Differences Between Winch Bars: Standard, Combination, & Ergo 360

This post will help you understand the options you have when it comes to buying winch bars and help you decide which type you should add to your collection of flatbed gear.

Which type of flatbed winch bar is best for you?

If your truck has winch straps, a winch bar is an invaluable tool you can’t go without. With a bit of muscle, winch bars give you the necessary leverage needed to securely tie your loads down and easily release them when it’s time to unload. Some winch bars can even release lever binders.

With all the different winch bar options available today, how do you know which type is the smartest choice for you? This post will help you understand the options you have when it comes to buying winch bars and help you decide which type you should add to your collection of flatbed gear.

Standard Winch Bars

Standard winch bars are the obvious choice for someone who only uses synthetic web winches. These straightforward bars have a standard mushroom tip that slides right into all standard web winches. They also have a knurled handle for non-slip grip.

US Cargo Control sells standard winch bars with a black paint finish or a chrome finish. Chrome provides a bit of rust resistance and many prefer the look of chrome over the black.

Combination Winch Bars

Combination winch bars, or combo bars, take it a step further with their ability to not only tighten and release synthetic winch straps but also release lever chain binders.

There are two styles of combination winch bars: standard combination bars and square head combination bars. The square head provides an added safety factor, as the tension on lever binders can create some serious kickback. Unlike standard combination winch bars with a hollow end that slides over the lever, square head winch bars have a slight pivot point that reduces the potential force if your bar were to recoil back at you.

No matter what type of bar you have, always try to stand to one side of the winch bar when you are releasing tension on a lever binder.

Ergo Winch Bars

If you’re looking for a winch bar that’s easy on your back and neck, the Ergo 360 winch bar is a perfect choice. It’s available in the same three styles (standard, combo, and combo with square head) but its unique bent shape means the bar handle and tip stay parallel to each other for maximum leverage. And unlike any other winch bar, Ergo bars can rotate 360-degrees so you won’t have to use low (and uncomfortable) angles when tightening the winch straps.

If that’s not enough for you, the Ergo bar is also heat treated for added strength and durability.

More Flatbed Winch Accessories

Ratcheting Winch Cap

Want even more convenience? Ratcheting winch bars are a popular way to tighten winch straps because they allow you to continuously tighten without removing the bar from the winch cap. This saves you both time and energy.

Now, with our universal ratcheting winch cap, you can easily turn any winch bar into a ratcheting winch bar.

ratcheting winch cap for fast securement

This weather-tight cap fits on weld-on winches, bolt-on winches, and slide-on winches, so you can’t go wrong with it. Simply slide the ratcheting winch cap onto the standard winch cap, spin it in place, and secure with the provided bolt.

Strap Winder

Tired of wasting time winding up straps only to make a mess of it? Attach a strap winder to the side rails on your flatbed so you can keep your excess winch strap neat and secure. Adam shows how it works in the video below.

8 Practical Present Ideas for the Holidays

Practical presents are the obvious choice for those people on your holiday gift list who say there’s nothing they want or need. When you get someone a practical gift, you enjoy the certainty of knowing that one way or another, it will come in handy for them. Plus, you get the satisfaction of surprising them with something they didn’t necessarily ask for or expect to get.

To help guide your holiday shopping this year, and make it as painless as possible, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 most practical cargo control gifts for 2018. 

 

Moving Supplies

1. Moving Blanket

using a moving blanket as a dog bed

This first practical present idea comes in handy for way more than just protecting furniture during a move. Not only can moving blankets be used as portable pet beds (on couches, car seats, or dog house) they can also be used as a soft place to lay or sit when boating, camping, hunting, or at a sporting event. We also have sound blankets that are great for recording studios or to drown out a noisy neighbor. 

 

Truck and Trailer Gear

2. Cargo Net

cargo net on pickup truck flatbed

Cargo nets are an excellent gift for pick-up truck owners. They’re lighter and easier to manage compared to tarps, and they still do a great job at securing cargo. US Cargo Control has short bed truck cargo nets and long bed truck cargo nets. Both come with cam buckles and S-hooks for quick securement. We also sell small cargo nets for motorcycles and mopeds.

 

3. Recovery Straps

where to get recovery straps

Anyone who owns a pick-up truck or even a large SUV should keep a recovery strap in their vehicle at all times, especially during the winter months. If you know someone who likes offroading or mudding, this gift is a no-brainer for them. Our recovery straps are made in the USA and designed for both recovery and towing use.

