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.

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

Are you using your ratchet strap the right way? Read our guide on how to use a tiedown.

Ever wondered if you’re using a ratchet strap correctly or you’re curious about how to undo and store it away safely? Our guide will help you understand how to handle and how to release a ratchet strap safely.

Ratchet straps are valuable tools that secure your items, and they come in different styles and functions that can support many different weights and load sizes. Whether you’re using tiedowns to hold down your personal items or you’re a trucker, you should know the basics of using them. Continue reading to learn a step-by-step process of how to set up a ratchet strap.

Watch our product expert, Ed Duran, demonstrate how to thread a ratchet strap:

How to Use Ratchet Strap

US Cargo Control explains how to use tie down straps

Open the handle and take the end of the strap, and put it through the ratchet mandrel which is the open slot at the bottom of the ratchet.

US Cargo Control explains how to put a ratchet strap together

Double it over and thread the strap back over and pull it tight to take out the excess strap.

Attach the hooks that are attached to the ratchet into position, and do the same with the hook on the other end of the webbing.

US Cargo Control explains how to thread a ratchet

Crank the ratchet a few times or to the desired tightening, and lock it down.

Make sure the strap stays in line with others to avoid tangling/locking.

US Cargo Control explains how to use tie downs

Lock handle down after tightening and it is now securing your items safely! 

How to Undo a Ratchet Strap

how do you release a ratchet strap explained by US Cargo Control

  1. Open the ratchet all the way, and the webbing should release and become loose.
  2. Pull the strap out of the ratchet mandrel.
  3. Close the ratchet back down.

When you’re storing ratchet straps, consider securing them with rubber bands to organize them for your next use and to prevent any harm to them. Make sure they are not wet and place them in a dry location away from the sun. If they are wet, mildew could potentially appear and ultraviolet light can make nylon and polyester fibers brittle. This could result in losing strength, discolor, and break down.

For tips on how to store your ratchet straps, read 10 Ways to Store Tie Down Straps.

Understanding the Ratchet Strap’s Working Load Limit and Break Strength

ratchet straps how to thread, explained by US Cargo Control

Now that you have an understanding of using the strap correctly, you should also know what working load limit (also known as WLL) and break strength (BS) mean. If you saw random numbers on the webbing and wondered what they mean, you’re looking at the working load limit and break strength.

The working load limit is the rating that should never be exceeded when using a tiedown, which is the maximum allowable loading force. The break strength is to the point at which the strap will fail. Break strength is through pounds/kilograms and will fail if you go over the required amount.

To provide an example, the working load limit is always 1/3 of the breaking strength. If your ratchet strap has a breaking strength of 15,000 pounds, then it will have a working load limit of 5,000 pounds. Check out this post to learn the meaning behind working load limit, break strength, and safety factor.

Learn more about Ratchet Straps

The Dos and Don’ts for Load Securement on Trailers

How Many Tie Down Straps Do I Need to Secure My Cargo?

Are Self-Contained Ratchet Straps Right for You?

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

Which Motorcycle Straps are Best for My Bike?

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 ratchet straps, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

How to Select a Load Cell

Ask these 4 simple questions to pinpoint the exact load cell you need

You don’t have to be an expert in load cell technology to select the one you need and feel confident that it will get the job done right.

The technology found in many modern load cells can seem overwhelming at first, but in industries where precision is a must, choosing and properly using an appropriate load cell could mean the difference between another successful day at work and an expensive or potentially dangerous miscalculation.

Luckily, we’re in 2021. Once you select the load cell that’s right for your application, you can enjoy enhanced safety, accuracy, and efficiency through the use of simple software and load cell readouts that fit in the palm of your hand, function from nearly a mile away, and provide +/- 0.1% accuracy.

Despite the many brands and types of load cells available on the market today, choosing the exact right one for your needs is fairly simple when you break it all down. Let’s walk through the 4 simple questions that will guide you in selecting the right load cell.

selecting load cells
Tension load cells from Straightpoint can handle tension reading capacities ranging from 1-ton up to 500-tons.

1. What is your application environment?

First, it’s important to consider the general environment in which you’ll be using the load cell. In terms of durability, there’s a wide spectrum ranging from low-capacity, unsealed load cells to weatherproof multi-ton options.

If you’re needing load cells for industrial applications involving cranes or heavy loads, you’ll want to select a trusted load cell brand that’s been rigorously tested and proven to have high manufacturing standards. If the load cell could be exposed to water you’ll want one rated for common environmental protections like IP67 or NEMA6.

