Must-Have Moving Supplies, Part 2

iStock_000009587805MediumWe’re kicking off National Moving Month with an overview of some of our most popular moving supplies and the questions we receive about them.

If you’re a DIY mover, check out the first post in the series: Must-have Moving Supplies for the Do-It-Yourself Mover.

If you’re a professional mover, read on!

Our professional moving customers count moving pads, dollies, stretch wrap, and hand trucks as essentials.

Which Moving Pads are best for long-term use?

Supreme Moving Blankets
Supreme Moving Blankets

Moving pads (another term for moving blankets), range from lightweight to ultra-heavy weight.  Most professional movers will use pads in either our “Better” category or our “Best” Category.  These pads are designed to withstand the day-to-day use of professional movers and will keep your clients’ items protected.

To see all of our moving blankets pads in a side-by-side comparison chart, click over to the Moving Blankets & Moving Pads page.

Which H-Dolly is most popular?

We have four types of H-style moving dollies:

The two most popular styles are the standard H, which includes a flat top with rubber tread and 800 lbs. capacity and the rubber cap, which is also an 800 lbs. load capacity and has two end caps for securing large items – also known as a Chicago Dolly.

Snap-Loc Moving Dolly
Snap-Loc Moving Dolly

Lately, we’ve received a lot of requests for dollies with large load capacities and we’re happy to  be able to offer the Snap-Loc Dolly. With a 1,200 lbs. load capacity, e-track compatibility, and an available Connector Strap to connect two together to increase surface area, it’s perfect for professional movers.

 

 

What are my options on stretch wrap?

We currently stock two different styles of stretch wrap, both can be purchased in case quantities of four rolls per box or pallet quantities (96 rolls per shipment):

  • Blown Stretch Wrap 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 ® Pre-Stretched Stretch Wrap is becoming the top-choice for our customers in the moving industry.  The roll 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.  Accidentally drop a roll of this stretch wrap off a truck and it will not dent like traditional stretch wrap!

What style of Hand Trucks are available?

The Hand Truck is an essential piece of equipment for all movers.  Our universal US Cargo Control Hand Trucks allow you to choose the style that best suits your needs.  Handle options include: vertical loop, pin, round top and double grip.  We also both standard and wide noseplates availalbe.  Accessory items include: stair climbers, an extension nose plate and Hand Truck covers. With so many options available, we’re happy to discuss with you what might work best for your needs.

As always, you can call us or drop us an e-mail:

Phone: (800) 867-1210
Email: movingsupplies@uscargocontrol.com

Happy moving everyone!

 movingteam

 

Moving Season is Here!

boxHello to all of our professional movers and brave do-it-yourselfers!

Moving Season has kicked off and generally runs from Easter to Halloween.  In fact, May is National Moving Month and US Cargo Control is fully stocked for the season with over 15,000 dozen pads, 3,500 mover bands, 1,400 H-dollies, and 750 cases of stretch wrap!

As always, we’re available to help you select the best products for your particular job or project. You can see them all here:

US Cargo Control Moving Supplies

And of course you can call us with questions: (800) 867-1210

Our moving supplies team includes a trio of experts: Tonya Kramer, Carla Weeks and myself – Sarah Watson.

We’d like to highlight some of our most popular moving products so you can prepare your moving in advance and feel confident you’ve selected the right supplies for the job.

Because the best products can vary between professional movers and DIY’ers, we’ll first talk about the sure bet items if you’re tackling the move yourself.

Must-have moving supplies for the Do-It-Yourself mover

The Do-It-Yourself Movers will typically purchase moving pads, quilted covers, lifting straps, packing paper and tape.

What type of moving pads should I buy?

Econo Deluxe Moving Blankets
Econo Deluxe Moving Blankets

This depends on the items you’re wrapping and the type of move you’re completing.  Fragile items such as antique furniture, pianos and grandfather clocks may require extra padding in which case we suggest the Supreme Moving Pads.  For basic furniture and lighter jobs, a mid-weight pad such as the Econo Deluxe will serve well.  If you’re planning to simply cover your items to be put into storage, try our Econo Savers.

To compare all of our moving blankets and pads, see: Moving Blankets & Moving Pads

Quilted Chair Cover
Quilted Chair Cover

What are the advantages of quilted covers?

