Don’t know how many you need to secure your load? Read to learn more.
When you are securing your cargo load with tiedowns, it is crucial to know how many you need. Protecting your cargo with the correct amount of straps is important so you can transport and deliver it safely. Read on how to use ratchet straps, how many you need, and what to use to protect them.
How to Use Ratchet Straps
Learning how to use cargo straps is beneficial to how many you need for the task in front of you. Our ratchet straps are an important player in transporting cargo and once you understand how to use them, you’ll be a pro at it!
We have a wide variety of ratchet tie down straps in so many sizes and styles, and each of them is listed with weight capacities. To learn more about how to thread a ratchet strap, check out one of our product experts explaining the steps.
How Many Heavy Duty Ratchet Straps Do I Need?
Depending on the weight and length of your cargo, the number of straps vary. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, they state that you only use one tiedown if your cargo is shorter than 5 feet and less than 1,000 pounds.
If your cargo is shorter than 5 feet but weighs more than 1,000 pounds or is between 5 to 10 feet long, then you would need to have two straps. Keep in mind that for the first 10 feet of length, it must be secured by two tiedowns. Then for every additional 10 feet, you would add one tiedown.
We recommend that if you are transporting 10,000 pounds or more, then to use at least four tiedowns. Be sure to use corner protectors to protect your straps, which is explained more below.
How Do I Protect Them?
To prevent your ratchet straps from getting damaged from edges, consider using corner protectors. Also known as corner guards, they can extend the life of your ratchet straps.
Corner protectors are inexpensive and they can protect not just your straps, but also your cargo, chains, tarps or any covers that you will use in tie down applications. For how to store your ratchet straps, read 10 Ways to Store Tie Down Straps.
Are you looking for which chain binder is best for your haul? Read to learn the differences of each binder.
When researching the benefits of lever binders and ratchet binders, people often ask “what can I do with a lever binder?” or “how to use a ratchet binder?” It can be scary operating these binders because of the injury risk it may bring. Read the differences of each chain binder and how to operate them safely.
What is a Chain Binder?
A chain binder is a tool used to tighten chain to secure cargo for transport. When shopping for chain binders, there are commonly two styles: the ratchet binder and the lever binder.
How to Use Chain Binders?
A ratchet binder, or a ratchet chain binder, includes a ratcheting mechanism to create tension in the chain in order to safely secure the load. It has a handle, two tension hooks, and a cam and prawl mechanism to create a smooth, ratcheting action.
When you are using a ratchet binder, the lever and screw will work together to increase the force applied to the tie-down assembly. This will provide the least amount of work to bind the chain tightly to secure the load. Also, its handle takes much less pulling force than you would need with a lever binder.
A lever binder, or lever chain binder, is the easiest to unbind quickly to unload your cargo. The lever binder has a lever and tension hook on each end, and the lever can increase the force when applying to a tie-down.
The lever binder will require more pulling force because it stores energy in the handle. With added tension, this can make it harder to tighten because it requires more strength.
The lever binder is viewed as the least safe option because of the lever’s built-up tension when you release it. Recently, we added a new type of lever binder called the Recoilless Cam Action Lever Binder. This is one of the safest lever binders on the market today. This is because its unique design eliminates the whiplash that occurs when you release the chain tension.
Although the lever binder can unbind quickly to unload your cargo, the ratchet binder is considered the safest option. With less built-up tension, this reduces the risk of the bar snapping back on you.
At the end of the day, the chain binders are only as safe as how you are using them. If you don’t use it correctly, it will become a danger to you. If you wish to learn more about our chain binders, give our team a call so we can get you the information that you need to keep you going.
AtUS Cargo Control, we care about your safety. When you’re ready to use chain binders, go to US Cargo Control or give our sales team a call at 800-969-6543.
The price will be automatically discounted at checkout, so no promotion code is required. Get yours now!
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.
We carry quality products to keep you and your flatbed trailer moving forward. Check out the five most popular pieces of equipment made for flatbed owners.
From corner protectors to tire chains, we have the flatbed equipment for your trailer to keep you running smoothly
Being a flatbed trailer owner, you know there is not much your trailer cannot hold. Your load is exposed, and you need the equipment to hold it down tight while protecting it from abrasions or damage. Whether you’re a new flatbed truck driver or an experienced one, we carry supplies that can help you deliver your cargo load safely and on time.
