthetic polypropylene fibers. The fiber cores offer greater elasticity than a steel core, but are more susceptible to crushing. This isn’t recommended for high heat environments.

A steel core can either be an independent wire rope or individual strand. The steel cores can provide adequate support, or in an operating environment where temperatures can exceed very high heat.

What’s the Difference between Wire Rope and Cable Rope?

A wire rope sling being used to lift a heavy load
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Wire and cable ropes are terms that are often interchangeable but do have one varying difference. Wire rope refers to the diameters that are larger than 3/8 inch. Sizes smaller than this are classified as cable rope or even cords. Regardless of the size difference, cable and wire rope are still classified as a “machine.” Even a group of strands laid around a core would still be called a cable or wire rope.

Tackle the Toughest Lifting Jobs with High-Quality Rigging Hardware

We know the importance of quality when it comes to lifting supplies. We carry a variety of rigging hardware, as well as lifting beams and spreader bars that are designed to lift heavy loads safely and efficiently. If you’re interested in other lifting slings, check the other types of slings we carry like nylon slings and chain slings.

Need a custom lifting sling? We can do that. We’ll work with you and customize a lifting sling to meet your specific needs.

Read more information about wire rope slings below!

How to Safely Apply Wire Rope Clips to Wire Rope Assemblies

How to Use Wire Rope Clips

What is Sling Protection, What are the Different Types of Slings, & How to Protect Them

Contact our sales team at US Cargo Control today at 866-444-9990. Our team of product experts is here to answer any questions about rigging hardware, lifting slings, and more.

What is Sling Protection, What are the Different Types of Slings, & How to Protect Them

Sling protection products can protect slings, the load, and even the load’s surroundings. Read to learn how to improve the durability of your slings and create safety and cost saving solutions in the workplace.

Are you constantly having to buy new lifting slings, or finding that your slings keep getting damaged? Are you noticing that improper use of the load or load damage is often caused by the sling itself? These issues are related to one of the most common lifting problems – lack of proper sling protection.

Luckily, we have a few tips on how to improve the endurance and longevity of your slings. In this blog, we’ll explain what is sling protection, when slings require protection, and the best sling protection products.

What is Sling Protection?

Use Corner Guards to Protect Lifting Slings

Sling protection is a common term in the lifting and rigging industry. Just like adding a screen protector to your phone, there are sling protection products that can protect your slings from sharp corners and edges.

We need to ensure the lifting sling is not cut or abraded during the lift, and the load is secured. We’re able to achieve that through products that support the durability of the lifting slings.

When researching sling protection products, it’s important to understand that some products are good for preventing abrasions while others are good for resistance to cutting. It’s also critical to know that the most common sling protection materials are polyester or nylon webbing, Kevlar, rubber, leather, and wood. While learning about your slings or the slings you wish to get, make sure to know what application you are using the sling for as well as the physical properties of the load and sling protection products.

We’re emphasizing the importance of sling protection producs because it’s typically less expensive to replace sling protection products multiple times than to replace the lifting sling.

When do Slings Require Protection?

Rigging wire rope and shackle

All types of lifting slings like nylon, polyester, wire rope, and chain must be protected from edges, corners, and protrusions. You can use products like corner guards, sleeves, reinforced eyes, and wear pads to help your slings. We also carry a line of Straightpoint Load Monitoring Loadcells to precisely measure and safely monitor the tension of loads involving wire rope, guy wire, synthetic rope, shackles, and more.

While all types of lifting slings require protection from sharp corners and edges, it’s common to use sling protection products to a synthetic sling like round slings and web slings. This is because the nylon and polyester fibers of a synthetic sling are more susceptible to cuts, tears, and abrasion than stronger sling materials like wire rope or chain. In fact, the cutting of synthetic slings during use is the number one cause of sling accidents.

The sling can make contact with the load or hardware:

  • Around any lift points like load edges, hoist rings, and eye bolts
  • Around the crane hook, shackle, and master link.
  • On load edges that could be above the hookup points

What Happens When I Don’t Protect My Slings?

How to Protect your lifting slings from sharp edges

There are several ways slings could be destroyed if you don’t use sling protection products. Without the usage of sling protection products, there is potential for:

  • Injury or loss of life
  • Higher turnover of slings, especially synthetic ones
  • Major damage to the sling, load, and around the load’s surroundings if the sling is cut, and the load is dropped
  • Damage caused to the load itself from lack of protection, especially when using wire rope and chain slings which can exert crushing forces on a load

As explained above, when you’re not using the proper sling protection, it can result in a dropped load or scratching and damaging it. This can be dangerous as this could result in injury, dismemberment, or loss of life.

