Chain Binders

What is a chain binder?

Also called a load binder, chain binders are a device to tighten chain when securing a load for transport. There are two general styles of chain binders –  ratchet binder and lever binder. The method of tightening the binder is what differentiates the two.

Ratchet Binder

  • Uses a ratcheting action to create tension in the chain.
  • Also called a ratchet load binder or simply a ratchet chain, it consists of two tension hooks on each end and handle.
  • Because ratchet binders are designed with a gear, handle, pawl, and end fittings, it will not store as much energy in the handle like a lever binder will.
  • A ratchet-type binder is easier to adjust in finer increments without the recoil or snap back effect of a lever binder.

Lever Binder

  • Uses a leverage action to create tension in the chain and stores kinetic energy in its handle.
  • Also called a lever chain, lever load binder, or snap binder, it has a tension hook on each end.
  • This type of chain binder generally requires more strength to tighten it.
  • Lever binders are generally easier to install because it has fewer moving parts.

Both lever binders and ratchet binders work similarly, and should be chosen based on operator preference.

What are the different sizes for chain binders and how do I choose?

Two measurements determine the size of a lever binder or ratchet binder, but let’s first outline chain grade.

There are two main grades of chain for tie-down applications:

Grade 43 high test chain is used for stationary, non-transport tie downs.

Grade 70 transport chain is for objects being transported on a flatbed or other moving vehicle.

Each binder can be used with either size of equipment chain for the appropriate application, but since the different grades have different load limits each binder will be marked with the appropriate chain dimensions for both types of chain for proper performance. The first measurement (smaller) identifies the Grade 70 chain dimension, the second measurement (larger) identifies the Grade 43 chain size required.

Keep the weakest link theory in mind to maximize your working load limit: choose a work load limit equal to or greater than the chain.
Example:

image of lever binder

5/16″ – 3/8″ Lever Binder.

The 5/16″ specifies the chain binder can be used with 5/16″ Grade 70 Transport Chain or it can be used with 3/8″ Grade 43 High Test Chain.

Small binders can technically be used for both 5/16″ or 3/8″ chain in either grade, but if you pair one with 3/8″ Grade 70 transport chain the binder will be weaker than the chain, making the binder the weakest part of the assembly. If you are working with 3/8″ Grade 70 chain, the best choice is to pair it with a 3/8″ – 1/2″ chain binder so that binder and the chain are of equal strength.

Chain binders should have the size, break strength, and working load limit marked on the handle for easy identification.

Flatbed Tarps: Lumber Tarps and Steel Tarps

Flatbed truck tarps are an essential for any flatbed truck driver. There are differences between a lumber tarp and a steel tarp, as well as features to look for in both.

Lumber tarp
A lumber tarp is generally used for long haul truckers to protect lumber, hay, pallets, and other bulky cargo. It is designed with a flap to fully cover the ends of the load.

One of our best-selling heavy duty lumber tarps unfolded:

Steel tarp
A steel tarp are sometimes sized slightly smaller than a lumber tarp and is four-sided to protect loads of steel rods, sheets, cables, etc. that have a lower profile.

Weights and construction
Tarps also come in different weights so there’s something that will work for nearly any job. Although all of our tarps are made of PVC-coated polyester for excellent tear resistance, the weight of the fabric differs between the lightweight, mid-weight and heavy-duty styles. Depending on the drop size (height), each tarp has either two or three rows of D-rings running the length of the tarp

The d-ring construction also differs slightly. Lightweight and midweight tarps are designed with fabric abrasion strips that run the entire length of the tarp to add protection:

Image of mid-weight lumber tarp d-rings

 

 

 

 

 

Heavyweight tarps have additional fabric abrasion pads stitched to the tarp underneath the D-ring:

Image of heavy-duty lumber tarp d-ring

 

 

 

 

 

Colors
Many of our stock tarps are available in black, red or blue on our website. Several are also available in green, yellow, gray, and white by calling our sales team toll free at 866-444-9990.

Tarp accessories
Repair kit. Even the most durable tarp can tear over time, so be sure to keep a tarp repair kit on hand. It includes a patch and vinyl cement so you won’t have to order the two separately.
Corner protectors. These are an inexpensive way to protect your tarp from abrasions, as well as your cargo. Our corner protectors are available in steel and plastic in a variety of sizes.
Rubber tarp straps and rubber ropeTarp straps come in a variety of lengths, in both natural rubber and EPDM rubber. Rubber rope is another great option since you can create custom length straps when paired with a .

