How Many Tie Downs Do I Need?

881_10152845815947619_596881898_nshutterstock_174551804When you transport any type of cargo, it is important to use the correct number of tie downs to secure your load. The number of tie downs you need depends on the length and weight of the cargo you are transporting.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules state:

Use one tie-down if your cargo:

  • Is shorter than 5 feet and weighs less than 1,100 pounds

Use two tie-downs if your cargo:

  • Is 5 feet or shorter and weighs more than 1,100 pounds
  • Is longer than 5 feet, but shorter than 10 feet

Use a minimum of 4 tie-downs if your cargo:

  • Is heavier than 10,000 pounds

You’ll need to use additional tie-downs if your cargo is 10 feet or longer. The FMCSA recommends that you add one tie-down for every additional 10 feet of length. If extra footage does not add up to 10 additional feet, a supplemental tie-down is still needed.

The FMCSA has specific rules for hauling specific types of cargo (including logs, concrete pipe, automobiles and more) and for special purpose vehicles. These rules were put in place to decrease the number of accidents and injuries from shifting or falling cargo. This article from the FMCSA website includes a full explanation of the rules.Capture

Obviously, the safety of your cargo also depends on the working load limits  of the tie downs you choose. Learn more here: Aggregate Working Load Limits.

Always be proactive- check the number of tie down chains you need to secure your cargo, and make sure the tie downs you are using have a satisfactory working load limit and are in good working condition.

Questions about tie downs and working load limits? Give our product experts a call at 866-444-9990.

 

 

Employee Recommendation: Nylon Lifting Slings

slingNylon lifting slings are extremely versatile products and some of our best-sellers. Sales Specialist Jon tells why in this video.

Click over to shop these specific categories of slings, and keep in mind that all of our slings are completely customizable. You can call Jon or reach any of our sales team members at 800-660-3585 to discuss options.

 

Why use a wire rope thimble?

Wire_rope_with_thimble_and_ferruleAnytime a wire rope is bent so it can be attached to a hanging point, there is a risk that the eye could be crushed. The addition of a wire rope thimble to the eye protects the rope by guiding it into a natural curve and creating an extra layer of support.

Adding this protection not only provides a measure of safety, it also lengthens the working life of the wire rope. Wire rope thimbles are available in a range of strengths and materials:

8094-wire-rope-thimble-zinc-plated-standard-duty-3-32-1-8-25-pack_1_375
Standard/light duty zinc plated thimble

Standard/Light Duty. Our line of standard to light duty thimbles are zinc plated and available in multi-packs.

Heavy Duty. Heavy duty wire rope thimbles are also zinc plated like standard or light duty thimbles, but are hot dip galvanized, which creates a thicker coating than on standard/light duty models.

Type 304. A type 304 indication mean the thimble is manufactured in stainless steel which offers resistance to corrosion on the surface.

Regular/Light Duty 316. Standard/light duty thimbles are sold in multi-packs, but offer a 316 stainless steel material to make them resistant to high moisture or corrosive environments, particularly in marine applications.

Heavy Duty 316. A corrosion-resistant 316 stainless steel combines with heavy duty design, great for tough applications in marine environments.

5090-stainless-steel-thimbles-extra-heavy-duty-type-304-5-8-10-pack_1_640
Heavy duty Type 304 stainless steel thimble

Heavy Duty 304. Stainless steel offers corrosion resistance, ideal for general heavy duty uses where the thimble will be exposed to outdoor elements.

Extra Heavy Duty 304. While not as corrosion-resistant as type 316 stainless steel, these extra heavy duty stainless steel wire rope thimbles offer the highest strength.

To shop from our full selection of wire rope thimbles,  shackles, turnbuckles, and more, check out our Rigging Supplies & Rigging Hardware category.

 

Employee Recommendation: BlackLine Heavy Duty Ratchet Straps

Sales Specialist Britni gives her take on BlackLine, our own line of premium, heavy duty ratchet straps. Also available in winch straps; features include:

  • Thicker edging for durability. Created with a concentration of fabric, not wire or other enhancement.
  • 2″ straps with 13,000 lb. webbing.  Higher than typical 12,000 lbs. webbing.
  • 4″ straps with 24,000 lb. webbing.  The strongest available in the industry.