 

4. Car Tie-Downs

image of adjustable wheel net

If you need a practical present for a car collector, mechanic, or tow truck driver, auto tie-down straps are a perfect choice. Auto tie-downs are really only practical for someone who frequently hauls vehicles or someone who owns a flatbed trailer or tow dolly. USCC has both wheels nets and tow dolly straps for sale.

 

5. Ratchet Straps

yellow ratchet straps in truck bed holding a kayak secure

A person can never have enough ratchet straps. And US Cargo Control has one of the largest selection of ratchet straps, cam straps, and heavy-duty tie downs that you’ll find anywhere. Hunters and outdoorsmen love our camo ratchet straps and if the person on your list ever hauls heavy cargo, our BlackLine ratchet straps have the strongest break strength in the industry.

 

6. Good-N-Tight Ratchet Handle

tool for tightening ratchet straps

If you know someone who frequently tightens ratchet straps, the Good-N-Tight ratchet strap tightening handle would be a super helpful gift for them. It’s built for 2″, 3″, and 4″ ratchet straps and makes tightening them up a breeze. Plus, the Good-N-Tight handle reduces back stress and the potential for injury.

 

7. USCC Apparel

trucking industry clothing

Clothing is always a great practical present idea. Everyone needs it. Give the present of warmth this holiday with our pullover style hooded sweatshirt with a double-lined hood. We also have branded mechanics gloves, USCC trucker caps, and stainless steel tumblers that keep drinks cold for 24 hours and warm for up to 6 hours.

 

Lifting Equipment

8. Chain Hoist

chain hoist 1 ton

If you’re really feeling generous this holiday, give the practical gift of massive lifting power with a Columbus McKinnon Chain Hoist or Coffing Chain Hoist. These powerful tools make a great gift for hunters, farmers, construction workers, and mechanics. Chain hoists can lift anything from engines and building materials to animal feed and can even be used as a fast way to skin a deer.

 

Expected Delivery Time

There you have it. 8 practical present ideas for the 2018 holiday season. Don’t wait until it’s too late, place your order today to ensure these gifts arrive on time. 

Orders placed before 4pm Central time will ship out the same day, and delivery to most of the United States takes just 1-3 days.

From the USCC family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday. 

 

Headache Racks: 5 Reasons why your Semi Truck should have one

Headache racks for semi trucks are a smart investment for any serious truck driver looking to maximize their truck’s protection, their own personal protection, or to increase storage and truck accessory options.

 

What is a Headache Rack?

A headache rack is commonly fabricated using aluminum, steel, or stainless steel. They are installed right behind your truck’s cab mainly to protect you and your truck from loose objects that may fly through the back glass. However, this is just one benefit to having a headache rack.

 

heavy duty headache racks for semi
This 70″ wide aluminum headache rack features an E-Z view window for rear window visibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is it Called a Headache Rack?

It’s unclear whether the name headache rack originated from the fact that they prevent cargo from flying through and hitting you in the head, or because they help prevent a headache you would experience if your truck is damaged. Another theory is that the rack itself can cause a headache if you are not careful when climbing around the back of your cab.

 

5 Benefits of a Headache Rack

Despite the potential for a self-inflicted head bump, there are 5 huge benefits to installing a truck headache rack.

 

1. Safety

Heavy-duty headache racks are the best way to prevent tools, cargo, or road debris from flying through your rear window and causing damage to your truck or to yourself. Another cool benefit is the fact that headache racks help reflect sunlight, so less heat gets into your cab.

 

2. Hauling Tools

installing aluminum headache rack with lights
This 80″ wide heavy-duty headache rack features two locking chain racks and a full tray.

Many semi truck headache racks come equipped with tool racks or trays that allow quick but secure access to your roadside tools and cargo securement supplies. This Merritt® headache rack comes with two locking chain racks and a full tray to keep transport chains secured.

 

3. Mounting Lights

Installing a headache rack on your truck also provides an additional mounting surface for lighting and other accessories. Once the rack is in place, it’s easy to mount LED beacon lights, light bars, warning lights, or even radio antennas.

 

4. Mounting a Toolbox

Even though many semi truck headache racks have storage options built-in, there’s no such thing as too much tool storage. And just like with lighting, a headache rack also provides a sturdy mountable surface for an additional toolbox. Since many semi truck toolboxes have locks, they are a great accessory to have right behind your cab.