In addition to that, if you’re not protecting your slings, you’re creating a higher turnover in slings and this will result in higher equipment costs. To learn more about what lifting slings you should use for the right job, read 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Lifting Slings.

How Do Sharp Edges or Corners Damage Slings?

What is sling protection, how to protect any lifting sling

Edges can damage different types of slings in several different ways.

If you’re using chain slings, the edges can cause nicks and gouges, crushed links, and bent or twisted links. When using wire rope, the corners could damage broken wires, kinks, or doglegs. Lastly, nylon and polyester slings can be cut or abraded easily.

If your sling isn’t protected and it gets damaged, it’s more expensive to replace the sling than the sling protection product. It is much more cost-effective to replace the sling protection rather than replacing the sling itself.

Nylon and polyester slings can be easily confusing as they have a few similarities. To understand which web sling you should get, read Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings: Which Web Sling Type is Better?

Tackle the Toughest Lifting Jobs with High-Quality Rigging Hardware

We know the importance of quality when it comes to lifting supplies. We carry a variety of rigging hardware, as well as lifting beams and spreader bars that are designed to lift heavy loads safely and efficiently. 

Need a custom lifting sling? We can do that. We’ll customize a lifting sling to meet your specific needs.

Curious about Straightpoint products and how they work? Read more information about them below!

Do You Know How Much That Weighs? Straightpoint Load Cells Do

Compression Type Load Cells: Wireless vs. Wired

How to Select a Load Cell

Contact our sales team at US Cargo Control today at 866-444-9990. Our team of product experts is here to answer any questions about rigging hardware, lifting slings, and more.

Key Factors to Having a Test Bed, and What This Means for You

Learn what this machine means for our business and for you for the long run.

US Cargo Control just got a brand new toy in the house, and it’s a horizontal test bed! For the past few months, we’ve been experimenting with this equipment that will help us run more efficiently and grow as a company, create time and cost-saving solutions, and provide customers what they want, when they need it.

What is the Purpose Behind the Test Bed?

Also known as a proof test machine, the test bed has several different purposes that meet all of our needs. It can help us add new and potential capabilities, ensure our current product verifications are being met, and give us confidence we’re giving customers products that have been successfully tested for quality and accuracy.

The most important reason we have our own test bed in-house is it’ll make sure that the products we’re supplying meet the needed Working Load Limits (WLL) and Break Strengths (BS). If you’d like to learn more about the WLL and BS, read what the numbers on your load-bearing equipment mean.

This machine serves our mission to get the customer the quality products that they deserve. We sat down with one of our experts, Wendi Kafer, to learn the key factors to having this machine.

What is the Test Bed?

US Cargo Control using Chant Engineering's test bed for cargo products

It is a horizontal test bed from Chant Engineering which has the capacity to conduct tension or proof test up to 150K LB on our lifting slings and tiedown straps. The products are placed in the testbed and pulled to their WLL or beyond, depending on what pull test you are wanting to conduct.

Although its intended use is for the lifting industry, we can also test load-bearing equipment for the trucking and moving industries.

Why Did US Cargo Control Get a Test Bed?

We initially purchased the test bed to determine the design and verification of our current products and new capabilities. Not only that, it creates better time and cost-saving solutions, which is a win in our books.

If we test our nylon and recovery straps through our 3rd party lab, the costs would have been around $68,000. Because we have our own testing equipment, we can create our own products in-house and this avoids creating continous huge costs.

What Results Have We Seen?

Using the test bed for a nylon lifting sling

The test bed has given us the ability to test and determine the design and verification for most of our recovery and nylon straps to achieve the results we seek. Along with that, we’ll be able to make new and current capabilities in-house instead of drop shipping them!

We also conducted testing on our tiedowns to confirm their tack strengths. For example, we changed the tack pattern on our 3″ and 4″ tiedowns to significantly reduce the time it takes to produce an assembly. We tested the new tack pattern (according to the WSTDA standards) on our test bed, and we saved 30 seconds per fixed ends and loose ends while still maintaining their strength ratings!

Lastly, we’ve been able to confirm the Working Load Limit and Break Strength on our custom tiedown straps. As we continue to test our tiedowns with hardware like shackles and chains, we will also work to find the safest and most cost-efficient way to test our full assemblies.

What Does the Test Bed Mean for Our Customers?

Currently, this machine will give us the opportunity to conduct proof load testing that a customer may request on a lifting sling. A proof load test is a type of test that proves the fitness and working load limit of the lifting equipment that it’s designed to withstand. This will ensure the lifting equipment works correctly and safely through its operational cycle.

What Products Are We Using Currently with the Test Bed?