2. What are you needing to measure?

Next, what is the specific goal you’re trying to accomplish with a load cell? Tug testing? Structural weighing? Laying cable, or maybe something else? “Load cell” is a broad term that encompasses many different electronic measurement tools including tensiometers, dynamometers, load shackles, and even common crane scales. Of course, you’ll want to get a load cell that’s designed to safely measure whatever it is you’re working with. Still, keep in mind that there is some crossover in what these load cell types can do. Below is a list of common load cell types found in the rigging and lifting industry, plus their common application.

Compression Load Cells – structural weighing and the confirmation of mass or center of gravity


Tension Load Cells – measures tension levels, commonly used for overhead weighing and heavy lift applications


Crane Scales – weighs pretty much anything that can be fasted to its hanging hook, crane optional


Shackle Load Cells – common in industrial crane applications, especially limited headroom or super heavy lift projects

Towcells – monitors tensile towing forces, engineered for emergency/rescue services, salvage, 4X4 events, and other vehicle load monitoring applications


Running Line Dynamometers – measures tension, line speed, and distance for wire rope, electrical cables, and synthetic rope


Clamp On Line Tensiometers – measuring guy wire and wire rope tension

wire rope tension load cell from straightpoint
The Straightpoint COLT clamp on line tensionmeter is a fast and accurate tool for measuring guy wire and wire rope tension up to 11,000 pounds with up to 1-inch diameters.

3. How do you want to transmit and check load cell readouts?

If you have a smartphone in your pocket, you know just how far wireless technology has come over the past few years. Load cells are no exception. In fact, many modern load cells such as industry-leading Straightpoint load monitoring load cells, are compatible with your cell phone or smart device via Bluetooth or by simply downloading a free load cell monitoring app. These advanced wireless load cells work from long distances for increased safety and can also sync with a larger computer or a special wireless handheld reader to remotely read and adjust load cell setups. Of course, wired load cell options still exist, but it’s important to understand there are many more options in the field these days that could bring you added benefits.

4. What weight capacity and dimension requirements do you have?

Finally, once you know the level of durability you need, the type of load cell that measures your workload, and whether you want wired or wireless transmission, you’re almost finished. The final step in how to select a load cell is to ensure you get one that can handle your application’s weight capacity and physical dimensions. Whether it’s in pounds, kilograms, tons, inches, or centimeters – check the spec sheets carefully to ensure the load capacity and physical dimensions of the load cell itself align with your application. You shouldn’t have any doubt in your mind that what you order can handle your load safely and effectively.

Summary

Whether you have old load monitoring load cells that need to be replaced or are investing in these intelligent tools for the first time, selecting the proper load cell is important. Professionals in many different industries rely on these tools to provide precise measurements that could otherwise mean costly mistakes. First, decide on the level of durability you want. Then, consider what you’re needing to measure and the way you’d like to transmit those measurements. Finally, narrow in on the load cell specs to find one that’s able to comfortably handle your application.

Still have questions? Give our rigging and lifting product experts a call at 800-404-7068.

Compression Type Load Cells: Wireless vs. Wired

How to choose the best compression load cell for your application

Compression type load cells (commonly referred to as canister load cells or load cell pancakes) are necessary tools for compression force testing, structural weighing, and the confirmation of mass and center of gravity.

Essentially, a compression load cell is a block that’s designed to sit under a load at a single point in order to measure compression. While tension load cells measure the pulling force, compression load cells are more low-profile load cells that measure pushing force along a single axis.

compression type load cells being used

Compression type load cells are used in many important industries including mining, energy, defense, heavy rigging, shipping, and general transportation sectors.

However, with the advancement of wireless load cell technology, professional operators now have more compression load cell choices than ever before. Should you go with the old-school wired option or upgrade to a more modern wireless model? Read on to learn the advantages of each compression type load cell, plus our expert recommendation.

Wireless Compression Load Cells

Wireless compression load cells use an internal antenna to electronically transmit load cell readings and alerts to a wireless handheld readout device, computer, or smartphone.

Advantages

Where do we begin? By eliminating the need for external cables, wireless compression load cells offer a number of major advantages. First, you’re able to be more mobile on the job site and aren’t limited to a fixed location. As long as you’re within signal range, you can be anywhere you need to be. Next, you don’t have to deal with the complexity of setting up cables and running them around obstructions. This saves time and allows the load cells to be used in more diverse applications. In some cases, there is a moving part or other obstruction that makes wired cables nearly impossible. Wireless load cells also eliminate the cost and hassle of replacing cables once they wear out, making them much more cost-effective in the long run.

Plus, because wireless compression load cells are able to receive load cell data transmissions via computer and smartphone apps, it’s easier to translate the data and further process it. Wireless load cell software even allows operators to observe multiple load cells in parallel from a single workstation. Last but not least, wireless compression load cells are just plain safer than wired load cells. Depending on the brand of load cell you get, you can monitor transmissions from several thousand feet away. When the object in question is several tons, every foot of distance matters.

