How & when to use ratchet straps and cam buckle straps

This video details the difference types of ratchet strap fittings, how to use a ratchet strap, and how ratchet straps and cam buckle straps are different.

Ratchet straps & cam straps

Ratchet straps and cam buckles are used to secure various types of cargo and come in various sizes from 1″ on up to 4″ widths.

The ratchet strap comes with many fittings: chain extensions, d-rings, e-track fitting, e-track double stud fitting, f-track hook and spring e-fitting, flat hook, flat snap hook, j-hook with d-ring, s-hook, and vinyl coated wire hooks.

Polyester webbing is used for cargo securement because of its low stretch rate. It’s also very abrasion-resistant.

How to thread a ratchet strap

To thread a ratchet strap, first open your ratchet a little bit so you have access to the take up spool. Now you slide the strap through the spool and bring it right back around on itself. At this point, pull on the strap to remove the excess slack. Once all the slack is removed you can start to ratchet to the tension you want, keeping the strap straight. Once you have reached your desired tension, lock the ratchet down in its closed position. To release the strap, open the ratchet all the way so it lays completely flat. Once it is flat, is in the release position. Go ahead and pull your strap out.

In some cases you may not need the strength of a ratchet strap. In those cases you would use a cam buckle.

Cam straps come with various fittings: butterfly fittings, e-track fittings, f-track hook and spring e-fittings, handlebar straps with s-hooks, flat snap hooks and s-hooks.

Cam buckles typically come in 1″ and 2″ sizes.

How to thread a cam buckle

To thread a cam buckle, turn the cam buckle over and feed the strap back through while pressing the thumb release. While pressing the thumb release, pull the strap to your desired tension, then release. To remove the strap, press the thumb button and simply pull the strap. You don’t have to pull the strap all the way out, just enough to get to your cargo.

In choosing between a ratchet strap and a cam buckle, it usually comes down to the working load limit, or how fragile the product is. If it is something light and fragile, choose a cam buckle since you’re not able to over-tension and possibly crush the product. If it’s anything heavier, less fragile, a ratchet strap is generally a better choice.

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