US Cargo Control creating tiedown straps in house

We are currently test recovery straps, lifting slings, tiedowns with loops, and potentially some tiedowns with hardware.

Tiedowns with hardware require special hookups to the pins of the machine in order to be pulled. We have the possibility to use shackles, round slings, chains, and more that we have in-house. The straps with hardware will need to be reviewed and be determined if we can currently test at this time.

What’s the Process of Testing the Products on the Machine?

using the test bed to test break strength and working load limit on a strap

The most critical and first step we take is safety. We alert everyone in the area that we will be testing the products and ear protection is available. We place the product in the test bed before closing it, and plug in information in the machine’s computer such as the type of test being conducted and the desired Break Strength we would like the product to be pulled to.

After the setup is complete, we will start testing. We can determine if the product fails or passes the test when it reaches the WLL and BS. If it fails, we examine why it has failed and collect the data so we can improve our products for the next test.

We upload the test into our database to file and record on our master testing sheet. We use this data to make improvements if the product fails and if a customer would like the information of the product that passed the testing for their records.

Getting You What You Want, When You Need It

Having the test bed in-house creates excitement at US Cargo Control because we’ll be able to confirm verifications ourselves before sending any new products to our website or shipping them to our customers. We enjoy finding new opportunities to continue growing our business, and with our new machine, we’ll be able to identify new possibilities so we can continue to be your source for equipment for hauling, rigging, moving, towing, and lifting all kinds of cargo.

We’re all ecstatic about this brand new machine and can’t wait to get your orders out of the door and into your hands!

Our team looks forward to getting you the quality products you deserve. If you wish to learn more about our products, head over to US Cargo Control or give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

How to Use L-Tracks, How to Install Them, and What to Use Them For

Secure cargo with high-quality, heavy-duty L-Tracks that get the job done.

Are you storing a heavier item in your truck bed or trailer and need a tie-down system that can accommodate a variety of uses? Not only that but are you also needing a flexible tiedown system that allows you to make layout changes down the road?

We have the perfect tiedown solution, and it’s L-Tracks.

US Cargo Control’s YouTube Channel

L-Track, also known as Logistic Track or Airline Track, is a versatile tie-down rail that showcases a low, sleek profile. The L-Track system consists of aluminum rails, fittings, and straps used to secure a range of cargo and personal items like motorcycles and ATVs. Each aluminum rail is mounted steel with small slots in them, but what makes them unique is you can use the rails anywhere to secure items quickly and easily.

They are the best solution for your pickup truck or trailer because the multiple round openings on the rails allow for quick attachment of fittings, allowing you to create a custom tie-down at any point!

Besides L-Tracks being adaptable to many situations, they will safely tie down your items without a scratch. These aluminum rails have a ton of benefits, and you’ll feel secure knowing your items won’t get shifted or damaged. Continue reading to learn how to use L-Tracks, how to install them, and what to use with these rails.

What is an L-Track System?

customer using US Cargo Control's l tracks

L-Tracks are high-quality aluminum rails that have a narrower profile than the E-Track. The lower profile makes it ideal to use for pickup trucks, vans, and other vehicles with smaller space. The rails’ lengths range from 6″ to 96″ and come in 4 different styles to easily fit various vehicles.

Read the differences between E-Tracks and L-Tracks to understand what to use each system for.

If you’d like to learn more about E-Tracks, read our blog on what they are, how to install them, and what to use them for.

What Can I Use an L-Track For?

what to use L-tracks for

With their ability to change to any layout format, you can use L Tracks on trailers, pickup truck beds, vans, enclosed trailers, and utility trailers. You can especially use these for vehicles on the farm, construction sites, manufacturing sites, and more!

L-Track’s narrow width makes it great to install in smaller spaces, and they have pre-drilled holes for the quickest and easiest installation. You can use these rails for hanging soft or light storage, holding down bikes, securing heavy loads, and even living a mobile lifestyle!

The Different Styles of L Tracks

different styles and types of L tracks from US Cargo Control

At US Cargo Control, we carry four different types: the Standard L-Track, Aircraft Style L-Track, Angled L-Track, and Recessed L-Track.

Standard

The Standard L-Track is our most popular style of logistic tie-down track due to its endless versatility. With many color options and a durable finish to resist abrasions, you cannot go wrong with this choice. This line has a range of 6″, 12″, 24″, 48″, 72″, and 96″ so you can have an idea of what length you’ll need.

Aircraft

The Aircraft Style features a squared profile made from high-quality grade 6351 that has stronger tensile strength than the standard L-Track. The square-edge design allows for a recessed installation that provides a smoother, flush surface.