Straightpoint LoadSafe
wireless compress load cell from straightpoint
  • Best heavy-duty wireless compression load cell
  • 3,280-foot max wireless range
  • 5 ton to 1,000-ton capacities available
  • IP67 environmental protection
  • 1,200 hours of continuous battery life
  • +/- 0.1% accuracy
  • Bluetooth output option available
Straightpoint Loadblock Plus
low profile load cell from straightpoint
  • Best lighter-duty wireless compression load cell
  • 1-inch built-in digital display
  • 550 pound to 5-ton capacities available
  • IP65 environmental protection
  • 80 hours of continuous battery life
  • +/- 0.1% accuracy
  • Option to add cabled output

Wired Compression Load Cells

Wired compression load cells use a heavy-duty cable to connect and transmit readout data from the load cell to a compatible handheld load cell reader or computer.

Advantages

In some applications, such as subsea use, cabled load cells are necessary for accurate readings. Or, some operators might simply prefer the old-school cabled load cell setup as that is how they initially learned to set up compression load cells. Also, some may be concerned about the possibility of experiencing technical difficulties or radio interference with wireless load cells. Although this is mostly unfounded due to the advancement of wireless technology, load cells with physical analog outputs could be seen as more reliable to some.

Straightpoint Wired Compression Load Cell
cabled compression load cell
  • Best cabled compression load cell
  • Equipped with a 30-foot output cable
  • 5 ton to 1,000-ton capacities available
  • IP67 environmental protection
  • +/- 0.1% Accuracy

Best Compression Load Cell Brand

When purchasing new compression type load cells, you have many options. When you want a brand that’s extensively tested and trusted, we always recommend Straightpoint brand load cells. They’re a more durable and advanced load cell than anything else on the market, and they’re priced very reasonably. Plus, Straightpoint is now a Crosby company, so you know they’re a product you can trust to perform for years and years.

straightpoint compression load cells review

Conclusion

When deciding between wireless and wired compression load cells, it’s important to understand the advantages of each. Today, advances in technology have made wireless compression load cells a very efficient, flexible, and reliable choice for nearly any application where you need to measure compression or confirm the center of gravity. While some see cabled compression load cells as more reliable and simple to use, wireless load cells are increasingly becoming the better option.

At the end of the day, safety is what these important tools are all about. Given how safe, and simple, and cost-effective these modern wireless compression type load cells are, we regularly recommend them for most compression measuring applications.

Have questions? Contact our compression type load cell experts by calling 800-404-7068 or email us at customerservice@uscargocontrol.com.

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

USCC now offers a full selection of superior Straightpoint load cell solutions.

If you’re a professional in the rigging and lifting industry, you know that close is never close enough. And guesstimating? Well, that’s just not a great option when you’re talking about lifting a multi-ton load.

Just ask these guys.

Courtesy of: WOOD THINGS!

There’s no question, whether it’s tension on a wire rope assembly or compression caused by a heavy structure, it pays to “know your load” at all times. Be it tons, pounds, or kilograms – just the slightest miscalculation is enough to cause an expensive and perhaps even life-threatening accident.

Luckily, there are load monitoring load cells. Commonly referred to as “tensiometers” or “dynamometers”, load cells use electrical signals to precisely measure the tension of rigged loads involving wire rope, guy wire, synthetic rope, shackles, and other types of rigging equipment.

water testing using straightpoint wireless load cells

What’s the benefit of load cells for lifting?

Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to complex rigging and heavy lift jobs. Many modern load cells allow operators to receive tension readouts from a safe distance, sometimes several thousand feet away. This is extremely important for applications involving overhead cranes, offshore drilling, tug testing, water bag testing, overhead weighing, cable laying, vehicle recovery, or any type of heavy-lift projects. But not all load cells are created equal.

What’s the best load cell available?

Straightpoint, a Crosby owned company, offers unrivaled load cell tension measurement tools. Their quality and functionality are unsurpassed by any other load cell brand in existence.

sp load cells in use
courtesy of: weighing review
straightpoint load cell supplier

Now, US Cargo Control is proud to be an official supplier of Straightpoint’s intelligent line of load cell load monitoring solutions, including Straightpoint’s long-range wireless load cells and intelligent load cell software that brings your safety into the 21st century.

insight software load cell reading

Don’t put your company and its priceless reputation in unnecessarily dangerous situations. Use Straightpoint Loadcells to take the weight off your shoulders and safety into the palm of your hand.

