A strap is a strap is a strap, right? That’s what I used to think. They’re all basically the same 4″ of poly-something-or-other webbing, with a hook or chain on one end. Usually colored yellow, for some strange reason. I always figured it just meant they were all manufactured in the same place and all the different cargo control companies just branded them with their own names and marketed them to truckers, each claiming that theirs was somehow superior to the others.
How can one be any better than another? They all have the same exact 5,400 lb.Working Load Limit stamped right there on the tag, right? So I, like most truckers, just bought my straps from whichever place I could find that had the best price.
That’s how I first became aware of US Cargo Control. They seemed to have better pricing than the “other guys.” I ordered about a dozen straps from them. I was not disappointed. They’ve served me well over the years, but alas, they do not last forever. Invariably, a tiny little tear on the edge of the strap will begin to form. It doesn’t take long from there. Once a rip gets started, it will spread rapidly straight across the webbing. I had a few straps doing this recently and knew it was time to replace them.
Lisa from US Cargo Control asked me if I’d be interested in trying out their new BlackLine series of straps. Sure…..Why not? I still didn’t realize how they were any different, other than being a different color.
I was wrong! These straps are waaaaay stronger! I’m not exactly sure if it’s the material itself that is so much stronger, or the fact that it has a tighter weave along the edges, some combination of the two, or if they are weaved by little magic elves in the middle of the night while nobody’s around. I don’t care, all I know is they’re strong. The specs on the label prove it. A 24,000 lb. breaking strength? Incredible! A 6,670 lb Working Load Limit? Unheard of!!
Sure, they cost a few bucks more than their regular straps, but still cheaper than most of the “other guy’s” plain old yellow straps. I can’t help but believe they’ll last much, much longer. It’s not going to be easy for a rip to get started on these puppies.
So, I’m happy to admit that I was wrong. Not all straps are created equal. From now on, only BlackLine straps will be appearing on my trailer (after I finish wearing out the rest of my yellow ones). If you’re a flat-bedder, show the rest of the drivers you mean business, show them you’re a professional, show them you’re a “black belt”!!
-Randy Fischer (aka: “Riding Shotgun with Randy” on Facebook)