Shop the full line here: Heavy Duty BlackLine Straps

Customer Photos: Wire Rope in Military Vehicle Restoration

XXXXX100_12511We were happy to hear from Bob in New York, when he let us know he received his order of 6×37 wire rope and was impressed with the product. But we were really intrigued when he told us he was going to be installing the wire rope on his 1953 M37 Military Vehicle he was restoring.

Bob belongs to the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA). The non-profit group was founded in 1976, to provide an organization for military vehicle enthusiasts, preservationists, collectors, and historians who are interested in acquiring, restoring, preserving, safe operation, and public education of historic military transport vehicles. Bob’s local unit, Empire State West, buys and restores military vehicles for display at parades, car shows, and other events to honor and support our troops and veterans.

Bob is from a military family and has been involved in military vehicle restoration for more than 20 years. Here’s what he told us:

What is the most difficult aspect of the process?

1967 M35A3, rebuilt in 1997
1967 M35A3, rebuilt in 1997

To understand military vehicles, you have to keep in mind that different eras- WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc.- all used different vehicles . If you want a WWII jeep or CCKW (Deuce), you can spend months tracking down a suitable vehicle, and then arranging transport. Parts are found online, EBay, at Military Collector shows, or Military Vehicle parts dealers.

How long has it taken you to restore this particular vehicle?

About two years, but I did not work on it every day. The hunt for parts is a big part of the fun. Military vehicles always require some type of maintenance, so there is always a lot to do.

Do you have plans to restore another vehicle soon?

M274 mule
M274 Mule

My restorations are what are called “Motor Pool” vehicles, which are MV’s that would have been used by GIs in the field. My interest is Vietnam-era military vehicles, all the vehicles I have were of that era. I am currently putting the finishing touches on my M274 Mule. However, vehicles are never really done; you are always picking up items to add to your ride.

Tell us more about your local MVPA group.

The MVPA is a national organization and there are local clubs all over the country. Our local group, Empire State West, has about 30 members. Some members are veterans, some are not, but all have an interest in military vehicles. All the vehicles are owned and maintained by our members, we receive NO funding, so we try to attend events that are not too far from our core members (about 20-25 miles). Also MVs don’t have a lot of creature comfort- no heat or AC, and most are open vehicles. A rain day is a no show for us!1953 Dodge M37 weapons carrier.

If you’re in the Western New York area, the Empire State West group will be at the Soldiers through the Ages event on Memorial Day Weekend. You can find additional events in other states on the MVPA website: MV Events.

Interested in joining an MVPA? To find one in your area, visit the Find an Affiliate page.

 

Customer Photos: Adjustable Shoring Beams

image of shorting beams from USCargoControl.comWade sent us these photos showing how he used two of our 92″ adjustable aluminum shoring beams and horizontal e-track to create an elevated open loft area in his enclosed trailer. He spaced the beams to accommodate extra tires for his stock car, freeing up valuable floor space in the 28 foot long trailer.

“Before adding the shoring beams, I couldn’t carry as many tires as I would have liked on race day because they would take up too much room on the floor.”image of shoring beam load bars from USCargoControl.com

Shoring beams and E-track offer endless options for controlling cargo and making the very best use of space. While the beams create an extra space for holding tires, Wade says they also come in handy for securing gear: “I can roll in a portable tire rack and secure it to keep it from moving, and can also strap the hydraulic floor jack handle to the beam as well.”

image of USCargoControl.com shoring beams

Wade says the versatility of the E-track is what sold him on the system: “The great thing about the E Track is the adjustability. Now for storing the car for winter I have a storage rack in front of the car and behind it to make the best use of the space.”

To purchase the items shown here, visit:

 

What’s the Difference Between Moving Blankets?

image of moving blankets from US Cargo Control

We offer nine different moving blankets as well as a thinner “moving skin” so choosing can be confusing. The fabric and the binding of a moving blanket is what determines whether it’s the very best quality or a limited usage blanket.