Types of load cells from Straightpoint

Wireless, Bluetooth-enabled, and classic cabled load cells are all available. Whether you need tension load cells, compression load cells, clamp-on line tensiometers, running line dynamometers, shackles load cells, or mini crane scales – USCC has you covered with a full selection of high-quality Straightpoint products.

Tension Load Cells

straightpoint load cells for tension readings

Tension load cells are great for a wide variety of applications. Radiolink Plus (wireless) and Wirelink Plus (cabled), can handle tension reading capacities up to 500-ton. Towcell is the perfect solution for vehicle load monitoring applications as it fits directly onto a 2” tow ball. 

Compression Load Cells

best compression load cells

Compression load cells are used to calculate the center of gravity. Straightpoint compression load cells can handle loads up to 1000-ton and you can read up to 100 wireless compression load cells from your computer or tablet and also create real-time test certificates on-site. Wired compression load cells are also available. 

Clamp on Line Tensiometers

best tensiometer for measuring wire rope and guy wire tension wirelessly

Straightpoint’s line tensiometer, the COLT, is an industry-leading smartphone-enabled clamp-on line tensiometer. It’s a fast and accurate way to measure wire rope or guy wire tension.

Running Line Dynamometers

best dynamometer for wire rope

Straightpoint’s line of running line dynamometers are able to measure tension, line speed, and distance of wire rope, fiber optic cables, and synthetic rope. These dynamometers are very useful in situations where there is no anchor or dead end on the line.

Shackle Load Cells

wireless load shackle from Straightpoint

Loadshackles from Straightpoint provide the perfect solution to limited headroom or super heavy-lift projects. Wireless load shackles, Bluetooth-only, and cabled versions are all available. Straightpoint Loadshackles are made using Crosby brand shackles. All Loadshackles from Straightpoint have a load-centering bobbin and range in capacity from 3.25- ton to 400-ton.

Miniweigher Crane Scales

best digital crane scale

Straightpoint Miniweigher Plus crane scales are compact, safe, accurate, and suitable for a number of applications. These wireless crane scales are often mounted between a winch and a tripod, allowing for load monitoring and safe lowering and raising of equipment and personnel. They’re able to handle up to 5 ton.

Straightpoint Loadcell output options

When it comes to viewing tension readings and remotely controlling Straightpoint Loadcells, you have options. Choose wired or wireless handheld controllers, laptop computer/smart device output, or even a wireless LCD scoreboard display.

SW-HHP handheld load cell readout device
load cell app for smartphone
wireless LCD load cell scoreboard

Remember, in addition to physical load cell equipment, US Cargo Control also offers compatible Straightpoint computer software and systems.

Expert answers to all your Straightpoint Loadcell questions

touring iuoe cranes and machinery

We have a team of lifting and rigging equipment specialists that understand Straightpoint Loadcell products in-and-out. Don’t hesitate to give them a call at 800-404-7068 for fast and friendly answers to all your load cell questions.

3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Lifting Slings

As objects are being lifted, the lifting sling could fail and lead to catastrophes. Read 3 factors to consider when choosing lifting slings.

One of the biggest causes of injuries and fatalities in the lifting and rigging industry is accidents caused by falls. As heavy objects are being lifted, sometimes the lifting sling can fail and lead to potential catastrophes. To prevent these situations, it is critical that you must use the correct types of lifting slings for your lifting jobs. Read 3 factors you should consider when choosing the right lifting sling, and learn the different types of slings we carry at US Cargo Control.

1. Know The Weight, Strength, and Delicacy of the Load

It’s important to know the weight and strength of the load that you intend to lift, as well as the WLL (Working Load Limit) of the sling. When you have an understanding of the object’s weight and strength, make sure you provide support from all directions. Providing support from the sides will prevent the object from falling, preventing injuries and risk to the workers on site.

The other thing that you should note is the fragility of the load you are lifting. The goal is to not only lift an object but protect the object from getting damaged in the lifting process. For lifting heavy objects or objects made of hard metals, we recommend using chain slings to perform the job.

Saw random numbers on your load-bearing equipment and didn’t know what they meant? Read what Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength, and Safety Factor mean.

2. Identify the Center of Gravity of the Load, and the Sling’s Flexibility

When you’re looking at the object you will be lifting, observe the object’s shape and design to tell you where the center of gravity is. You do not want to miss the center of the load before you begin to lift because you can potentially thrust the load and cause damage. If you’re lifting irregularly-shaped loads, consider using nylon slings as these have great flexibility and strength.

3. Do the Objects have Sharp Edges?

You’re going to lift objects that have sharp edges. Although nylon slings work best for loads needed for flexibility, the fabric will not perform well because it will be fighting against sharp edges. They will cause ripping to the sling, and this will likely result in the object falling and getting damaged.