Quilted Covers are form fitting and can easily slip over your existing furniture, washer or dryer and refrigerator.  This will save you time and offers a convenient solution for protecting your items in storage.  We suggest taking measurements to ensure the particular cover will fit your furniture.  Each cover has a different color binding making them easy-to-identify during your move.

What equipment should I use to lift a heavy piece of furniture?

We suggest the TeamStrap or Shoulder Dolly lifting straps for tall and/or heavy furniture such as bookcases, armoires, sleeper sofas or washing machines.  If you’re trying to move a mattress, try the Forearm Forklift or our canvas mattress carrier. Check out this video to see our lifting straps in action:

Do you offer packing supplies?

Yes! You can find a variety of boxes, packing paper, tape, and more, all in our Moving Boxes & Packing Supplies category. The number of boxes you need depends on the amount of items you’re packing and remember, the heavier the item(s) like books, the smaller the box you should use.  If you plan to pack a set of light items such as blankets or pillows, you may use a larger box.  As you pack your kitchen, take the proper precaution and wrap them up!  Use our packing paper roll to protect your dishes and glassware.

For more packing tips, click over to this article: More Moving Tips

If you see an item on the website and you’re unsure if it will work for you – please don’t hesitate to call us.  We love talking to our customers and helping them find the exact item they need.

Phone: (800) 867-1210
Email: movingsupplies@uscargocontrol.com

Happy moving everyone!

movingteam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up:  Must-Have Moving Supplies for Professional Movers

 

 

Make your Mother Proud!

We’re proud to support the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® annual Movers for Moms® drive

Sarah Watson - October 2012
Sarah Watson, US Cargo Control Account Manager

This is a special time of year for our friends at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Each spring, the Michigan-based company holds its Movers for Moms® event, collecting donations for mothers living in domestic abuse or homeless shelters across the country. Donated items include soaps, hair styling products, shampoos/conditioners, slippers, robes, blankets, pillows, etc., but no gift is too small.

The drive has been on-going for several years and 2013 was record-breaking with more than 120 participating franchises and 210,000+ collected items!

182531_10152503950637619_722479388_n
Our contribution to 2013’s record-setting year

We are proud to be partnering with our local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in Cedar Rapids, IA to collect donations. Our donations will be delivered to Waypoint, a local shelter and support for those in crisis due to homelessness, poverty or domestic violence.

If you’re interested in donating to this incredible cause, visit the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® blog for more information. To find a drop-off location in your area, click here: Donation drop-off locations by state.

Donations will be delivered in time for Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11th. Contact your local drop-off location for information on donation times.

Thank you for your support!

-Sarah

How to Inspect, Clean, and Store Tie Down Straps

image of orange tie down strap from uscargocontrol.comWith winter weather pretty much over (we hope!), it’s a good time to clean and inspect your tie down straps for wear and tear.

Whether you use 1″ ratchet straps to tie down a motorcycle in an enclosed trailer, or you’re a flatbed truck driver using 4″ winch straps, it’s important to regularly inspect straps, clean them, and store properly when not in use. Not only will these best practices extend the working life of the strap, they can also be the difference between a safe trip and a disastrous haul.

Inspecting a tie down strap

Besides holes, tears, and knots, check for these sometimes less-obvious indications of wear:

  • Broken stitching in the stitch patterns
  • Weld splatter, or any areas of melting or charring
  • Damage caused from UV rays: color looks bleached or webbing feels stiff
  • Small particles embedded in the webbing
  • Burnt areas caused by acid, alkali, or other chemicals
  • Cracks, pits, or corrosion on ratchets, cam buckles, hooks, and other fittings.
  • Unusual wear patterns of webbing at the point of contact with the fitting
  • Tag: work load limit information must be visible40401-2-x-24-orange-ratchet-strap-w-double-j-hook_4_640

If any of the above are visible, the straps should be removed from service. If in doubt, check The Web Sling and Tie Down Association (WSTDA)  publication Recommended Standard Specification for Synthetic Web Tie Downs. It’s the gold standard for tie down maintenance guidelines.

After a thorough inspection, create a record with dates to keep on file. Write your notes in a notebook, or keep an electronic file on your computer; either way, it’s a good idea to also take photos of straps so you can refer to them if needed during the next inspection.

How often should you inspect tie down straps? The WSTDA suggests an initial inspection before the strap is placed in service; then again each time before the strap is used. Periodic inspections should be based on: how often the straps are used  and the severity of the conditions the strap is used in. You can also use your experience of using tie downs in similar applications to know how often a strap should be inspected.

