5 Money-Saving Tips for Truck Drivers on the Road

Seeking money saving ideas for when you are on the road? Cut down your expenses by reading these 5 simple ways to save money.

Looking to lower your expenses when you are on the road? We get it. It can be challenging to not run out of money when you need to pay for food, gas, and showers. But, you have the ability to change that.

If you stick to a budget, you can save better and keep that hard-earned money. Read these 5 easy ways to save money when you are on the road and live comfortably.

1. Make a Budget

use a log book to discover saving tips
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

In order to stick to a budget, create a budget that you can hold yourself accountable. One way you can start this is by creating an organized log so you can keep track of how much you are spending on food, gas, and tolls. Once you see how much you are purchasing daily, weekly, or monthly, you will start to notice how you can allocate budgeting for each category.

Let’s use food for example. Let’s say you plan for $200 a month for food. You can log and track how much you are spending on groceries, food when you are on the go, fuel, and such. This can determine how you can save if you are close to your monthly budget or if you are budgeting well!

2. Pack Your Meals

meal prep as money saving ideas
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Speaking of food, consider preparing your own food for the long haul. Food is the biggest expense for the truck driver, but you can budget better by meal prepping your own food. According to AOL Finance, “a meal costs $5 to $7 at a fast food restaurant, but the cost of cooking at home averages out to $1.50 to $3 per person.” You can easily save money by investing in your own meals, and eat healthier.

Not only this, you can even invest in a reusable bottle because there are gas stations that offer drink discounts. To avoid spending half your paycheck on food, check out 6 types of truck driver cooking appliances that will make your life easier. Fun fact, you can invest in a Keurig!

3. Ask about CDL Discounts and Get your Rewards

use the truck rewards card as saving tips
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

You already have your CDL, so why not put it to good use? Chances are there will be hotels and restaurants that have CDL discounts. Flash your CDL and you might get some discounts!

Not only that, most truck stops offer rewards cards and loyalty programs. These are usually free to sign up, and you can get a lot of discounts on many things such as fuel, coffee, food, showers, and more! Take advantage of this opportunity because you can potentially save up for $1,000-$3,000 per year.

4. Use the Free Wifi

good ways to save money is using the wifi in places that offer them
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Eliminate using so much data on your phone, and use the free Wifi that many public places are offering. It is getting more common to have free Wifi in more places like truck stops, coffee places, and restaurants. Don’t be shy to ask for the Wifi password, and use the free service so you can stay for a while!

5. Cut Down on Laundry

simple ways to save money is cutting down on laundry
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Unfortunately, laundry isn’t cheap on the road as it can take a toll on your wallet. Cut down on laundry expenses by packing more clean clothes so you do not have to use the laundromat multiple times a week. If you pack more clothes, you can have the option to wash all your clothes at once.

At US Cargo Control, we appreciate all the work truck drivers do. We know it’s not easy, but we thank you for continuing to drive America forward. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068.

Valentine’s Day Edition: US Cargo Control Products We Love

With Valentine’s Day approaching, we couldn’t hold back on sharing the love for our products. Read some of our top picks from dedicated experts and customers.

Check out some of our top staff picks

When you’re working with all of our products day in and day out, it’s hard not to have some favorites! From trucking and transportation, lifting and rigging, and moving equipment, there are hundreds of quality products to depend on for your individual needs. If you ask our USCC team members what are their favorite cargo items, they will tell you without hesitance.

In dedication to Valentine’s Day coming up, check out some of our top picks from our dedicated product experts and customers.

Single Leg Chain Sling w/ Sling Hook – Grade 100

crosby chain slings
9/32″ x 3′ – Single Leg Chain Sling w/ Sling Hook – Grade 100

If you need a lifting application where extra strength is required, this is the perfect choice for you! These chain slings come in different sizes, they are manufactured with grade 100, and its hooks are approved for overhead lifting. If it’s manufactured in grade 100, this means it is 25% more superior that grade 80 chain sling. Go above and beyond with a reliable chain sling that is durable and provides superior strength for your lifting needs!