If you’re having to lift objects with sharp edges, we recommend using chain slings or wire rope slings. We also carry corner protectors that can cover the edges of the object and protect your slings and chains.

What Are the Different Types of Slings?

Now that you know the three critical factors to consider when choosing a sling, you need to learn the many different types of slings there are. This will help you identify which sling is worth the investment for your lifting situations.

Nylon Slings

US Cargo Control nylon lifting sling

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.

They are lightweight, easy to handle, and offer a wider body with more stretch than a polyester sling. Its attributes make synthetic slings a popular choice for rigging purposes and are essential to have around, but they should not be used in extreme or rugged conditions. Nylon rigging straps will wear down more quickly than other types of slings if you go against its limits!

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. When we say chain slings are tolerant to hot temperatures, this means they are useful for lifts in extremely hot temperatures or to secure extremely hot objects.

We offer three trusted brands of lifting chain slings, Crosby, KWB, and Pewag. We offer chain slings from these brands because we want you to have the highest-quality slings that will perform the lifting job successfully. We sell these in two types, standard and adjustable, and we also offer custom options if needed.

We recently added a full line of Grade 120 chain and components that are now available at US Cargo Control. Read more about Grade 120 and its benefits.

Polyester Round Slings

Polyester slings can be confused with nylon slings due to their material that is also made of a web-like fabric. The difference is that while nylon slings stretch easily, polyester round slings have a little stretch to them. These are useful to have for lifting operations where strength is needed, but not a lot of stretch needed.

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!

Curious about the differences between nylon slings and polyester slings? Read Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings: Which Web Sling Type is Better?

Wire Rope Slings

US Cargo Control wire 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 slings are favorable by riggers as they can come in a wide variety of materials, diameters, and configurations. Each steel wire rope configuration will offer different benefits and are suited to certain applications. For example, a smaller number of large outer wires offers better wear and corrosion resistance, while a larger number will provide better flexibility and fatigue-resistance.

If you would like to learn more about wire rope configuration, see our category on wire rope.

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 are designed to lift heavy loads safely and efficiently.

We also do custom orders! 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.

4 Safe Moving Tips – Moving During the Pandemic

Moving heavy, bulky furniture and appliances can be difficult, time-consuming, and even risky for your back and neck muscles. Not only that, but you have to take into consideration on how to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus pandemic. Whether you’re an experienced mover or organizing your first big move, using the right equipment and operating in safe practices will make a huge difference. Read 4 Safe Moving Tips on how to move during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To relieve some stress of moving, read our checklist of 15 easy steps for moving.

1. Plan Ahead

moving blanket, a black quilt cover furniture cover

Whether you want to use a moving company, rent a moving van, or move using your own equipment, make sure you decide in advance. If you decide to hire professional movers or rent a van, it would be safe to schedule a couple months before your moving day. Moving companies may be booked, and you don’t want to scramble at the last minute!

2. Research The Moving Company

movers during coronavirus

If you are looking into hiring a moving company for your big moving day, do some research. Ask professional moving companies what measures they are taking to ensure a safe move experience during the pandemic. There are many moving companies, but it’s important to find what safety practices companies are creating so you and others are safe during this situation.

Most reputable movers understand the safety of you and your belongings. However, when it comes to your safety and health, it’s critical the moving company you choose demonstrates considerable caution at this time.

3. Be Equipped with the Right Tools

ratchet straps in use for moving

Get equipped with the best heavy-duty, highest quality moving supplies for a smooth moving trip. To avoid damage to your personal items or to your house, use items like moving blankets, moving dollies, E-Track ratchet straps, mover bands, and more high-quality moving equipment.

If you’re wondering which equipment to use for your move, read 5 Essential Must-Have Items for Every Move that you should have.

4. Clean and Disinfect

cleaning and disinfecting the house after moving

To be on the safe side, be sure to clean and disinfect your new place and your items. You can use disinfecting wipes and sprays for quick cleaning and areas that can’t be wiped clean. Along with that, throw away any moving material that you will not be using anymore.

For tips on how to clean and sanitize your home, read CDC’s recommendations for household cleaning and sanitizing.

When you’re ready to secure your items with our moving equipment, go to US Cargo Control or give our sales team a call at 800-969-6543.

Is the Airline Style L-Track Stronger than Standard L-Tracks?

What is the Airline Style L-Track, and what is the difference between Airline Style L-Track and Standard L-Track?

We often get asked if the Airline Style L-Track is stronger than the rest of our L-Tracks. Because of its 6351 aluminum compared to the standard’s 6061-T6 aluminum, it can be easy to say that the Airline-style is stronger than other L-Tracks. This isn’t necessarily the case.

