Versatile Equipment for Lifting, Rigging, & More – Meet Plasma® Slings

USCC now offers a wide selection of superior Plasma Slings and Ropes from Cortland.

If you’re in the lifting and rigging industry, then you know how important it is to have durable, high-performing slings that will do the job. Not only that, safety is equally as critical when lifting or hauling heavy loads. After all, safety should be the first priority when performing lifting operations.

Enter: Cortland’s Plasma Slings & Ropes

Plasma Slings and Ropes for lifting and rigging
Photo Courtesy: Cortland Company

Meet Plasma Lifting Slings and Ropes – the new, popular lifting equipment that’ll bring you safety in the 21st century. If you’re wondering why you should look into Plasma Slings, there are many benefits to these synthetic fiber rope slings. Some benefits they have over wire rope slings or even traditional steel rigging include being lighter and easier to handle (1/7th the weight of steel), requiring no maintenance meaning no lubrication is needed, and they’ll never rust.

We understand the importance of trustworthy lifting equipment, and we’re dedicated to being your source for rigging and heavy-haul equipment. With Plasma Slings now available at US Cargo Control, it’s easier than ever to get the equipment you need to tackle the toughest overhead lifting and transportation jobs.

What are Plasma Slings and Plasma Ropes?

strong and lightweight slings for lifting and rigging
Photo Courtesy: Cortland Company

The most common synthetic fibers are nylon, polyester, polyolefin, aramid, LCP, and plasma. Plasma consists of a fiber called Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), which is extremely durable and carries superior strength over the other common materials.

Because they’re made of fibers and not metal, they’re resistant to corrosion and can tolerate UV rays, snow, rain, and freezing or high temperatures.

By comparing many factors including strength, elongation, melt point, abrasion resistance, and cost, we find that Plasma has:

  • The highest strength-to-weight ratio
  • The highest abrasion resistance
  • Excellent dynamic toughness in tension
  • Low elongation (3%-3.5%)
  • Excellent flex fatigue resistance in bending
  • Excellent chemical resistance
  • Density lower than 1.0

Plasma slings can be used in similar situations to wire rope as the primary lifting method for overhead lifts. Its rope fibers can be designed and constructed in many uses to provide mechanical advantages for lifts. With synthetic rope slings, you get strength and durability of wire rope slings, in addition to the weight-savings, cost savings, and load protection all in one product.

How is Plasma Safer than Wire Rope?

strong synthetic slings and ropes for lifting
Photo Courtesy: Cortland Company

Plasma won’t store as much built-up energy as steel will. If a break or failure occurs, no whipping or recoil motion will occur. Workers will not be injured as a result of this.

When a steel wire rope or chain sling breaks, it’s unfortunately much more violent and could hurt your workers or damage other equipment. When a Plasma Sling breaks, the sling simply falls to the ground.

It’s much safer on the hands and easier to inspect as well. The fibers in the synthetic rope are soft – meaning you won’t have to worry about broken wires, metal burns, or corrosion.

Why Look into Plasma Slings, and Why by Cortland?

Over the last decade, plasma slings are quickly evolving and becoming more preferred to use in lifting, rigging, and winching applications. Their high strength synthetic fibers are superior to steel wire rope as they’re much more lightweight, easier to inspect and repair, will not produce broken/protruding wires, unaffected by salt and fresh water, and their wear points can be protected from abrasion, cutting, and heat damage.

When compared to other rope manufacturers, Cortland’s Plasma Slings and Ropes provide unique strength and product performance characteristics. They focus on technical specifications of larger and more challenging lifts, and provide weight, strength, and product performance that cannot be easily be compared with other manufacturers.

“Not all modern high-performance synthetic fiber ropes are designed and produced the same; raw material choice, quality, construction, and coatings vary by manufacturer,” said Easton Schlender, Technical Sales Representative of Cortland. Cortland is an innovator in the design and performance of ropes, and each of their sling “is a product of base fiber strength, design, and production methods combined to achieve peak efficiency in sling strength, while being balanced to meet service life concerns.”

They can be more expensive than wire rope or other synthetic ropes, but they will offer your business and you a longer service life and incredible safety.

Types of Plasma Slings and Ropes USCC Now Carries

At US Cargo Control, we offer Plasma 12 strand rope, Plasma 12×12 rope, and Fabricated Eye & Eye Slings. We can even customize your Plasma sling or rope to fit your exact needs through various lengths.

Plasma 12 Strand

plasma rope 12 strand synthetic rope

Plasma 12 strand is the highest strength synthetic rope available. It is a braided rope constructed of 12 individual strands of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), enhanced by a recrystallization process to increase its strength.

The 12 strand has many advantages. It is torque-balanced and easily spliced by hand. Not only that, it has excellent bending flex fatigue and can easily conform to surfaces.

The sizes we are carrying are:

Plasma 12×12

plasma sling 12 x 12 strand synthetic rope

Plasma 12×12 is a 12-strand braided rope where each individual strand is, in turn, a 12-stand braided rope. This design allows for long lay lengths, making the rope more flexible for bending applications and quickly being spliced using standard 12-strand splicing techniques.

Just like Plasma 12 strand, it also has the easiness to handle which is great when splicing them. The other advantages of the 12×12 construction you may not know are that it has a firmer rope than the 12×1 braided rope – allowing better internal abrasion resistance between strands and greater dimensional stability.

We offer sizes in:

Eye & Eye Slings

plasma eye and eye sling synthetic sling

Eye & Eye Slings are used for many rigging applications and can be used in vertical, choker, and basket hitches. Not only can they be removed from underneath a load, but they also offer extreme versatility.

We are offering the Plasma Eye & Eye Slings in these sizes below, with lengths varying from 6’-20’.

What is Plasma Synthetic Rope Slings Used For?

plasma sling and rope

Because of its versatility, strength, and flexibility, there are a number of applications Plasma Ropes and Slings can be used for. They are great to use for lifting, pulling, mooring, or winching applications. Below are what you can use Plasma Slings for:

  • Surface overhead crane lifting (below the hook)
  • Wind farm installation and towers
  • Power Turbines
  • Material movement or transfer
  • Truck winches
  • Heavy Lifting
  • Rig Moving
  • Buoy Mooring Systems
  • Offshore Working & Lifting Lines
  • Inland River Lines
  • Ship and Barge Mooring Lines
  • Mining Tow Lines

USCC is Proud to Partner with Cortland

US Cargo Control can get you what you want, when you need it

We cherish partnerships where we can all help the industries we serve in become safer, more efficient, and able to complete their jobs without any worries. US Cargo Control is proud to be an official supplier of Cortland’s intelligent line of Plasma slings, so you can take the weight off your shoulders and safety into the palms of your hands.

We have a team of lifting and rigging equipment experts that understand Plasma Slings. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give our team a call at 866-444-9990 to get the answers you need.

Winter Truck Maintenance: 10 Tips to Prepare Your Truck for Winter

Cold temperatures are hard on the engine and the vehicle’s components. Read our ten tips on how to prepare your truck for the winter.

Is your truck prepared for the cold weather? With winter quickly approaching, checking your truck’s maintenance is critical to the safety of your vehicle, those driving around you, and you. 

Frigid temperatures and harsh winter conditions are hard on any vehicle, especially fleet vehicles that are on the road for multiple hours a day. Before temperatures drop to freezing points, prepare your truck for the upcoming winter with this maintenance checklist. 

Avoid Cold Soaks

Cold soaks occur when the engine block’s fluids and metal components are dropped due to being in chilly environments.  In other words, it means the engine has been inactive for an extended period (for more than a day), and cold weather can play a part in that. Just make sure to keep your engine running, and that it’s not sitting inactively for more than 24 hours!

Check Tires and their Tire Pressure 

check tires during winter

Remember to keep tabs on your truck’s tire pressure before and during winter. Cold temperatures can slowly reduce tire pressure, impacting tire tread life, fuel economy, and your safety.

If you have tires with wearing tread, this can cause slippery driving conditions as well. Make sure to have inflated tires as running winter tires in good condition will help prevent breakdowns and accidents.

