Why Add Zinc to Steel?

*This is the second in a four-part series about steel used in rigging supplies and rigging hardware.

Details_of_rigAs explained in the previous post about carbon steel, there are four main types, and two of those involve a layer to add zinc to steel. These two types are hot galvanized dipped and zinc plated. Both of these styles are extremely popular, and it’s not hard to see why. There are several benefits to doing things this way, but one of the most obvious is that steel can be extremely vulnerable to rust, especially in areas with a heavy exposure to saltwater. Zinc acts as a natural barrier to rust, making the steel more durable to conditions that might otherwise begin to chip away at it.

Why add zinc to steel?

Aside from the obvious benefit of inhibiting rust and protecting the carbon steel underneath, zinc actually does this by oxidizing itself. Think of it as almost as “self-sacrifice” by the zinc that keeps the steel strong. This dramatically increases the life span of the steel, as well. It’s a very short process that takes only minutes to do, and since zinc is common and inexpensive, it’s a natural fit to combine with the steel needed to build a wide variety of goods.

Which is better: hot dipped galvanized steel or zinc coated steel?

There are pros and cons to going either direction.

hot dipped galHot dipped galvanized coatings may not look as smooth but they tend to last a lot longer. Also, the zinc oxidizes before the steel which means that raw steel is still in better shape to hold up against decay. It lasts a very long time and looks more rugged, but it is also more expensive than a simple zinc coating.

 

 

zinc platedZinc coated carbon steel is more economical since it is inexpensive. However the coating is much lighter than with hot dipped steel, so the coating will wear away much more quickly – no seventy years of coating here. It does look cleaner and a lot smoother if appearance matters.

 

 

Which should you choose?

Not everyone needs the additional sturdiness or durability that comes with a zinc alloy being added to carbon steel, however most people like the idea of making sure their investment is much more likely to rust or buckle under the pressure of time. While people may disagree over which method is best for them, there’s no question that zinc is a welcome addition to carbon steel in most instances, and the decision towards one or the other will depend on the applications the zinc-coated equipment will be used in.

 

What Is California Truck Rope?

Trucking rope: California truck rope from USCargoControl.comBefore understanding what exactly sets California truck rope apart, it’s important to understand about the different types of industrial rope out there.

Most rope can be broken into two categories: synthetic (manmade) fiber and natural fiber.  In recent years, many people have gone with synthetic ropes because they are often more suited for the type of work and endurance necessary.  While natural rope is softer to the touch and better holding up against direct sunlight and UV, it is also more prone to wear and rot.

 

The most common synthetic ropes fall under three categories:

  • Nylon rope
  • Polyester rope
  • Polypropylene rope

Generally speaking, polypropylene is the least expensive of the synthetic ropes and is known for being very lightweight but still strong.  This is an economic choice that serves the majority of people who find themselves in need of synthetic rope for some type of a job.  California truck rope is a very specific brand of polypropylene that offers the benefits nylon and polyester while keeping the inexpensive benefit of polypropylene.

What makes California truck rope different?

polypropylene California truck rope from USCargoControl.com

California truck rope is made specifically to pass the high expectations put forth by the California Highway Patrol Standards for tying down and hauling.  This means that this specific type of polypropylene rope not only has the same benefits as other polypropylene strands like resistance to mold, rot, mildew, chemicals, and road salts – but California truck rope has one huge advantage over most other synthetics: it has an ultraviolet inhibitor to help resist the sun damage issues that so many synthetic ropes have.

The most apparent difference between regular polypropylene rope and California trucker rope is the color: the three strand twist design features black and orange so it’s easy to differentiate from other synthetic ropes.

Trucker rope: not just for trucking

California truck rope offers so many benefits, it’s great for non-trucking uses as well. Available in multiple sizes from a mere ¼ inch in length to a solid 1 inch, it can be a good choice for water and snow ski rope, pool rope, general utility rope, and more- any task that requires lightweight strength, floating abilities, resistance to abrasions, UV rays, water, road salts, and chemicals.

Not sure which rope is right for your job? Give our sales team a call at 866-444-9990 – they’ll be glad to help.