“If you are looking for a good quality product to take care of your lifting needs, this is it! Our chain slings are made right here in Urbana, Iowa, right in the heart of the Midwest. We will make sure to get you a top-quality product on time!”

Jon W., Sales Rep

Moving Blankets – Supreme Mover

moving blankets can also be packing blankets
Moving Blankets- Supreme Mover 12-Pack, 90-95 lbs./dozen

Start moving like a pro with our Supreme Mover moving blankets! Also known as furniture covers, these are a beneficial tool to use to prevent damage and abrasion to your valuables.  Along with that, the rugged construction and superior level of padding make these moving pads a top choice for moving companies, furniture movers, and those who intend to reuse these blankets.  And guess what? It’s machine washable!

The MBSUPREME95-12PK is one of the heaviest and best quality moving pads on the market to protect your valuables from damages.  This pad is made to last and can be machine washed and hung to dry for even more long-term use. This pad is perfect the movers who require the best protection when moving

Carla, Sales Rep

Chain-Ratchet Binder Kit

Grade 70 3/8″ x 20′ Chain-Ratchet Binder Kit

Seeking a dependable tool to secure your load while you are driving for the long haul? Look into the Chain-Ratchet Binder Kit, our next product. These are great to use for flatbed trailers to ensure your load will stay through heavy winds and tough weather.

These chain binders utilize a ratcheting mechanism to create tension in the chain and secure its load. Not only that, the forged steel handle offers maximum leverage, while the cam and pawl design allow for easier and faster securement. Transport chains and ratchet binders are great, and even better when they are in a kit.

Chain and binders are a flatbed essential. I love this combo as they work great together and will properly secure your load.

Jon L., Sales Rep

E Track Ratchet Straps

2″ x 16′ Gray E Track Ratchet Straps

Our Ratchet Straps are perfect for your tie down solutions. We have thousands of straps for many different uses and styles, and we will never have limited options. Tie down straps are perfect to use for whatever you need to stably secure your loads, and we have many sizes for your needs.

If you don’t see what you are looking for, then you have the ability to custom make your own ratchet straps! Just call one of our sales specialists at 866-444-9990 and we will be ready to answer your calls.

Our 5316SEF-GRY is a great option for trailers and trucks equipped with E-Track.  The fittings on each end securely lock into the track and the strap can be ratcheted tight to secure the load.”

Tim S., Sales Rep

What customers had to say about their favorite products:

36″ Extra Large Rubber Bands, 1 Dozen

extra large rubber moving band
36″ Extra Large Rubber Bands, 1 Dozen

If you’re looking to hold down the moving blanket that is covering your valuables, don’t forget to look into our moving rubber bands. These mover bands are great for securing moving pads, and they are highly durable and sturdy to use because of their heavy-duty design. They safely stretch to approximately double the size, and are the perfect accessory to use for your moving needs!  

“I have purchased every size of the moving rubber bands and they work awesome. I highly recommend them. We used to go through four 1500 foot 20″ rolls of shrink wrap monthly. Ever since we started using the various sizes of moving rubber bands, we only use one roll of shrink wrap per month now.”

Shawn

8″ Horizontal Galvanized E Track

e track
8″ Horizontal Galvanized E Track

E Tracks are a great choice for those who own trailers and enclosed trailers. They are simple to install in your trailer and will allow for quick and easy securement using our shoring beams. Not only that, the E track will promote load safety, so you will never worry about damaging your load. This galvanized E Track is made of strength, has a galvanized finish with a surface chemical treatment to withstand corrosion, and will keep your heavy items in check.

Great product made in USA. The customer service is excellent. Highly recommend this E track. It was well packed and shipped fast!

Gary

At US Cargo Control, we are your source for equipment for hauling, rigging, moving, towing and lifting all kinds of cargo. Whatever you need, we can help you find the product that you need to keep moving forward. Give us a call at 866-444-9990 and we will be there to help you.

The Biggest Cargo Net The Manufacturing Team Created Thus Far!

Did you know our Manufacturing team received the biggest cargo net order recently? Read to learn more!

What is this Giant Cargo Net?

Like many companies, manufacturing is the backbone of USCC. Just last week, our dedicated, hard-working Manufacturing team created their biggest cargo net yet. Without them, we would have not fulfilled this gigantic and unique order!

