Valentine’s Day Edition: US Cargo Control Products We Love

With Valentine’s Day approaching, we couldn’t hold back on sharing the love for our products. Read some of our top picks from dedicated experts and customers.

Check out some of our top staff picks

When you’re working with all of our products day in and day out, it’s hard not to have some favorites! From trucking and transportation, lifting and rigging, and moving equipment, there are hundreds of quality products to depend on for your individual needs. If you ask our USCC team members what are their favorite cargo items, they will tell you without hesitance.

In dedication to Valentine’s Day coming up, check out some of our top picks from our dedicated product experts and customers.

Single Leg Chain Sling w/ Sling Hook – Grade 100

crosby chain slings
9/32″ x 3′ – Single Leg Chain Sling w/ Sling Hook – Grade 100

If you need a lifting application where extra strength is required, this is the perfect choice for you! These chain slings come in different sizes, they are manufactured with grade 100, and its hooks are approved for overhead lifting. If it’s manufactured in grade 100, this means it is 25% more superior that grade 80 chain sling. Go above and beyond with a reliable chain sling that is durable and provides superior strength for your lifting needs!

“If you are looking for a good quality product to take care of your lifting needs, this is it! Our chain slings are made right here in Urbana, Iowa, right in the heart of the Midwest. We will make sure to get you a top-quality product on time!”

Jon W., Sales Rep

Moving Blankets – Supreme Mover

moving blankets can also be packing blankets
Moving Blankets- Supreme Mover 12-Pack, 90-95 lbs./dozen

Start moving like a pro with our Supreme Mover moving blankets! Also known as furniture covers, these are a beneficial tool to use to prevent damage and abrasion to your valuables.  Along with that, the rugged construction and superior level of padding make these moving pads a top choice for moving companies, furniture movers, and those who intend to reuse these blankets.  And guess what? It’s machine washable!

The MBSUPREME95-12PK is one of the heaviest and best quality moving pads on the market to protect your valuables from damages.  This pad is made to last and can be machine washed and hung to dry for even more long-term use. This pad is perfect the movers who require the best protection when moving

Carla, Sales Rep

Chain-Ratchet Binder Kit

Grade 70 3/8″ x 20′ Chain-Ratchet Binder Kit

Seeking a dependable tool to secure your load while you are driving for the long haul? Look into the Chain-Ratchet Binder Kit, our next product. These are great to use for flatbed trailers to ensure your load will stay through heavy winds and tough weather.

These chain binders utilize a ratcheting mechanism to create tension in the chain and secure its load. Not only that, the forged steel handle offers maximum leverage, while the cam and pawl design allow for easier and faster securement. Transport chains and ratchet binders are great, and even better when they are in a kit.

Chain and binders are a flatbed essential. I love this combo as they work great together and will properly secure your load.

Jon L., Sales Rep

E Track Ratchet Straps

2″ x 16′ Gray E Track Ratchet Straps

Our Ratchet Straps are perfect for your tie down solutions. We have thousands of straps for many different uses and styles, and we will never have limited options. Tie down straps are perfect to use for whatever you need to stably secure your loads, and we have many sizes for your needs.

If you don’t see what you are looking for, then you have the ability to custom make your own ratchet straps! Just call one of our sales specialists at 866-444-9990 and we will be ready to answer your calls.

Our 5316SEF-GRY is a great option for trailers and trucks equipped with E-Track.  The fittings on each end securely lock into the track and the strap can be ratcheted tight to secure the load.”

Tim S., Sales Rep

What customers had to say about their favorite products:

36″ Extra Large Rubber Bands, 1 Dozen

extra large rubber moving band
36″ Extra Large Rubber Bands, 1 Dozen

If you’re looking to hold down the moving blanket that is covering your valuables, don’t forget to look into our moving rubber bands. These mover bands are great for securing moving pads, and they are highly durable and sturdy to use because of their heavy-duty design. They safely stretch to approximately double the size, and are the perfect accessory to use for your moving needs!  

