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.

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)

 

 

New Products: Nylon Bridle Slings

bridle-sling-300x162-redOur nylon lifting slings category continues to expand with the most recent addition of 600+ new Nylon Bridle Slings.

A nylon bridle sling offer s both incredible strength and ease of use due to its light weight and ability to collapse for easy storage.

Other benefits include:

  • Four configurations available (single leg, double leg, triple leg, or quad leg) to meet a variety of applications.
  • The synthetic nylon is more flexible than chain or wire rope.
  • Quality hardware from Pewag ensures quality. Oblong links are manufactured in Grade 100 alloy steel; hooks are all in a Grade 80 alloy steel.
  • Each bridle sling leg stretches approximately 3% at rated capacity, helping to absorb shock during a lift.
  • Nylon fabric will not conduct electricity like a chain sling or wire rope sling.
  • Multiple leg design in the 2-, 3-, and 4-leg styles allow the bearing points to be rotated, which extends the sling’s working life.
  • Available in two different ply thickness.
  • The 2-, 3-, and 4-leg styles can be used in different hitches, offering excellent versatility.

We offer three end fittings online- oblong, hook, and sewn eye. Each sling also has a master oblong link. Two widths (1″ and 2″) and two ply options (1-ply and 2-ply) are also available for order online.

Other recent additions to the nylon sling category include Drum Slings and Drum Lifters, as well as a request quote form for Custom Boat Slings.

Like all of our nylon slings, our nylon web bridle slings are made in the USA.

If you don’t see the sling you need, give us a call. We’re always happy to customize a bridle web sling assembly to your specs. You can reach our lifting slings product team at 800-660-3585.

Click over to our website to see all of our Lifting Slings & Rigging Slings, or click the buttons below to go directly to each category of nylon bridle slings.

single

double3

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 to Winterize Your Motorcycle

dri_41You start to feel it about this time of year – the air starts to get crisp, you start to plan the annual leaf ride…its almost time to start to prep your motorcycle for winter. To keep your bike well maintained and ready to go in the spring, there are some things which need to be taken care of before the snow flies.

Give it a good bath

Leaving dirt, bugs or other junk on your bike over winter is bad. If you let those all winter, it will begin to corrode and start to damage the paint. Use water and a mild detergent to clean and ultimately protect your motorcycle’s finish. Be sure to get the bike dry too – water that sits on the bike is almost as bad as dirt for long periods of time (like a winter) and it will begin to rust. Take this opportunity to make a last run to the local car wash on the bike and enjoy the ride.

Fuel – fill it up or drain the tank

This is like the chicken and the egg. So like one, some like the other – you either need to fill the tank or drain it. I like to fill, and if you do – you must use a fuel stabilizer. Again, some like Sta-bil, some like SeaFoam…pick your favorite and use the manufacture’s recommended amount for your size of fuel tank. If you choose to drain- get it dry. The last thing you want in your tank is rust- very bad.

Along those lines – determine if your bike is fuel injected or carbureted. Carbs need to be drained of their gas – usually from small screws on the bottom side of the fuel bowl. But – not before the treated gas has had a chance flow through. It will help preserve the carb seals and gaskets. (This is the same treatment which should be used if a bike is put into extended storage.)

Super shine

Once you get back from the car wash and gas station – give the bike a once over with a nice wax or polish. This will keep the dust and dirt away from that new, clean paint. This is a great time to look over the bike; inspect for any damage to the body work, look over the frame for damage and of course dream of all the things you want to add to the bike for the next riding season. Some call these additions farkles, whatever you call them…its a good time.Yamaha_Midnight_Star.engine

Oil change and lube

What? Before you park it? I know – the humanity. But, this will protect your engine and spark plugs from the moisture you curated since the last change. Prior to the change – be sure to warm up your engine – to get rid of any moisture that could have already formulated around it.
Those with the super precautionary gene will want to remove the plugs and add some oil to coat the cylinder walls. By doing this – you add that layer of oil to the internals of the engine, which will keep things as good as new.

A full oil change is also recommended before you go back on the road in the spring too – I will not admit to doing that myself. But, it is a good uber-precautionary riders will. They will say the chemicals in the engine oil becomes acidic over the winter – I think the new synthetic oils will hold.

To protect the cables, bolts and shafts from rust and tightening – use penetrating oil to prevent moisture from forming. Top of the list is the throttle and clutch cables, any pivot points like your kick stand and shifter – and if your bike is chain drive, clean, lube/wax the chain before you store it.

The battery

Some will want to remove the battery – and if you are not storing your bike in a heated area and you do not plan to trickle charge the battery…I have to agree. Now – I am spoiled and have a nice heated shed for my Kawasaki. But – removal is a great idea. Batteries are not cheap.