 

5. Cool Looking

Last but not least, let’s talk about how cool these headache racks look. A new headache rack adds a fresh look to any truck and can even be powder-coated to color match your rig (if you’re not into the base metallic silver look). They add a more rugged look to your rig, while also serving multiple highly useful purposes.

understand the benefits of an aluminum headache rack
Headache racks add a rugged look to your rig and also serve multiple useful purposes.

 

Types of Headache Racks

Headache racks are commonly made of aluminum, steel, or stainless steel (or a composite).

Aluminum headache racks are popular due to their low weight, corrosion resistance, and affordability.

Obviously, stainless will beat aluminum in overall corrosion resistance (ideal for those salty winter roads), but the low weight of aluminum will help keep your rig’s total weight much lower.

 

Using Chain Binders to Safely Tie Down Heavy Cargo

Chain binders are an intelligent securement tool for anyone who transports heavy vehicles and machinery, or for someone who wants a little extra peace of mind when it comes to hauling cargo.

Since the number of tie-downs you need to secure cargo is dependent on the cargo length, cargo weight, and cargo type, the value in using chain binders and tie-down chains increases as the weight of your load increases (you need the working load limits of all your tie-downs to add up to at least 50% the weight of your cargo).

Instead of using a large number of nylon tie-down straps, which are more susceptible to cuts and tears when secured to certain machinery (like a Bobcat bucket), use tie-down chains and chain binders for long-lasting securement.

 

benefit of chain binders over nylon tie down straps
Instead of nylon straps, use transport chain and chain binders to tie down sharp objects. image source

 

What is a chain binder?

Chain binders, also known as load binders, are chain tensioning devices used to anchor down large cargo loads for transport. They are commonly made of forged steel and feature grab hooks or other fittings on each end. Chain binders are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and working load limits to fit your needs.

 

How much does a binder weigh?

A common question we often get about chain binders is, “how heavy are they?” The weight of chain binders varies quite a bit depending on the style and the brand but, in general, chain binders can weight anywhere 3.5 Lbs. up to 20 Lbs. and beyond. Obviously, using a larger chain size will result in a larger and heavier binder.

 

Types of chain binders

There are two general types of chain binders to choose from, lever binders and ratchet binders. Each has different advantages and disadvantages to consider, but the main difference lies in how the binder is tightened.

 

benefit of a lever chain binder
Lever binders are considered easier to use, but not necessarily safer.

Lever Binder

Commonly called a snap binder, lever binders are easier to use and have fewer moving parts (less maintenance) compared to ratchet binders. With a mechanical advantage of 25:1, lever binders use leverage to tighten the chain and lock themselves after the lever rotates 180-degrees around the hinge. The lever stores energy so operators need to be careful not to let the handle recoil back at them.

 

 

 

ratchet binder vs lever binder
Ratchet binders take some strain off the operator but tightening and untightening generally takes longer.

Ratchet Binder

Comprised of a gear, handle, pawl, and end fittings, ratchet binders have a mechanical advantage of 50:1. Compared to lever binders, they have a slower and steadier loading and unloading process, but also cause less strain on the operator. Since the handle does not store much energy, they are generally considered safer to use compared to lever binders.

 

 

 

 

Tie down rules to consider before buying chain binders

According to the FMCSA, vehicles with wheels or tracks that weigh 10,000 Lbs. or more are required to be tied down and secured on all 4 corners (at a minimum). This weight of vehicle also requires a minimum of 4 anchor tie-downs (connections between the load and your trailer) and 4 tightening devices (binders).

Also, length plays a role in determining how many chain binders you will need for a given load. Loads 5′ or less require just one tie-down, however, if the weight of that object is more than 1,100 Lbs. two tie-downs are required. Loads 5′ to 10′ in length require 2 tie-downs.

rules for using tie downs
Length and weight both play a factor in determining how many tie downs you need.

 

How to maintain load binders

To reduce friction and prolong the life of a lever binder, it’s best practice to routinely lubricate its pivot and swivel points. For ratchet binders, you should lubricate both the screw threads and the pawl part.

When it comes to storing your load binders, it’s best to keep them somewhere dry and away from the dangers of chemical or environmental damage. Chain carriers or similar toolboxes are great for this.

 

how to tell if you need new transport chain
This chain has been stretched and bent beyond use. image source

When should you replace a chain binder or transport chain?