Plug in the Engine Block Heater

If you drive during the winter months, you’ve probably heard that you might need to plug in your vehicle’s engine block heater so it can start. You’ll need an engine block heater because when extreme winter temperatures occur, 0° F or below, and you start the engine – the oil through the engine block thickens up and begins to get gooey. This will make it harder for the oil to move through the engine, causing it to work harder, use more gas, and produce more emissions. 

If it’s going to be cold during the night or early morning hours, you should probably plug in the block heater. A good rule of thumb is to plug it in when the weather reaches 5°F. 

Tip: To avoid cold soaks, this can help keep the block of the engine warm, making it easier for the engine to start. 

Check Your Front, Back, and Sidelights

check lights during winter, winter truck maintenance

Test to see if all your lights are working properly. Without bright lights leading the way through snowstorms, foggy conditions, or icy roads, it can be difficult to see where you’re going.

Check Your Battery 

Cold engines require much more battery power to start, and heat is damaging to a battery. Batteries drain quickly in cold weather, and can especially be challenging to charge. 

During your maintenance checklist, check that the battery is not past its expiration date so you know it’s capable of holding a good charge, and clean off any connections prior often during winter. 

Always Keep Your Fuel Tank at Least Half Full 

This is something we at US Cargo Control always do during the winter! We recommend keeping your fuel tank half full for a couple reasons. Condensation can build up in the tank, causing fuel lines to freeze when temperatures get cold. 

Another reason to keep it half full is you may get stranded during the winter due to breakdowns, traffic, or car wrecks, and keeping your tank half full allows you to keep it running for warmth should you become stranded. 

Change Your Wipers

Semi Truck Wipers Check and Replacement

It’s important to replace your windshield wipers at least once a year, and it could be good to do it at the beginning of winter. 

When driving through snow or rain, you depend on your wiper blades to keep your vision clear. The harsh conditions of freezing rain, snow, and ice build-up could leave you in a bad spot with a broken or worn-out wiper blade. Inspect your wipers to ensure they’re in top shape. 

Check Fluid Levels

The important fluid levels to check regularly are engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. If any of the levels are low or empty, fill them up before you start your journey in cold weather. This also helps with maintaining a good fuel economy.

Use Winterized Fuel 

Cold weather is rough on diesel fuel, and there’s nothing worse than dealing with a drop in fuel economy and your truck refusing to start when temperatures are below zero. Running your truck with untreated fuel during freezing temperatures can create many issues such as fuel gelling, frozen fuel lines, or plugged filters from build-up. Using seasonally enhanced fuels like CENEX, Wintermaster, or Premium Diesel Fuel will operate freezing temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Avoiding these problems will not help extend the life of your engine, but will keep you rolling!

Plan Ahead 

Highway through the windshield during a rainstorm and snowstorm

Every region in the country is different, and you should plan ahead so you can treat fuel accordingly and pack the essentials. Read 15 Winter Driving Kit Essentials so you can stock your vehicle with the items you’ll need.

Other Winter Tips from US Cargo Control

We care about your safety, and we want to make sure you’re able to get through the winter season. Read more of our tips to stay prepared:

4 Important Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

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

4 Important Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

How to Choose and Use Tire Chains like a Pro

At US Cargo Control, we want all truck drivers to be safe and careful during the winter season. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

9 Types of Trailers in the Trucking Industry, and Which Fits Your Freight Needs

Choose the right trailer for your freight by learning about the different types of trailers.

Truckers collectively travel 450 billion miles each year to haul cargo for consumers, carrying 11 billion tons of merchandise, electronics, supplies, and produce. This means truckers are the most commonly used means of transporting freight in today’s world. But, with many different trailers on the road today, it can be difficult to identify which trailer type is used for, and what’s best for your freight.

We’ll break down some of the most common trailers found in America, and how to use them for hauling cargo. Read to find out the 9 types of the most common trailers, and which trailer type best fits your freight needs. 

Dry Van and Enclosed Trailers

enclosed trailer type for hauling cargo
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

As it indicates in the name, an enclosed trailer has a container to enclose the load. When it comes to the shipments of pallet-based, boxed, or loose commodities, dry van trailers are the go-to solution. Typically around 53 feet, the dry van trailer is the most common type of trailer on the road today. 

Truckers usually use dry van trailers to ship the items that people ship every day. Large corporations like Walmart and Target use dry van trailers to transport their inventories like clothing, non-perishable food items, and household goods. These trailers are the ideal equipment for any shipper/receiver to use anytime because of their box-like shape and ability to back right into the loading dock’s bay. These trailers are a versatile and cost-effective investment for any company looking to expand its fleet and provide security to the cargo. 

The only disadvantage is the trailer’s floor cannot support a lot of weight, so they’re not good for carrying oversized loads (unlike a flatbed).  

Read 3 Accessories Every Enclosed Trailer Hauler Should Have to see what enclosed trailer equipment you need to protect your cargo.

Standard Flatbed Trailers

flatbed trailer for hauling cargo and freight
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

The standard flatbed trailer is another popular type of trailer that you’ll see on the road as well. They come in different sizes like 24, 40, 45, 48, and 53 feet, but the 48-foot flatbed trailer is the most frequently used. 

The standard flatbed trailer is a very versatile trailer in today’s world. The flatbed’s open back and sides allow for easy loading and unloading, and you can haul steel, construction equipment, lumber, and other open-air commodities with this trailer type. 

It doesn’t have a container to contain the cargo like a dry van trailer, so you must use heavy-duty equipment to secure your cargo, like our tarps to cover the items. At US Cargo Control, we have transport chains and binders, tiedown straps, and tarp solutions to ensure the safety of your cargo. 

Read the 5 Pieces of Flatbed Trailer Equipment Every Driver Should Have.

Refrigerated Trailers (or Reefers)

refrigerated or reefer trucks hauling commodities
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

As it says in the name, refrigerated trailers move any contents that require temperature control (think, cool temperatures). Their temperature control abilities and insulated walls make them the only type of trailer that’s perfect for hauling perishable items like fruit, frozen food, pharmaceuticals, and ice cream. 

The refrigerated trailer can only haul items up to 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide, so reefers cannot haul any commodity that exceeds the length of the deck.

Drop-Deck/Step-Deck Trailers 

drop deck or step deck trailer
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Drop deck (or step-deck) trailers are an alternative to the flatbed trailer when loads cannot transport on the flatbed trailer due to the freight’s height. The flatbed trailer is about 60 inches above the ground, while step deck trailers are close to the ground to provide a little leverage for carrying loads taller than 8 feet. 

This drop-deck trailer has two deck levels, the upper-deck and the lower-deck, and has a ramp for unloading. The most critical factor about this trailer is they are safer for unloading by a forklift because they’re closer to the ground. 

Double Drop/Lowboy Trailers

Lowboy or double drop trailer for hauling heavier items
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Also known as a low bed or float trailer, the double drop trailer is far closer to the ground than any other trailer type. The trailer has two “drops” that reside behind the gooseneck and before the back wheels. 

These trailers sit very close to the ground, which the drop allows the shipping of huge items like construction equipment that’s heavier than the maximum weight limit of other trailer types. Their maximum height in width is greater than other trailer types and the weight limit is 40,000 pounds (and can be up 80,000 pounds). These factors are perfect for hauling machinery and equipment like bulldozers and excavators.

These trucking trailers are the workhorses, but you would need additional permits from authorities. 

Removable Gooseneck Trailers (RGN)

Removable gooseneck trailer for transporting heavy machinery
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

These are excellent for carrying tall and long freights, and can come in a variety of sizes. The gooseneck secures the trailer to the tractor, and the front of these trailers can be removed. 

How it works is that the gooseneck is a detachable front, allowing the trailer to drop on the ground in order to create a ramp. The gooseneck is a perfect tool for hauling large machinery from point A to B. They can require additional permits due to the height and weight load and can have up to 20 axles attached to the trailer. The more axles, the more the RGN can carry. 

They are more specialized, so they render a more expensive usage. 

