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

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

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

What is the Purpose Behind the Test Bed?

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

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

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

What is the Test Bed?

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

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

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

Why Did US Cargo Control Get a Test Bed?

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

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

What Results Have We Seen?

Using the test bed for a nylon lifting sling

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

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

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

What Does the Test Bed Mean for Our Customers?

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

What Products Are We Using Currently with the Test Bed?

US Cargo Control creating tiedown straps in house

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting You What You Want, When You Need It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US Cargo Control’s YouTube Channel

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

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

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

What is an L-Track System?

customer using US Cargo Control's l tracks

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

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

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

What Can I Use an L-Track For?

what to use L-tracks for

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

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

The Different Styles of L Tracks

different styles and types of L tracks from US Cargo Control

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

Standard

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

Aircraft

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

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

Read the differences between the Airline and the Standard.

Angled

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

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

Recessed

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

How to Install L-Track

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

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

How to Install L Track Rails on a Pickup Bed

What L Track Accessories Can I Use?

what l track accessories to use from US Cargo Control

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Don’t know how many you need to secure your load? Read to learn more.

When you are securing your cargo load with tiedowns, it is crucial to know how many you need. Protecting your cargo with the correct amount of straps is important so you can transport and deliver it safely. Read on how to use ratchet straps, how many you need, and what to use to protect them.

How to Use Ratchet Straps

using several straps to tie down straps load

Learning how to use cargo straps is beneficial to how many you need for the task in front of you. Our ratchet straps are an important player in transporting cargo and once you understand how to use them, you’ll be a pro at it!

We have a wide variety of ratchet tie down straps in so many sizes and styles, and each of them is listed with weight capacities. To learn more about how to thread a ratchet strap, check out one of our product experts explaining the steps.

Source: US Cargo Control

How Many Heavy Duty Ratchet Straps Do I Need?

truck straps for your tie down application needs

Depending on the weight and length of your cargo, the number of straps vary. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, they state that you only use one tiedown if your cargo is shorter than 5 feet and less than 1,000 pounds.

If your cargo is shorter than 5 feet but weighs more than 1,000 pounds or is between 5 to 10 feet long, then you would need to have two straps. Keep in mind that for the first 10 feet of length, it must be secured by two tiedowns. Then for every additional 10 feet, you would add one tiedown.

We recommend that if you are transporting 10,000 pounds or more, then to use at least four tiedowns. Be sure to use corner protectors to protect your straps, which is explained more below.

How Do I Protect Them?

blue corner protector to protect your cargo or your strap
Corner Protector – Blue

To prevent your ratchet straps from getting damaged from edges, consider using corner protectors. Also known as corner guards, they can extend the life of your ratchet straps.

Corner protectors are inexpensive and they can protect not just your straps, but also your cargo, chains, tarps or any covers that you will use in tie down applications. For how to store your ratchet straps, read 10 Ways to Store Tie Down Straps.

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.

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

Ever saw random numbers on your load-bearing equipment and didn’t know what they mean? Read to learn what working load limit, break strength, and safety factor mean.

Have you picked up a ratchet strap and saw numbers labeled on the strap, and wonder what they mean? Chances are you’re reading the working load limit or break strength. Every piece of load-bearing equipment states these requirements to let you know how much weight that piece of rigging is capable of securing.

When it comes to securing fragile or heavy loads, it is crucial that the product can secure the load without breaking. Although these terms are normally stated, there is confusion about what these terms mean. Read on below to learn what working load limit, break strength, and safety factor mean.

What Does Working Load Limit Mean?

shackle displaying the wll
Displaying a Shackle with the Working Load Limit

Many people ask about the working load limit, and this is a term to not mix up with breaking strength. Abbreviated as WLL, it is the rating that should never be exceeded when using a product like a ratchet strap. Before using a piece of load-bearing equipment, always make sure to look at the working load limit before use as it is the maximum allowable loading force.

Something to keep in mind is the working load limit is always 1/3 of the breaking strength. So if a ratchet strap has a breaking strength of 15,000 pounds, then the strap will have a working load limit of 5,000 pounds.

To learn how to secure your cargo, read how to use tie downs to secure cargo loads safely and legally.

