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What is a Chain Binder?
A chain binder is a tool used to tighten chain to secure cargo to a trailer for transport. When shopping for chain binders, there are commonly two styles: the ratchet binder and the lever binder.
Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder 5/16″ – 3/8″
This is the first recoil-less cam action lever binder we offer, and this binder is one of the safest lever binders on the market today. Known as a recoil-less safety lever binder, it features a center cam that can rotate freely of the end hooks and its unique design eliminates the whiplash that occurs when the chain tension is released. This allows the lever binder to use leverage to tighten the chain and secure cargo.
The other standard lever-type binders present a safety concern because when you release the binder, it often kicks back and makes it dangerous for your cargo and you. Unlike this recoil-less lever binder, the 360-degree swivel motion handle is super quick, easy to operate, and requires no tools.
Our lever load binder has a working load limit of 6,600 pounds, compared to standard lever binders’ working load limit of 5,400 pounds. When using this, use our transport chains:
Our Heavy Duty Ratchet Chain Binder is built for durability and maximum strength. These chain binders utilize a ratcheting mechanism to create tension in the chain and secure its load. The forged steel handle offers maximum leverage, while the cam and pawl design allows for easier and faster securement.
It features a ratchet handle and two tension hooks on each end. The ratchet chain binder comes in sizes 5/16″ and 3/8″ and a working load limit of 6,600 pounds. When looking for chains, use the heavy-duty ratchet chain binder with 5/16″ Grade 70 Transport Chain or 3/8″ Grade 70 Transport Chain.
What is the Difference between Grades of Chains?
When you’re ready to secure your cargo load with chain binders, go to US Cargo Control or give our sales team a call at 800-969-6543.
Chain binders are an intelligent securement tool for anyone who transports heavy vehicles and machinery, or for someone who wants a little extra peace of mind when it comes to hauling cargo.
Since the number of tie-downs you need to secure cargo is dependent on the cargo length, cargo weight, and cargo type, the value in using chain binders and tie-down chains increases as the weight of your load increases (you need the working load limits of all your tie-downs to add up to at least 50% the weight of your cargo).
Instead of using a large number of nylon tie-down straps, which are more susceptible to cuts and tears when secured to certain machinery (like a Bobcat bucket), use tie-down chains and chain binders for long-lasting securement.
What is a chain binder?
Chain binders, also known as load binders, are chain tensioning devices used to anchor down large cargo loads for transport. They are commonly made of forged steel and feature grab hooks or other fittings on each end. Chain binders are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and working load limits to fit your needs.
How much does a binder weigh?
A common question we often get about chain binders is, “how heavy are they?” The weight of chain binders varies quite a bit depending on the style and the brand but, in general, chain binders can weight anywhere 3.5 Lbs. up to 20 Lbs. and beyond. Obviously, using a larger chain size will result in a larger and heavier binder.
Types of chain binders
There are two general types of chain binders to choose from, lever binders and ratchet binders. Each has different advantages and disadvantages to consider, but the main difference lies in how the binder is tightened.
Commonly called a snap binder, lever binders are easier to use and have fewer moving parts (less maintenance) compared to ratchet binders. With a mechanical advantage of 25:1, lever binders use leverage to tighten the chain and lock themselves after the lever rotates 180-degrees around the hinge. The lever stores energy so operators need to be careful not to let the handle recoil back at them.
Comprised of a gear, handle, pawl, and end fittings, ratchet binders have a mechanical advantage of 50:1. Compared to lever binders, they have a slower and steadier loading and unloading process, but also cause less strain on the operator. Since the handle does not store much energy, they are generally considered safer to use compared to lever binders.
Tie down rules to consider before buying chain binders
According to the FMCSA, vehicles with wheels or tracks that weigh 10,000 Lbs. or more are required to be tied down and secured on all 4 corners (at a minimum). This weight of vehicle also requires a minimum of 4 anchor tie-downs (connections between the load and your trailer) and 4 tightening devices (binders).
Also, length plays a role in determining how many chain binders you will need for a given load. Loads 5′ or less require just one tie-down, however, if the weight of that object is more than 1,100 Lbs. two tie-downs are required. Loads 5′ to 10′ in length require 2 tie-downs.