Be sure to routinely check your binders for any signs of wear including bending, cracking, nicks, or gouges. If you find evidence of this, it’s best to replace your binder. As for your chains, you should be checking the individual links regularly for twisting, bending, stretching, or elongation. Don’t forget about checking hooks and other attachments as well.

 

Buy quality chain binders

If chain binders and transport chain sound like the cargo securement solution you need, there’s no better place to get them than US Cargo Control. With dozens of different chain binder options to choose from, as well as a variety of chain grades and chain hooks, we have the solution you need to safely and securely transport heavy cargo.

 

Using Tie Downs to Secure Cargo Loads Safely and Legally

During the 2017 CVSA International Roadcheck, improper cargo securement was the cause for 15.7% of vehicles being placed out of service.

Besides the risk of being placed out of service, there are a number of more serious consequences for improper cargo control securement, including citations and fines, damage to the vehicle, damage to the cargo, loss of the load, or even loss of life.

Taking the time to properly secure cargo loads using tie downs is always worth the time and effort. Read on to understand how tie downs should be used to ensure safe and legal cargo securement.

 

understand how to use tie downs

What is a tie down?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a tie down is a combination of securing devices (webbing, chain, rope, binders, shackles, D-rings, webbing ratchet, etc.) which forms an assembly that:

  1. Attaches cargo to, or restrains cargo on a vehicle.
  2. Is attached to an anchor point(s).

 

So, while we generally think of tie downs as just these:

how to safely use tie down straps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The word tie down by itself (without “straps”) can technically mean many things.

 

Working load limit for tie downs

The working load limit (WLL) for a tie down is the lowest WLL of any of its parts or the WLL of the anchor points it is attached to, whichever is less. Every device contributes to the WLL of the securement system.

using tie downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always use tie downs that are rated and clearly marked by their manufacturer. This not only gives you, the driver, peace of mind, it also makes it easy for shippers and inspectors to verify that you are using the proper equipment for the job.

 

using tie downs built with quality

 

How tie downs can be used to secure cargo

Tie downs are only safe and effective if they are properly secured to both the cargo and the vehicle. Take the time to ensure logical securement of your cargo to your vehicle.

There are two main ways tie downs can be used:

  1. Attached to the cargo.
    a. Tie downs can be attached to the vehicle and then attached to the cargo.
    b. Or, tie downs can be attached to the vehicle, passed through or around the cargo, and then attached to the vehicle again.

how to use tie downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Passed over the cargo.
    a. Tie downs may also be attached to the vehicle, passed over the cargo, and then attached to the vehicle again.

how to use tie downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspecting for proper cargo securement

Remember to periodically inspect your cargo during transit. It may seem like something that is always taking up your precious time, but just one loose strap can prove to be costly or even deadly.

Adjust cargo and load securement devices as necessary to ensure that cargo cannot shift or fall from the vehicle.

 

When is it time to get new tie-downs?

There are a few obvious signs that tell you it’s time to get new tie downs.

If your cargo control equipment shows any of the following, it’s time to invest in new tie downs.

  • knots or obvious damage
  • distress
  • weakened parts
  • weakened sections

time to get new tie downs

 

 

 

Remember, all components of a tie down must be in proper working order. Keep an eye on the condition of your tie downs to avoid inspection penalties or loss of load.

 

Time for new tie down equipment? Check out US Cargo Control for a huge selection of quality tie down equipment that is clearly rated and built to last.

 

A Complete Guide to Flatbed Trailer Tarps

Flatbed trailer tarps protect cargo from weather damage and general wear-and-tear that highway travel can cause. Tarps are waterproof and often made of vinyl, kevlar, or canvas with a polyethylene coating for added protection. Read on to understand the differences among types of flatbed trailer tarps, how to properly tarp a flatbed trailer, and how to repair a torn tarp.

 

Types of Flatbed Tarps

The type of tarp you should use depends on what you are hauling and how big it is. Not all tarps are created equal.

 

Lumber Tarps

how to use a lumber tarp

 

 

 

 

 

Lumber tarps are used on loads that are tall and box-shaped. They have flaps at each end to cover the ends of lumber. Both the sides and tail flap of a lumber tarp are usually fitted with grommets and multiple rows of D-rings for a variety of tie-down points. Usually, two lumber tarps are used to cover a flatbed load.

