What are Ratchet Straps Made Of?

ratchet strap with chain extensionBecause ratchet straps are used for trailers, interior van trailers (logistic straps for L-track or E-track systems), moving trucks, and many other types of vehicles that haul bulky or heavy cargo, all of our  ratchet straps are made of high quality, industrial grade webbing.

Ratchet straps are typically made from a polyester fabric, which is strong, durable, and has very little stretch to keep large loads properly secured. Polyester webbing also resists damaging UV rays and most common chemicals, and because it absorbs very little water, it is resistant to mildew, mold, rotting, and shrinkage.

If you need a ratchet strap with stretch, nylon webbing can be used. Call us about custom ratchet straps, we can create a nylon ratchet strap built to your specifications. You can also purchase nylon webbing  and create your own straps by adding your own tie down hardware.Sewing Strap

All of our ratchet strap listings include break strength information for both the webbing and the ratchet assembly. We also calculate the working load limit (WLL) on our ratchet straps. The WLL is the maximum load which should be applied to the securing devices, even when the straps are in new condition. For additional industry key terms, see the Glossary on our website.

The WLL is computed by determining 1/3 of the break strength of the weakest component (either the webbing or the hardware) being used. For example, a ratchet strap that has a web break strength of 12,000 lbs. and an assembly break strength of 10,000 lbs. will have a WLL of 3,333 lbs., which is 1/3 of 10,000 lbs.

Our DOT approved ratchet straps are tagged with WLL information and also meet many industry guidelines, including:

  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Web Sling & Tie Down Association (WSTDA)
  • North American Cargo Securement

If you have a question about our products, shipping, prices, or custom orders, give us a call at 866-444-9990. We’re happy to help you with all of your cargo securing needs.

Customer Review: BlackLine Winch Straps

100_3699This guest post is courtesy of US Cargo Control customer Randy Fischer.

A strap is a strap is a strap, right?  That’s what I used to think.  They’re all basically the same 4″ of poly-something-or-other webbing, with a hook or chain on one end.  Usually colored yellow, for some strange reason.  I always figured it just meant they were all manufactured in the same place and all the different cargo control companies just branded them with their own names and marketed them to truckers, each claiming that theirs was somehow superior to the others.

How can one be any better than another?  They all have the same exact 5,400 lb.Working Load Limit stamped right there on the tag, right?  So I, like most truckers, just bought my straps from whichever place I could find that had the best price.

That’s how I first became aware of US Cargo Control.  They seemed to have better pricing than the “other 100_3702guys.”  I ordered about a dozen straps from them.  I was not disappointed.  They’ve served me well over the years, but alas, they do not last forever.  Invariably, a tiny little tear on the edge of the strap will begin to form.  It doesn’t take long from there.  Once a rip gets started, it will spread rapidly straight across the webbing.  I had a few straps doing this recently and knew it was time to replace them.

Lisa from US Cargo Control asked me if I’d be interested in trying out their new BlackLine series of straps.  Sure…..Why not?  I still didn’t realize how they were any different, other than being a different color.

I was wrong!  These straps are waaaaay stronger!  I’m not exactly sure if it’s the material itself that is so much stronger, or the fact that it has a tighter weave along the edges, some combination of the two, or if they are weaved by little magic elves in the middle of the night while nobody’s around.  I don’t care, all I know is they’re strong.  The specs on the label prove it.  A 24,000 lb. breaking strength?  Incredible!  A 6,670 lb Working Load Limit?  Unheard of!!

100_3698 Sure, they cost a few bucks more than their regular straps, but still cheaper than most of the “other guy’s” plain old yellow straps.  I can’t help but believe they’ll last much, much longer.  It’s not going to be easy for a rip to get started on these puppies.

So, I’m happy to admit that I was wrong.  Not all straps are created equal.  From now on, only BlackLine straps will be appearing on my trailer (after I finish wearing out the rest of my yellow ones).  If you’re a flat-bedder, show the rest of the drivers you mean business, show them you’re a professional, show them you’re a “black belt”!!

-Randy Fischer  (aka:  “Riding Shotgun with Randy” on Facebook)

 

 

What are E-Track Shoring Beams?

2895-92-aluminum-shoring-beam-extends-to-103_2_640
92″ Adjustable Aluminum Shoring Beam – Extends to 103″

E-track shoring beams  can serve a dual purpose. Not only can they secure cargo safely inside a trailer, they can also be used to provide additional storage space.

E-track shoring beams attach to e-track rails that are installed inside your truck or trailer. Also called load bars, cargo bars, or load locks, the adjustable beams snap into the e-track rails and prevent loads from shifting during transport. E-track shoring practice3beams are perfect for securing large, bulky cargo that may damage other items or your vehicle itself if the load shifts in transport.

Shoring beams are also sometimes called decking beams because of their ability to create more usable space inside your vehicle. Just add two or more beams at the same interval on the E-track and secure a piece of plywood on top of the beams to create a surface area. Our load bar shoring beams are available in both steel and aluminum to suit a variety of applications.

You can also create a storage rack with two beams without using plywood, check out how US Cargo Control customer Wade did so in IMAG0334his trailer: Customer Photos: Adjustable Shoring Beams.

Like any tool, cargo bars should be stored properly when not in use. Failure to do so can result in serious injury because the beams can become dangerous projectiles in the event of a sudden stop or an accident. A great option: Yellow Rack™ shoring beam holder.

To shop all of our  E-track rails, straps, and accessories, click over to: E Track Straps & Tie Downs. Don’t see a strap or hook you need? Give us a call at 866-444-9990 and we’ll do our best to track it down for you.

Need help in deciding whether to install vertical or horizontal E-track? Check out this video for a quick overview of the difference of the two.

 

 

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!