This is an interesting L-Track because this style was made popular in the airline industry as a way to secure seats. Since the tie-down tracks are so versatile, this makes them an excellent choice for consumer tie-down applications!

Read the differences between the Airline and the Standard.

Angled

Angled L-Track features sloped edges, making it easier to roll items such as motorcycles, ATVs, utility carts, and other wheeled objects over the tie-down track. These rails are common in the transportation industry as a floor anchor system for wheelchairs and used for surface-mounted applications.

Please note that our angled L Track is for recreational and cargo control use only. It’s not certified for official wheelchair restrain use in buses, vans, and other transport vehicles.

Recessed

Used for flush-mount installations, the Recessed L Track makes it ideal for applications where wheeled items are rolled over the track. Just like the Angled L-Track, this is designed for recreational and cargo control use only.

How to Install L-Track

With a bit of patience, a clear head, and a sharpie and measuring tape, installing L Tracks can be pretty simple. You’ll have a successful job when you measure correctly and use the right tools to safely install the rails.

Watch below on how to install the rail on a truck bed, and become a natural at it!

How to Install L Track Rails on a Pickup Bed

What L Track Accessories Can I Use?

what l track accessories to use from US Cargo Control

With the right accessories, you can do anything with L Tracks! These aluminum rails will give you the flexibility to secure anything which will work with a variety of tie-down accessories. We carry a large selection of L-Track Straps specifically designed to easily connect to logistic tie-down track rails and L-Track fittings.

We also carry single stud fittings and double stud fittings, fastener packs, and bolt packs. If you’d like a more sleek and finished look, use filler strips and end caps.

If you’re not sure what fittings you’d need, watch our video below that explains the differences and uses.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you have any questions about our products, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

How to Protect Your House from Damage when Moving

Read a few tricks on how to save yourself the trouble of cleaning up or repairing damage after you move.

Although National Moving Month ended last month, it doesn’t mean moving is over! Moving season is still on the rise and will continue to be a trend until September.

When you’re moving out of your current home, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Most likely, you’re thinking about lifting and carrying all the boxes and heavy furniture, which can be tiring. You could quickly get items out of your current house to your new home, but the tricky part is preventing any damage to your place. To save yourself the trouble of cleaning up or repairing damage, read a few tips and tricks on how to protect your house from damage when you’re on the move.

How to Start?

As you’re moving out of your current home, there are areas that you should consider protecting from any type of abrasions. The last thing you’d want to worry about is a broken piece of furniture or accidentally hitting a wall. The most important areas of the house to shield from any damage are:

  • Floors (hardwood, tile, carpet, etc.)
  • Banisters and stairs
  • Doors and doorways
  • Walls and wall corners

Plan the Layout of Your New Home

planning tips for moving out of your house without damaging anything

Your furniture may have fit into your current home without any issues, but it doesn’t mean it can easily fit into your new place. When packing for your new adventure, be aware of routes you have to navigate items through like hallways and doors.

Create a plan for getting the difficult or heavier items to their permanent locations within the new house. Measure the dimensions of furniture, door openings, stairwells, and hallways, so you can safely get from point A to point B. Not only that, as you’re measuring everything, be observant of objects that have sharp corners and come up with solutions to protect your walls and floorings!

Detach Small Parts of Bigger Furniture to Store Together

moving tips for preventing damage to your house

Your belongings are pretty much going through the motion in the moving van. Your valuables could knock against each other, and you’d be surprised at what could easily be damaged. To make it easier on your furniture and you, consider removing the legs, handles, or small parts of the piece of furniture. You can store the parts better and faster in your vehicle or moving van.

Get Equipped with US Cargo Control’s Moving Supplies

At US Cargo Control, you can protect your home and your items with our high-quality moving equipment that can get the job done. Some great moving supplies to get started with are:

How to Use these Moving Supplies during My Move?

Flooring

You may not realize this, but your floors can go through a lot during a move. Whether it’s hardwood or carpet, the chances of damage are always high because there is a lot of foot traffic, slips, and falls.

When moving heavier items on any type of flooring, floor runners, sliding floor protectors, and furniture sliders can move anything without leaving a scruff on your floors. You can even use moving blankets to cover sharp edges so nothing can tear up the flooring!

Banisters, Stairs, and Doors

No matter how hard you may try, you’re going to hit something against that good ol’ banister or accidentally scratch that sneaky door frame. Luckily, you can cover your banister with our quilted banister covers and any of your doors with the door jamb protector or quilted door cover for the best security.

They are an easy and inexpensive way to prevent damage to your item or to the doorway, and are equipped with cushioned protection to avoid scratches and dings.