 

Steel Tarps

how to use steel tarps

 

 

 

 

 

Steel tarps on the most commonly used flatbed trailer tarp. They will also typically have grommets and D-rings built-in, however no flaps. They are used to protect shorter and lower-profile loads, and also used in combination with lumber tarps.

 

Smoke Tarps

how to use a smoke tarp

 

 

 

 

 

Smoke tarps only cover the upper front portion of a flatbed load. This protects loads from getting covered in exhaust fumes and dirt. They can also be used in combination with steel and lumber tarps when additional coverage is needed.

 

Machinery Tarps

how to use a machine tarp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Machinery tarps are designed to protect manufacturing or machine equipment from weather and road vibration. These heavy-duty tarps have grommets around the hems and multiple rows of D-rings on each side.

 

Coil Tarps

how to use coil tarps

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coil tarps are commonly used to protect steel or aluminum coils and cable spools during transport. Their rounded top-half allows for a fitted cover over cylinder-shaped loads. The side flaps are more rectangular shaped and split in each corner to allow transport chain to pass through.

 

How to Tarp a Flatbed Trailer Load

A tarp is only effective if it’s applied correctly and secured tightly. Follow these step for tarping a load on a flatbed trailer.

 

flatbed tarping

1. Lift your rolled-up tarp on top of the load and center it as best as you can.

2. You should always start from the back of your load. Start unrolling the tarp towards the back while keeping the centerfold of the tarp in the center of the load.

3. Once the tarp is unrolled, pull the bottom of the tarp so that it is covering the entire back of the load and touching the flatbed trailer.

4. Next, start unfolding the tarp once on each side, making sure it stays center.

5. If you are using multiple tarps repeat the steps above to cover any exposed cargo.

6. Once your tarps have been completely unrolled and your load is covered, roll up or fold in any excess tarp and secure the D-rings with bungee cords.

7. If your load is tall or oddly shaped, throw an extra tie-down strap over the tarp to prevent it from billowing.

 

How to Repair Tarps

Eventually, weather and prolonged use wear down tarps to the point that they must to be repaired to remain effective.

how to repair a tarp

  1.  Buy a flatbed tarp repair kit.
  2. Place the tarp on a flat surface with the underside facing up. Smooth out any wrinkled areas.
  3.  Cut a patch slightly larger than the tear.
  4.  Apply a heavy layer of tarp repair adhesive to one side of the patch and place over the tear.
  5.  Use a roller to smooth out and remove any air bubbles. Let dry for at least three hours.

 

Custom Tarps and Other Flatbed Equipment

Shop US Cargo Control for all your flatbed trailer equipment needs, including winch straps, winch bars, and custom tarps.

 

Hauling Wide Loads and Oversize Loads: Important Questions to Consider

Hauling wide loads or oversize loads can be a daunting challenge. There are many variables you must consider prior to taking on these jobs: permits, route selection, required truck and bed size, pilot cars, cargo securement equipment, and of course, oversize load/wide load banners and signage

Because wide load and oversize load regulations vary from state to state, the preparation required to haul these loads can often be more work than the haul itself.

 

What Makes a Shipment a Wide Load or Oversize Load? 

hauling oversize wide loads
Because these tires can’t be broken down into smaller parts, they must be hauled as an oversize load.

First, understand that a load is considered oversized based on either its width or weight. If your shipment is over on either measurement it is considered oversize. If your load meets all weight limits, but not width limits, it is considered a wide load.

Generally, if your vehicle or load is wider than 8’6″ you will need wide load permits. Legal length is usually 48′ to 53′, and maximum weight is about 46,000 pounds. However, this varies by state. Some states measure by the overall length while others only use kingpin to rear axle length.

For a comprehensive list of regulations by state, see our Wide Load and Oversize Load Banner Requirements by State post

If your shipment can be broken down into smaller or lighter parts, you will probably not be able to obtain wide load or oversize load permits.

 

When do Wide Loads and Oversize Loads Require Pilot Vehicles? 

oversize loads pilot car
Depending on your load size and route details, civilian or police escorts may be required.

If your shipment exceeds a 12′ width you may need one to two pilot vehicles. These vehicles will be able to warn you of any accidents, construction zones, bridges, low wires, or other upcoming hazards.  

Remember, many states only allow you to travel with pilot vehicles from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. 

 

How Many Safety Flags, Oversize Load Signs, and Wide Load Banners do you Need? 

Again, this all depends on the size of your shipment. Generally, you need red safety flags on all four corners of your tractor trailer and amber warning lights up top to meet visibility requirements.  