Extendable Flatbed Stretch Trailers

extendable flatbed trailer
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

As it hints in the name, this flatbed extends when you’re hauling freight that’s excessively long and cannot be carried by a standard type of trailer. The extendable flatbed trailer can extend to 80 feet, allowing shipments of larger loads to ship. 

When the trailer bed needs to extend, you release the pin that’s joining the two sections, which send the extendable portion of the bed to “stretch.” 

Side-Kit Trailers

side kit trailer to carry granular materials like gravel and rocks
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Side-kit trailers transport materials that do not need to be packed in containers or materials that cannot be packed. For example, granular materials like crops, coal, powders, gravel, etc.  The side-kit trailer has a panel made from either plywood or fiberglass and typically has a tent-like top covering. 

Granular materials are irregular in shape that they can’t be contained in an enclosed container, but we carry many types of tarps you can use to cover these types of materials. 

They’re highly versatile trailers and they have low operating costs, making side-kit trailers a highly used trailer in the industry. 

Specialized Trailers 

specialized trailers to transport hazardous materials
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

A specialty trailer refers to a container that carries a particular product. You can transport certain items like hazardous materials or liquids, but the amount of weight they can move varies. 

These trailers require a special permit and the driver has to have a special license to tow the load. Below are some types of specialized trailers:

  1. Trailers for transporting hazardous materials like petrol, oil, diesel, and other hazardous/flammable materials. This requires additional permits and higher costs to transport them.
  2. Medical Trailers that include mobile clinics to provide medical services and equipment to people on-site. This requires additional permits.
  3. Food Service Trailers that accommodate entire kitchens, providing food services to people on-the-go.

Find the Right Cargo Equipment for Your Trailer Type

Whether you need cargo control equipment for an enclosed trailer or flatbed trailer, US Cargo Control has a wide variety of trailer securement solutions. Our heavy-duty trucking equipment is designed with safety and industry standards in mind and made to withstand any abuse that the road may bring its way.

No matter which trailer type you choose, you can be rest assured knowing that you’re buying from a leading cargo securement supplier that’s trusted by thousands in the trucking and transportation industry. Our Midwestern team of experts keeps you moving forward by being dedicated to getting you what you want, when you need it.

To ensure the safety of your cargo, the people driving around you, and yourself, it’s important to haul cargo on your trailer correctly. Read the Dos and Don’ts of Load Securement Trailers.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you would have any questions about our trailer accessories, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

A Complete Guide to Vehicle Tiedown Straps for Beginners

Be prepared for towing and recovery operations by reading our guide on vehicle tiedowns.

You may be wondering how to secure a stuck vehicle to your vehicle or trailer without the risk of damage to any vehicle. Or, you may want to see what recovery equipment is right for your job. After all, a sudden stop, damaged tiedown, or lane change is the only thing between a safe delivery or destroyed cargo. Regardless of what you’re hauling, having the right tiedowns is incredibly important to ensure your cargo is delivered safely.

Continue reading to learn the difference between recovery straps and tow straps, the various types of vehicle tiedowns, and how to use them.

What are Recovery and Tow Straps Made out of?

using tow strap to stuck vehicle

First, let’s learn what they are made out of so you can determine which tiedown is right for your job.

The most common materials used to make vehicle tiedowns are polyester webbing and nylon webbing. The difference is what you should be using in recovery and towing applications.

If you’re in the towing industry or tow a lot, we recommend using straps with polyester webbing. Our Ratchet Straps with RTJ Cluster Hooks are extremely useful because the cluster hook combines three hooks into one chainring, providing multiple options to securely tie down any vehicle. Tow Ratchet Straps are perfect for towing because they have minimal stretch to ensure a firm hold on your cargo.

For recovery operations or quick vehicle recoveries, we recommend using nylon straps. Our 1-Ply and 2-Ply Recovery Straps have high-quality nylon material that contains pliable webbing to conform and support the load. It also has CORDURA® loops (or “eyes”) on each end, providing more resistance to cutting than nylon fabric. This will work well with tow anchor shackles to offer a strong connection point with the ease of a quick-release pin. 

Wait, What’s the Difference between Recovery and Tow Straps?

The main difference between a tow strap and a recovery strap is the fabric and their ability to stretch. The tow strap’s polyester webbing stretches less than nylon, and simply tows a vehicle behind another. 

You should not use tow straps to recover a stuck vehicle. They’re less flexible and are to pull a load that freely moves. 

The purpose of a recovery tiedown is to “recover” a vehicle from a tight situation like mud, rain, etc. These tiedowns have loops on each end and you could use them for both towing and recovery operations. However, it’s important to take special precautions when using these straps for towing. The stretch can cause a bit of a rubber band effect, which can sling-shot the vehicle at uneven speeds. 

Learn more about the differences between Recovery and Tow Straps.

How Do I Find a Tiedown that Safely Secures My Vehicle?

using nylon recovery strap to stuck vehicle

The answer is simple – you’ll want to start by finding the strap that fits the weight of your vehicle best. There are multiple ways to find your vehicle’s weight. You can locate this through your owner’s manual, a sticker on your driver’s door, or even through a Google search.

Once you discover the weight of your vehicle, this can help you determine the Working Load Limit (WLL) and Break Strength (BS) of the tiedown you’ll need. In other words, the amount of weight that’s safely rated for your car tiedowns. A good rule of thumb is for the vehicle weight to be half the break strength of the tiedown.

Confused about what Working Load Limit and Break Strength mean? Read Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength & Safety Factor: What Do They Mean?

Then, you can determine which tiedown is right for the job whether it’s for recovery or towing operations. Read below the different types of vehicle tiedowns.

Different Types of Car Tiedowns, or for Other Recovery Applications

different types of car trailer straps to use

While this isn’t a complete list of vehicle tiedowns, these are common tiedowns to use for recovery and towing operations.

1-Ply Recovery Straps

Made with a single layer of high-quality industrial grade nylon material, 1-Ply Recovery Straps are useful for pulling vehicles out of a tight spot and are an essential tool for anyone to have in their vehicle.

2-Ply Recovery Straps

Made with two layers of high-quality industrial grade nylon material, 2-Ply Recovery Straps are stronger recovery straps than 1-Ply Recovery Straps. 1-Ply has a single layer of nylon material with a break strength of 16,000 – 96,000 lbs, while the 2-Ply has two layers of nylon material with a break strength of 96,000 – 128,000 lbs.

These are heavy equipment recovery ropes and are one of the best ways to get a vehicle out of tough situations like water, snow, mud, or other road debris

Tow Ratchet Straps with RTJ Cluster Hooks

Ratchet Straps with RTJ Cluster Hooks are perfect for towing cars and other vehicles. The strap has polyester webbing, having minimal stretch to ensure a firm hold on your cargo. The RTJ hooks give you a variety of options to securely tie down any vehicle.

The R Hook – Ford Vehicles

T Hook – GM and Chrysler Vehicles

J Hook – Foreign Vehicles (these have parts made and assembled outside the country)

Axle Straps

Axle Straps attach around the vehicle’s axle to secure it to trailers of flatbeds for transit. This helps create a securement point to prevent your vehicle from moving or becoming unsecured. Axle straps are easy to use and are made with 12,000 lb. industrial-grade polyester webbing for maximum strength and durability.

Lasso Straps

Car haulers use Lasso Straps as a universal car tie-down strap. They’re especially convenient and often used when low clearance is a concern. When using a Lassp Strap, just thread the strap around the tire and secure it with a ratchet or winch

Tree Saver Straps

Tree Saver Straps are great for protecting your winch cable and the tree from damage when freeing a vehicle from a stuck position. To use, you simply wrap the strap around your tree (or other anchor points) and lock your winch hook into the eyes of the strap. Our 3″ x 6′ Tree Saver Strap is made of durable 3″ wide nylon webbing with a tensile strength of 30,000 lbs., so it’s strong enough to pull vehicles rated 12,000 lbs. or less.