Walls and Wall Corners

Although we wish we can pivot and hope for the best like Ross from the popular tv show “Friends” (see below), you’ll find yourself in a sticky situation when dealing with tight corners.

When maneuvering through tight corners, this can lead to bumping something against the wall and potentially leaving dents or marks. When this occurs, try covering your walls with moving blankets and cover your furniture and appliances with furniture covers for that reliable cushioned support. You’ll end up finishing the job by keeping both the walls and valuables 100% safe.

If you’re unsure on what moving blanket best fit your needs, read How to Choose the Perfect Moving Blankets for Your Needs.

Start Moving Like a Pro

Whatever the size of your move, the dedicated team at US Cargo Control is ready to help you save time, energy, and most of all, keep your items safe and secure during transit. So, when gearing up for your next move, make sure your plan includes a stop at US Cargo Control to stock up on these essentials and more!

Looking for more great moving tips? Check out our other moving posts:

4 Ways to Prevent Damage to Your Furniture when Moving

6 Tips on How to Have the Best Stress-Free Move Experience

Moving Checklist: Remove the Stress of Moving in 15 Steps

College Moving Tips: How to Move like a Professional Mover

7 Tips to Save You Time and Money for Your Next Move

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you have any questions about our products, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

7 Tips to Save You Time and Money for Your Next Move

Having the right moving and packing supplies could make you go from “I’m never moving again” to “that wasn’t a bad move!”

The life-changing moment is approaching. You’re moving into a new house with a clean slate and new experiences, and it’s exciting to see what’s around the corner! You’re figuring out what to pack or what furniture to bring in first so you have a comfortable spot to sit (or take a nap) in your new home.

We wish there is a button that you can press to skip to where you’ve already moved into your new house and everything’s unpacked. Luckily, there are a few ways to move faster and more efficiently.

Whether you’re a pro at moving or this is your first move, you need the right tools and preparation for a successful move. Fortunately, US Cargo Control is here to help you with what you need. Continue reading to learn 7 tips on how to save time and money for your next move.

Make a Day-By-Day Plan in Advance of the Move

Tips for Saving Money While Moving

There’s nothing better than the feeling of being productive! If you create a list of chores that you can break down into smaller tasks to do day by day, you’ll surely feel the power of progress. The sooner you do it, the less stress, last-minute complications, and extra expenses you won’t have to face.

Get Rid of Any Possessions You May Not Keep Anymore

It may seem the easy option to pack everything, but it will feel overwhelming and cluttered after you’ve moved all your items to your new place. Instead, get rid of items you probably aren’t going to use anymore which can then save you a ton of time and even money.

For example, will you be wearing all your clothes and shoes, or is it better to donate them or give them to someone who may need it? Consider this not only a move but a chance to freshen your life! Doing this now will make the transition easier and your new space will feel much more open and inviting.

Pack with the Best Moving Equipment from US Cargo Control

time-saving tips for your next move

You may think you need just boxes and tape for your move, but it goes beyond that. Having the right moving and packing supplies could make you go from “I’m never moving again” to “that wasn’t a bad move!” No matter how big or small the job is, our moving and packing supplies can make your move much more manageable.

If you need to cover your fridge, TV, or washer/dryer, we have a great selection of heavy-duty, premium moving blankets and furniture covers to protect your valuables and house. If you have a trailer or truck and need better securement, we highly recommend our E-Track Straps and E-Tracks that will safely and effectively hold down your items. When trying to lift a heavy item, don’t hurt your back and just use our hand trucks and moving dollies to “roll” your valuables to your new house.

Need the essentials for moving? Read 5 must-have moving supplies for every move.

Disassemble All Furniture and Beds

If you hire a moving company, we suggest disassembling all furniture items and beds for a smoother transition to your new home. Even though the movers can do it for you, this can save you time and money if you’re able to do it on your own. Plus, your moving company may appreciate the help as well.

Furniture and beds will need to be disassembled before being loaded into the truck. If you can do it before the movers arrive – this is less time they can spend doing that task at your home.

Organize and Place Belongings to a Central Location in the House

money-saving tips for your next move

Another time-saving approach is organizing and placing all your belongings in a central location. This can be your living room, basement, garage, etc in the house. Having one central location can be an easily accessible area for the movers to quickly work back and forth between the moving truck and your home. This will decrease the chance of movers having to spend a ton of time navigating through your home.

Prepare Your Meals in Advance 

We’ve all been there before, you unpack everything and you’re sitting on the floor of your new house with that good ol’ pizza. Although it’s nice to indulge in delicious, cheesy pizza every once in a while, eating takeout frequently can be money-draining.