Also, you will most likely need oversize load signs or wide load banners in both the front and rear of your vehicle. If you have pilot vehicles with you, they may also need flags and lights. Keep in mind that many states restrict or prohibit oversize loads during the holidays and over weekends.

 

Be Prepared for Oversize Load and Wide Load Hauling 

With the proper planning, oversize load and wide load hauling become much more manageable. The next time you need the proper flags, banners, lighting, or signage for oversize load or wide load hauling, US Cargo Control can help get you what you want, when you need it. 

hauling oversize loads
Shop Oversize Load Signs

oversize load safety light
Shop LED Lights

oversize load safety flag for sale
Shop Red Safety Flags

SC&RA Hauling Job of the Year Spotlight: Precision Specialized, Edwards Moving & Rigging 

US Cargo Control is a proud member of the SC&RA and had a great time attending the SC&RA annual conference in Boca Raton earlier this year.  

The entries for 2018 Hauling Job of the Year were seriously impressive and now the results are in. 

Find out what it took for two transportation companies to take home the trophy in their respective categories and see their incredible entry videos below. 

2018 SC&RA award winners
2018 SC&RA Hauling and Moving job winners. Source: SC&RA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hauling Job of the Year – Under 160,000 Pounds

Precision Specialized, a flatbed trucking company out of Ontario, Canada took home this award. Their massive job entailed transporting 16 various sized modules for the world’s largest designer of modular plant and demonstration-scale systems. These expensive and fragile modules ranged in size from 40′ x 12′ x 12′ up to a whopping 40′ x 16′ x 14′. The driving route, from the Greater Toronto Area to just south of New York City, was nothing short of hectic.

First, weight-per-axle restrictions on the bridge connecting Canada to the U.S. required numerous special application requests. Then, construction patterns in Pennslyvania made it extremely difficult to find a viable route. Eventually, it took a full road closure for five miles in both directions and a tricky two-trailer load. After two years of careful planning, including trimming low-hanging trees and coordinating power line clearance, the job was successfully completed. Precision used their Aspen 95-ton, 13-axle rear steer perimeter trailer, with a custom-made 13-foot deck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3FEakrge6M?rel=0

 source: PrecisionGroupAG


Hauling Job of the Year – 160,000 Pounds to 500,000 Pounds 

Edwards Moving and Rigging out of Shelbyville, Kentucky won the trophy for this middleweight category. In May 2017, they hauled three of the largest-ever fully assembled turbines 230 miles, from New York to Pennslyvania. Each turbine weighed in at 375,000 pounds and measured 16.25′ tall by 16.48′ wide.

After six months of planning and coordination with upper-level DOT personnel, the first turbine was loaded and delivered. It took 10 days and about 2,993-man hours for it to reach its destination. The route included going through a private property owner’s yard and, at one point, crossing over an interstate median and driving on the opposite side of the interstate. The final permitted weight of the configuration came to 913,227 pounds and measured 345′ x 19.5′ x 18′. It was all handled by a dual-lane 32-axle Aspen A500 expandable transporter with three Kenworth C500 tractors as the prime movers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKetJ5G8N5I?rel=0

source: edwardsmovers


How to Enter Hauling Job of the Year Competition 

Does your transportation company have an outstanding job to share? Check out the rules and regulations to understand the different categories and judging criteria.  

For all your flatbed trailer equipment, including oversize and wide load signs, check out the USCC website for quality products that are backed by teams of dedicated consultants. 

How to Care for Ratchet Straps

Ratchet Straps and Tie Downs
US Cargo Control Ratchet Strap

Ratchet straps are one of the best ways to tie down and secure loads during transport. They’re relatively easy to use and care for, and US Cargo Control can customize them to your specific needs. Knowing how to care for your ratchet straps properly can extend their life and be more economical for you.

Our strong, yet lightweight, polyester straps are ideal for a variety of applications. The fabrication allows for very little stretch, and resists abrasions, as well as damage from UV rays and most common chemicals.

Their minimal absorption of water prevents shrinkage, mold, mildew, and rotting, even after being exposed to the elements over time. These qualities also make them a long-lasting and economical choice, especially for outdoor uses.

Ratchet Strap Maintenance and Storage

When straps are not in use, there are recommended ways to maintain and store them.

First, before storing them for any length of time, it’s important to make sure the webbing is clean and dry. To wash your straps after usage, before storage, simply hose them down with water and let them dry before storing.