How to clean tie down straps

Keeping straps clean is one of the best ways to extend their working life. Mix a mild detergent with warm water and scrub with a quality scrub brush to loosen any dirt and debris. Avoid bleach-based cleansers or any with acid additives.

Even though the polyester fabrication of tie down strap webbing limits water absorption, it’s still best practice to hang straps to allow for thorough air drying.

Tie down strap storage

Straps can be hung on walls, stored in plastic bags or fabric bags, etc., but a good rule of thumb is to be sure and keep them in a dry area away from sunlight.

TALKBACK!

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Shoulder Eye Bolt: Small Part Plays a Big Part

Dustin - USCC
Dustin Roster, US Cargo Control Sales Team

One of the things I enjoy most about my job here at US Cargo Control is the variety of customers I get to speak with every day. Recently I received a call from Paul with Component Assembly Systems. I’m always curious about what the customers are using our products for especially when there is a large quantity like with this order: 300 of our 1/4″ x 2″ galvanized shoulder eye bolts.4461-1-4-x-2-galvanized-shoulder-eye-bolts_1_375 (1)

Paul began to tell me that our eyebolts would be holding the support vertical beams to the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. He shared a picture so I could see the image of this building which will ultimately serve over 200,000 daily commuters and feature multilevel retail and restaurant space.

 

World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Source: http://www.panynj.gov/
World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Source: http://www.panynj.gov/

A few more facts, courtesy of the Panynj.gov website 

  • The state-of-the-art hub is due to be completed in 2015
  • At approximately 800,000 square feet, it will rival Grand Central Station in size
  • The design features a distinctive, wing-like appearance
  • The structure will reach five stories underground into a basement area

This experience once again made me realize how rewarding it is when we’re able to get to know our customers and their needs; it’s a great feeling knowing we’re part of something much bigger.

 -Dustin

 

New Products: L-Track

ltrackmain-application-bannerWe’re thrilled to now be offering more than 100 new L-track tie down rails, kits, and accessories.

If you’re not familiar with L-track, it’s time to become acquainted. These tie down rails are easily installed in a truck to create a truck bed rail system, on a motorcycle trailer, inside a utility trailer- nearly anywhere you need to add spots to anchor a tie down strap, bungee cord, etc.

While it may be confused with the more widely-known E-track, there are some key differences:

  • Narrow, higher profile so it doesn’t get in the way.
  • Available in recessed and angled styles to make it even more inconspicuous.
  • Can be installed horizontally or vertically. E-track is designed specifically for one installation or the other.
  • Available in single point style, which make great truck tie down anchors in pickup truck beds, or smaller trailers.
  • Colored options are available to coordinate with cycles, ATVs, straps, etc.

Is it L-track, airline track, or logistic track?

L-track is also known by several other names, which can cause some confusion. It’s sometimes called airline track or seat track because of its use in the airline industry as track to secure seats inside aircraft. It’s also popular as a wheelchair tie down in commercial vehicles like buses and vans due to its strength and its low, inconspicuous design.

The term logistic track is really just a catch-all name for all types of tie down rails, including E-track, A-track (similar in style to E-track), and F track (looks like a hybrid of E-track and L-track, with a flat profile and small, round holes).

Types of L-track rails

l-track-red-table-headerColored L-track. These aluminum powder coated pieces come in colors to match popular motorcycle and ATV brand colors: red (Honda), blue (Yamaha), orange (Harley-Davidson and KTM), and green (Kawasaki), as well as aluminum and black. Olive is also available to coordinate with camo or military themes. Choose from several styles, ranging from single anchor points to full-length rails. Stud fittings are also painted to match. Looking for a motorcycle tie down system or an ATV tie down system? We offer several all-inclusive kits on our Motorcycle Tie Down Systems page. Don’t forget to check out our selection of motorcycle straps for use as motorcycle or ATV tie downs.

 

20870-6-aircraft-style-seat-airline-track_1_375Aircraft style seat track. This is the strongest line we sell, in a heavy-duty  6351-T6 aluminum for superior corrosion resistance.  It features a heftier width (1-3/8″) and height (1/2″) than our regular colored L-track, and comes in full 6′ and 12′ lengths (which can be cut to size). It accepts all of our L-track tie down system accessories, including single and double fittings, and aircraft seat track cover.