This giant cargo net comes in at a whopping 60′ x 80′, and it only took about a week for our team to create this product to life. This heavy duty cargo net could not even fit in our tarp area that is a 60′ x 40′ area. That is one huge net!

did you know our nets can be used for truck bed cargo net?

60 Feet by 80 Feet? How Did They Create This Large Cargo Net?

The team took on the project with a high level of enthusiasm and commitment, and we know it wasn’t easy. There were small-detailed tasks that they had to perform such as tacking the nets with a hot iron and sewing 3,300 individual tasks. To finally complete the tacking task, they must inspect each tack.

can also be used as truck cargo net

Way to Go Manufacturing Team!

We at US Cargo Control are proud of all the work each person did to create this product. The special thing about our Manufacturing team is they can create any custom product for you, such as ratchet straps, tarps, netting, lifting slings, and more! Without manufacturing, we wouldn’t be able to provide our customers with the custom solutions they need.

Check out more behind-the-scenes shots of the Manufacturing team while they were working on the net!

the team working on the large cargo net
Continual progress of the net
the process of tacking the net
The process of tacking
the complete product of the 60'x80' net
The completed giant cargo net
Packaging the large cargo net to ship it off!

Whatever you need, we got you. You can count on us to get you what you want, when you need it, so continue to keep placing your orders and our Manufacturing team will keep the quality products going.

Want to learn more about the cargo nets we carry and can custom make? Read the 4 Types of Cargo Control Nets and Their Different Applications.

If you have any questions about our Custom Cargo Nets or any of our custom products, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068

6 Types of Truck Driver Cooking Equipment That Will Make Your Life Easier

Stop wasting money on fast food. Read these tips that will make your life easier and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Did you know there are several cooking appliances you can use when driving for the long haul?

When eating on the road, truckers have an unlimited amount of restaurants to eat. This may be an easy solution, but those places aren’t always the healthiest or the most cost-effective when looking for balanced meals. Luckily, you have the choice to not live off of unhealthy snacks or fast food!

One thing you can do to avoid spending half of your paycheck is investing in truck-driving cooking equipment! Truckers can choose a variety of devices and appliances to cook fresh, hot meals right in their rigs. Read these few cooking pieces of equipment that every truck driver should consider investing in when driving on the road.

CrockPot

cooking healthy in a semi truck
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

If you invest in a crockpot, this appliance will have the ability to make plenty of meals on the road! You can make stew, soups, barbeque, pork chops, and more. When looking for a crockpot, look for one that runs from the cigarette lighter or a regularly-powered slow cooker if you have outlets in your truck.

To hold it together while you are driving, make sure to buy one with a cord for the lid. As the cord hooks under the handle, this can keep the lid down.

Check out fun pork slow-cooker recipes that are perfect for any season!

Mini-Fridge

big rig cooking
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Having a fridge can provide a ton of options, and is great for storing fresh or frozen food. Not only can it make your meat, vegetables, and fruit last longer, but you can even store your cold drinks! The perk? You don’t have to continuously buy more drinks during truck stops and breaks.

The other perk about a mini-fridge? These fridges don’t require much space in your truck.

Microwave

cooking meals in a truck
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Investing in a microwave will be a more heavily relied appliance, and can save you a lot of money. You can use a microwave to reheat food quickly that you cooked or bought, or heat up frozen food. Having a microwave can even provide you a quick lunch or dinner when you’re in a hurry to get to the shipper.

Blender

truckers cooking equipment
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Bet you didn’t see that one coming. If you have the space for a blender, this can be a really unique appliance for you to have! This can step up the healthfulness of your road diet. You cut down prep time, and you have the ability to create smoothies or protein shakes.

Tip: With a freezer, you can prepackage and store smoothie ingredients.

Portable Stove

What Truck Driver Cooking Equipment Do You Need?
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

When deciding whether to buy the microwave or a portable stove, you can’t go wrong with either appliance. A portable stove can create many different types of delicious meals and bring food back to life. Also viewed as a lunchbox stove, you can use it to heat up leftovers, canned food, or cook frozen food.