Continue to read what Airline Style L-Track is, the difference between Airline and Standard, and how Airline-Style serves the same purpose as our standard line.

If you are deciding whether to use an L-Track or E-Track, read the difference between L-Track and E-Track.

What is Airline Style L-Track?

image of a silver, long aluminum L-Track rail

This product has multiple names such as Aircraft Style L-Track, Logistic Track, Seat Style, and Seat Track. Through its many names, it serves the same purpose as our heavy-duty L-Tracks. The Airline L-Track features a narrow and squared profile and consists of a high-quality grade 6351.

This style was popular in the airline industry as a way to secure seats, which you may have heard it as “Seat Style” or “Seat Track.” Although this is common in the airline industry, our 6′ Airline L-Track and 12′ Airline L-Track are versatile to use for many consumer tie-down applications. It has a narrower profile than E-Tracks, but still provides strong tie-down points for motorcycles, ATVs, tractors, and much more.

Watch below on how to install L-Track Anchor Point Tie Downs to your truck or trailer:

Source: US Cargo Control

Please note that this aluminum track is still known by a variety of airline terms (airline track tie-downs, airline cargo straps, airplane cargo tie-down rails, or aircraft-style seat track), But not all grades of this tracking are FAA certified for use in the airline industry.

What is the Difference between Standard and Airline L-Tracks?

a man installing aluminum L Track to his truck with drill

The Airline Track and the Standard Track do have the same aluminum alloys and narrow profile, but the Airline L-Track has slightly higher tensile strength. All of our L-Tracks except the Aircraft Track is made with 6061-T6 aluminum. 6061-T6 is one of the more commonly used aluminum alloys, and T-6 means that it is tempered. By tempered, this means it is solutionized and artificially aged.

Also, the Airline L-Track has a squared profile on the edges, while the standard is more rounded. All our track rail options will support the Working Load Limit (WLL) of any of the fittings that go into them. The only thing to keep in mind is the track itself does not have a rating.

Regardless, you can use the same tiedown applications for the Airline-Style and the Standard. You would just need to refer to the fittings’ WLL for load rating information.

Common Uses for 6061-T6 and 6351:

6061-T6 Examples are structural components for aircrafts, yachts, automotive parts, flashlights, scuba tanks, and other high pressure tanks.

6351 Examples are the manufacturing of aluminum pipes and tubing, and almost similar uses to 6061-T6.

So, How is Aircraft L-Track Not Stronger?

up-close shot of an L Track rail with pre drilled holes

The reason we don’t say the Aircraft-Style is not stronger than the standard product is that 6351 and 6061 are basically identical aluminum alloys in the 6000 series. The only difference is the Airline-Style has slightly higher tensile strength. In the case of tiedown applications, this difference is negligible because you can use both tracks in identical applications.

To learn more about 6061-T6 and 6351 Aluminum, read the differences and similarities in their properties and composition.

The Aircraft L-Tracks are perfect to use for many types of tie-down applications and are compatible with our Fittings. This also includes our single stud fittings and double stud fittings. Also, don’t forget to look into our line of L-Track Straps!

When you’re ready to secure your items with our L-Track rails, go to US Cargo Control or give our sales team a call at 800-969-6543.

The Dos and Don’ts for Load Securement on Trailers

Read our tips for securing your cargo with the right equipment and safety practices.

When you’re hauling cargo on your trailer, you can make or break it. If you’re not aware of how you are strapping down a load, you could create risk or damage to the cargo, others around you, and even yourself. To avoid these consequences, we sat down with Tim Sanders, our Sales Specialist, to learn about the dos and don’ts of load securement on trailers.

To ensure you are using the right equipment, look at our products that you can shop for your trailer type. Watch a demonstration by Ed Duran, one of our Sales Specialists, on how to secure an item with a ratchet strap.

Source: US Cargo Control

1. Have the Appropriate Type and Amount of Securement Equipment

flatbed load securement with US Cargo Control products

One of the most important considerations to know when securing a load is ensuring you have the appropriate type and amount of securement equipment. Whether you own a flatbed trailer or an enclosed trailer, you can haul all types of goods. The key is knowing which type of hauling equipment is crucial for the cargo you are hauling. To learn more about what hauling equipment you need, read:

3 Types of Accessories Every Enclosed Trailer Hauler Should Have

5 Pieces of Flatbed Trailer Equipment a Truck Driver Should Have.

2. Use the Right Amount of Working Load Limit and Tiedowns for Load Securement

Using proper flatbed strapping for USCC products

It’s critical that the number of straps, chains, and other equipment in use has enough aggregate working load limit (WLL) to secure the cargo being hauled. When you are tightening your items, be aware of the WLL and breaking strength so you know how much weight that piece of rigging is capable of securing. Learn more about what working load limit, break strength, and safety factor means on a piece of rigging equipment.