I like a trickle charger – they have become very, very inexpensive. The connection is permanently mounted to the bike and plugs into 120 volt. There have been some seriously cool solar trickle chargers on the market in the past few years – this is a nice free way to keep the battery maintained, and a super option if your storage spot doesn’t have electricity.

Exhaust and mufflers

Again – we are wanting to prevent moisture – and where heat was, water can be. So use oil penetrating/oil to spray the muffler and drain holes to prevent rust. Some will go as far as to stuff/cover muffler hole(s) with a plastic bag – but make sure the exhaust is dry before you do that. Or, you will be trapping water in the system. One advantage to plugging the system is to keep any pests out of your pipes. No one wants mice in their pipes…not good.

Tire check

Check and fill, if necessary, you tires to the manufacture’s psi level before storage, It prevents any damage caused from under-inflated tires sitting. Make sure to store your bike on the center stand – it takes lots of down pressure off the tires. If your storage area is concrete – consider storing your bike on wood or carpet to prevent/minimize moisture contact with the tires. Cardboard will work in a pinch – especially if there is any change the tires could freeze to the storage floor, that is not recommended.

Coolant

If your bike is water-cooled. Check your anti-freeze/water ratio. Anti-freeze should be flushed every 2-3 years. If you bike is air cooled – less often.

Cover/Protection

Covers can be purchased at local discount stores. It is an absolute must if you are storing outside – there are different covers based on inside or outside storage. Covering your bike not only protects it from the elements, but keeps keeps dust off and moisture to a minimum.
Please don’t use a simple tarp or sheet – it can absorb the moisture in the air which will lead to rust. Damp fabric can also attract – develop mold. This will primary cause issues with your seat…your bike seat. Save yourself and buy a reasonably priced bike cover – they do come in different sizes, so check the package.

Where to store?

Ideally – we could build a big, heated shed to store the bike in for the winter. We could keep it dry, clean and sit on it when we miss the riding. But, for many of us – this is not possible. If you find inside storage – try to find a place that is away from any windows. UV damages the paint and plastic parts of your motorcycle. Some dealers offer bike storage programs – if you have no space at home. Also – if you plan to buy a new bike in the spring, check with the dealer…sometimes they offer to store new bikes until spring for free when they sell new bikes. If you have to store the bike outside – find a nice, clean protected spot. Make sure if you are in a snowy area, you bike does not get disguised as a snow pile and get moved by the snow plow. That would be bad.

Hopefully you have come away with a nice checklist to use to winterize your motorbike for the winter.

Wide Load and Oversize Load Banner Requirements by State

 

coverA load is considered oversized if it exceeds the standard legal size or weight limits for a road or highway. There are also “load per axle” limits for the weight of a load. Examples of wide or oversized loads include pre-fabricated homes, construction machinery, industrial equipment, and wind turbine propellers.button

Using oversize load banner signs, safety flags and wide load banners is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirement for any commercial motor vehicle handling an oversized or wide load. Size and weight parameters vary between states, so it is important to research what the rules are for states through which you will be transporting oversized or wide loads.

Vehicles transporting wide or oversized loads often require special permits, which usually mean extra fees to travel legally on certain roads and highways. These permits often specify dates and times that travel with oversized or wide loads is allowed, along with certain routes that the vehicles are allowed to take.

Click a state in the list below for more information about wide load and oversize load banner requirements, safety guidelines, and permit information:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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.

 

 

Working Load Limits of Chain

Grade 70 transport chain from US Cargo ControlWhether you transport machinery, use tow chains, or are in the logging industry, it’s important to know the working load limits of chain you are using. Chains have a working load limit- or WLL- of approximately one third of their break strengths (the amount of force the chains can withstand before they break).

How to determine a chain’s working load limit

The WLL of a chain is determined by both the grade and the diameter. Chain is embossed with both the grade and size so you can determine its WLL using this chart.

new chart

 

Types of chain

Grade 30 Chain

Grade 30 is a multipurpose, economical chain. Also known as Grade 30 Proof Coil Chain, it’s used in a variety of industries and jobs, including light construction, barrier chains, and in the marine industry. It is not safe for overhead lifting. Grade 30 chain is embossed using a 3, 30, or 300.

Grade 43 Chain

Also called Grade 43 High Test Chain  or Grade 43 Tow Chain, this is common in the towing and logging industries. It is not rated safe for overhead lifting. Grade 43 chain is embossed using a 43 or a G4.shutterstock_2337463

Grade 70 Chain

Grade 70 Transport Chain is also called Grade 70 Truckers Chain as it’s common in securing loads for over-the-road hauling. It is not rated safe for overhead lifting. Grade 70 chain is embossed using a 7, 70, or 700.