How to Use a Recovery Tow Strap

Using heavy duty tow straps

Choosing the right tiedown for your towing or recovery application is critical. As we mentioned earlier, finding out the weight of your vehicle first will help you determine what tiedown you’ll need to use. Read the steps on how to use a recovery tow strap:

  1. Attach the strap to the rear of the towing vehicle, somewhere with plenty of strucural support.
  2. Secure the strap to the stuck vehicle. If you need help locating the exact mount to place the hook, make sure to refer to the owner’s manual.
  3. Once both hooks are secured, the drivers of both vehicles can get behind the wheel. The recovery vehicle can start accelerating slowly and gradually, straightening the strap to its full extent.
  4. The vehicle being recovered should be in gear, and once they’re moving – the driver should apply some gas and steer their vehicle out.
  5. The recovery vehicle can continue at a slow, safe speed to the nearby destination.

If you’re stuck in snow, learn How to Pull a Car out of Snow Using a Recovery Strap

Helpful Hints for Using a Tow Recovery Strap:

Before you start using car hauler straps, make sure to keep these tips in mind.

  1. Always inspect towing and recovery straps for damage prior to use. If you’re new to this operation, stop every once in a while when driving to check your work and see if the strap is holding up well. 
  2. When using tow straps, wrap around an appropriate frame point and thread the towing strap or snatch strap through the eye of the other end to choke the frame. 
  3. For tow strap recovery use, always securely attach the hardware to the recovery vehicle. Our anchor shackles are great for recovery vehicles.
  4. Get rid of any debris or material that may cut or damage the tie down.
  5. When using a recovery strap, a good rule of thumb is for the vehicle weight to be half the break strength of the recovery strap. 
  6. When choosing heavy-duty nylon recovery & tow straps, you should choose one that is strong enough, but not so strong that it won’t stretch. It is essential for the recovery strap to stretch so the memory of the nylon webbing will help “snap” the vehicle out and take some of the shock out of the initial pull. This tow strap strength is important in knowing how to use recovery straps for the best results.

Getting You What you Want, When You Need it

Recovery straps and tow straps are invaluable pieces of equipment whether you are in the towing business and need a heavy tow strap, off-road recovery straps for recreational use, or truck tow straps for emergency situations.

If you have any questions about what strap is best for your application, or if you need a custom strap, call us at 800-969-6543 and we’ll be happy to help you.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you have any questions about our products, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

What is D/d Ratio & Why is this Critical for Lifting Slings?

What effect does D/d Ratio have on lifting slings and their sling capacities?

You may wonder what D/d ratio is and what purpose it serves when lifting loads with different types of slings. After all, it can be confusing as there are multiple factors you have to take under consideration such as knowing the weight of the load, the sling’s working load limit (WLL), and the load’s center of gravity.

Identifying the D/d ratio when using any type of sling for a lift is critical, because if the lifting sling tightly bends over too much during the lift – the sling will get damaged. This could then lead to unsafe rigging practices. To have a safe lifting operation, continue reading more about D/d Ratio, and the types of slings we carry at US Cargo Control to identify which is right for your lift.

What is D/d Ratio?

The term D/d ratio works as a simple mathematical equation where you’re learning the diameter or distance of the load you’re picking up. It is the ratio of the diameter (D) around the object which the sling might be bent, which could be a sheave or another object, then divided by the overall diameter (d) of the sling being used.

The Formula for D/d Ratio:

The diameter of the load divided by the diameter of the sling = D/d Ratio

Unirope's definition of D/d ratio
Photo Courtesy of Unirope

For example, you’re picking up an object that’s 12 inches in diameter and you use a 3/8″ chain to pick it up. This is 12″ divided by 3/8″ = 32, which 32 is the D/d Ratio. If the diameter is 10″ and the diameter of the rope is 1/2, the D/d Ratio is 20.

Why is D/d Ratio Important?

The D/d Ratio has a tremendous impact on sling capacity when using slings like wire rope, chain, polyester round slings, and nylon slings. It can determine the sling’s efficiency or capacity reduction, and allow you to make corrections before continuing the lift. If you see a tight bending of the sling, this means there’s a smaller than recommended D/d Ratio.

Using a smaller D/d Ratio that’s not recommended for your lift can aggravate the bending motion. This can result in fatigue, irregular wear, and increased deterioration. Once this occurs, you’d have to perform frequent inspections and go through costly wire rope replacements.

Each sling type has different strength efficiencies, which is why we included a table below that describes the efficiency of various sling constructions with standard D/d Ratios:

Mechanically spliced, single-part slings25 times rope diameter
Hand-Spliced, single-part slings15 times rope diameter
Braided multi-part slings of 6 parts25 times component rope diameter
Braided multi-part slings of 8 parts25 times component rope diameter
Helically laid multi-part slings25 times component rope diameter
Hand-tucked grommets and mechanically joined grommet5 times sling body diameter
Union Rope’s Rated Capacity, Design Factors, and D/d Ratios

What Will Sling Damage Look Like?

wire rope damage

When a sling is tightly bending around another object, there is a loss of sling capacity. As D/d Ratio decreases, this capacity loss becomes greater and the sling will become less efficient. There is a direct correlation between D/d Ratio and the efficiency of the sling (or rated capacity).

Not only is it important to understand the D/d Ratio of the lifting sling, but it’s also equally important that fittings and rigging hardware used in connection points are adequately strong and spatially correct. For instance, if smaller, alloy shackles are used, the webbing edges can get damaged and sling efficiency is lowered due to the bunching of the webbing.

When not used correctly, this could result in bunching, and being crammed into a space will reduce sling efficiency and capacity. Basically, putting too many slings in an undersized shackle or another fitting can result in lost strength.

To understand what slings or fittings should you use for your job, give our team a call at 800-404-7068, and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Different Type of Slings

Now that you have an idea of what D/d Ratio means, continue reading on what lifting slings you should use that’s worth the investment for your lifting situations.

nylon lifting slings

Nylon Slings

Known as synthetic web slings or nylon web slings, our nylon lifting straps perform well for lifting breakable, delicate objects. Its heavy-duty synthetic material has great stretch and flexibility that help the slings mold to the shape of the load. Not only that, the nylon lifting sling’s material is treated to improve abrasion resistance and reduce wear, even in the most rigorous lifting applications.

Chain Slings

If you’re depending on a sling that requires extra strength and durability, the chain sling is your best choice. The chain lifting sling is the strongest and most durable type of sling and is highly popular to use for heavy lifting operations. They will perform better than polyester round slings or nylon slings because they’re more durable, tolerant to hot temperatures, and cut-resistant.

chain lifting sling
Polyester round sling

Polyester Slings

Manufactured in the USA from a continuous loop of polyester yarn that creates exceptional strength, the round slings are versatile, pliable, convenient, and cost-effective. Because of their many benefits, you can use these in vertical, choker, or basket hitches, making them effective to lift a wide variety of cargo!

Wire Rope Slings

Known as steel cable or wire sling, these are more durable than synthetic slings and more cost-effective than chain slings. Wire rope slings are an excellent choice not only for lifting, but also for hoisting, towing, or anchoring loads. Its fabrication offers abrasion-resistance and heat-resistance, as they are made by weaving individual strands or wire around a core.

Wire rope sling

To understand what lifting slings you should use for any lifting operation, read 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Lifting Slings.

Tackle the Toughest Lifting Jobs with High-Quality Rigging Hardware

We know the importance of quality when it comes to rigging supplies. We carry a variety of rigging hardware, as well as lifting beams and spreader bars that can lift heavy loads safely and efficiently.

Need a custom lifting sling? We can do that! We can customize a lifting sling to meet your specific needs.

Contact our sales team today at 866-444-9990. Our team of product experts is here to answer any questions about rigging hardware, lifting slings, and more.

10 Best Apps for Truck Drivers to Use in 2021 – For On and Off the Road

Read to find what trucking apps you should use in 2021.

As we all know, there’s an app for everything these days. There are especially trucking apps that truck drivers can use on and off the road, whether it efficiently improves your job or your well-being. There are many factors that go into the day of a trucker – from planning routes, executing hauls, and finding parking availability when done for the day.

Luckily, there are many trucking and lifestyle apps to choose from. You can compare fuel prices, find truck stops and read reviews on them, and stream music or audiobooks from your phone.