It’s also important to note that you have the appropriate number of tiedowns for your task. A general rule is you only use one tiedown if your cargo is shorter than 5 feet and less than 1,000 pounds. If you are hauling more than 1,000 pounds, read how many ratchet straps you need to secure your cargo.

3. Inspect Tiedowns for Damage and Defects Before Securing Cargo

Checking to secure load securement straps

A general rule to keep in mind is inspecting your straps for any damage and defects. Even if you notice minor damage to the strap, the strap’s capability and value will reduce. If you do see damage or are uncertain that there is damage, you must not use that tiedown. For more information about standards and inspection criteria, go to WSTDA (Web Sling and Tie Down Association) and NACM (National Association of Chain Manufacturers).

To prevent future damage, continuously check your tiedowns when you’re on the road. It is common for cargo to shift and the straps to loosen in transit, so it doesn’t hurt to see if they are secure (and you will avoid the chance of more damage).

Also, store them in a clean, dry place when you’re not using the tiedowns. If they are exposed to sun, rain, road salt, or else, tiedowns can degrade and will lose their effectiveness.

There’s no such thing as overdoing it when it comes to tying everything down.  Plan ahead, make sure you have enough equipment to get the job done right, and inspect it frequently.  A load that is well secured with good equipment will keep everyone safe and eliminate a lot of headaches during a roadside inspection!

Tim Sanders, Sales Specialist

4. Protect Your Straps with Corner Protectors

Using corner guards to ensure the safety of USCC ratchet strap

There will be sharp edges and rough surfaces when you are securing an item to your trailer. You don’t want to add stress to the strap by tightening it on a sharp edge or rough surface because you may cause cutting and abrasion. Consider using corner protectors to protect your straps. They will extend the life of your ratchet straps and also protect your cargo, chains, tarps, and more.

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

9 E-Track Kits for Your Tie Down Needs During Transporting

We’ve added 9 new E-Track Kits to our wide variety of E-Tracks.

We didn’t add just one E-Track kit to our website, but we added 9 new kits that serve different purposes! Whether you are just getting started or simply looking to pick up some essentials, an E-Track kit is an easy solution for you.

Our team of product experts assembled different tie down kits for you to choose from, so whether you are using a flatbed trailer, pickup truck, or a large semi-trailer, we got the perfect kit for you.

What is E-Track?

Source: US Cargo Control

E track is an industrial product that is commonly installed inside trailers, cargo vans, moving vans, and enclosed semi-trailers. It’s customizable and extremely versatile because it can be screwed to the floors and interior walls of trailers and vans using screws.

5′ E Track & Cam Straps Kit

We sell many different kinds of etracks here at US Cargo Control. Check us out!

Want to secure your cargo, but you need the essentials? This kit has all the components you need to start loading your cargo tightly. The kit includes rails and 3 different length cam straps.

These straps have a pull-to-tight method rather than the crank-to-tighten system that is seen in ratchet strap versions. With a 2500 pound break strength capacity, our cam buckles still offer considerable strength and easy tightening.

Snap-Loc Basics E Track Starter Kit

Need e tracks to create an e track trailer?  We got the kit for you.

If you are hauling a wide, heavy range of cargo such as ATVs, motorcycles, and else, you can’t go wrong with this Starter Kit. This has several popular components such as the 12′ Cam Straps and Spring E-Fitting with O-Ring. We understand your need to transport your items safely and securely, and you can count on this kit to deliver that promise.

The tie-down anchor points are reusable and perfect for anyone who doesn’t have the room for an entire length of rails, and these cam straps also have the pull-to-tighten system.

E Track Car Hauling Kit

Tie down your cargo securely with tie down track!

As it suggests in the name, this versatile kit will secure wide tires of cars, ATVs, and other cargo to your utility trailer! This Car Hauling Kit has some essential tie-down hardware and accessories to make it easy to outfit your trailer with everything you need to tie down your cargo for transport.

Horizontal E Track Shelving Kit

Use e track rails to create shelving for your trailer!

If you are looking to add a ton of storage to your enclosed utility trailer, this Shelving Kit will make it easy to create storage solutions. Our product experts included the wood end sockets so they can easily snap and let you create inexpensive shoring bean from an ordinary piece of 2 x 4 lumber.

Snap-Loc Supreme E Track Kit

Support your cargo load with the e track tie down system.