“I have purchased every size of the moving rubber bands and they work awesome. I highly recommend them. We used to go through four 1500 foot 20″ rolls of shrink wrap monthly. Ever since we started using the various sizes of moving rubber bands, we only use one roll of shrink wrap per month now.”

Shawn

8″ Horizontal Galvanized E Track

e track
8″ Horizontal Galvanized E Track

E Tracks are a great choice for those who own trailers and enclosed trailers. They are simple to install in your trailer and will allow for quick and easy securement using our shoring beams. Not only that, the E track will promote load safety, so you will never worry about damaging your load. This galvanized E Track is made of strength, has a galvanized finish with a surface chemical treatment to withstand corrosion, and will keep your heavy items in check.

Great product made in USA. The customer service is excellent. Highly recommend this E track. It was well packed and shipped fast!

Gary

At US Cargo Control, we are your source for equipment for hauling, rigging, moving, towing and lifting all kinds of cargo. Whatever you need, we can help you find the product that you need to keep moving forward. Give us a call at 866-444-9990 and we will be there to help you.

4 Great Reasons to Do Business with the US Cargo Control Team

Here are 4 things you might not have known about USCC.

Although we are a business known for offering cargo control products, we are much more than just that. We truly care about every customer, and the relationships we build with the people who keep these industries going are important to us. We strive to always provide the best service for each person, as the most important part of our business is making people’s lives easier, safer, and more productive.

Here are 4 fun facts that make our business unique, which you may not have known!

1. Central Midwestern Location

US Cargo Control warehouse

US Cargo Control is located in Urbana, Iowa, which is considered a great location to deliver goods to most of the United States. Being located in central Iowa means fast delivery time, usually within 1 to 3 days. We stock thousands of items in our warehouse here, so we are able to deliver what you need quick. If you want an order shipped out on the same day, be sure to place your order before 4:00pm Central Time.

Our diligent warehouse team makes sure to get the job done and get your orders out in a speedy fashion. If you have a custom order, our team will work to give it the same priory as other orders.

2. Custom Business Programs

custom pricing for cargo control

Our sales team consists of dedicated product and industry experts always on the phone ready to answer any questions you may have. We understand that each business is unique, and we work with you on pricing to make sure it fits your needs. Whether it’s bulk orders, special shipping requests, payment plans, or additional questions, we are here to help you.

Fun Fact: We can create pricing programs that may save you a bunch of money in the process!

3. Custom Products and A Variety of Cargo Control Equipment

USCC & Clickstop named Coolest Place to Work in iowa

We offer thousands of cargo control products to fit your job, lifestyle, or whatever it is that you need. The main categories of products that we carry are trucking and transportation, lifting and rigging, and moving supplies. These products consist of items like ratchet straps, shackles, netting, moving blankets, etc. We even have specialized supplies for flatbed trailers, enclosed trailers, towing and auto hauling, rigging supplies, and more so you can find what you are specifically looking for. More variety means more choices for you!

Our in-house manufacturing team is dedicated to creating high-quality products for you to enjoy and use. Some of the products this team makes are tarps, cargo nets, custom tie-downs, and slings. To learn more about how we custom-create our products, watch this video below!

Source: US Cargo Control

4. Most Importantly, Our Awesome Team Members Who Are Dedicated to Getting You What You Want, When You Need It

US Cargo Control team

We have a team committed to getting you what you want, when you need it. We are always happy to accept your calls and answer any questions you may have. Every single US Cargo Control team member seeks to make your job easier and safer, and most of all, to make you happy.

If you have any questions, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068.

9 Free Ways for Truck Drivers to Save on Fuel

As a driver, you have the power to control your rigs fuel consumption in many small ways that can quickly add up to huge savings on fuel.

Use these driver-focused tips to maximize MPG’s and save at the pump this summer.

ways for truck drivers to save on fuel

Owner-operator truck drivers and fleet owners alike know that fuel is a key variable cost that goes into determining their profit. Just one fill-up on diesel can be anywhere from $450 to $950.