Keurig

truck driver supplies
Photo Courtesy: Flickr

Need a quick cup of joe when you wake up? Want a cup of hot chocolate before you go to sleep? Coffee or hot chocolate is not your cup of tea? With a Keurig, you can make coffee, hot chocolate, and tea! There are a variety of pods that you can grab at a grocery store or purchase online. Just turn on the machine, pop a pod in, press start, and your drink will be ready in seconds!

To Plan Ahead

With these appliances, you will have a lot of options for your meals. Whatever appliances you decide to keep in your rig, you can create a plan for meals and snacks a few days before your trip. After going to the grocery store, you can pack your meals and package things to make the most out of your space. Cooking can keep you away from the drive-thru, save you money, and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Looking for activities to do when you’re on the road? Read 5 Fun Things for Truck Drivers to Do When on the Road

Struggling to stay awake at night when the days are shorter? Learn 4 Important Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

At US Cargo Control, we want all truck drivers to be safe. You continue to drive America’s economy, and we appreciate all the hard work you are doing to move us forward.

3 Winter Truck Driving Tips: How to Protect your Rig from Salt and Grime

Learn how to fight salt and grime during these salty winter months.

As it continues to snow this time of the year, we worry about our vehicles when we drive through salt and grime. Not only is driving in the snow treacherous, but the salt used to melt ice on the roads can do a number on your rig. The paint job can come off and it will cause your truck to rust. This is a pain to deal with, but something that can be preventative.

To ensure the salt and grime don’t ruin your truck during these salty winter months, read these few easy steps.

1. Stay Clean

winter truck driving
Courtesy of Adobe Stock

If you often drive in wintry conditions, a truck wash every one to two weeks can prevent salt from ruining the paint. You can hand wash or pressure wash your truck yourself, just like what you would do with your personal vehicle. If you are not feeling like washing it yourself, another option is to go through a truck wash. As long as you do one of these, the paint of your truck will never chip off!

Fun Fact: Make sure to rinse the wheels, its rims and under the chassis. if you do not do this, the salt will become an accelerant for oxidation and rusting.

2. Wax your Truck

winter safety tips for truck drivers
Courtesy of Adobe Stock

After the truck is washed and dried, it’s good to put a coat of wax on it. Waxing creates a protective barrier for your truck that can prevent salt and grime from accumulating in the first place. The best time to wax your truck is before winter starts, but you can still wax your vehicle after giving it a thorough cleaning.

3. Get the Snow and Ice off of the Top of your Trailer

truck driving in snow
Courtesy of Adobe Stock

This is not a tip that can get salt and grime off your truck, but rather a safety tip to protect drivers around you and yourself. Unfortunately, snow and ice slipping from the top of your trailer can potentially injure a person when they are driving behind you. The snow and ice can actually fall off and hit the driver.

This is something you’d want to avoid as you can get fined from some states. To prevent this from happening, make sure to get the snow off of your trailer before you start driving.

Tip: If you need to get it off quickly yourself, invest in a broom or extended brush. These items will do the job well.

Need more winter driving tips? Check out 4 Important Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

At US Cargo Control, we want all truck drivers to be safe during the winter season. Let us know if we can help provide you with the vehicle safety supplies or tires chains you need to keep on hauling!

New Products Alert: Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder and Ratchet Chain Binder

The Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder and Heavy Duty Ratchet Chain Binder are now available at US Cargo Control

The Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder and Heavy-Duty Ratchet Chain Binder are now available on the USCC website!

You can now purchase the Recoil-Less Cam Action Lever Binder in a single quantity or 5-pack, and the Heavy-Duty Ratchet Chain Binder in a single quantity or 4-pack from US Cargo Control. And get this, we are offering a 10% discount for these products from now until January 19th!

The price will be automatically discounted at checkout, so no promotion code is required. Get yours now!

What is a Chain Binder?

A chain binder is a tool used to tighten chain to secure cargo to a trailer for transport. When shopping for chain binders, there are commonly two styles: the ratchet binder and the lever binder.

Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder 5/16″ – 3/8″

Lever chain binder
Lever binder lock

This is the first recoil-less cam action lever binder we offer, and this binder is one of the safest lever binders on the market today. Known as a recoil-less safety lever binder, it features a center cam that can rotate freely of the end hooks and its unique design eliminates the whiplash that occurs when the chain tension is released. This allows the lever binder to use leverage to tighten the chain and secure cargo.

The other standard lever-type binders present a safety concern because when you release the binder, it often kicks back and makes it dangerous for your cargo and you. Unlike this recoil-less lever binder, the 360-degree swivel motion handle is super quick, easy to operate, and requires no tools.

Lever type load binder
Load binder

Our lever load binder has a working load limit of 6,600 pounds, compared to standard lever binders’ working load limit of 5,400 pounds. When using this, use our transport chains:

5/16″ Grade 70 Transport Chain

3/8″ Grade 70 Transport Chain

5/16″ Grade 80 Transport Chain

Heavy Duty Ratchet Chain Binder

Heavy duty chain binder
load binder chain

Our Heavy Duty Ratchet Chain Binder is built for durability and maximum strength. These chain binders utilize a ratcheting mechanism to create tension in the chain and secure its load. The forged steel handle offers maximum leverage, while the cam and pawl design allows for easier and faster securement.

It features a ratchet handle and two tension hooks on each end. The ratchet chain binder comes in sizes 5/16″ and 3/8″ and a working load limit of 6,600 pounds. When looking for chains, use the heavy-duty ratchet chain binder with 5/16″ Grade 70 Transport Chain or 3/8″ Grade 70 Transport Chain.

What is the Difference between Grades of Chains?

Source: US Cargo Control

When you’re ready to secure your cargo load with chain binders, go to US Cargo Control or give our sales team a call at 800-969-6543.

4 Types of Cargo Control Nets and Their Different Applications

Netting can have many different uses including personnel safety, containing debris, or transporting cargo – but having the right net for your application is crucial.

Debris Netting, Personnel Safety Netting, Lifting Netting, & Pickup Truck Netting.

Netting can have many different uses including personnel safety, containing debris, or transporting cargo – but having the right net for your application is crucial. Not only will you prevent damage with the proper net, but you will also provide safety for yourself and others. Whether used at construction sites, transportation projects, or for a weekend project, nets will protect workers, pedestrians, vehicles, and nearby property.

At US Cargo Control, we carry and customize 4 types of cargo nets: Scaffold & Debris Nets, Personnel Safety Nets, Lifting Nets, and Truck Loading Nets. Read on below to learn more about these nets.

FUN FACT: OUR MANUFACTURING TEAM CAN CUSTOM MAKE NETTING TO MATCH YOUR SPECIFIC, INDIVIDUAL NEEDS.

1. Scaffold and Debris Nets

Made of polypropylene, scaffold and debris nets are commonly used in the agriculture and construction industries. These nets offer protection for both workers and individuals around the building site, as well as other properties. Scaffold nets reduce the risk of accidents, improve productivity, and shortens cleanup time.

You can also use these nets as bridge debris netting, which surrounds a bridge while undergoing work to protect pedestrians, workers, vehicles and other properties from falling debris. This net is especially ideal for situations where debris may fall into rivers and streams. A durable, economical and eco-friendly net, the net makes clean up safer and minimize liabilities.

2. Personnel Safety Nets

Manufactured in a knotted nylon twine, personnel safety nets can be used for any type of construction such as building and bridge construction, tunnel construction, and highway overpass construction. The netting consists of attachment hooks and a high-tenacity polyamide fiber for a strong end-product with plenty of durability and efficiency. These nets provide not just on-the-job safety, but also protect nearby property and prevent loss of time and job site materials.

3. Lifting Nets

Lifting nets are excellent to use for lifting a variety of cargo that’s either heavy and/or an awkward shape, or any cargo that is difficult to accommodate with traditional webbing lifting slings. It is manufactured in high-tenacity polypropylene fiber which is considered “knotless” due to the unique knitting construction.

Our lifting nets are also designed with a nylon peripheral rope for each of the four loops to create a balanced support system. The net encloses around the cargo, providing securement and balanced lifting, without adding excessive weight like a chain sling or lifting beam often can.