If the Working Load Limit is Included, is the Break Strength Important?

breaking strength meaning displayed on our tag
Displaying a custom strap with the Break Strength and Working Load Limit

The break strength is equally as important as the working load limit. The break strength refers to the point at which your load-bearing equipment will fail. It is expressed in pounds and/or kilograms, and will actually fail if you go over the required amount.

When a ratchet strap is made with webbing, end fittings, and a ratchet all with a 10,000-pound breaking strength, then the break strength of the overall product will stay 10,000 pounds. However, if the same strap has a ratchet with an 8,000-pound break strength, then that would reduce the product’s strength to 8,000.

What is the Correlation with Safety Factor?

factor of safety, what is factor of safety?
Multiple tie downs securing cargo loads

Safety factor, also known as Design Factor, determines the ratio between the working load limit and break strength. The working load limit’s rating should never exceed when using a sling or tiedown, and this safety factor provides an allowance for shock loading, G force, and other unforeseen factors.

How Do I Know my Load-Bearing Equipment is Failing?

To make sure your lifting equipment is performing its best, perform an inspection. If you see any damage to the product, dispose of it. To give you an insight into what kind of damage you can potentially see, read these examples:

  • Holes, tears, cuts, snags, or embedded particles
  • Broken or worn stitching
  • Abrasive wear
  • Bending
  • Melting, charring, or weld spatter
  • Acid or alkali burns
  • Any other visible damage which causes doubt to the strength of the equipment

When selecting a ratchet strap, lifting sling, shackle, or any other product, select the product that has suitable characteristics for the type of load, environment, and attachment to the vehicle.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to be safe when securing heavy loads. If you have any questions about the safety requirements, give our team a call at 800-404-7068.

3 Accessories Every Enclosed Trailer Hauler Should Have

Make sure you have these three items to secure and protect your cargo load for the long haul.

Whether you’re hauling items in an enclosed trailer or van, here’s what you need to ensure your cargo arrives intact.

When driving an enclosed trailer, it might seem that there is little to worry about. Unless you forget to close a door, your cargo won’t be flying out of the trailer or exposed to outside elements anytime soon. So why even bother to secure your cargo, right?

Although enclosed trailers offer inherent protection that flatbed trailers can’t, there is still a strong chance you will experience damaged cargo at some point, and securing your cargo with the proper equipment is the quickest and smartest way to prevent this.

Make sure you have these three items to secure and protect your cargo load for the long haul.

1. Moving Blankets

Moving blankets, also known as moving pads or packing blankets, provide a thick covering that helps prevent damage to your cargo or valuables. Moving blankets can prevent dents, scratches, or abrasions that can occur while you are driving and your cargo is potentially shifting. For even better results, consider using ratchet straps, moving straps, or another type of tie-down to secure the load better.

These blankets come in quantities of a single pack, 4-pack, or 12-pack, and they are very durable and machine washable. What is also unique about our selection of moving blankets is that you can choose from various fabrics, weights, and binding materials. This choice allows you to select the moving blanket that is best for your needs.

2. E-Track Straps

E-Track straps are common straps to use for cargo securement in enclosed trailers. You can use these straps in trailers, cargo vans, moving vans, enclosed semi-trailers, and other applications. These are different from an L-Track strap as L-Track has a lower profile and are typically used in a pick-up truck. E-Track is more heavy-duty and overall stronger. This makes it a great installment to use to keep your valuable cargo, equipment, and even vehicles tied down during transport.

We carry E-Track Ratchet Straps and E-Track Cam Buckle Straps, in 2′, 5’, 8′ and 10’ sections. They come in colors yellow, blue, and grey.

Learn more about the differences between L Track Straps and E Track Straps

3. Cargo Nets

Besides straps and moving blankets, we also carry cargo nets that will keep cargo from moving during transport. Also known as a bungee net, they can be easily attached to nearly any section of your enclosed trailer. We carry heavy-duty cargo nets used for enclosed trailers and light-duty cargo nets that are used for pick-up trucks. The other difference between these nets is that the heavy-duty cargo net is made of 2″ black polyester webbing with a break strength of 10,000 lbs and the light-duty cargo net is either made of a high-quality bungee material or a tough, 2” wide polyester webbing.

If you cannot find a cargo net that meets your needs, we can create a custom net for your specific needs! To learn more about the cargo nets we carry and create, watch the video below.