Last summer we shared 4 Simple Ways to Get the Best Fuel Mileage for Your Semi-Truck, which included tips about staying on top of truck maintenance and equipping rigs with aerodynamic parts such as trailer skirts and other upgrades like automated manual transmissions.

Don’t get me wrong, adding those parts to your semi are still great ways to save on fuel, but they cost money and take time to install. As a driver, you have the power to control your rigs fuel consumption in many small ways that can quickly add up to huge savings on fuel. Here are 10 free ways for truck drivers to start saving on fuel today.

1. Monitor tire pressure regularly

tire pressure goes into fuel costs for truck drivers

It’s been found that semi trucks can have as much as a 1% drop in mpg for every 10psi a single tire is underinflated. Before the rubber hits the road, make sure all your tires are properly inflated to their recommended psi. Not only will this save gas, but it will also make those expensive tires last longer.

2. Avoid idling

Obviously, engine idling can’t always be avoided. But, if you know you’re going to be stopped for more than just a few minutes, it’s worth cutting the engine. Some states, like California, actually have idling laws that could get you a fine if you’re caught idling for five minutes or more.

3. Stay in a high gear

tax cuts jobs act affect trucking

Higher gears save fuel. You don’t want to be lugging in too high a gear, but you also don’t want your engine revving up and working harder than necessary. Find the sweet spot for your gearbox and minimize the use of your brake and gas pedals by speeding up and slowing down incrementally.

4. Use momentum on hills

Semi trucks build lots of momentum, especially on the highway. Start slowing down early when you have an exit coming up and collect as much momentum as possible when approaching a hill. Once you get to the apex of the hill, you should be able to coast downhill without being on the gas pedal.

5. Use cruise control

trucking industry 2018

Using cruise control is an easy way for truck drivers to save on fuel, although many don’t use it. Cruise control helps keep the engine’s rpm in that “sweet spot” which minimizes fuel consumption.

6. Regulate speed

Faster acceleration and speeds over 55mph burns fuel quicker. In fact, every mile per hour you go over 55mph results in a 0.1 mpg drop in fuel economy. Lower your speed and increase your following distance so you don’t have to speed up and slow down frequently.

7. Find the lowest cost fuel

make your semi truck more fuel efficient

Use the time in your truck to plan ahead for your next fill up. Just a few cents can make a big difference given how big a semi’s fuel tank is. We’ve shared helpful apps for truck drivers in the past, and Trucker Path is a great one if you’re looking to see fuel prices and parking spot availability for truck stops all around you.

8. Don’t overfill your tank

Not only does extra fuel add more weight to your vehicle, but it’s also about the same as throwing money down the drain. If your tank is way up to capacity or beyond, the fuel will likely expand once you’re driving and cause a wasteful overflow.

9. Keep cargo load low and even

keep cargo low and even to lower fuel costs

It’s all about creating as little resistance as possible. Whether you’re using winch straps, chain binders, or tarps – remember to secure your cargo as low and even as possible. If you can’t avoid an uneven load, position the higher cargo closer to the front of the trailer to minimize drag.

Put these fuel-saving tips into action

Now that you know these free ways to save on fuel, it’s up to you to put them into action. Give them a try the next time you hit the road and move some money from your expense report to your pocket.

Have any other tips for truck drivers to save on fuel? Share them in the comments below to help out your fellow driver.

CVSA Roadcheck 2019 is Right Around the Corner

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

Steering and suspension systems will be top of mind for inspectors

If you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare yourself and your commercial vehicle for a North American Standard Level I Inspection.

From Tuesday, June 4th through Thursday, June 6th the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place throughout North America. Over that 72-hour period, CVSA inspectors will be out in droves to verify your operating requirements and examine your vehicle’s mechanical fitness.

CVSA inspection officer directing traffic to side of road

Why focus on steering and suspension?

Just like how the 2018 International Roadcheck focused on hours-of-service compliance, this year’s emphasis will be on checking steering components and suspension systems which are vital to maintaining a safe roadway.

In a recent American Trucker magazine article, CVSA president and Arkansas Highway Police Chief, Jay Thompson, stated “Not only do they [steering and suspension] support heavy loads carried by trucks and buses, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling.”