Whether you’re new to the trucking industry or you’re curious if some apps can help you to the best of your ability, we have some recommendations for you to use for the long haul. Continue reading the best apps that every trucker should use in 2021.

Trucker Path

This is the most popular and ultimate truck driving app in North America. You can get relevant information that you need in one app, and you’re able to read information and reviews from truckers for over 40,000 truck stops.  Some features include a mapping system that you can use to avoid low bridges, find the nearest fuel stops with truck clearance, compare fuel prices, and record hours of service. You’re able to plan a multi-day trip in advance!

Special Features:

  • Includes information for more than 7,000 truck stops in the U.S. and Canada
  • Updates on parking availability
  • Truck drivers’ forum
  • Information on weight station and scales
  • Trip planner option 
  • Find fuel stops with truck clearance 

Weigh My Truck

Weigh My Truck was created to save drivers time while at weigh stations. This is an app made by the CAT Scale Company where truckers can use the app to weigh their trucks automatically. The app locates the CAT scale you’ve arrived at and allows you to pay with your phone, sending a PDF receipt of the ticket and weight information to your email. You don’t have to leave your truck now!

Special Features:

  • Avoid wasting time walking inside to pay at weigh stations, or waiting to bypass a station
  • Weigh your trucks automatically 
  • Allows you to pay with your smartphone 
  • Receive PDF receipts of the ticket and weight information to your email

GasBuddy 

This neat fuel app has a database of more than 150,000 fuel stations across North America that you can access to find the cheapest fuel prices. Anytime that you can save money is a win. This app includes a trip cost calculator, station outage tracker, gas price map, and a place to track fuel purchases. 

GasBuddy can tell you when the price of diesel is increasing so you can fill up your tank before it happens. It can also monitor your driving habits to inform you if you’re wasting gas and money. 

Special Features:

  • Includes more than 150,000 gas stations in North America
  • Helps find the cheapest fuel price
  • Fuel Rewards
  • Access reviews of gas stations
  • Alerts when you’re wasting fuel 
  • Provides information on fuel stops with shower and food

Google Maps

Although an app everybody can use, this has some great features for truckers. It has a satellite view, where you can see from an overhead position if you need to see any obstructions, driveways to follow, and how to find the dock. You can also switch to street-view to get a 360-degree angle view of different locations on the map.

Basically, you can see exactly how a place looks like before you arrive at the destination to avoid any surprises! Technology is truly amazing. 

Their real-time traffic updates and search navigation are also helpful for receiving traffic alerts while driving or when you want to search restaurants, rest stops, and other spots in the area. The downside is Google Maps doesn’t prioritize truck routes, so a trucker GPS will be your best bet in getting accurate routes. You can still use them both simultaneously!

Special Features:

  • Panorama street view and satellite view to check parking spots, docks, and other locations
  • Real-time traffic updates
  • Updates on businesses that are open and closed 
  • Search for restaurants, fuel stations, rest areas, and more
  • Voice assistance feature

My Fitness Pal

Eating well on the road can be difficult, but My Fitness Pal can help you make smarter choices about what to eat and how to exercise. You can log your meals on the app and use its nutritional insights to plan future meals or make healthier choices when ordering out. If you’re curious about your calorie intake, you can log food by scanning barcode labels or choose items from its database to understand an idea of what or how much you should eat in a day. 

Special Features:

  • Track meals and your movement 
  • Log meals to gain nutritional insights and calorie intake
  • Log food by scanning barcode labels or choosing items from its database
  • Plan future meals

Weather Channel

Be secure with where you’re driving to with the Weather Channel app. 

Their rain forecast is usually precise, letting you know when it will rain in advance, and you can get weather updates wherever you are. You can also use their radar to check how serious the weather will be ahead of time. If you’re a trucker, you know weather and wind speed will affect your driving, so this app will be extremely helpful for getting accurate information. 

Special Features:

  • Current weather reading in your location
  • Get alerts of expected weather 
  • Animated live radar to track weather currently or ahead of time
  • Information on wind speed 
  • Warning when there is expected thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes


Audible

If you enjoy listening to audiobooks while driving, Audible is a great choice. You can get access to thousands of audiobooks, so you’ll never get tired of listening to a variety of genres! Users can sign in with their Amazon account, and if you’re a new member, you can enjoy a 30-day free trial. 

The best part is you can personalize your library and download the audiobooks to listen offline. 

Special Features:

  • Wide collection of audiobooks 
  • Customize your library 
  • Listen to audiobooks offline
  • Sign in with Amazon account
  • Free first-month trial 

Spotify 

Listen to your favorite music or podcasts as you drive. You can create your own playlist or listen to Spotify’s curated playlists based on artists, moods, or genres. 

Spotify is a huge music streaming service, and its huge library makes it perfect to listen to music on the road without getting bored. You can choose the free version (you’d have to stick with their ads), or the premium version with no ads. 

  • Wide library of music, podcasts, and more 
  • Create your playlist
  • Easy to search interface
  • Free version available 

Calm

This is a great app to use when you’re on a break, meditating, or sleeping.  The app comes with more than 500 HD audio channels to stream relaxation music. The only con is the ads may interrupt your sleep with the free membership, but you can pay the membership to listen freely with no ads.

You can enjoy all types of relaxing genres like jazz, classical music, country music, pop-rock, and adult contemporary, as well as nature sounds in the background. 

Special Features:

  • A lot of music channels
  • Meditation music 
  • Sleep timer
  • Nature sounds in the background to help you relax 
  • Unlimited listening 

Rolling Strong

Rolling Strong is a free health and wellness app from a company dedicated to the well-being of truck drivers. The app offers nutritional guidance by suggesting meals and exercise programs based on your daily sleep, exercise, and water and calorie intake. Since you’re on the road frequently, the app can show you the nearest fitness spots with truck parking spaces available based on your locations, and you can watch exercise training videos to help you get moving. 

Special Features:

  • It tells you the nearest fitness stops
  • Monitors your sleeping pattern
  • Can track calories 
  • Redeem points for rewards 
  • Online coaching to get fit
  • Remind you to hydrate

Great Reads for Truckers

We have some great reads for you to improve your habits and well-being while driving for the long haul!

5 Tips for How to Sleep Better in a Semi Truck

4 Important Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

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

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

5 Money-Saving Tips for Truck Drivers on the Road

Long-Haul Truck Drivers Share The Most Scenic Drives in America

At US Cargo Control, we care about our customers and getting them what they want, when they need it. If you have any questions about our products, give our a team a call at 866-444-9990.

To the Truckers Across the Country and the World, Thank You!

In honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, thank you truck drivers for making daily life possible.

You know the saying, “if you got it, a trucker brought it to you!”

This week is a special week – it’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, and it’s dedicated to honoring all truckers across the country that keep us moving forward. Almost every aspect of daily life is made possible because a truck driver delivered the goods and resources we need.

The professional men and women behind the wheel have one of the most demanding and important jobs, and we thank them for their continued commitment and service to the industry. This week is a way to show appreciation to the 3.6 million+ truckers who not only deliver our goods safely, securely, and on time, but also keep our highways safe. 

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is running from September 12th-18th, so let’s express our gratitude to all truckers this week.

To the truckers, thank you! Read below on some of the special deals businesses are doing for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

Businesses Giving Back

Truck driver at gas station

Truckers, get ready to be appreciated greatly this week! There are many businesses that are giving back because you deserve it. 

C.H. Robinson

C.H. Robinson has sweepstakes this week, and they’ll be giving out $1,000 to 10 winners daily between September 13th-17th. If you’re a truck driver, all you have to do is register, and you will have 50 chances to potentially win a prize!

If you’re not a truck driver but you still want to help them, you can submit a thank you note and C.H. Robinson will donate $1 to St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund.

Jubitz

Jubitz is hosting their annual Driver Appreciation Day event on September 15th at their main campus in Portland, Oregon. If you’ve been there – then you know this is an amazing treat. This year’s event will have a free barbecue lunch for anyone with a CDL from 9am to 2pm. You can also RVSP for the event on their website

They will also be giving away free swag bags and giveaway opportunities while supplies last, so if you’re nearby – make sure to stop there!

