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

Are you using your ratchet strap the right way? Read our guide on how to use a tiedown.

US Cargo Control explains how do you use a ratchet strap

Ever wondered if you’re using a ratchet strap correctly or you’re curious about how to undo and store it away safely? Our guide will help you understand how to handle and how to release a ratchet strap safely.

Ratchet straps are valuable tools that secure your items, and they come in different styles and functions that can support many different weights and load sizes. Whether you’re using tiedowns to hold down your personal items or you’re a trucker, you should know the basics of using them. Continue reading to learn a step-by-step process of how to set up a ratchet strap.

Watch our product expert, Ed Duran, demonstrate how to thread a ratchet strap:

How to Use Ratchet Strap

US Cargo Control explains how to use tie down straps

Open the handle and take the end of the strap, and put it through the ratchet mandrel which is the open slot at the bottom of the ratchet.

US Cargo Control explains how to put a ratchet strap together

Double it over and thread the strap back over and pull it tight to take out the excess strap.

Attach the hooks that are attached to the ratchet into position, and do the same with the hook on the other end of the webbing.

US Cargo Control explains how to thread a ratchet

Crank the ratchet a few times or to the desired tightening, and lock it down.

Make sure the strap stays in line with others to avoid tangling/locking.

US Cargo Control explains how to use tie downs

Lock handle down after tightening and it is now securing your items safely! 

How to Undo a Ratchet Strap

how do you release a ratchet strap explained by US Cargo Control

  1. Open the ratchet all the way, and the webbing should release and become loose.
  2. Pull the strap out of the ratchet mandrel.
  3. Close the ratchet back down.

When you’re storing ratchet straps, consider securing them with rubber bands to organize them for your next use and to prevent any harm to them. Make sure they are not wet and place them in a dry location away from the sun. If they are wet, mildew could potentially appear and ultraviolet light can make nylon and polyester fibers brittle. This could result in losing strength, discolor, and break down.

For tips on how to store your ratchet straps, read 10 Ways to Store Tie Down Straps.

Understanding the Ratchet Strap’s Working Load Limit and Break Strength

ratchet straps how to thread, explained by US Cargo Control

Now that you have an understanding of using the strap correctly, you should also know what working load limit (also known as WLL) and break strength (BS) mean. If you saw random numbers on the webbing and wondered what they mean, you’re looking at the working load limit and break strength.

The working load limit is the rating that should never be exceeded when using a tiedown, which is the maximum allowable loading force. The break strength is to the point at which the strap will fail. Break strength is through pounds/kilograms and will fail if you go over the required amount.

To provide an example, the working load limit is always 1/3 of the breaking strength. If your ratchet strap has a breaking strength of 15,000 pounds, then it will have a working load limit of 5,000 pounds. Check out this post to learn the meaning behind working load limit, break strength, and safety factor.

Learn more about Ratchet Straps

The Dos and Don’ts for Load Securement on Trailers

How Many Tie Down Straps Do I Need to Secure My Cargo?

Are Self-Contained Ratchet Straps Right for You?

Secure Ratchet Straps Right with the Good-N-Tight®

Which Motorcycle Straps are Best for My Bike?

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 ratchet straps, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.