If you find that your straps are not coming clean with this method, you can mix a mild detergent with warm water and scrub with a quality scrub brush to loosen any dirt and debris. Avoid bleach-based cleansers or any with acid additives.

Also, keep in mind that although it’s tempting to toss straps in a pile after usage, taking the time to wind up a strap is also an ideal time to inspect the webbing for rips, tears and abrasions. If you work with a lot of tie down straps, especially the 2”, 3″ and 4″ widths, check out our Strap Winder.

You preferably want to store ratcheting straps in a dry place away from sunlight. The actual steel ratcheting mechanisms build up corrosion over time if you leave them exposed to moisture–then they just become more difficult to use.

Items to Help Store Your Ratchet Straps

Bungee balls. These handy ties come in a bulk package of 100 so you’ll have plenty to wrap up your tie down straps, and some left over for other uses: securing canopies, keeping box lids closed, anchoring yard ornaments, bundling tent poles, etc.

Bungee cords. Like bungee balls, the uses are endless with bungee. Our bungee cord selection comes in a wide range of sizes, sure to fit around even your largest 4″ winch straps or ratchet straps.

Cinch strap. Velcro cinch straps are great for securing loose webbing. If you have a trailer with E-track installed, you can loop the strap through an E-track fitting with O-ring to keep straps up and off the floor.

If you have any questions about all things ratchet straps, give us a call at 866-444-9990.

Flatbed Starter Kits Convenient for New Drivers, Growing Fleets

Flatbed Starter Kits bundle essential must-haves to get your rig or fleet rolling. Whether you’re hauling lumber, steel, or both, our sales reps have carefully selected tarps, straps, chain, and additional accessories to properly secure and protect most any load. Or, we can put together a product mix just for you!

Easy, convenient, and value-priced — particularly for growing companies and setting up new drivers. Outfitting your trailer in a single step saves you valuable time and money, which are among our top priorities here at US Cargo Control. That, and providing quality offerings to help ensure your deliveries arrive safely and damage-free. Check out these application-specific assemblies:

Lumber

USCC’s Flatbed Starter Kit for Lumber Hauling features two of our largest (24’ x 27’) heavy-duty lumber tarps, each with an 8’ flap to seal the ends of the lumber units. This tarp style is also used as an all-purpose cover for hay bales, pallets, and other bulky cargo. Roughly two lumber tarps are needed to go across the entire surface of a load on standard 48’ or 53’ flatbed trailers.

The pack has 50 21” rubber tarp straps with crimped S-hooks that attach to the tarps’ integrated grommets and D-rings. Other tie downs include 10 4” winch straps and four 2” ratchet straps to further anchor the tarp and limit damage from whipping in the wind. A total of 20 plastic corner protectors will keep straps from crushing your cargo, as well as pad sharp edges of the load to extend strap life.

We’ve tossed in a winch bar for tensioning and releasing winch straps, along with a strap winder.

Steel

Designed to protect steel rods, sheets, cable, and lower-profile items, the Flatbed Starter Kit for Steel Hauling comes with two 16′ x 27′ steel tarps. Similar to a lumber tarp but without the end flap, each steel tarp is constructed from heavy-duty, 18 oz. PVC-coated polyester for superior tear resistance. A 4′ drop on all sides means your cargo is fully encased and shielded against rain, snow, wind, and road debris.

Two rows of D-rings on each side of the tarps, along with grommets spanning the perimeter, make tying down easy using the included 50 21” rubber tarp straps, six 4” winch straps, four 2” ratchet straps, and 12 plastic corner protectors for webbing up to 4” wide.

The kit comes with other tools, too. Eight grade 70 chains with grab hooks offer durability for stabilizing large loads. You also receive eight 5/16″ – 3/8″ ratchet chain binders and 16 steel corner protectors. Eight coil racks and eight coil mat friction pads reduce the risk of injury and damage caused by shifting during transit.

Deluxe (Lumber & Steel)

Prepare for hauling nearly anything. The versatility of the Flatbed Deluxe Starter Kit covers it all, including both lumber and steel. This version contains:

Custom

Don’t see the combination of products you need? Design your own! Any equipment can also be purchased separately. Call our sales team at 866-348-3473 to discuss custom options and pricing. We’re committed to supporting your operation’s success. What you want, when you need it.