But steering and suspension checks are just one aspect of the 37-step procedure you can expect from inspectors during the 2019 Roadcheck.

truck driver operating requirements for 2019 roadcheck

Driver operating requirements for 2019 CVSA Roadcheck

Here’s what you as a commercial driver need to ensure you have ready when it comes to the 2019 CVSA Roadcheck:

  • Driver’s license (showing operating credentials)
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (if applicable)
  • Your record of duty status and vehicle inspection reports (if applicable)

Inspectors will also be checking you for:

  • Seat belt usage
  • Sickness or fatigue
  • Apparent alcohol or drug impairment
cargo securement on flatbed truck for 2019 CVSA roadcheck

Vehicle inspection checklist for 2019 CVSA Roadcheck

Other than the obvious check on the state of your steering and suspension systems, inspectors will be examining the following parts of your rig:

  • Brake systems
  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling device
  • Driveline/driveshaft
  • Driver’s seat
  • Exhaust system
  • Frame
  • Fuel System
  • Lighting Devices (headlights, taillights, stop lights, turn signals, and lights/flags for oversize loads)
  • Steering mechanism
  • Tires
  • Van and flatbed trailer bodies
  • Wheels, rims, and hubs
  • Windshield wipers

CVSA stickers

If there are no critical violations found, you’ll get a CVSA decal that shows you successfully passed the 2019 Roadcheck (for whichever inspection level was performed). This sticker will keep you from having to go through that same level inspection during the June 4th to June 6th, 2019 time period.

Stay safe out there!

5 Proud Customers Show Cargo Control Gear at Work

Here’s how a handful of customers put our cargo control gear to work for them.

One great thing about our cargo control gear is that it helps you get stuff done. An even better thing is that it often has multiple uses. One piece of equipment can create the perfect solution for two people in different industries with very different jobs at hand.

For example, customers have often used our moving blankets as car seat covers or bedding for their pets, instead of the more traditional use of protecting furniture and appliances during a move. Even our popular ratchet straps have many different uses when you consider all the different types of cargo they can secure.

At the end of the day, we have the tools and equipment you need to get stuff done right. How you choose to put them to work is up to you.

Here’s how a handful of customers put our cargo control gear to work for them.

Custom Tarp Protects Big Boat

heavy duty gray custom tarp on boat

Our manufacturing team was tasked with creating a precise-fitting custom tarp to serve as weather protection for this customer’s boat. We used the same heavy-duty tarp material as our flatbed truck tarps and the end result was the customer telling us it’s “a perfect fit.”

Rigging Gear Suspends Wire Rope Bridge

suspended footbridge made in wilderness
what you need to make a suspended footbridge

From wire rope and turnbuckles to wire rope clips – we sell all the rigging hardware needed to create these awesome suspended footbridges that are being built from coast to coast. This one sits in the wilderness of Wyoming, and another USCC customer built a similar bridge in Connecticut.

Custom Cargo Net Performs in Arts Center

custom debris net for indoors
what you need to hand a custom debris net indoors

We have netting for all types of applications, but we’re always excited to take on a custom job! Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend, Indiana needed a custom debris net that could be rigged to hang above their beautiful 2,564-seat concert hall, so we delivered this 32ft x 33ft masterpiece.

Convertible Hand Truck Makes Light Work

using a convertible hand truck to make delivery of cargo easier

This customer understands the concept of working smarter, not harder. He uses our popular aluminum convertible hand truck to quickly and delicately deliver bread (he works for a break distribution company) to store shelves. He says the hand truck “handles like a dream over rough terrain.”

Ratchet Straps Hold Heavy Cargo on Flatbed

bright blue ratchet straps being used on flatbed trailer full of cargo

This hotshot trucker out of Washington state is the proud co-owner of a transportation business that uses our heavy-duty ratchet straps for all types of cargo hauls. In this picture, he’s hauling handholes across Oregon (each weighing about 900lbs.) so a utility company can use them to cover junctions.