Love’s 

Love’s is celebrating NTDAW all September long with amazing giveaways and deals! They’re giving away 14 million My Love Rewards points during this month, including hundreds of daily winners and a 1-million-point winner at the end of the month. (This is super impressive!)

Drivers can take advantage of deals on fresh food, snacks, drinks, free food with an oil change, and even more from now until the 18th. Just make sure you are a My Love Rewards member to get these advantages!

Each time drivers swipe their My Love Rewards card during the month of September, they’ll be entered for a chance to win 1,000 or 2,000 My Love Rewards points daily. They’ll also be entered for a chance to win 1 million My Love Rewards points at the end of the month.

Other offers Love’s are doing include:

  • Free Hot to Go sandwich or Fresh to Go salad with any oil change at Speedco or Love’s Truck Care (Sept. 12-18).
  • Free Love’s hat with the purchase of two pairs of gloves for $24.99.

Pilot / Flying J

Pilot / Flying J is rewarding professional drivers all month long with free drinks, bonus loyalty points, and many more perks! If you use Pilot’s myRewards Plus app, you can redeem a free drink of choice from each day’s brand family or beverage category on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays all September long.

You can also get free showers all month with shower power after one 50+ gallon commercial diesel fill, and earn bonus points with several ways to boost loyalty earnings throughout September. 

Also, Pilot is accepting nominations throughout September for their Road Warrior contest. The annual Road Warrior contest honors truck drivers who have gone above and beyond to keep America moving, and the hardworking haulers will be awarded a grand prize of $10,000, $5,000 for second place, and $2,500 for third place. If you know someone that fits the description perfectly, nominate them through Pilot’s 2021 Road Warrior contest!


Are there other businesses that are doing something special for truckers this week or throughout September? Write in the comments below and let us know!


Simple Ways to Thank a Trucker

national truck driver appreciation week 2021

If you know a trucker or see one this week, thank them for their continued hard work! We have some simple ways that you can do to give back to truckers.

Thank a Trucker In-Person at a Gas Station or Rest Stop

There are a few ways to express your gratitude when you see them in person. Say thank you when you see a trucker and consider giving them a gift card for gas, a local store, or a restaurant. You can also pay for their drink or meal when they’re taking a break! 

Thank a Trucker on the Road

When you see a trucker on the road, give them a wave, thumbs up, or even gesture to have them pump the horn! 

Most importantly, be considerate when sharing the road with a truck driver. They’re hauling heavy cargo in an 18-wheeler, so be respectful of the truckers when you’re driving. When passing a truck, make sure to signal, provide room ahead of the truck, and be aware of the trucker’s blind spot. 

Thank a Trucker with a Pre-Thought Gift

Gift a truck driver a personal care package filled with essentials, like water, snacks, hand sanitizer, etc, or leave them a thank you note on your front door. 

At US Cargo Control, we care about our customers and getting them what they want, when they need it. If you have any questions about our products, give our a team a call at 866-444-9990.

Heads Up! CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week 2021 is Here

Operation Safe Driver Week is July 11th-July 17th. Read what the program is about, and how to prepare for it.

Do you know that speeding is a factor in a quarter of crash deaths since 2008, and it’s the most frequent driver-related crash factor for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles? Speeding is also a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2018, killing 9,378 people or an average of more than 25 people per day.

This is why CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week exists. 

This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week has started and will continue to run until July 17th, 2021. This year’s focus is on speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors. During this time, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky behaviors in or around a commercial motor vehicle. 

Unsafe drivers will be pulled over and issued a citation or warning. Continue reading what the program is about, and how to prepare for it.

What is CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week?

Law enforcement during operation safe driver week 2021

Operation Safe Driver Week helps reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. The goal behind this program is to improve drivers’ behaviors through educational and traffic enforcement strategies. 

Most crashes are caused by drivers’ actions, and research shows that interactions with law enforcement change the driver’s behaviors. 

What to Know about Operation Safe Driver Week 2021

Prepare for Operation Safe Driver Week 2021

What you need to know if you’re pulled over for speeding, officers will deeply investigate you and your vehicle. You may receive a warning or citation if you engage in speeding or other risky driving habits.

The other problematic driving behaviors officers will track but not limited to are:

Results from the Past Few Years

CVSA selected speeding as its focus this year because even though there was a drop in road travel last year due to the pandemic, traffic fatalities still increased nationally.

Surprisingly, the estimated rate of death on roads last year increased 24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven were dropped to 13%. This is the highest estimated year-over-year jump NSC has calculated in 96 years.

Tips for Truckers

Safety tips for operation safe driver week 2021

To prepare yourself during and after this week, follow the tips below for best practices.

  • Follow the speed limits.
  • Abide by common traffic laws, obey traffic control devices, and wear your seat belt.
  • Don’t engage in dangerous driving behaviors and practice defensive driving.
  • Continue to operate within the Hours of Service regulations to ensure you’re well rested and alert when driving.
  • Allow additional time to get to your destination safely.
  • Avoid tailgating.

At US Cargo Control, We Care About Your Safety

By spreading awareness about Operation Safe Driver Week, we want to make sure truckers are prepared during and after this event. It may be easier to speed so you can reach your destination faster, but that comes with a risk. It’s better to get there safely, than not get there at all.

Stay safe out there, and use defensive driving skills!

Other Reads for Truckers:

Long-Haul Truck Drivers Share The Most Scenic Drives in America

5 Money-Saving Tips for Truck Drivers on the Road

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

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

5 Tips for How to Sleep Better in a Semi Truck

9 Free Ways for Truck Drivers to Save on Fuel

Truck Drivers, thank you for moving us forward. We appreciate your hard work to deliver the goods that we consume every day. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team of experts a call at 866-444-9990.

Heads Up! CVSA’s International Roadcheck 2021 is Approaching

Read how to prepare for the two main inspection categories of the North American Standard Level I Inspection.

Every year, CVSA hosts its Annual International Roadcheck, which is the largest enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world. The roadcheck runs during a 72-hour period with about 15 trucks or buses inspected every minute across the United States, as well as vehicles being inspected in Canada and Mexico.

This year’s International Roadcheck will happen on May 4th-6th with a focus on inspecting trucks’ lighting devices and the drivers’ hours of service. Continue reading the importance of the International Roadcheck, and what the inspection will be.

The Importance of CVSA’s International Roadcheck

CVSA roadcheck official inspects truck for violations

The International Roadcheck occurs every year to increase the awareness and importance of commercial motor vehicle safety. Not only are the inspectors making sure that your vehicle is safe to drive, but they’re also making sure you and other drivers are safe as well. The dates are shared in advance to prepare motor carriers and drivers and to be aware of proactive vehicle maintenance and readiness.

CVSA’s President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police states that the International Roadcheck “aims to raise awareness of the North American Standard Inspection Program and the essential highway safety rules and regulations in place to keep our roadways safe.”

This year, the inspection will focus on two categories. For the driver portion, inspectors will focus on the hours of service and the lighting devices during the vehicle portion.

What Will the Inspection Be?

The Vehicle Portion

The inspectors are paying close attention to your truck’s lighting devices to ensure they are operating well. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “the lighting violation ‘lamps inoperable’ was the number one vehicle violation in 2020 – which accounted for approximately 12.24% of all vehicle violations discovered that year.”

Lighting devices include:

  • Headlamps
  • Tail Lamps
  • Clearance Lamps
  • Identification Lamps
  • License Plate and Side Marker Lamps
  • Stop Lamps
  • Turn Signals and Lamps on Projecting Loads

Along with the importance of your truck’s lighting, they will be checking the components of your truck to ensure everything looks good to go. Components include:

  • Brake Systems
  • Cargo Securement
  • Coupling Devices
  • Driveline/Driveshaft Components
  • Driver’s Seat
  • Exhaust Systems
  • Frames
  • Fuel Systems
  • Lightning Devices
  • Steering Mechanisms
  • Suspensions
  • Tires
  • Van and Open-Top Trailer Bodies
  • Wheels
  • Rims
  • Hubs and Windshield Wipers are Complaint

Inspections of motorcoaches, passenger vans, and other passenger-carrying vehicles also include emergency exits, electrical cables, and systems in the engine and battery compartments, and seating.