Choosing a blanket should be based on your intended usage, and we’ve put our blankets into three categories for easy selection:

  • Choose one of our “Best” blankets if you need the best protection possible and intend to use the blanket repeatedly. The cotton and polyester blend fabric and woven polyester binding ensure it will last.
  • Our “Better” blankets can also be used more than once, but the all-polyester fabric and non-woven binding provides less protection than those blankets with a mix of cotton.
  • If you intend to use the blanket for just one or two moves, choose from our “Good” blankets. These have fabric and binding that are non-woven polyester so while not designed for multiple uses, they are more cost-efficient.

Check out this video for more information on how to choose a moving blanket:

 

What’s the difference between L-track and E-track?

Both e-track and l-track are track systems that accommodate fittings for tie-down straps. The main difference is the size and shape of the track. E-track has a wider, more flat profile than L-track and secures on the outside edge of the track. L-track (also called airline track or logistic track) has a more compact appearance and attachment points are inside the track.

image of aluminum l-track
L-track

L-track’s narrow width makes it great for installing in smaller spaces, like the bed of a pick-up truck. E-track is a good choice for use in an enclosed trailer or on the floor of an open trailer because of it’s lower profile.

E-track in a galvanized finish
E-track

E-track has been around longer than L-track so there are more options in straps and fittings, as well as color and metal choices, but L-track is gaining in popularity so look for more products to become available on our website in the coming months.

See this post for videos on installing both: L-track and E-track installation videos.

 

Have a question for our sales team? Send us a message in the comment box below!

 

 

What’s the Difference Between Seat Belt Webbing and Polyester Webbing?

3321-polyester-seat-belt-webbing-2-x-600-roll-mixed-gray_1_640A: Seat belt webbing is actually a polyester webbing but it’s slightly thinner and typically has a lower tensile strength than regular polyester webbing that’s usually used for ratchet straps, cam straps and winch straps. It obviously gets its name from its main use as webbing used for seat belts and other automotive restraints, but it can also be used for a variety of other applications: tents, tarps, bag straps, camping gear, boating accessories, garden and lawn equipment uses.

Both regular polyester webbing and seatbelt webbing have excellent qualities for rugged use: it will not shrink, rot, mildew, or mold, because it absorbs very little water. It also stands up well to UV rays and many acids.

You can see all of our cargo webbing here: Webbing.

Have a question for our sales team? Send us a message in the comment box below!

What’s the Best Way to Protect Furniture and Appliances when Moving?

Today’s answer comes from our resident Moving Supplies Expert, Sarah Watson. 

___________________________________________________________________________

Sarah Watson - USCC PhotoI truly think of myself as a Moving Supplies Superhero – saving the world, one moving blanket at a time.  My colleagues even call me SWatson which I believe sounds very special agent, superhero-like. Questions?  Call me at (800) 867-1210! Need a photo of an item, a specific measurement or a special quantity?  Ask me!

 

 

One of the most common questions we hear is “What is the best way to protect large pieces, such as soft sided furniture, hardwood furniture and stainless steel appliances during a move?”

Our advice is to pad-wrap them, which involves covering the furniture with several moving pads and blankets, securing the blankets with tape or Mover Bands, then wrapping with stretch wrap for a cinched, protected setup.

Our Stretch Wrap comes in two different styles.

3076-18-x-1500-80-gauge-blown-stretch-wrap_1_375
Blown stretch wrap

The first is our Blown Stretch Wrap which comes in an 80 gauge strength.  This is a more traditional style, often used by professional movers to secure Moving Pads around couches and hardwood furniture.

Torque® HandFilm Pre-Stretched Wrap
Torque® HandFilm pre-stretched wrap

The second style is our new Torque ® Pre-Stretched Stretch Wrap.  It is becoming the top-choice for our customers in the moving industry.  The roll itself is about 1/3 lighter than the weight of the blown stretch wrap. Plus, it’s already stretched and the amount of pressure required to wrap items is reduced which makes it much easier to apply.  One of the best features of the pre-stretched style is the double hemmed edge on the rim of the roll.  This makes it stronger and more damage resistant.  Drop a roll of this stretch wrap off a truck by accident and the roll will not dent like traditional stretch wrap!

Our moving pads (which we also call moving blankets), also come in different styles. Generally, we suggest a particular style based on the number of times you intend to use the blanket.