Source: US Cargo Control

We also carry load bars and cargo bars, D- rings, and L-Track systems. Learn more about all the Enclosed Trailer Accessories we carry on our website.

Or, call our team of experts at 800-404-7068 if you have any questions or need more information.

Extracting a Stuck Vehicle

When extracting a stuck vehicle, many factors can affect the actual pulling force needed. Read on to learn what they are.

How to Calculate Minimum Winching Effort & Minimum Working Load Limit

extracting a stuck vehicle calculation formula

When extracting a stuck vehicle, many factors can affect the actual pulling force needed, as well as selecting recovery equipment with high enough load ratings.

During a recent Iowa Corn Growers Event hosted at US Cargo Control headquarters, Tim Sanders, a Trucking and Transporation expert, and USCC business development specialist, gave an informative overview of what goes into effectively extracting a vehicle that’s stuck in the mud, sand, gravel, snow, etc.

When work needs to get done, it may seem tempting to just grab a strap or chain and pull until something happens. However, if you take a few minutes to do some simple calculations, you’ll likely save time in the long run and more importantly, help ensure the safety of those around the extraction scene.

The formula for calculating the required minimum recovery capacity

Total vehicle weight (W), additional rolling resistance (ARR), and additional gradient resistance (AGR). Once you have these calculations, you can quickly determine the recovery equipment strength you will need:

  1. What does the stuck vehicle weight, including all cargo, attachments, trailers, etc.?

    This is the “W” part of the formula.
  2. What factors will add to the pulling effort and safe working load limits required to pull the total weight of the vehicle?

    When we say “additional factors” we’re mainly talking about two things: additional rolling resistance (ARR) and additional gradient resistance (AGR)

Minimum Capacity Required = W + ARR + AGR

tim sander USCC sales and trucking gear expert
USCC Business Development Specialist, Tim Sanders, shares how to determine the minimum recovery equipment capacity required for extracting a vehicle to a crowd of Iowa Corn Grower Members

Calculating additional rolling resistance

Additional rolling resistance (ARR) is essentially the surface in which the vehicle is stuck or will need to get over in order to become free. Different surface types have different multipliers that, when multiplied by the total vehicle weight, give you the “ARR.”

Keep in mind that these calculations assume the wheels are level with each other.

how to calculate additional rolling resistance by surface type
This chart shows the multipliers for different surface types. Multiply the total weight of the stuck vehicle by the appropriate multiplier to get total “ARR.”

Calculating gradient resistance

Gradient resistance (AGR) is simply the degree of slope that the extraction may take place on. The greater the slope, the higher the multiplier. Again, you will take the total weight of the stuck vehicle and multiply by the appropriate multiplier.

chart for calculating gradient resistance when extracting a stuck vehicle
This chart shows the multipliers for different degrees of slope. Multiply the total weight of the stuck vehicle by the appropriate multiplier to get total “AGR.”

Example Calculation

Let’s say the total weight of the stuck vehicle is 42,000 lbs., and it’s stuck in the snow with a 15-degree slope. Can you figure out the minimum capacity required? Remember the formula is:

Minimum Capacity Required = W + ARR + AGR

See below for the answer.

example calculation of minimum capacity required
Assuming all the factors on the left side of this chart, here is how to calculate the minimum capacity required for extracting a vehicle

Selecting the right recovery straps

Make sure the working load limit of the recovery equipment is greater than the minimum capacity required. Additional resistance could be encountered when the stuck vehicle is deeply submerged, or there is damage to the vehicle that prevents it from moving. When in doubt contact a vehicle recovery expert.

More Vehicle Recovery Resources

If you’re needing to pull an automobile out of snow that’s close to a public roadway, there are specific steps to take to ensure safety beyond just recovery capacity. Click the link above to learn what they are.

We also have resources that cover the common questions our team gets like how to choose a recovery strap and auto-recovery straps vs. tow straps.

If you have further questions on recovery straps and safe vehicle extraction, give Tim or anyone on our team a call at 800-969-6543.

NOTE: This article contains important safety information about the use of synthetic web slings. However, it does not contain all the information you need to know about handling, lifting, and manipulating materials and loads safely. Sling use is only one part of a lifting system and it is your responsibility to consider all risk factors prior to using any rigging device or product. Failure to do this may result in severe injury or death due to sling failure and/or loss of load