These tire chains, also known as snow tire chains, are designed to help transport you and your cargo to your destination through snowy or icy conditions. These snow chains provide added control behind the wheel when you’re stuck in the snow, and allow better traction as well.
We carry light-duty tire chains and heavy-duty tire chains. The difference is in how you plan on using these types of chains. If you think you will rarely use a tire chain during the cold months, consider the light-duty chain. If you know you will be using chains frequently, then you might want to invest in a heavy-duty chain.
Tarps are one of the best ways to protect your cargo load. We carry heavy- duty tarps that fight against elements such as rain and snow. Not only can they combat certain weather situations, but these tarp covers can also prevent scratches and marks on your precious cargo. These truck tarps contain two or three rows of d-rings across the length of the tarp, so the tarp can be tied down firmly to the truck bed. Some of the different types of tarps we carry are lumber tarps, steel tarps, machinery tarps, smoke and nose tarps, and more.
We even create custom flatbed tarps at our facility in Urbana, IA. In this video, Adam explains how our team creates long-lasting custom tarps at your convenience.
Corner Protectors & Vee Boards
Corner protectors are an inexpensive way to protect your cargo. Not only can they protect your cargo from being smashed or damaged, but these guards can also protect your straps, chains, and tarps. They are designed to protect the tarp material from any ripping or abrasions caused by sharp corners. The purpose behind these wall corner guards is providing a layer between the cargo and the strap or chain, and having this extra layer can decrease the pressure on the load from the strap/chain.
Fun fact: the plastic corner protectors can extend the life of your ratchet straps by reducing rubbing.
Winch Straps & Ratchet Straps
Both ratchet straps and winch straps work well for heavy tie down applications for the trucking industry. The only differences are in how to tighten the straps, and what type of lock the two straps carry.
When using the ratchet strap, you slide the strap to the spool, bring it back over on itself, and pull the strap. After this, you can start to ratchet and repeatedly crank the lever until the load is tightened. Both tie-down types are available with a flat hook, wire hook, chain extension, or grab hook.
We carry many colors like red, green, blue, and yellow so you can recognize what strap you are using, as well as matching your company or vehicle’s colors.
A D-ring is a piece of hardware shaped like the letter D, that can connect to the strap or be mounted directly to your flatbed trailer to secure your cargo. D-rings and straps are a flexible way to supply a trailer with many tie-down points to secure the cargo load. We carry many different styles of d-rings, and we have d-ring parts and accessories that allow you to customize your trailer configuration.
We also carry transport chains and binders, rubber/bungee tarp straps, safety supplies, winch bars, and more. Learn more about the flatbed trailer equipment we carry on our USCC website.
Call our team of experts at 800-404-7068 if you have any questions or need more information.
Steel corner protectors are excellent for heavy-duty uses involving transport chain and for larger, heavier cargo like coils. The durable galvanized steel is protected from premature rust and allows these metal edge protectors to last a long time. We also sell steel corner protectors with rubber lining.
Felt Corner Protectors
Felt corner protectors are durable and tear resistant, great for protecting sensitive cargo and tie down straps. They’re made of industrial grade felt material and are commonly used as lifting sling pads and coil padding as well as for edge protection.
We also have two different types of sleeves: the Cordura wear sleeve and the fleece sleeve protector. Both sleeves wrap around your tie down straps and provide abrasion resistance. The fleece sleeve also adds a level of padding and is great if you’re hauling vehicles with nice paint or chrome that you want to protect.
Extension Handle for Corner Protectors
Using corner protectors is easier than ever with our 8-foot extension handle, specifically designed to make it easier to place corner protectors, brick guards, and veeboards without having to climb onto the trailer. It extends to approximately 8 feet and then easily retracts to approximately 4 feet for easy storage.
This post will help you understand the options you have when it comes to buying winch bars and help you decide which type you should add to your collection of flatbed gear.
Which type of flatbed winch bar is best for you?
If your truck has winch straps, a winch bar is an invaluable tool you can’t go without. With a bit of muscle, winch bars give you the necessary leverage needed to securely tie your loads down and easily release them when it’s time to unload. Some winch bars can even release lever binders.
With all the different winch bar options available today, how do you know which type is the smartest choice for you? This post will help you understand the options you have when it comes to buying winch bars and help you decide which type you should add to your collection of flatbed gear.