You may have noticed we already have a Snap-Loc Basics Starter Kit, so why do we have a supreme kit? The difference is this Snap-Loc Supreme Kit carries everything in the starter kit and also two 4.5″ J Hook Fittings and two 2″ J Hook Fittings.

With this kit, you can easily secure and tie down various cargo with the included E-Track Singles. The Singles is ideal for those needing a reusable tie-down spot but don’t have the room or the need for an entire length of rails. Along with that, you can connect the Ratchet Straps and Spring E-Fittings, and keep your trailer organized with J-Hook fittings. The J-Hooks are perfect to store items such as extension cords, rope, straps, and more.

5′ E Track Essentials Starter Kit

Known as cargo tie down track, we have many options of E-Tracks for you to secure your cargo load.

Customize your own system with this starter kit for your enclosed utility trailer! The Essentials Starter Kit has our popular essentials into one package so you can tie down a wide variety of cargo and keep your trailer well-organized at the same time.

5′ E Track & Ratchet Straps Kit

Use our popular e-track essentials for installing e track on trailer walls

Want to customize your own system, but with Ratchet Straps? We got you covered with this reliable kit. We put together our most popular essentials into one, so you can tackle your tie-down job with confidence.

Vertical E Track Shelving Kit

Seeking the perfect tie down track system?  At US Cargo Control, we have a variety of e track tie downs and many accessories for your e track needs

If you need a kit that will create shelving abilities vertically rather than our horizontal E-Track Shelving Kit, we also have the Vertical Shelving Kit. This kit is quick and easy to pick up the essentials to create shoring beams and shelves.

When you create shelving or shoring beams with this kit, just follow these instructions. Mount the vertical rails to the wall of your enclosed trailer, and snap in the wood end sockets. After that, place your 2 x 4 lumber in the socket to create inexpensive shoring beams to keep your cargo secure for transit.

8′ E Track Professional Starter Kit

Read our blog post to learn about installing e track!

If you’re a pro at building your E-Track system, then you shouldn’t miss out on this Professional Starter Kit. Get a head start with some essentials and start building!

I’m Looking for Other Tie Down Products

Looking for additional products for your tie down needs? Look into our full line of Straps and Tie-Downs with custom options always available. We also sell many hardware and accessories to help you build your own custom system.

We haven’t forgotten truck drivers for all their hard work and dedication during these tough times. Read our blog post on how truckers are helping us during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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.

New Product Addition: Sliding E Track Ratchet Strap

The Sliding E Track Ratchet Strap is now available at US Cargo Control

You can now purchase the Sliding E Track Ratchet Strap from US Cargo Control! This strap is a sturdy, heavy-duty tie down that is functional for many applications. With its unique sliding design, this will help secure your equipment and cargo to your enclosed van, trailer, or truck!

With another addition to our wide variety of ratchet straps, you can trust US Cargo Control for your tie down needs. Whether you need specialty straps, motorcycle straps, winch straps, or custom tie downs, we got the perfect ratchet strap for you.

Watch this Easy Guide on How to Operate a Sliding E Track Strap:

Source: US Cargo Control

3 Fun Facts about the Sliding E Track Ratchet Strap:

1. It’s Made of Strong, Durable Fabric

This strap consists of a durable industrial-grade polyester webbing that is resistant to weathering, abrasion, corrosion, and other damage. With this type of fabric, you’ll never have to worry about wear and tear. Not only do you have to worry about wear and tear, but its webbing also will never stretch over time.

2. It’s Flexible and Reliable

As the name hints, its ratchet allows for smoother sliding so you can easily apply the strap to your equipment. This is fitting as there are load straps with ratchets that are not located in the most appropriate location, so users resorted to creating custom load straps. This isn’t the safest option. With the Sliding E Track Ratchet Strap, you can quickly position the ratchet to the most convenient location on the cargo strap for optimal leverage and cargo storage.

This sliding ratchet strap also features spring e-fittings and is designed to easily connect to existing e-track rails inside your van trailers for safe transport.

3. It Comes in Different Colors and Sizes

Each ratchet strap comes in one color, and we offer three sizes! The colors come in yellow, blue, and grey, and you can use these straps to have as your favorite colors. The sizes we currently offer are 2″ x 12′, 2″ x 16′, and 2″ x 20′.

If you would like to view a how-to guide of this E track ratchet strap, read this step-by-step guide.

Have you heard about our recent product line addition? Read more about Grade 120 Chain and Components at US Cargo Control

It’s still National Moving Month! Get some tips and tricks by reading Essential Moving Supplies: 5 Must-Have Items for Every Move.

When you’re ready to secure your equipment with the Sliding E Track Ratchet Strap, go to US Cargo Control or give our sales team a call at 800-969-6543.