4. Pickup Truck Cargo Nets

Pickup truck cargo nets are a quick and easy way to secure your load while on the road. We offer cargo nets that are designed for shorter bed pickup trucks and ones for long-bed pickup trucks. To provide the best quality with the best security for your load, both nets come with S-hooks and cam buckles for quick attachment and securement.

In addition, each strap of the cargo net is attached with a 5k D-ring, so you will never have to worry about damaging or losing your cargo.

Read more on 3 Popular Heavy-Duty Cargo Nets for Pickup Truck Beds

Want a Sneak Peek on How we Make Custom Cargo Nets?

Curious about how our manufacturing team creates these custom nets? Watch the video below to learn how we work to turn your custom specifications into a one-of-a-kind cargo net that meets your needs.

We have a team that is dedicated to making sure our customers get the quality products they need. If you wish to learn more about the nets we carry and create, head over to US Cargo Control or give our team a call at (866) 444-9990.

5 Fun Things for Truck Drivers to Do When on the Road

Did you know there are a number of activities that you can do while you are on the road? Read 5 fun things truck drivers can do to pass time quickly when on the road

We understand what it feels like traveling for a long time to reach our destinations. The day feels long, the roads seem monotonous and tedious, and there aren’t a lot of things to do when you are in a vehicle. While this can be one of the main struggles, did you know there are a number of activities you can do while you are on the road?

When you have a break or some downtime, this can be an opportunity to explore the outdoors, find potential hobbies, and discover what type of entertainment is out there! Check out these 5 tips to pass time when you are on the road.

1. Do Some Outdoor Activities

fun things to do on the road
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Being inside of a truck for a long period of time can be difficult. When you have a break or some time off, take this opportunity to get some fresh air and move around. You even might find the chance to find something pretty unique.

If you want to plan out your trip a little more, you can try stopping around destinations and explore a bit. This may be more difficult to plan out, but it can be fun and rewarding if you do it right.

2. Start a Cool Collection

hobbies for truck drivers
Source: Leverage

As truck drivers are traveling all over the country, why not find an opportunity to start a unique collection? You are passing by through multiple states, and this can be a perfect opportunity to start a creative collection. When you are fueling up, grabbing a bite to eat, or sleeping for the night, pick up something to build your collection!

Some ideas that you can build are grabbing postcards, picking up a souvenir, collecting stamps, or anything that catches your attention and makes you happy. It is a fun way to remember each new destination when you are on the road.

3. Document Your Journey

how truckers stay entertained on the road
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Document your journey by photographing something that catches your eye! You are going through several states in a day, so why not take the time to take some pictures? You can use your phone or a camera to document your journey when you take a break. You’re bound to see breathtaking scenes and this can be something to remember when you are looking through your pictures.

4. Find a New Hobby

what do truckers do to keep themselves entertained
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Another way you can fight your boredom is by beginning a hobby that you have never attempted before or one that can challenge you. Some hobbies can be knitting, writing a novel or starting a new blog, reading books that you never read before, or exercising. Did you know you can even learn a new language?

If you have an interest in the arts, you can learn to play a new musical instrument, to draw, paint, or creatively write. Whatever catches your attention, take the opportunity to challenge yourself!

5. Listen to Podcasts

truck driver tips
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

If you are on a schedule and you don’t have much downtime, listen to podcasts. It doesn’t matter what your interests are, whether it’s stand-up comedy, sci-fi, educational, or mystery – there is a podcast out there for you! More people these days enjoy listening to podcasts on the road because they are different from radio stations. Just find an app that you can download podcasts, load up some episodes, and be entertained for hours.

Make Good Use of Your Time

There is no reason you cannot make good use of your time when you are on the job. Doing something new can keep your mind busy and your body healthy, and it can even help relieve stress.

Looking for tips on how to drive safely at night now that the days are shorter? Read 4 Important Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

At US Cargo Control, we appreciate all the hard work that you do to deliver goods that we consume. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068.

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.

4 Important Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

With the days getting shorter, it can be challenging and dangerous driving at night. Read these 4 nighttime truck driving tips to stay safe.

