What is a Snatch Block?

lisam
Lisa Mathews, US Cargo Control Sales & Service Specialist

A common question we hear is what is the difference between a snatch block and other types of blocks and pulleys?

All of the items we sell in the Snatch Blocks & Wire Rope Pulleys category can be called blocks or wire rope pulleys, but snatch block refers to a particular type of block. A snatch block has a side plate sometimes called a cheek plate, that can be opened for easy insertion of cable without having to remove the load or fittings from the end of the wire. The process of inserting a line into a block is called reeving.

Snatch blocks are often used in applications to move loads over short distances, as opposed to long lifts and continuous service.  They are called snatch blocks because they are often used in conjunction with a winch in a recovery application, and can improve the functionality of a winch by increasing its pull power. It also allows you to change the direction of your winch’s cable when the anchor point is offset.21009-4190-snatch-block-w-shackle-3-8-wire-x-3-sheave_1_375

With so many different styles and weight and size safety guidelines, it’s important to know what to look for when choosing a snatch block for the job. Important safety factors to keep in mind:

  • Check the Work Load Limit (WLL) of the snatch block as well as the wire rope. If the WLL of the wire is not compatible with the WLL of the pulley, it can be extremely dangerous should either fail.
  • Coordinate the size of the sheave in the snatch block to the diameter of the wire rope. If the wire rope is too large for the sheave, it can crack the block when under pressure. Generally, the wire rope-to-sheave size ratio should be 12:1 in order to hold the wire properly while under load.
  • Know your numbers. Because a snatch block can cut the direct pull load in half, choose a rigging pulley that has a rating of double the pull of the winch you’ll be using with it.

Choosing the right block and all the equipment to go along with it can be confusing. If you have any questions about using snatch blocks, choosing wire rope blocks, working load limits, etc., contact me or any one of our sales specialists at 800-660-3585. We’ll be happy to help.

-Lisa 

 

 

Are Moving Blankets Machine Washable?

Sarah Watson - USCC PhotoWe’re often asked if our moving blankets can be washed in a washing machine.

Our “Best” category includes three machine-washable moving blankets. Their heavy-weight construction with woven polyester binding on all four sides allows them to be washed and re-used repeatedly. Keep in mind, even though these blankets are classified as washable, we do not recommend drying them.  Hang dry is the route to go if you want to extend the life of the blanket.

Our “Best” Moving Blankets are available in 1-Dozen, 4-Pack, and single quantities, and  include:

3533-supreme-cotton-moving-blankets-95-100-lbs-dz_1_375
1 Dozen Pack, $154.99

Supreme Moving Blanket

  • Cotton/polyester fabric blend
  • Woven polyester binding
  • Maximum protection
  • Black / white
  • Ultra heavy weight
  • Great for sound proofing or as pet bedding
  • Machine washable/hang to dry

 

3531-moving-blankets-pro-mover-blanket-72-x80-bl-bl-82-87-lbs-dz_1_375
1-Dozen Pack, $149.99

Pro Mover Moving Blanket

  • Microfiber fabric
  • Woven polyester binding
  • Heavy weight provides excellent protection
  • Blue both sides
  • Guaranteed colorfast
  • Softer microfiber fabric is great for pet bedding

 

 

8244-moving-blankets-performance-mover-blanket-cotton-75-80-lbs-dz_1_375
1-Dozen Pack, $129.99

Performance Moving Blanket

  • Cotton/polyester blend fabric
  • Woven polyester binding
  • Mid-weight
  • Very high quality
  • Black / white
  • Durable for many uses

 

 

While moving blankets in our “Best”category are some of our top sellers, we also offer seven additional types of blankets which are great for moving, as well as a variety of other uses. Check out this article for some great ideas: Moving Blankets- Not Just for Moving Anymore.

Better Moving Blankets
Even though we don’t recommend machine-washing our group of “Better” moving blankets, they can be spot cleaned and are durable enough to be used over and over again.

Good Moving Blankets
Our group of “Good” moving blankets are designed for limited usage, but still provide excellent protection.

Moving Skins
Lightweight skins are comprised only of non-quilted, recycle cotton fabric filler. Because they are thinner, they are also sold in larger pack quantities: 24-Pack and 6-Pack.

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.

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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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″

 

What’s the Difference Between Wheel Nets and What’s the Best Wheel Net for Large Tires?

image of adjustable wheel net
Adjustable wheel net

Choosing a wheel net can be confusing and it’s by far one of the most common questions we get at USCC since there are so many variations of vehicles, tires, and towing applications. A few things to note: side mount wheel nets should not be used on dollies because the dolly ratchet assembly is on the front. These are used on just trailers. Also, the side mounts aren’t secure enough for a dolly in most cases; instead, all four tires should be tied down with these straps.

For securing truck tires and large tires, choose an adjustable wheel net or double adjustable wheel net. The design lets you adjust the strap around the tire to accommodate the size.

You can see this page: Wheel Nets, Auto & Car Tie Downs and Tow Dolly Straps for all of car carrier straps and supplies. We’re working on a series of wheel net videos to show the difference between the many options- keep checking back!