Grade 80 Chain

Grade 80 Alloy Chain is heat-treated making it safe and rated for overhead lifting. It’s also commonly used as a heavy duty tow chain. Grade 80 chain is embossed using an 8, 80, or 800.

Grade 100 Chain

Considered premium quality chain, it offers about a 25% higher work load limit over Grade 80 chain. It is safe for overhead lifting. Grade 100 chains are embossed with a 10 or 100.

Grade 120 Chain

A newer product in the market, Grade 120 chain is up to 50% stronger than Grade 80 chain and 20% stronger than Grade 100 chain. It’s also more resistant to abrasion than both Grade 80 and Grade 100 chains. It’s safe  for overhead lifts.

LEARN MORE: 

Learn more about the differences between grades 70, 80 and 100 here: What are the Differences Between Grade 70 Chain, Grade 80 Chain, and Grade 100 Chain?

SHOP NOW: 

Aggregate Working Load Limits

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith such a wide range of strength and length in commercial tie downs, it’s important to determine the aggregate working load limit of the equipment you choose before you attempt to haul your cargo.

What does aggregate working load limit mean?

Working load limits determine how much weight or force tiedowns and other securing devices can secure without breaking. The aggregate working load limit is the sum of the working load limits for each device you use to secure your load. To meet safety requirements, the aggregate working load limit of the devices you use must be at least 50% of the total weight of all the pieces of cargo you are hauling.

shutterstock_1131225How do you determine aggregate working load limits?

You can figure out the aggregate working load limit of your securing devices by adding together:

  • 50% of the working load limit of each tiedown that is attached to an anchor point on your vehicle, and
  • 50% of the working load limit of each tiedown that is attached to your vehicle and goes over, around or through your cargo.

The sum equals your aggregate working load limit. It’s important to properly figure your aggregate working load limit and use the necessary amount of tiedowns for every load you haul. If you don’t, you risk being cited by the DOT or losing your cargo on the road, which could lead to serious injury to you or to another motorist.

What is a USDOT Number?

shutterstock_13801870A USDOT number is an identifier that is unique to your company. It allows quick access to your company’s safety information. This information is gathered during accident investigations, inspections, audits and compliance reviews.

Commercial vehicles used by your company to transport passengers or haul cargo in interstate commerce, must have the company’s USDOT number displayed on every commercial company vehicle. Companies that transport hazardous materials within the state in amounts that require safety permits must also display the company’s USDOT number on the vehicles used for transport.

Do I Need a USDOT Number?

These guidelines will help you determine if your company needs a USDOT number. You need a USDOT number if your vehicle is involved in interstate commerce (trade or transportation in the United States) and also meets one or more of the following qualifications:

  • Your vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more. The measurement includes gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, or gross combination weight, whichever is greatest.
  • Your vehicle is designed to carry 8 passengers for payment (this number includes the driver).
  • Your vehicle is used to carry more than 15 passengers (including the driver), but is not used to carry passengers for payment.
  • Your vehicle is used to transport materials deemed by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous, and in a quantity that requires a safety permit.shutterstock_176701853

Where your vehicle transports goods or passengers is also an indicator of whether you need a USDOT number.  You need a number if your vehicle is used for trade or transport in one or more of these ways:

  • Between states (this includes places outside of the United States)
  • Between two places in one state through another state, or through a place outside of the United States
  • Between two places in one state as part of traffic, transportation or trade that begins or ends in a place outside the state or the United States.

Certain states require a USDOT number for all commercial vehicles aside from the specifications listed above. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Remember, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires you to obtain a USDOT number and comply with all federal regulations. No matter how many commercial vehicles are in your company’s fleet, you only need one USDOT number. The number is required to be displayed on every commercial vehicle your company operates in accordance with the specifications above.

For more information on what forms are needed to obtain a USDOT number, visit the What Do I Need to File? page on the FMCSA website.

Employee Recommendation: Recovery Straps

6" x 30' Recovery Strap
6″ x 30′ Recovery Strap

Our Made in the USA recovery straps are one of our best-selling products, and in this video, Sales Specialist David gives a quick overview of the benefits of these heavy duty nylon straps, including:

  • Break strengths ranging from 20,000 lbs. to 400,000+ lbs.
  • Widths from 2″-12″
  • Custom lengths available
  • Available in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-plies. More plies allows for a narrower strap but with same strength.
  • CORDURA® protected eyes to resist wear and tear at the point of contact
  • Simple eye design can be used for both recovery and towing applications

Shop our entire selection: Recovery Straps & Tow Straps