How to maintain load binders
To reduce friction and prolong the life of a lever binder, it’s best practice to routinely lubricate its pivot and swivel points. For ratchet binders, you should lubricate both the screw threads and the pawl part.
When it comes to storing your load binders, it’s best to keep them somewhere dry and away from the dangers of chemical or environmental damage. Chain carriers or similar toolboxes are great for this.
When should you replace a chain binder or transport chain?
Be sure to routinely check your binders for any signs of wear including bending, cracking, nicks, or gouges. If you find evidence of this, it’s best to replace your binder. As for your chains, you should be checking the individual links regularly for twisting, bending, stretching, or elongation. Don’t forget about checking hooks and other attachments as well.
Buy quality chain binders
If chain binders and transport chain sound like the cargo securement solution you need, there’s no better place to get them than US Cargo Control. With dozens of different chain binder options to choose from, as well as a variety of chain grades and chain hooks, we have the solution you need to safely and securely transport heavy cargo.
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.
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.
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.
Transport chain is essential if you plan to haul heavy duty cargo or equipment. Grade 70 chain is the ideal transport chain since it’s made with carbon steel that’s heat treated to create additional strength.
When purchasing Grade 70 chain, look for these specifications:
Meets or exceeds safety regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Meets or exceeds safety regulations set by the National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM).
Chains and attachments such as clevis hooks should be stamped with a “G70” for easy identification.
Short link transport chain is generally available in three widths: 3/8″, 5/16″, and 1/2″ widths, Lengths are usually anywhere from 16 to 25 feet. If your job requires a direct ratchet connection, an 18″ chain connection is generally a good choice.
Safety tips for using transport chain:
Do not exceed specified working load limits of the chain and accessories.
Inspect chain before each use to look for any visible signs of damage or wear to the links.
Inspect attachment points and any hook or other attachments for signs of wear.
Always calculate the number of chains needed to transport your cargo safely.
Transport chain attachments and accessories
Transport chain drum. If you’ll be using heavy transport chain regularly, invest in a transport chain drum. It’s designed just for storing Grade 70 chain and makes it easy to store when not in use.
Also called a load binder, chain binders are a device to tighten chain when securing a load for transport. There are two general styles of chain binders – ratchet binder and lever binder. The method of tightening the binder is what differentiates the two.
Uses a ratcheting action to create tension in the chain.
Also called a ratchet load binder or simply a ratchet chain, it consists of two tension hooks on each end and handle.
Because ratchet binders are designed with a gear, handle, pawl, and end fittings, it will not store as much energy in the handle like a lever binder will.
A ratchet-type binder is easier to adjust in finer increments without the recoil or snap back effect of a lever binder.
Uses a leverage action to create tension in the chain and stores kinetic energy in its handle.
Also called a lever chain, lever load binder, or snap binder, it has a tension hook on each end.
This type of chain binder generally requires more strength to tighten it.
Lever binders are generally easier to install because it has fewer moving parts.
Both lever binders and ratchet binders work similarly, and should be chosen based on operator preference.
What are the different sizes for chain binders and how do I choose?
Two measurements determine the size of a lever binder or ratchet binder, but let’s first outline chain grade.
There are two main grades of chain for tie-down applications:
Grade 43 high test chain is used for stationary, non-transport tie downs.
Each binder can be used with either size of equipment chain for the appropriate application, but since the different grades have different load limits each binder will be marked with the appropriate chain dimensions for both types of chain for proper performance. The first measurement (smaller) identifies the Grade 70 chain dimension, the second measurement (larger) identifies the Grade 43 chain size required.
Keep the weakest link theory in mind to maximize your working load limit: choose a work load limit equal to or greater than the chain. Example:
The 5/16″ specifies the chain binder can be used with 5/16″ Grade 70 Transport Chain or it can be used with 3/8″ Grade 43 High Test Chain.
Small binders can technically be used for both 5/16″ or 3/8″ chain in either grade, but if you pair one with 3/8″ Grade 70 transport chain the binder will be weaker than the chain, making the binder the weakest part of the assembly. If you are working with 3/8″ Grade 70 chain, the best choice is to pair it with a 3/8″ – 1/2″ chain binder so that binder and the chain are of equal strength.
Chain binders should have the size, break strength, and working load limit marked on the handle for easy identification.