Short winter days increase the challenge of driving at night.

With the days getting shorter, chances are you’ll be doing a lot of your driving after the sun sets and visibility lowers. Most everyone will agree that nighttime driving can be trying and increases the potential dangers of the road. To help you drive your best at night and arrive at your destination safely, we have 4 important tips for nighttime semi-truck driving.

1. Keep a Clean Windshield

Night time driving
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Driving at night doesn’t get any easier with insects and dirt stuck to your windshield. If you ignore the mess, it will build up and get worse. A dirty windshield can actually cause light to reflect in the wrong way and limit your visibility at night. Be sure to clean your windshield whenever you can, and consider replacing your wiper blades soon to keep your windshield clean.

2. Feeling Drowsy? Pull Over

Night car driving
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

A good night’s sleep is important for everybody, but for truck drivers, the right amount of rest is critical for safety. If you try to fight drowsiness, it can be dangerous not only for other drivers sharing the road with you but for yourself as well. When you start to feel drowsy, pull over and call it a night.

Want some tips for how to sleep soundly in your rig? Read 5 Tips for How to Sleep Better at Night.

3. Don’t Look into the Light

driving at night headlights
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Staring at the headlights of oncoming traffic can be distracting, especially when they shine directly at you or any of your mirrors. When you don’t look away, it can affect your night vision, cause damage to your retina, and slow down your reaction time. You could become a deer in the headlights!

When this occurs, try to look down and off to the right side until traffic passes. As long as you can see the white line on the shoulder, your truck will be fine while your vision adjusts to the passing line. If a car with high beams is coming towards you, adjust your mirrors to block the glare away from your eyes.

4. Avoid Distracted Driving

driving at night time
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

How many times have you been told not to use your phone while driving? It might get old hearing it, but that rule exists for a reason. And even though it applies during all times of the day, being on your phone is especially dangerous at night given the fact that you already can’t see much of the road. Resist the temptation to use your phone and other devices while driving, and call your friends and loved ones when you are on a break or done driving for the day. They’ll be glad you waited!

Be Prepared for Winter with Vehicle Safety Supplies

If you need to pull over or stop during hazardous driving conditions this winter, make sure you’re prepared with supplies to alert others of your surroundings. We have vehicle safety supplies to help you in these situations. Make sure you have LED warnings lights, safety vests and hard hats, flags and signs, and more for safe transport. Our team is here to help you get what you want, when you need it.

At US Cargo Control, we want all truck drivers to be safe. Let us know what trucking equipment you need to be prepared this winter. Give our team of experts a call at 800-969-6543.

5 Steps on How to Winterize your Motorcycle

With winter arriving soon, check out 5 steps on how to winterize your motorcycle.

With Winter Arriving Soon, It’s Time to Start Winterizing Your Motorcycle

A motorcycle with several issues is not something you want to experience after a winter. With snow already arriving in most states and temperatures already dropping, it might be time to winterize your motorcycle. If you don’t prep it before the winter season, it may be difficult to get it running again during the spring.

With the proper care and treatment, you can prevent any unwanted surprises such as a dead battery, corrosion, rust areas, or worse. To avoid these issues, read these five steps on how to winterize your beautiful motorcycle.

1. Clean your Motorcycle and Give it a Bath

how to winterize a motorcycle
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

If you don’t give your bike a proper cleaning, you might potentially see rust and corrosion on it. If there is already dirt on it, that will increase the chance of corrosion. This is the last thing you’d want to see after taking the cover off when it’s springtime, right? Give your bike a thorough cleaning before storing it.

To clean it, wash it with water and a gentle mild detergent. For better resistance against moisture and corrosion, add a coat of wax or polish to seal it.

2. Change your Oil

adding new oil for winter motorcycle
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

If you haven’t changed your oil, consider doing it now. The last thing you probably want to do after winter is changing the oil before you can take it for a ride. Change the oil and if your coolant levels are low, then add anti-freeze.

Once you’re done, start your bike up again to let the oil circulate through the engine and provide additional protection against corrosion!