 

42499-12-airline-track-style-angled-track-aluminum_1_375Angled L-track. Angled L-track differs from regular L-track in profile: the sloping edges offer the benefit of a smoother ride when crossing over track installed on the floor of the trailer or truck. This is a great choice for not only securing motorcycles and ATVs, it’s also ideal for use in a delivery truck, van trailer, etc., where items are frequently rolled in and out.

 

 

42497-12-airline-track-style-flanged-track-aluminum_1_375

Recessed L-track.  Recessed L-track is just that- it’s installed in a recessed manner to create a smoother, more flat surface that makes it easy for rolling cargo over. It has a clean, flanged design and like all of our L-track, has pre-drilled holes for easy installation. Recessed L-track is popular in commercial vehicles like buses and vans for wheelchair securement, but it’s important to note that ours is meant only for recreational vehicle tie down use.

 

Not sure which L-track products you need for your tie down applications? Give our sales team a call at 866-444-9990- they’re always happy to help.

 

 

Customer Photos: Adjustable Shoring Beams

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

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

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

image of USCargoControl.com shoring beams

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

To purchase the items shown here, visit:

 

Semi Truck Mud Flap Laws By State

article-new-thumbnail_ehow_images_a07_2f_0u_mud-flap-requirements-1_1-800x800Mud flaps may not be something you think about as you climb in your truck, but don’t let your record get dinged on account of ignorance.

Did you know there are no federal mud flap laws?  Because laws are set by each individual state, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) doesn’t mention them in its list of safety regulations.  So what mud flaps should you put on your truck?

Here’s what you need to know before adding mud flaps to your rig…

In Texas, Arizona, Delaware and Missouri, your mud flaps should be no more than 8 inches from the ground.  However, if you’re driving through Alaska, your mud flap only needs to hang 14 inches from the surface of the ground.

Maryland requires that mud flaps extend from the truck to the ground the same length as the tire’s width (If the tire is 12 inches wide, the mud flap should be 12 inches long).

While some states are more lenient, in Michigan, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania mud flaps must prevent debris from leaving the tire at a minimum 22.5 degree tangent angle.

Last but not least, New York law states that your mud flap can’t be more than 1/3 of the distance from where the bottom of the mud flap makes contact with the back wheel.

Some states are stricter than others, but with so many states having different requirements how do you obey the all the laws?  To be on the safe side, general guidelines recommend that your mud flaps don’t hang more than 6 inches from the ground.

If you are curious about any of the other 41 states’ specific rules regarding mud flap laws, check the department of transportation website for that particular state.

It’s also important to note that there are federal regulations regarding the use of conspicuity tape (reflective tape) on or near mudflaps.You can find information on those regulations on our Reflective Conspicuity Tape page on our website. For a full breakdown of the rules, check out this handy guide:

besttape

 

FMCSA Conspicuity Requirements for Commercial Motor Vehicles

“Hola” to our Spanish-Speaking Customers

Sales - Ed
Ed Duran, US Cargo Control

Customers calling US Cargo Control for product information or to place an order now have the option of speaking in Spanish.

Product Specialist Ed Duran is our resident Spanish-speaking expert and takes between five and ten calls a week. He says many of those customers speak both English and Spanish, but are most comfortable communicating in Spanish, especially when asking questions about products and specifications.

Duran was born in Cuba and grew up in Miami, speaking both languages. He says he’s happy to be able to help customers that call with questions.

“While the terminology can be different, the information is generally very similar. It’s just that my brain has to shift gears when Spanish-speaking customer calls come in,” says Duran.

The upswing in bi-lingual callers reflects a trend nationwide. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Hispanic population is projected to reach 60 million in 2020.

Spanish-speaking customers can also reach Ed via e-mail at: customerservice@uscargocontrol.com.

 

Ball Bungees: Not Just for Tarps Anymore

image of ball bungees / bungee ball tie downs from USCargoControl.comBall bungees are fairly simple pieces of equipment when you think about it, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an impressive list of diverse uses.  If you’re not familiar with what we’re talking about, these ball ties are also sometimes called bungee balls, toggle balls, or ball bungee snuggers. They’re just a short piece of rubber bungee cord that’s looped up and knotted inside a small plastic ball.

We added bungee balls to our website a few months ago and have been hearing about lots of different uses for these handy tie downs from our customers.