Tarp Straps: Natural Rubber vs. EPDM

Here in the Midwest- like most of the country- we’ve had some extreme temperatures this summer. While we all know hot temps can be dangerous if you’re outside for a long time, it’s also important to remember your outdoor equipment is taking a beating in the heat and sunlight as well.

One type of equipment that can be purchased specifically for temperature and climate conditions is tarp straps. Did you know there’s difference between EPDM tarp straps and natural rubber tarp straps? Although they may look the same, there are some differences that make one a better choice over the other.

EPDM is Eethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, which is a type of synthetic rubber. EPDM rubber offers excellent resistance to heat, ozone, acids and bases, which is why it’s very common in the automotive industry in the form of seals, hoses, belts, etc. Because it stands up so well to extreme temps, it’s ideal for hot climates, and for summer use in all climates where it will be exposed to heat and sunlight. EPDM rubber tarp straps are an excellent choice for the hot summer months.

Natural rubber tarp straps are ideal for winter and cooler climates as natural rubber will not crack and split in colder conditions. Natural rubber tarp straps will also stretch further than EPDM and will also return to its non-stretched, normal length quicker than an EPDM strap will.

Rubber tarp straps are relatively inexpensive (especially if you buy them in our bulk quantities of 50 per box) so if your straps will be exposed to the elements in the hottest summer temps and coldest winter temps, it’s a good idea to switch them out from season to season. Our best sellers in bulk quantities include a 21″ length and a 31″ length. Pallet price discounts are also available, which cuts the price per strap even more- call our sales team at 866-444-9990 for more information.

About tarp straps from US Cargo Control:

  • Both natural rubber and EPDM straps are sold individually, in bundles of 10 or in boxes of 50.
  • Lengths include: 9″, 15″, 21″, 31″, 41″.
  • Replacement tarp strap hooks are also available in a 100-ct. quantity.

 

 

New Products Review: Flatbed Trailer Products

Lots of new products have rolled out onto our US Cargo Control website lately, including many in our flatbed trailer group from Merritt®- a trusted manufacturer in the industry.

If there’s a product or a group of new items you’d like to see added to our website, be sure to let us know- either by a comment below or contacting us at 866-444-9990.

Headache Racks

Image of headache rack
Merritt® Headache Rack

A Merritt® Equipment headache rack is an excellent investment for a truck/trailer. Sometimes also known as limited security racks (LSR) or cab guards for trucks, these not only look sharp but can add a measure of security to the cab in the event of an accident. We offer two aluminum cab guard styles: 70″ wide with E-Z view window and an 80″ wide with chain racks. Both feature Dyna-Tube extrusion on the outer edge for a tough yet smooth aerodynamic border. Mounting kits in both a 17″ size and a 21″ size are also available so you’ll have everything you need for easy installation.

 

Tire Chain Carriers

Image of tire chain carrier
Merritt® Tire Chain Carrier

It’s not too early to be thinking of winter driving. Tire chain holders that mount right to the frame are a great way to keep chains organized, and a locking lid keeps them secure. The space-saving design is only 8” wide and is available in both an 18” size for frames with fairing packages and a 24″ size for open frame models.

Also be sure to check our selection of tire chains. We offer two styles, both from Pewag, a trusted manufacturer in the chain industry.

 

Deck Covers

Image of deck cover
Merritt® Deck Cover

Aluminum Dyna-Deck covers are a simple, fast way to create sturdy walking deck spaces on your rig. The top-mount design is ribbed to create a non-skid surface and allow for draining. Variable mounting points make them easy to install, with no drilling required. All are 33.25″ wide so they easily slide together. Choose from three different lengths:  18.5″L, 28″L, 37.5“. Each deck cover meets DOT regulations for a walk area. 

Heavy Duty Lumber Tarp for Flatbed Trailers

Learn more about the waterproof heavy duty lumber tarp shown in this video.

Lumber tarp features oversized d-rings in 3 rows that run the length of the tarp and abrasion resistant pads for increased durability.

Specifications:

  • Heavy duty 18 oz. PVC coated polyester on top and sides
  • 24′ x 27′ with 8′ flap
  • Colors: black, blue, red, green, yellow, gray and white.
  • Shipping weight:  110 pounds