The Driver Portion

During the driver portion, they will be examining you, your driving requirements, and hours of service documentation. The hours of service documentation is critical this year to ensure hours are regulated well so drivers have rest time between driving shifts. Hours of service was the number one driver out-of-service violation, accounting for 34.7% of all driver out-of-service conditions.

Inspectors will also check your operating credentials, seat belt usage, and alcohol and/or drug impairment.

If you pass the vehicle and driver portions of the inspection, you will receive a CVSA decal.

International Roadcheck CVSA sticker 2021

Download the PDF to learn more about the driver’s and vehicle’s requirements.

What Happens if You Don’t Meet the Requirements?

Unfortunately, if there are any violations during the vehicle and driver portions, you and/or your truck will place out-of-service. When this happens, you and the vehicle cannot operate until the identified out-of-service conditions are correct.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Just the same as last year, the law enforcement personnel will conduct inspections following their departments’ health and safety protocols during the 2021 International Roadcheck.

In addition, as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out, inspectors will do their best effort to allow vaccine shipments to arrive to their destination, quickly and safely. COVID-19 vaccine shipments will not be held up for inspection unless there is an obvious serious violation.

Cargo Securement as a Frequent Vehicle Violation

load securement for CVSA international roadcheck

Last year, more than 15,000 trucks were placed out-of-service in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Cargo securement was one of the top five violations, where 1,586 drivers were placed out-of-service. We have some tips for you to safely secure your load so you can avoid this violation this year:

  • Always keeping multiple pieces of cargo tight together in the center of the trailer to prevent load shifting.
  • Making sure to have the appropriate number of tiedowns and that they are correctly used to prevent the cargo from moving forward, rearward, or laterally.
  • Always knowing the weight of the load to ensure you have the right number of tiedowns.
  • Inspecting tiedowns prior to each use and remove from service any tiedowns that are frayed, cut, damaged, knotted, etc.
  • Making sure web tiedowns are properly tagged with WLL in lbs. and kgs.
  • Making sure chain and binders have grade markings, WLL, or Breaking Strength.
  • Using edge protection like corner protectors to prevent cutting, abrasion, and premature wear from sharp or abrasive surfaces.

We carry trucking and transportation equipment so you can secure your cargo without any worries. You can shop by trailer type, which we have enclosed trailer accessories and flatbed trailer equipment that has everything you need to outfit your truck.

Learn more about load securement:

The Dos and Don’ts for Load Securement on Trailers

Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength, and Safety Factor: What Do They Mean?

How Many Tiedowns Do I Need to Secure My Cargo?

A Simple Guide on How to Use a Ratchet Strap and How to Release It

Truck Drivers, thank you for moving us forward. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team of experts a call at 866-444-9990.

How to Select a Load Cell

Ask these 4 simple questions to pinpoint the exact load cell you need

You don’t have to be an expert in load cell technology to select the one you need and feel confident that it will get the job done right.

The technology found in many modern load cells can seem overwhelming at first, but in industries where precision is a must, choosing and properly using an appropriate load cell could mean the difference between another successful day at work and an expensive or potentially dangerous miscalculation.

Luckily, we’re in 2021. Once you select the load cell that’s right for your application, you can enjoy enhanced safety, accuracy, and efficiency through the use of simple software and load cell readouts that fit in the palm of your hand, function from nearly a mile away, and provide +/- 0.1% accuracy.

Despite the many brands and types of load cells available on the market today, choosing the exact right one for your needs is fairly simple when you break it all down. Let’s walk through the 4 simple questions that will guide you in selecting the right load cell.

selecting load cells
Tension load cells from Straightpoint can handle tension reading capacities ranging from 1-ton up to 500-tons.

1. What is your application environment?

First, it’s important to consider the general environment in which you’ll be using the load cell. In terms of durability, there’s a wide spectrum ranging from low-capacity, unsealed load cells to weatherproof multi-ton options.

If you’re needing load cells for industrial applications involving cranes or heavy loads, you’ll want to select a trusted load cell brand that’s been rigorously tested and proven to have high manufacturing standards. If the load cell could be exposed to water you’ll want one rated for common environmental protections like IP67 or NEMA6.

2. What are you needing to measure?

Next, what is the specific goal you’re trying to accomplish with a load cell? Tug testing? Structural weighing? Laying cable, or maybe something else? “Load cell” is a broad term that encompasses many different electronic measurement tools including tensiometers, dynamometers, load shackles, and even common crane scales. Of course, you’ll want to get a load cell that’s designed to safely measure whatever it is you’re working with. Still, keep in mind that there is some crossover in what these load cell types can do. Below is a list of common load cell types found in the rigging and lifting industry, plus their common application.

Compression Load Cells – structural weighing and the confirmation of mass or center of gravity


Tension Load Cells – measures tension levels, commonly used for overhead weighing and heavy lift applications


Crane Scales – weighs pretty much anything that can be fasted to its hanging hook, crane optional


Shackle Load Cells – common in industrial crane applications, especially limited headroom or super heavy lift projects

Towcells – monitors tensile towing forces, engineered for emergency/rescue services, salvage, 4X4 events, and other vehicle load monitoring applications


Running Line Dynamometers – measures tension, line speed, and distance for wire rope, electrical cables, and synthetic rope


Clamp On Line Tensiometers – measuring guy wire and wire rope tension

wire rope tension load cell from straightpoint
The Straightpoint COLT clamp on line tensionmeter is a fast and accurate tool for measuring guy wire and wire rope tension up to 11,000 pounds with up to 1-inch diameters.

3. How do you want to transmit and check load cell readouts?

If you have a smartphone in your pocket, you know just how far wireless technology has come over the past few years. Load cells are no exception. In fact, many modern load cells such as industry-leading Straightpoint load monitoring load cells, are compatible with your cell phone or smart device via Bluetooth or by simply downloading a free load cell monitoring app. These advanced wireless load cells work from long distances for increased safety and can also sync with a larger computer or a special wireless handheld reader to remotely read and adjust load cell setups. Of course, wired load cell options still exist, but it’s important to understand there are many more options in the field these days that could bring you added benefits.

4. What weight capacity and dimension requirements do you have?

Finally, once you know the level of durability you need, the type of load cell that measures your workload, and whether you want wired or wireless transmission, you’re almost finished. The final step in how to select a load cell is to ensure you get one that can handle your application’s weight capacity and physical dimensions. Whether it’s in pounds, kilograms, tons, inches, or centimeters – check the spec sheets carefully to ensure the load capacity and physical dimensions of the load cell itself align with your application. You shouldn’t have any doubt in your mind that what you order can handle your load safely and effectively.

Summary

Whether you have old load monitoring load cells that need to be replaced or are investing in these intelligent tools for the first time, selecting the proper load cell is important. Professionals in many different industries rely on these tools to provide precise measurements that could otherwise mean costly mistakes. First, decide on the level of durability you want. Then, consider what you’re needing to measure and the way you’d like to transmit those measurements. Finally, narrow in on the load cell specs to find one that’s able to comfortably handle your application.

Still have questions? Give our rigging and lifting product experts a call at 800-404-7068.

New Crosby® Product Additions at US Cargo Control

We expanded our selection of rigging hardware and rigging supplies to meet your lifting needs.

We recently launched 57 Crosby® products to the site! We expanded our selection of rigging hardware and rigging supplies so we can continue to meet your lifting needs. As an authorized Crosby® distributor, we’re proud to sell many Crosby® rigging items from the company’s diverse portfolio. Continue reading to learn more about the latest product additions:

Crosby® HR-125 Swivel Hoist Rings

crosby swivel hoist rings

Swivel hoist rings have always been a popular choice for rigging and lifting applications. If you are involved in a lifting application where continued movements at mulitple directions will occur, you will have more success using the HR-125 Swivel Hoist Ring than the standard eye bolt.

