E-Track: Ratchet Strap or Cam Buckle Strap?

Image of e-track ratchet strapIf you’re considering E-track for your trailer or truck, or even a non-transport use, such as in the garage for storage, all of the different options in track and accessories can be confusing.

One of the most important choices will be e-track straps and tie downs. Cam buckle straps and ratchet straps  are the most popular straps, but there are differences between the two that can help you decide which will work best for your job.

E-Track Ratchet Straps

image of 2" e-track ratchet strap

– An e-track ratchet strap can be tightened significantly more than an e-track cam buckle strap. A ratcheting action uses leverage and force to pull the strap very tight.

– The tighter tension makes ratchet straps for e-track better for securing large, heavy loads.

– E-track ratchet straps have a work load limit and break strength than e-track cam buckle straps.

E-Track Cam Buckle Straps

Image of 2" e-track cam buckle strap

– E-track cambuckle straps are simpler to assemble and use than e-track ratchet straps.

– Tension is more easily controlled with cam straps so there’s less danger of over-tightening and damaging more fragile cargo.

– E-track cam buckle straps are quick to secure and more convenient to use.

All of our e-track ratchet straps and e-track cam straps are available in three sizes, each in a tough 6,000 lb. polyester webbing:

  • 2″x12′
  • 2″x16′
  • 2″x20′

E-track straps are typically color-coded for easy identification of length:

  • Yellow = 12′
  • Gray = 16′
  • Blue = 20′

E Track: Not Just For The Truck or Trailer Any More

If you aren’t aware of the versatility of E-track, a quick search of this blog can get you started. It’s great for securing motorcycles, ATVs, lawn tractors, pallets- just about anything once you install it in the back of a pickup truck, on a flatbed trailer, or in an enclosed trailer.

But have you thought about the many uses for etrack around the garage, storage shed, barn, or worksite? This handy track and the various options of straps and end fittings make this system an invaluable tool for many non-transporting uses.

In the garage, install an 8′ length of e-track along wall studs. Image of painted etrack tie down with o-ringStock up on fittings like an E track tie down with O-ring as well as S hooks, and you’ve got an easy way to hang everything from tools to lawn trimming equipment to sporting goods.

In a storage shed, install two lengths of vertical e-track and add a wood end socket. A simple 1″x6″ lumber piece creates a spot to place a sheet of plywood to create instant decking to maximize your space.

Image of vertical etrack with shoring beamsFor a similar set-up with the ability to handle heavier loads, use an adjustable shoring beam instead of a 1″x6″; our 85″ adjustable aluminum shoring beam extends to 95″ and has a work load limit of 2,200 lbs. for shoring and decking applications.



In a barn or stable, e-track singles or 2′ horizontal e track can come in handy since their small size makes them simple to install nearly anywhere.

Image of horizontal E-track with two rope tie off fittings

Insert a rope tie off into an e-track single or 2′ track and you instantly have a D ring to loop a rope, twine, etc. through securely. This handy assembly can hold doors open, secure animal leads, hold feed bags or bins against the wall when paired with a rubber tarp strap– the uses are endless.

On the worksite, install horizontal e-track along the wall if you have items such as panels, Image of horizontal e-track lumber, tires, ladders, etc. that lean against the wall. Securing these items to the wall is easy with the wide variety of sizes and styles of E-track ratchet straps and cam straps that are available. Add plastic end caps and you’ve got a safe, versatile storage spot.

An e-track single or smaller length of 2′ E-track is also handy for mounting to utility carts like those used in a warehouse for smaller scale securing an hauling jobs. Pick up the 2′ galvanized e track if your equipment will be outside and exposed to the elements.

US Cargo Control Sales Team Profile: David

While our website offers hundreds of products, we also have product specialists ready to take your call if you have a question or would like to place your order by phone.

David Urlaub, USCC Sales Team

David is a member of our sales team that you may talk with if you call. He’s been with US Cargo Control for just over a year.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the challenge of the rigging category and finding the right rigging supplies and products for the customers’ needs.

Are there one or two most common questions you hear from USCC callers?
“What is the price for the 10’ e track?” “Will this wheel net fit my tire?” and “Yeah, where are you guys located?”


Have there been any memorable calls/customers?
One customer was looking for a very large custom cargo net to lift several tons of coconuts.

Playing the guitar, woodworking, running, hunting, fishing, traveling.

What’s the last thing you had a really good laugh about?
I accidentally called Stairway to Heaven, “Stairway from Heaven.” I wonder what Freud would say…

Favorite sports teams to watch?
The Green Bay Packers and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Favorite sports to play?
Basketball, table shuffleboard, and bags.