US Cargo Control Employees Experience Hands-On Training

Flatbed training on products from uscargocontrol.com
Instructor Freddie Jones (left) leads an interactive hands-on training session with employees of US Cargo Control.

Sixty employees of US Cargo Control were recently treated to a Continuing Education opportunity at their offices in Urbana, IA. Instructors from nearby Kirkwood Community College’s Professional Truck Driving program led four separate two-hour training sessions featuring hands-on experience with a variety of tools and equipment drivers use to secure cargo on a flatbed trailer.

Freddie Jones, operations manager for Kirkwood’s Truck Driving program, and Dennis Carson, instructor for Kirkwood’s Truck Driving program, were the presenters for Friday’s training sessions. Both men have many years of real-life experience driving trucks.

The training began with a short video detailing some of the cargo securement laws that drivers must abide by, what a driver’s CSA (compliance, safety, accountability) score is and different ways it can be affected, as well as how to calculate Working Load Limit weights and the number of tie-downs necessary for a particular load.

The group then headed outside where a flatbed trailer was waiting with a skid loader and stack of pallets, both ready to be properly secured.

Hands-on items

Some of the equipment US Cargo Control employees learned to use included ratchet straps, tie down straps, winches, winch bars, chain, chain binders, corner protectors, tarps and tarp straps. Best-practices stories were also shared with the group.

Jones and Carson learned a few things from the US Cargo Control employees, as well. They were excited to discover tools offered by uscargocontrol.com like the Peerless QuikBinder™ Plus Ratchet Loadbinder that is easier to use than a more traditional ratchet chain binder; and the VeeBoards® Extension Handle that helps position corner protectors atop tall loads while the driver remains standing on the ground.

Ongoing Education

David Urlaub, US Cargo Control’s training coordinator, says the benefits of this type of training to the company’s employees are immeasurable. “Giving USCC employees the chance to use the products so they can take that back to their jobs and pass along correct information to the drivers who use our products is extremely important,” Urlaub said. He added, “We can better understand what a truck driver goes through on a daily basis to tie down their loads, and see how physical this job is for the drivers. Any products that make their life easier could be good additions to our site.”

While employees of US Cargo Control have ongoing product training throughout the year, this is the first hands-on training session. This training was funded by 260E dollars. The goal, according to Urlaub, is to have this type of training on an annual basis going forward.

Winches for Flatbed Trailers

67006-double-l-sliding-truck-tie-down-winch-black_1_375While a winch is a common term in the trucking industry, truck winches are still most often thought of as equipment designed for hoisting or hauling 4×4 trucks and sport utility vehicles while off-roading. Winches for flatbed trailers are different as they are designed for securing cargo straps to a flat bed trailer.

We’ve outlined the most common types of flatbed trailer winches. Generally, tractor trailer winches are right hand styles; left hand models are less common but are often available by request. Trucking winches are also classified as either side mount or bottom mount.

The different types of winches for tractor trailers include:

Weld-on Winches
Designed for permanent placement, excellent for strength and security and quick use.

Sliding Winches
Intended for use with winch track. Allows the operator to slide the winch to any spot along the track, then locks in place when tension is applied. Great for more precise strap placement that’s faster than removing and reattaching portable winches.

Portable Winches
Designed with two screws attached so you can place the winch just where you need it along the trailer side channel to offer exact strap placement where you want it.

Combination Winches
Can be used with either webbing winch straps or wire cable. Available in a sliding or weld on style.image

Low Profile Winches
Available as a sliding, portable or weld-on style, the low profile design reduces the risk of winch bar rollover, for an added measure of safety. It can also reduce tensioning time.

Lashing Winches
Can be either welded or bolted in place, or with a winch track, and offers the easy operation and fast release of a ratchet. A lashing winch is a smaller style than winches that accept 4″ webbing; this style is generally for use 2″ webbing.

Stake Pocket Winches
Turns standard stake pockets into instant anchor points for winch straps. Install easily without tools and can be removed when not in use. The popular Porta Winch is also a popular choice, as it’s available in both a standard outward off-set option and an inward off-set option to allow for track-mounted tarp clearance.

Ratcheting Cap
A simple cap that can be placed over any traditional winch to convert it to a ratcheting winch so it’s faster, easier, and safer to tension a strap. Our SilverCap® OverDrive™ ratcheting cap includes all parts.

Shop our full selection of winches and related equipment:

flatbed trailer winches from US Cargo Controlwinch track from US Cargo Controlwinch bars from US Cargo Control