To purchase California truck rope online, follow these links:

California Truck Rope: 1/4″

California Truck Rope: 5/16″

California Truck Rope: 3/8″

California Truck Rope: 1/2″

California Truck Rope: 1″

 

How to Use an Endless Ratchet Strap

image of endless ratchet strapAn endless ratchet strap is designed to bundle or band items together, so it’s great for use on a pallet, moving dolly, etc.  Sometimes called “endless loop ratchet straps” or just an “endless strap,” they’re available in a variety of widths, lengths, and colors.

Because a ratchet can be tensioned tightly, it’s a good idea to add corner protectors if you’re strapping together loads that may have delicate or crushable edges. Another option to consider for more fragile loads is an endless cam buckle strap since a cam buckle cannot be over-tightened the same way a ratchet strap can.

1.) Feed the strap through the bottom of the pallet, keeping the strap going the same direction as the fork truck tines. This will prevent the strap from being damaged by the tines.

2.) Bring the loose end of the strap over the top of the pallet and feed the webbing onto the mandrel take up spool of the ratchet. Pull the extra webbing through so that the slack is out of the strap. Failure to perform this step will result in too much webbing being spooled onto the take-up spool and will cause it to jam before the strap is fully tightened. In severe cases you will damage the ratchet assembly and/or you will have to cut the webbing off.

3.) Place corner protectors as needed over the edges of the cargo. This is especially useful if you have cardboard boxes or fragile cargo that will cave in or break when the strap is tightened. Corner protectors are also good for protecting the strap from abrasive cargo such as bricks to increase their life expectancy.

4.) Once you’ve removed the extra slack from the strap, you can begin to ratchet it down to your desired tension.

For more information or to purchase products in this video, click on the links below:

 

8 Legends In Our Placard Set: What Do They Mean?

Image of truck placard set from US Cargo ControlOur placard set is one of our best-selling items in our vehicle and driver supplies, due in part to its versatility- eight different legends are available with the quick switch of the plates. The hazardous materials placard’s legends cover a wide variety of labels for whatever hazardous materials you find yourself hauling.  These meet the all-important requirements from 49 CFR Part 172.519 of all hazmat codes.  So one question really makes sense: what are the eight legends in the placard set and what does it take to use each?

Dangerous

The “Dangerous” placard needs to be used if the shipment in question has non-bulk packages of two or more of these other placards, meaning multiple signs are required.  This could be if a chemical was flammable and explosive, for example, or chemical and combustible, etc.

Corrosive (Class 8)

To be considered corrosive, the material can be solid or liquid, but its main trait is that if a person comes into contact with it, the “full destruction” of human skin will occur within a certain amount of time after contact.  Also any liquid that can corrode steel or aluminum is also considered corrosive in nature.

Flammable Liquid (Class 3)

A liquid is considered Class 3 flammable when it has a flash point of not more than 60.5°C (141°F), or also for any liquid that has a flash point above 37.8°C (100°F) that is intentionally heated, and is transported at or above flash point in bulk packaging.

Flammable Gas (Class 2)Image of truck placard from US Cargo Control

The Class 2 flammable gas legend is for any gas that is compressed and stored for transportation, and is also flammable when put into contact with an open flame.

Non-Flammable Gas (Class 2)

To use the non-flammable gas legend you’re looking at any gas that is compressed for transportation but is not naturally flammable, according to the HAZMAT Class 2 gas requirements in the United States.

Inhalation Hazard (Class 6)

This designation is for any poisonous material other than a gas that is known to be toxic and possibly fatal to humans.  Toxic gas gets a designation of poisonous gas, so is separate from this one.

Oxidizer (Class 5.1)

You can use the oxidizer legend when hauling any chemical that readily yields oxygen in reactions, which is a fancy way of saying it can cause combustion or enhance any combustion taking place.

Image of semi truck placard from US Cargo ControlPoison (Class 6)

Any material being hauled that is known to be toxic to people and presents a health hazard during transportation (other than gas) is classified as a poison.

You can find more information online at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) page: Hazmat regulations.