3. Remove your Battery and Store it

motorcycle oil change
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Batteries are not cheap, and it is best to remove your battery from the bike. We recommend that you use a battery tender so it can keep the battery charging during the winter! They are inexpensive to purchase, and very reliable to use during the cold winter months. Just be sure to store it somewhere clean and dry where it won’t drop below freezing temperatures.

4. Inspect Your Tires for Proper Pressure

inspecting motorcycle tires by filling in air
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

We wish this was not an issue, but if you leave your tires to sit in the same position during the entire winter season, then this can potentially cause flat spots. Not only that, they can even absorb moisture from your garage door. To avoid flat spots and moisture problems, get motorcycle stands to prop it.

There are many options to get your bike propped such as investing in stands, getting plywood or a piece of carpet, or blocks to place under your tires.

5. Cover and Protect Your Bike

motorcycle cover to winterize your bike
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

The most important rule of all? Get a cover to place over your motorcycle so you can protect it! This will help prevent as much moisture and corrosion as it can. If you are storing it inside, you’re in better shape of protecting it. If you have to store it outside, it’s recommended that you get a cover with motorcycle tie downs to keep the wind from blowing it loose.

If you are looking for durable, reliable motorcycle straps, look into our selection of motorcycle straps. We also carry motorcycle tie down systems and many motorcycle accessories to better support your bike.

Want to read more about winterizing your bike? Consider reading this:

How to winterize your motorcycle

If you have any questions about our motorcycle straps or accessories, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068.

4 Customers Use US Cargo Control Products in Fun and Unexpected Ways

Check out 4 customers using US Cargo Control products in fun, creative, and unexpected ways!

Recently, some happy customers sent us photos of the different ways they used our products to make things easier…or more fun! Although our products are primarily designed for the industries we serve: trucking and transportation, lifting and rigging, and moving, we always enjoy seeing the creative and unexpected ways our products can be used in order to solve a problem and create something truly unique.

Cargo nets used for OCR Nation’s challenging obstacle course race

Typically, our cargo nets are used to safely secure cargo being hauled in enclosed trailers, vans, and truckbeds. Well, six USCC cargo nets were recently used for an entertaining yet challenging obstacle course that was created by OCR Nation. They hung the nets vertically so people could climb on them in order to hit the bells!

cargo net at an obstacle course race
Photo Courtesy: OCR Nation
one of the runners on the truck bed cargo net
Photo Courtesy: OCR Nation

guy climbing on us cargo control's truck cargo net
Photo Courtesy: OCR Nation
bungee net
Photo Courtesy: OCR Nation

Wire rope used as railings for the beautiful Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens

As a place for social events, special occasions, dining experiences, and more, Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens used our large diameter wire rope as a railing for observation areas. Not only is it innovative, but it also seems to fit in with the scenery. What a match made in heaven!

a customer using wire rope sling
Photo Courtesy: Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens
wire rope cable
Photo Courtesy: Sapphire Creek Winery & Gardens

D Rings used to cover a pool from falling leaves and winter weather

With falling leaves and winter snow approaching, pool owners need to tightly cover their pools to protect them from debris. This customer wanted something secure and trustworthy to cover her pool, besides just using a pool cover. In the pictures below, you can see she fixed recessed pan D-rings to her deck in order to keep the cover tight and secure.

d ring shackle to secure a pool cover
Close up of the D Ring application
can also be called a towing d ring
A full shot of the customer’s pool cover

More Cargo Nets Used for Military Boot Camp Obstacle Race

Last but not least, a nonprofit company, called Soldier Rush, used a customized cargo net that created by our manufacturing team. The net was used for their obstacle course, as the contenders were supposed to climb over it as part of their challenge. Notice how the colors match the theme of their race!

the cargo net, also known as the bungee net, was created for Solider Rush
Photo Courtesy: Soldier Rush
a bungee cargo net
Photo Courtesy: Soldier Rush

We love seeing our products being used in unique applications! If you have any photos or videos that you would like to share with us, send them our way! Send us an email at CustomerService@USCargoControl.com, or share with us on the US Cargo Control Facebook page.

Have a question? Need a custom item? Don’t hesitate to call us a call at 866-444-9990!