Rather than spending a ton of money on food every single night for the next two weeks while unpacking and organizing, meal prep in advance! This can be simple as meal prepping in your old house so you can have extra meals, or enlisting in the help of a meal delivery service. Whatever it is, you’ll be saving a lot of money in return.

Get Help from Friends and Family

moving tips for your next move

Too much to pack? Need help moving that piece of bulky furniture? Get help from your friends and family by asking them if they can spare some time to help you sort, pack, or move. You’ll notice things will move faster with a few extra hands.

But only if you promise them some pizza and beer.

Need More Moving Tips?

Whatever the size of your move, the dedicated team at US Cargo Control is ready to help you save time, energy, and most of all, keep your items safe and secure during transit. So, when gearing up for your next move, make sure your plan includes a stop at US Cargo Control to stock up on these essentials and more!

Read some of our other moving posts to get you moving like a pro!

Moving Checklist: Remove the Stress of Moving in 15 Steps

4 Ways to Prevent Damage to Your Furniture and House When Moving

How to Choose the Perfect Moving Blankets for Your Needs

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you have any questions about our products, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

6 Tips on How to Have the Best Stress-Free Move Experience

May is National Moving Month, so in honor of that, we’re sharing 6 tips that will make your next move stress-free.

May is National Moving Month, and many of you are on the move! Moving can be stressful, but there are ways that you can do to have a smooth transition. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned moving professional, having the right tools and being prepared are critical to a successful move. Luckily, US Cargo Control has everything you need in one place.

If you’re moving across the country or just down the road, read 6 tips that’ll help you have the best stress-free move experience.

Plan Ahead and Clear out the Clutter

tips on how to move out

Time is not always in your control, but creating a to-do list and good organization can tremendously save time. You may not think about this at the end of the process, but the unpacking begins once you’ve moved. Unpacking can take longer than packing, so pack your belongings one room at a time and label each box.

As you go through your belongings, you may find that there’s nothing more satisfying than de-cluttering! Identify what you want to keep or toss away, and maybe you can have a yard sale. This will help you be and feel more organized when you toss away items you may not need anymore.

If you hire professional movers, be sure to schedule in advance. Moving companies may be booked, and you don’t want to scramble at the last minute.

Keep Your Documents Together

It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle when you’re packing everything. Get a folder or box specifically labeled for your most important documents and paperwork so you won’t struggle to find them later. There’s nothing worse than not being able to find your mortgage paperwork and contracts!

Be Equipped with Essential Moving Supplies

hand truck how to move heavy furniture

If you move without professional movers’ help, load up on high-quality moving supplies that can help you move smoothly. Having a little help from wheels can lighten the load, and our heavy-duty hand trucks and moving dollies can “roll” your valuable items to your new place.

To avoid damage to your personal items or to your house, cover your belongings with moving blankets and furniture covers. Their thick protective covering will protect items from scruffs, dents, and other types of abrasions during a move. Don’t forget to securely hold everything together with moving straps, mover bands, and tiedowns.

Don’t know what equipment to choose or how many supplies you need? We have moving kits so you have everything you need to be prepared.

Load up on Packing Supplies

packing supplies are great tip for moving out of house

There’s no such thing as having too many packing supplies when preparing for a move! Load up on packing supplies like boxes, picture boxes, tape, stretch wrap, Ziploc bags, bubble wrap, and packing paper because having extra supplies will be handy to have.

If you can’t purchase a ton of moving boxes, try to find boxes from various places that are not using them like grocery stores, department stores, and restaurants. Make sure to use your extra containers or luggage that you can utilize for packing!

Ask for Help

use moving equipment to help move your items

Ask your friends and family if they can spare a couple hours to help you sort, pack, or move. Most people have been through a move at least once in their lives and can understand how overwhelming moving can be. Having a pair of extra hands can move things quicker, and you can savor quality time together if you won’t see them often.

Treat Yourself and Don’t Neglect Good Sleep

Along with moving comes different changes to your routine such as less sleep, not taking enough breaks, having to work around your schedule, or your diet. Don’t try to skip meals and try not to live on coffee (even though it’s easy to do so). Make sure you are taking time for yourself to relax and reenergize, and know the hardest part will be over soon!

Need More Moving Tips?

Whatever the size of your move, the dedicated team at US Cargo Control is ready to help you save time, energy, and most of all, keep your items safe and secure during transit. So, when gearing up for your next move, make sure your plan includes a stop at US Cargo Control to stock up on these essentials and more!

Read some of our other moving posts to get you moving like a pro!