Supreme moving blankets
Supreme moving pads

If you’re a professional mover searching for the highest quality pad for repetitive use and extra protection, use our Supreme Moving Pads.

For the do-it-yourself movers who plan limited usage for the Pads, we suggest a lighter weight option such as our Econo Deluxe Pads.

Econo Deluxe moving blankets
Econo Deluxe moving pads

 

Ready to order? Visit the Moving Supplies section on our website and check out our full product line.

We know that shopping online is exciting, but can also be challenging – no worries, our Product Experts are available to answer your questions.  If you see a product on the website and you’re unsure if it will work for you – please don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 867-1210  We love talking to our customers and helping them find the exact item they need.

For now, I’m off to save the world – flying high in my Stretch Wrap uniform and Moving Blanket cape.

 

Customer Photos: Stainless Steel Shackles for Fishing

shark4These latest photos we’ve received were a little surprising. While we know stainless steel shackles are used in a wide variety of the industries we serve, fishing is not one that immediately comes to mind- especially when you’re used to hearing from customers in the rigging and lifting field.shark1

Dalton from Texas sent us these great photos of a 5’8″ bull shark he caught in Matagorda, Texas. He says he used one of our stainless steel shackles: the 3/16″ stainless steel bolt type anchor shackle to connect the hook drops to the rest of the shark leader.  shackle

This particular type of shackle is a great choice for an application like this since it offers an excellent combination of strength and protection against corrosion due to the Type 316 marine-grade stainless steel. The bolt pin design also allows for added securement since a nut is screwed on the end and a pre-drilled hole allows for a cotter pin to keep the bolt form loosening with extended use.

Dalton mentioned that this is just one of the many sharks he has caught with our shackles. We’re just hoping he keeps sending us pictures!

If you have pictures of our products in use- send them our way! Send us an e-mail at CustomerService@USCargoControl.com or post them to our US Cargo Control Facebook page.

What Is California Truck Rope?

Trucking rope: California truck rope from USCargoControl.comBefore understanding what exactly sets California truck rope apart, it’s important to understand about the different types of industrial rope out there.

Most rope can be broken into two categories: synthetic (manmade) fiber and natural fiber.  In recent years, many people have gone with synthetic ropes because they are often more suited for the type of work and endurance necessary.  While natural rope is softer to the touch and better holding up against direct sunlight and UV, it is also more prone to wear and rot.

 

The most common synthetic ropes fall under three categories:

  • Nylon rope
  • Polyester rope
  • Polypropylene rope

Generally speaking, polypropylene is the least expensive of the synthetic ropes and is known for being very lightweight but still strong.  This is an economic choice that serves the majority of people who find themselves in need of synthetic rope for some type of a job.  California truck rope is a very specific brand of polypropylene that offers the benefits nylon and polyester while keeping the inexpensive benefit of polypropylene.

What makes California truck rope different?

polypropylene California truck rope from USCargoControl.com

California truck rope is made specifically to pass the high expectations put forth by the California Highway Patrol Standards for tying down and hauling.  This means that this specific type of polypropylene rope not only has the same benefits as other polypropylene strands like resistance to mold, rot, mildew, chemicals, and road salts – but California truck rope has one huge advantage over most other synthetics: it has an ultraviolet inhibitor to help resist the sun damage issues that so many synthetic ropes have.

The most apparent difference between regular polypropylene rope and California trucker rope is the color: the three strand twist design features black and orange so it’s easy to differentiate from other synthetic ropes.

Trucker rope: not just for trucking

California truck rope offers so many benefits, it’s great for non-trucking uses as well. Available in multiple sizes from a mere ¼ inch in length to a solid 1 inch, it can be a good choice for water and snow ski rope, pool rope, general utility rope, and more- any task that requires lightweight strength, floating abilities, resistance to abrasions, UV rays, water, road salts, and chemicals.

Not sure which rope is right for your job? Give our sales team a call at 866-444-9990 – they’ll be glad to help.

To purchase California truck rope online, follow these links:

California Truck Rope: 1/4″

California Truck Rope: 5/16″

California Truck Rope: 3/8″

California Truck Rope: 1/2″

California Truck Rope: 1″