What three words would your friends us to describe you?
Loyal, ‘Will Ferellish’ (those are three right?).

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A fighter pilot. A pastor. A forest ranger. A lawyer, A physical therapist. A chiropractor… The real question is what didn’t I want to be?

Favorite words of wisdom?
I love quoting Seinfeld. It’s the best show of all time and every situation in life can be found in a Seinfeld episode… “I’m out there Jerry and I’m loving every minute of it!”

How to Install E-Track in a Trailer

Its always important to install E-Track right where it needs to be…but where is that?

Etrack comes in many different sizes (singles, 2′, 5′, 8′ and 10 feet), as well as painted or galvanized.  When putting e-track in a trailer, it is best to find the wall studs – same applies if you are mounting it on the floor.

Mark the studs with a marker or pencil and then you can attach your e-track to the wall/floor.  We have found #14 self tapping screws are great if you are attaching via the studs.  1/4″ bolts with nuts and washer work best if drilling through a thick plywood floor.

So, if you want to install Etrack in a trailer – you will usually use two rows on the sidewall.  It is not necessary to to put e-track all the way to the corner if your trailer, it can save a few bucks and you will not use it most of the time.

Galvanized E-Track vs. Painted E-Track

The choice of using galvanized etrack or painted e-track can be based on three factors: price, color and installation location.


Painted e-track is slightly cheaper than its galvanized sibling.  But for the most part – galvanized is only a couple dollars more, because of the process used to treat the metal.


E-Track’s color is also based on which version of etrack you are buying.  Galvanized is a silver color – which can help it blend in if you are looking for a solution to match aluminum. It is slightly more reflective than aluminum.

Painted etrack is green and powder coated – which makes it resistant to scratching and will hold up well to daily use.

Installation Location

Finally we get to what kind/where you plan to install your e-track.  If the installation is on the exterior, then the best choice will be galvanized.  This treatment provides the best resistance to elements in the e-rack lineup.

How To Insert an E-track Fitting into an E-track Rail Section

For more information or to buy the items shown in this video, click on the links below:

E-track fittings are easy to insert and remove from etrack sections:

1.) Hold the fitting at a downward angle while pulling up on the locking pin using your index finger.

2.) Insert the lowered end of the fitting into the E-track and then lower the opposite end. Once the fitting is in place, release the pin and the E-track fitting is securely fastened.

3.) To remove the fitting, pull the release lever and lift the fitting out at an angle.

US Cargo Control has a variety of E-track fittings and E-track straps for sale. If you have questions about any of our E track products, our customer service specialists are ready to help- call us at 866-444-9990 from 7-5 CT, Monday – Friday.

How To Install E-Track on a Flat Trailer

For more information or to purchase the products in this video, click on the links below:

E-track tie down systems for flat trailers are ideal for transporting motorcycles, ATVs, utility vehicles, snowmobiles and automobiles. E-track provides numerous tie down points to secure your cargo using d-ring fittings and/or E-track straps.

You will need the following tools and fasteners to install e-track on a flatbed trailer:

  • Cordless drill driver
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill bits
  • Phillips head driver bits
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pencil or marker
  • 1/4″ X 1.5″ hex bolts
  • 1/4″ lock nuts
  • 1/4″ flat washers with an outside diameter of 3/4″

1.) Lay out the E-track sections on the trailer in the approximate place where they’ll be attached. This will help you visualize what the finished project will look like.

2.)  Measure and mark where each E-track section will be fastened. Adjust the e-track rails so that they are straight and aligned properly with the trailer as well as with each accompanying section.

3.) On the trailer surface, mark where the trailer’s underlying frame members are. In this installation method, the E-track is only fastened to the wood decking and not through the framing members. Marking the decking of the trailer will easily identify where you will not be placing a bolt.

4.) Once the E-track has been placed on the trailer and all the measurements are finalized, you are ready to begin drilling through the trailer’s wood deck for placement of the 1/4″ bolts. Beginning with the end of the 8′ e-track section, drill a hole on both sides of the e track at every fourth hole. It is not necessary or desirable to drill every hole.

5.) After all the drilling is completed, insert a 1/4″ x 1-1/2″ zinc plated hex bolt down through the e-track and trailer deck. From the bottom, add a washer and nut and tighten.

6.) Install #10 x 3/4″ wood screws in the galvanized e-track. Beginning at the end of one of the track sections, fasten the wood screws evenly between each of the hex bolts. This configuration provides for one open hole between the screw and the next hex bolt and securely fastens the tie down rails firmly to the trailer. Repeat this process for remaining E track sections.