Moving Checklist: Remove the Stress of Moving in 15 Steps

4 Ways to Prevent Damage to Your Furniture and House When Moving

How to Choose the Perfect Moving Blankets for Your Needs

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you have any questions about our products, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

Heads Up! CVSA’s International Roadcheck 2021 is Approaching

Read how to prepare for the two main inspection categories of the North American Standard Level I Inspection.

Every year, CVSA hosts its Annual International Roadcheck, which is the largest enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world. The roadcheck runs during a 72-hour period with about 15 trucks or buses inspected every minute across the United States, as well as vehicles being inspected in Canada and Mexico.

This year’s International Roadcheck will happen on May 4th-6th with a focus on inspecting trucks’ lighting devices and the drivers’ hours of service. Continue reading the importance of the International Roadcheck, and what the inspection will be.

The Importance of CVSA’s International Roadcheck

CVSA roadcheck official inspects truck for violations

The International Roadcheck occurs every year to increase the awareness and importance of commercial motor vehicle safety. Not only are the inspectors making sure that your vehicle is safe to drive, but they’re also making sure you and other drivers are safe as well. The dates are shared in advance to prepare motor carriers and drivers and to be aware of proactive vehicle maintenance and readiness.

CVSA’s President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police states that the International Roadcheck “aims to raise awareness of the North American Standard Inspection Program and the essential highway safety rules and regulations in place to keep our roadways safe.”

This year, the inspection will focus on two categories. For the driver portion, inspectors will focus on the hours of service and the lighting devices during the vehicle portion.

What Will the Inspection Be?

The Vehicle Portion

The inspectors are paying close attention to your truck’s lighting devices to ensure they are operating well. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “the lighting violation ‘lamps inoperable’ was the number one vehicle violation in 2020 – which accounted for approximately 12.24% of all vehicle violations discovered that year.”

Lighting devices include:

  • Headlamps
  • Tail Lamps
  • Clearance Lamps
  • Identification Lamps
  • License Plate and Side Marker Lamps
  • Stop Lamps
  • Turn Signals and Lamps on Projecting Loads

Along with the importance of your truck’s lighting, they will be checking the components of your truck to ensure everything looks good to go. Components include:

  • Brake Systems
  • Cargo Securement
  • Coupling Devices
  • Driveline/Driveshaft Components
  • Driver’s Seat
  • Exhaust Systems
  • Frames
  • Fuel Systems
  • Lightning Devices
  • Steering Mechanisms
  • Suspensions
  • Tires
  • Van and Open-Top Trailer Bodies
  • Wheels
  • Rims
  • Hubs and Windshield Wipers are Complaint

Inspections of motorcoaches, passenger vans, and other passenger-carrying vehicles also include emergency exits, electrical cables, and systems in the engine and battery compartments, and seating.

The Driver Portion

During the driver portion, they will be examining you, your driving requirements, and hours of service documentation. The hours of service documentation is critical this year to ensure hours are regulated well so drivers have rest time between driving shifts. Hours of service was the number one driver out-of-service violation, accounting for 34.7% of all driver out-of-service conditions.

Inspectors will also check your operating credentials, seat belt usage, and alcohol and/or drug impairment.

If you pass the vehicle and driver portions of the inspection, you will receive a CVSA decal.

International Roadcheck CVSA sticker 2021

Download the PDF to learn more about the driver’s and vehicle’s requirements.

What Happens if You Don’t Meet the Requirements?

Unfortunately, if there are any violations during the vehicle and driver portions, you and/or your truck will place out-of-service. When this happens, you and the vehicle cannot operate until the identified out-of-service conditions are correct.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Just the same as last year, the law enforcement personnel will conduct inspections following their departments’ health and safety protocols during the 2021 International Roadcheck.

In addition, as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out, inspectors will do their best effort to allow vaccine shipments to arrive to their destination, quickly and safely. COVID-19 vaccine shipments will not be held up for inspection unless there is an obvious serious violation.

Cargo Securement as a Frequent Vehicle Violation

load securement for CVSA international roadcheck

Last year, more than 15,000 trucks were placed out-of-service in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Cargo securement was one of the top five violations, where 1,586 drivers were placed out-of-service. We have some tips for you to safely secure your load so you can avoid this violation this year:

  • Always keeping multiple pieces of cargo tight together in the center of the trailer to prevent load shifting.
  • Making sure to have the appropriate number of tiedowns and that they are correctly used to prevent the cargo from moving forward, rearward, or laterally.
  • Always knowing the weight of the load to ensure you have the right number of tiedowns.
  • Inspecting tiedowns prior to each use and remove from service any tiedowns that are frayed, cut, damaged, knotted, etc.
  • Making sure web tiedowns are properly tagged with WLL in lbs. and kgs.
  • Making sure chain and binders have grade markings, WLL, or Breaking Strength.
  • Using edge protection like corner protectors to prevent cutting, abrasion, and premature wear from sharp or abrasive surfaces.