You can still use the standard eyebolt for lifting applications, but it will only perform straight pulls. If pulled at any other angle, it will result in extreme loss of rated working load limit. The HR-125 Swivel Hoist Ring can pivot and swivel at multiple directions, as the pivot pivots 180° and the base swivels at 360°.

Crosby® HR-1000 Heavy Lift Swivel Hoist Rings

crosby lifting products, featuring Heavy Duty Hoist Ring

If you come across a “Heavy Lift” Swivel Hoist Ring, you won’t be disappointed with this item. The Heavy Lift Swivel Hoist Ring has increased toughness that can hold up in potentially harsh conditions. Along with that, it has a larger opening than the standard Swivel Hoist Ring. This will allow you to easily attach sling hooks and other lifting fittings for quick securement.

Just like the HR-125 Swivel Hoist Ring, the Heavy Lift Swivel Hoist Ring can pivot at 180° and swivel at 360° in multiple directions. These hoist rings are beefier than then HR-125 line of hoist rings and are great to use for heavy-duty performance.

Crosby® SL-150 Slide-Loc® Hoist Ring

crosby slide loc

If you’re looking for a hoist ring that has tool-free installation, the SL-150 Slide Loc will do the job. The Slide-Loc features a patent-pending mechanism that doesn’t require you to use any tools to install this.

The patent-pending mechanism has a locking component that easily slides back to make this hoist ring ready for lifting. Along with that, it has a red QUIC-CHECK® mark to ensure that the Slide-Loc is ready for lifting. Its other unique features are having a larger eye-opening for easy lifting hook access and a 360° swiveling bail.

Crosby® G-402 Eye & Eye Swivel

crosby's eye and eye swivel at US Cargo Control

The G-402 Eye & Eye Swivel will prevent unnecessary twisting and binding of slings and other attachments. This is perfect for those who are seeking for a swivel that eliminates tangling! You use this swivel’s connecting links to connect a fixed connection point with a sling leg or wire rope to keep the connection intact and prevent side loads. You can integrate the connection points into the machine or as a bolt-on type applications such as eyebolts or hoist rings.

Keep in mind that the G-402 Eye & Eye Swivels are positioning devices and cannot rotate under load.

Crosby® G-403 Jaw & Eye Swivel

Crosby's jaw and eye swivel at US Cargo Control

The Jaw and Eye Swivel, or known as Jaw End Swivel, prevent unnecessary twisting and binding of slings and other attachments. Just like the G-402 Eye & Eye Swivel, you use the Jaw Swivel’s connecting links to connect a fixed connection point with a sling leg or wire rope to keep the connection intact and prevent side loads. You can integrate the connection points into the machine or as a bolt-on type applications such as eyebolts or hoist rings.

The only difference between the Jaw Swivel and the Eye Swivel is the Jaw Swivel has a screw pin. The Eye Swivel has a circular opening that you must clip something to. Read more about the differences in snap shackles in Snap Shackles: What Can I Use a Quick Release Shackle For?

Keep in mind that the G-403 Jaw & Eye Swivels are positioning devices and cannot rotate under load.

Crosby® S-421T Wedge Sockets

crosby s 421t wedge socket available at US Cargo Control

Lastly, we have the TERMINATOR™ Wedge Socket that is destined to be the last wedge socket you’ll ever need! With the end-user in mind, this item has several reasons to why you should switch to this wedge socket. Compared to the “old style” wedge, this wedge has been extended in length.  The added length allows a Crosby Regi-Bolt G450 wire rope clip, the same size as the wire rope used in the socket, to be easily attached. This helps secures the tail or “dead end” of the rope to the wedge to eliminate loss or “punch out” of the wedge. 

The wedge has QUIC-CHECK® “Go” and “No-Go” feature cast into the wedge to ensure the proper sizing of the rope. Utilizing a standard Crosby Red-U-Bolt®, these wedge socket terminations are especially useful in situations where quick or frequent rope replacement is necessary.

More Information on Rigging and Lifting Gear

Don’t know the difference between the many types of shackles? Read The Differences Between the Types of Shackles.

Unsure which type of lifting sling you need? Check out our post How to Choose a Lifting Sling and learn more about the difference between standard and adjustable chain slings.

Unsure when it is time for new rigging gear? We have some tips on how to tell when it’s time to look into new rigging gear when you’re in the process of inspecting your lifting hardware.

Saw random numbers on your load-bearing equipment and confused about what they mean? Read our post on Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength & Safety Factor: What Do They Mean?

Are you ready to get your hands on some Crosby® products? Contact our sales team today at 866-444-9990. Our team of product experts is here to answer any questions about rigging hardware, lifting slings, and more.

CVSA’s International Roadcheck 2020 is Approaching

If you haven’t already, read how to prepare your vehicle and yourself for a North American Level I Inspection.

If you haven’t already, read how to prepare your vehicle and yourself for a North American Level I Inspection.

After the International Roadcheck 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19, CVSA has now rescheduled the event for September 9th-11th. During the 72-hour inspection, law enforcement will verify your driving requirements and examine your vehicle’s components.

What Will the Inspection Look Like?

truck driver on the radio

This year’s focus will be on the driver’s requirements during the roadside inspections. The North American Standard Level I Inspection is a 37-step procedure that includes two main categories: the driver portion and the vehicle portion. There may be a third category of the Level I Inspection which is on hazardous materials and dangerous goods.

The inspections will occur at designated fixed locations or as part of roving mobile patrols.

The Driver Portion

Inspectors will be examining your driver’s license, Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate, and record of duty status and vehicle inspection reports (if applicable). Some of the top violations have been the failure to use a seat belt, operating a commercial motor vehicle without a CDL, and not carrying a medical certificate.

Inspectors Will be Checking You for:

  1. Your age
  2. Commercial Driver’s license or operator’s/chauffeur’s license or permit
  3. Driver’s medical/physical requirements
  4. Sickness or fatigue
  5. Intoxicating beverages and drugs and other substances
  6. Driver’s record of duty status

Download the PDF to read more about the driver’s requirements and violations.

The Vehicle Portion

The other category, the Vehicle Portion, will consist of inspecting the vehicle’s components to ensure everything is running smoothly. Such items that will be inspected are brake systems, cargo securement, driver’s seat, and suspension. Read below for a checklist of what components inspectors will be examining.

Vehicle Cheat Sheet for International Roadcheck 2020:

  1. Brakes
  2. Coupling Devices
  3. Fuel and Exhaust Systems
  4. Frame, Van, and Open-Top Trailers
  5. Lighting
  6. Securement of Cargo
  7. Steering
  8. Suspension
  9. Tires, Wheels, Rims, and Hubs

Read more on how these components will be inspected.

CVSA’s Decals

If there are no critical violations found, a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle. This means you successfully passed the inspection, and you are able to continue driving! If you did not pass the inspection, you will have to correct all violations before you may drive again.

Why Does International Roadcheck Exist?

truck driver staying alert and checking on his truck

This event increases the importance of commercial motor vehicle safety. Not only are they making sure your vehicle is safe to drive, but they are also making sure you and other drivers around you are safe. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data, of the approximately 3.36 million inspections conducted in 2019, 952,938 driver violations were discovered, of which 199,722 were out-of-service conditions.

“Although the coronavirus pandemic, understandably, shifted priorities and personnel during the spring, the commercial motor vehicle law enforcement community has reasserted its focus on the roadside inspection program and enforcement duties,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “Jurisdictions are nearly back to their pre-pandemic capacity with a strengthened concentration on identifying and removing unfit vehicles and drivers from our roadways using federal safety standards and the out-of-service criteria.”

At US Cargo Control, We Care About Your Safety

We placed an importance on Operation Safe Driver Week and Brake Safety Week, and we want to place the same critical importance on International Roadcheck 2020. With COVID-19 creating changes, we want to ensure our truck drivers are safe and aware of these events.

With cargo securement being one of the items that will be inspected, we have tips on how to secure your cargo. Read the Dos and Don’ts on Load Securement to keep others and yourself safe.

Truck Drivers, thank you for moving us forward. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team of experts a call at 866-444-9990.