25 Uses for Ball Bungees

  1. Tying up kindling and firewood for your wood burning home stove. (Be sure to add ball bungees to your camping checklist this summer too.)
  2. Tie on a loose bumper or other car parts temporarily after a car accident.  This should only be a temporary solution – but it can help get the car out of the street and to the mechanic for a more permanent solution.
  3. Keep a car trunk, or truck end gate bungeed shut when you’re hauling something oversized.
  4. Tying down a tarp over virtually anything – especially when hauling on a trailer.
  5. Tie extension cords together.
  6. Add extra security to equipment you need to strap to the top of a vehicle.
  7. Grouping together tools, stuff in the garage, or even straight items like skis, ski poles, or fishing poles.
  8. For setting up small tarps or other ground cover over outdoor plants and trees to prevent freezing.
  9. Secure a gate closed when the latch has broken.
  10. Tie down a lid on a garbage can or recycling bin.
  11. Secure lids on pet food to keep unwanted animals and pests out.
  12. Attach Christmas lights or other decorations to fences, posts, etc.
  13. Loop around garden hoses before storing away for winter.
  14. Loop around handles on suitcases or other luggage pieces so you can attach ID tags and find them quickly at the airport.
  15. Secure flags on snowmobiles, ATVs, etc.
  16. Secure around pant leg before putting on snow boots to keep pant legs tucked in.
  17. Tie down a cooler inside a tractor cab to keep it in place.
  18. Bundle hockey sticks or skis together to make them easier to carry.
  19. Secure around rolled up outdoor carpeting to keep it tight while in storage.
  20. Secure a camera to a solid object to use a tripod.
  21. Add extra tie down points when using a cargo net.
  22. Hang tarps when doing home improvement projects to keep mess contained.
  23. Secure pet crates inside vehicle to keep them from sliding.
  24. Loop one around your phone and attach to your belt, backpack, etc. when outdoors.
  25. Gather and secure extra long extension cords, computer cords, media cables, etc. to keep them neat and managed.

You can find bungee ball tie downs in our bungee cord category on US Cargo Control: Bungee Cords.

If you already know what length and color of ball bungees you need, shop here:

 6″ Bungee Balls: Black (pack of 100)

6″ Bungee Balls: White (pack of 100)

9″ Bungee Balls: Black (pack of 100)

9″ Bungee Balls: White (pack of 100)

11″ Bungee Balls: Black (pack of 100)

11 Bungee Balls: White (pack of 100)

Have you used these handy bungee ball cords? Let us know how and we’ll add it to our list! Better yet- send us a picture; you just may see a blog post about it!

 

New Hazmat Regulation: Drive Smart and Safe

CaptureWhenever a new hazmat rule is rolled out there’s no question that you want to make sure you’re fully up to date and in compliance.  “I didn’t know about the new rule,” isn’t an excuse that’s going to buy you a lot of leeway.  So when a new hazmat regulation came out starting on October 25, plenty of people took notice.  The language reads:

“Drivers hauling hazmat may no longer cross a highway-rail grade crossing unless there is sufficient space to drive completely through without stopping.

This rule was made in collaboration by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).  The rule change had been considered since 2011, but it was only recently that this regulation was put into effect for haulers of various toxins, hazardous materials, and other similar agents.

A need for signage

While both the National Tank Truck Carriers and American Trucking Associations prefer that appropriate signs should be added to the 21,000+ railroad crossings across the country where it’s not possible for a driver to pass through completely without stopping, the PHMSA and the FMCSA have stated that they do not have the authority for such a mandate.

The concerns have been heard

There’s been some grumbling that it’s not always easy to know ahead of time when a route is appropriate or not and that certain routes might not have appropriate detour routes especially in extremely industrial or port areas.  The good news is that officials recognize that these issues can happen and they even suggest that enforcement of the rules shouldn’t be iron clad 100% of the time, but should be enforced at discretion based on the circumstances.

Photo source: iTunes.com
Photo source: iTunes.apple.com

Technology can help

Another effort to help hazmat drivers obey the new rule comes in the form of a free mobile app that can be used by any iPhone or iPad.  The Federal Railroad Administration created the Rail Crossing Locator app to help provide hazmat-friendly routes to drivers, as well as a clear understanding of the grade crossings that were known. The app can locate crossings by Crossing ID, address, or geo-location. Crossings can also be identified by special characteristics. Users can also check accident history for each crossing.