We carry trucking and transportation equipment so you can secure your cargo without any worries. You can shop by trailer type, which we have enclosed trailer accessories and flatbed trailer equipment that has everything you need to outfit your truck.

Learn more about load securement:

The Dos and Don’ts for Load Securement on Trailers

Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength, and Safety Factor: What Do They Mean?

How Many Tiedowns Do I Need to Secure My Cargo?

A Simple Guide on How to Use a Ratchet Strap and How to Release It

Truck Drivers, thank you for moving us forward. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team of experts a call at 866-444-9990.

How to Use E-Tracks, How to Install Them, and What to Use Them For

Safely secure cargo with heavy-duty E-Tracks that get the job done.

Remember when you were transporting items inside your enclosed trailer or van, and no matter how well you secured them, they still managed to move around? What must be even more frustrating is that this situation can, unfortunately, create a disorderly mess and damage the items themselves. You wonder if there is a solution to preventing this mess during your next trip.

There is a solution, and it’s E-Tracks.

Source: US Cargo Control

E-Track is a system of mounted steel rails with small slots in them. It is a very industrial product that is heavy, powerful and is common for trailers and vans. Not only that, it is the industry standard for cargo control. These steel rails are the perfect solution because they are an attachment point for various types of load securement options.

Not only that, but you will have some peace knowing that your items won’t get shifted or damaged. Continue reading to learn how to use E-Tracks, how to install them, and what to use with these rails. 

What is an E-Track System?

E-Tracks are made from high strength 12 GA steel that can be attached with screws, rivets, or by welding.  They are affordable, heavy-duty, and completely customizable as everyone hauls different items of different sizes and weights. Ultimately, they will give you the flexibility to tie down anything. 

What Can I Use an E-Track for?

tie down track great for e track tie down system

They safely secure your cargo or heavier items, but you can use them for a variety of applications. Since this product is the industry standard for cargo control, it is trusted to hold down larger weights or of different sizes.

You can use E Tracks for semi-trailers, shipping containers, moving vans, enclosed trailers, and recreational vehicle tie down projects. They are also perfect to hold down ATVs, motorcycles, dirt bikes, and other motorsport vehicles. The neat part about these strong rails is you can add them to the floors and walls of the vehicle for 360-degree coverage. 

The Differences Between Horizontal and Vertical E-Tracks

Yes, there are two kinds for different types of cargo control securement, but both will work the same functions. The only difference is how the anchor points are presented in relation to the length of the vehicle. 

Listen to our product expert explain the difference between horizontal and vertical E-Tracks, and what are the best fittings.

Horizontal

The Horizontal E Track has slots that run perpendicular at 90-degrees angles to the sides of the rail. It has multiple securement points available to use at any time to hold down your items. Also, they are more commonly used for flatbeds and enclosed trailers as they help haul all loads that don’t take up the dead space inside.  

Vertical

The Vertical E Track has rectangular slots that run parallel with the rail. You install the rails vertically and we recommend using them when the height of hauled loads changes from trip to trip. You can use these vertical rails to mount a shelving system and for decking and shoring beam applications. The Vertical E Track is more commonly used in the trucking industry.

Although they are laid out differently, there are no rules for deciding between vertical or horizontal. You just have to consider the type of load you intend to transport and the type of vehicle you have to install the rails when choosing one of the other. 

How to Install E-Track

Installing E Track is not a painful process to set up, it just takes some patience.  You will be successful when you measure correctly and safely install the rails securely onto your vehicle. Check out the screws we carry such as the 14″ x 1″ self-tapping screws that work best for attaching E-track to studs, and 1-1/2” E-track hex bolts work best when drilling through thick plywood floors.

Watch this video below on how to install E-Track correctly, and become a pro at doing it:

What E Track Accessories Can I Use?

US Cargo Control provides the best e track accessories

We mentioned earlier that these heavy-duty steel rails will give you the flexibility to secure anything which they can work with a variety of tie-d0wn accessories. You can use E-Track Ratchet Straps and E-Track Cam Straps to tighten your items, and load bars to separate loads and prevent load shift.

We also carry specialized E-Track fittings like J-hook fittings, D-ring fittings, rope tie-offs, Wood End Sockets, and roller idler fittings.

If you’re just getting started with E-Track or simply looking to pick up some essentials, an E-Track Kit is an easy and convenient solution. Learn more about the kits we carry through 9 E-Track Kits for your Tie Down Needs During Transportation.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you have any questions about our products, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.