Submit Your Photos and Story

Have you been putting our cargo control gear to work? We want to see it! Send your best pictures and descriptions to us in a message on the USCC Facebook page or email them to customerservice@uscargocontrol.com

How to Install L Track Anchor Tie Down Points on your Truck or Trailer

Learn how to install 2″ L Track round anchor tie-down points. This installation job is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t take more than an hour or two when you have the right tools and proper instructions.

DIY Installation Video Below

Installing L-Track, or logistic track, on your truck or trailer gives you secure tie down points right where you need them. There are many other benefits to installing L track as a tie-down system, and there are also some key differences between L track and E track.

In the video below, we show you how to install 2″ L Track round anchor tie-down points. This installation job is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t take more than an hour or two when you have the right tools and proper instructions.

Tools Needed:

  • Cordless Drill with 1/4″ Drill Bit
  • Philips Screwdriver
  • 7/16 Wrench
  • Tape Measure
  • Sharpie Marker

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICZ3mWkz7wM?rel=0

The 2″ Round Anchor Point Tie Down Kit comes with four sets of anchors, bolt plates, rings, and fasteners. In this video, we install two L track anchor points on a truck bed floor and two on the front wall. To install L track tie downs on a trailer, the required steps are essentially the same.

L Track Anchor Point Installation Steps:

  1. Use a tape measure to determine your install point. Place the anchor in the intended spot and mark both holes using the sharpie.
  2. Using a cordless drill with 1/4″ bit, drill through the truck bed to create the two installation holes.
  3. Place an anchor over the holes and insert two screws.
  4. From the underside of the truck, install a bolt plate through the two fasteners then add nuts and tighten with a wrench.
  5. Once your anchors are tightly secured, you can install the removable tie down ring. Grasp the base of the ring while pushing the center down with your thumb. Slide it into place over the anchor and release to lock it into place.

Tip: To install these L track anchor points in tight spots, like the front wall of a truck bed, it’s helpful to hold your wrench on the nuts while you tighten the screws from the other side with a screwdriver.

installing l track tie downs

More L Track Tips

Remember to release and remove your tie down rings if your hauling cargo that doesn’t require using your new tie down points. It doesn’t take long to remove and replace them, and it will help prevent unwanted damage.

If you’d rather have compact strips of aluminum L-track serve as the anchor for your removable tie-down rings, see our 6-piece 4-inch L Track Tie Down System that works great on enclosed trailer walls as well as truck bed floors and rails. The benefit of this system is that you can quickly and easily adjust where your anchor points sit along the 4-foot rails.

If you’re hauling motorcycles and want the ultimate hold on your bike with the versatility of L-track, check out the TrackStar L-track Motorcycle Chock that’s light and easy to handle but durable and reinforced with powder-coated tubular steel construction.

For all tie down rail options, see our Airline Track & L-Track Tie Down Rails page.

Using Tie Downs to Secure Cargo Loads Safely and Legally

During the 2017 CVSA International Roadcheck, improper cargo securement was the cause for 15.7% of vehicles being placed out of service.

Besides the risk of being placed out of service, there are a number of more serious consequences for improper cargo control securement, including citations and fines, damage to the vehicle, damage to the cargo, loss of the load, or even loss of life.

Taking the time to properly secure cargo loads using tie downs is always worth the time and effort. Read on to understand how tie downs should be used to ensure safe and legal cargo securement.

 

understand how to use tie downs

What is a tie down?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a tie down is a combination of securing devices (webbing, chain, rope, binders, shackles, D-rings, webbing ratchet, etc.) which forms an assembly that:

  1. Attaches cargo to, or restrains cargo on a vehicle.
  2. Is attached to an anchor point(s).

 

So, while we generally think of tie downs as just these:

how to safely use tie down straps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The word tie down by itself (without “straps”) can technically mean many things.

 

Working load limit for tie downs

The working load limit (WLL) for a tie down is the lowest WLL of any of its parts or the WLL of the anchor points it is attached to, whichever is less. Every device contributes to the WLL of the securement system.

using tie downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always use tie downs that are rated and clearly marked by their manufacturer. This not only gives you, the driver, peace of mind, it also makes it easy for shippers and inspectors to verify that you are using the proper equipment for the job.

 

using tie downs built with quality

 

How tie downs can be used to secure cargo

Tie downs are only safe and effective if they are properly secured to both the cargo and the vehicle. Take the time to ensure logical securement of your cargo to your vehicle.

There are two main ways tie downs can be used:

  1. Attached to the cargo.
    a. Tie downs can be attached to the vehicle and then attached to the cargo.
    b. Or, tie downs can be attached to the vehicle, passed through or around the cargo, and then attached to the vehicle again.

how to use tie downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Passed over the cargo.
    a. Tie downs may also be attached to the vehicle, passed over the cargo, and then attached to the vehicle again.

how to use tie downs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspecting for proper cargo securement

Remember to periodically inspect your cargo during transit. It may seem like something that is always taking up your precious time, but just one loose strap can prove to be costly or even deadly.

Adjust cargo and load securement devices as necessary to ensure that cargo cannot shift or fall from the vehicle.

 

When is it time to get new tie-downs?

There are a few obvious signs that tell you it’s time to get new tie downs.

If your cargo control equipment shows any of the following, it’s time to invest in new tie downs.

  • knots or obvious damage
  • distress
  • weakened parts
  • weakened sections

time to get new tie downs

 

 

 

Remember, all components of a tie down must be in proper working order. Keep an eye on the condition of your tie downs to avoid inspection penalties or loss of load.

 

Time for new tie down equipment? Check out US Cargo Control for a huge selection of quality tie down equipment that is clearly rated and built to last.

 

US Cargo Control Employees Experience Hands-On Training

Flatbed training on products from uscargocontrol.com
Instructor Freddie Jones (left) leads an interactive hands-on training session with employees of US Cargo Control.

Sixty employees of US Cargo Control were recently treated to a Continuing Education opportunity at their offices in Urbana, IA. Instructors from nearby Kirkwood Community College’s Professional Truck Driving program led four separate two-hour training sessions featuring hands-on experience with a variety of tools and equipment drivers use to secure cargo on a flatbed trailer.

Freddie Jones, operations manager for Kirkwood’s Truck Driving program, and Dennis Carson, instructor for Kirkwood’s Truck Driving program, were the presenters for Friday’s training sessions. Both men have many years of real-life experience driving trucks.

The training began with a short video detailing some of the cargo securement laws that drivers must abide by, what a driver’s CSA (compliance, safety, accountability) score is and different ways it can be affected, as well as how to calculate Working Load Limit weights and the number of tie-downs necessary for a particular load.

The group then headed outside where a flatbed trailer was waiting with a skid loader and stack of pallets, both ready to be properly secured.

Hands-on items

Some of the equipment US Cargo Control employees learned to use included ratchet straps, tie down straps, winches, winch bars, chain, chain binders, corner protectors, tarps and tarp straps. Best-practices stories were also shared with the group.

Jones and Carson learned a few things from the US Cargo Control employees, as well. They were excited to discover tools offered by uscargocontrol.com like the Peerless QuikBinder™ Plus Ratchet Loadbinder that is easier to use than a more traditional ratchet chain binder; and the VeeBoards® Extension Handle that helps position corner protectors atop tall loads while the driver remains standing on the ground.

Ongoing Education

David Urlaub, US Cargo Control’s training coordinator, says the benefits of this type of training to the company’s employees are immeasurable. “Giving USCC employees the chance to use the products so they can take that back to their jobs and pass along correct information to the drivers who use our products is extremely important,” Urlaub said. He added, “We can better understand what a truck driver goes through on a daily basis to tie down their loads, and see how physical this job is for the drivers. Any products that make their life easier could be good additions to our site.”

While employees of US Cargo Control have ongoing product training throughout the year, this is the first hands-on training session. This training was funded by 260E dollars. The goal, according to Urlaub, is to have this type of training on an annual basis going forward.