Standard Winch Bars
Standard winch bars are the obvious choice for someone who only uses synthetic web winches. These straightforward bars have a standard mushroom tip that slides right into all standard web winches. They also have a knurled handle for non-slip grip.
US Cargo Control sells standard winch bars with a black paint finish or a chrome finish. Chrome provides a bit of rust resistance and many prefer the look of chrome over the black.
Combination Winch Bars
Combination winch bars, or combo bars, take it a step further with their ability to not only tighten and release synthetic winch straps but also release lever chain binders.
There are two styles of combination winch bars: standard combination bars and square head combination bars. The square head provides an added safety factor, as the tension on lever binders can create some serious kickback. Unlike standard combination winch bars with a hollow end that slides over the lever, square head winch bars have a slight pivot point that reduces the potential force if your bar were to recoil back at you.
No matter what type of bar you have, always try to stand to one side of the winch bar when you are releasing tension on a lever binder.
Ergo Winch Bars
If you’re looking for a winch bar that’s easy on your back and neck, the Ergo 360 winch bar is a perfect choice. It’s available in the same three styles (standard, combo, and combo with square head) but its unique bent shape means the bar handle and tip stay parallel to each other for maximum leverage. And unlike any other winch bar, Ergo bars can rotate 360-degrees so you won’t have to use low (and uncomfortable) angles when tightening the winch straps.
If that’s not enough for you, the Ergo bar is also heat treated for added strength and durability.
More Flatbed Winch Accessories
Ratcheting Winch Cap
Want even more convenience? Ratcheting winch bars are a popular way to tighten winch straps because they allow you to continuously tighten without removing the bar from the winch cap. This saves you both time and energy.
Tired of wasting time winding up straps only to make a mess of it? Attach a strap winder to the side rails on your flatbed so you can keep your excess winch strap neat and secure. Adam shows how it works in the video below.
Practical presents are the obvious choice for those people on your holiday gift list who say there’s nothing they want or need. When you get someone a practical gift, you enjoy the certainty of knowing that one way or another, it will come in handy for them. Plus, you get the satisfaction of surprising them with something they didn’t necessarily ask for or expect to get.
To help guide your holiday shopping this year, and make it as painless as possible, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 most practical cargo control gifts for 2018.
This first practical present idea comes in handy for way more than just protecting furniture during a move. Not only can moving blankets be used as portable pet beds (on couches, car seats, or dog house) they can also be used as a soft place to lay or sit when boating, camping, hunting, or at a sporting event. We also have sound blankets that are great for recording studios or to drown out a noisy neighbor.
Anyone who owns a pick-up truck or even a large SUV should keep a recovery strap in their vehicle at all times, especially during the winter months. If you know someone who likes offroading or mudding, this gift is a no-brainer for them. Our recovery straps are made in the USA and designed for both recovery and towing use.
4. Car Tie-Downs
If you need a practical present for a car collector, mechanic, or tow truck driver, auto tie-down straps are a perfect choice. Auto tie-downs are really only practical for someone who frequently hauls vehicles or someone who owns a flatbed trailer or tow dolly. USCC has both wheels nets and tow dolly straps for sale.
If you know someone who frequently tightens ratchet straps, the Good-N-Tight ratchet strap tightening handle would be a super helpful gift for them. It’s built for 2″, 3″, and 4″ ratchet straps and makes tightening them up a breeze. Plus, the Good-N-Tight handle reduces back stress and the potential for injury.
If you’re really feeling generous this holiday, give the practical gift of massive lifting power with a Columbus McKinnon Chain Hoist or Coffing Chain Hoist. These powerful tools make a great gift for hunters, farmers, construction workers, and mechanics. Chain hoists can lift anything from engines and building materials to animal feed and can even be used as a fast way to skin a deer.
Expected Delivery Time
There you have it. 8 practical present ideas for the 2018 holiday season. Don’t wait until it’s too late, place your order today to ensure these gifts arrive on time.
Orders placed before 4pm Central time will ship out the same day, and delivery to most of the United States takes just 1-3 days.
From the USCC family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday.
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.
Flatbed trailer tarps protect cargo from weather damage and general wear-and-tear that highway travel can cause. Tarps are waterproof and often made of vinyl, kevlar, or canvas with a polyethylene coating for added protection. Read on to understand the differences among types of flatbed trailer tarps, how to properly tarp a flatbed trailer, and how to repair a torn tarp.
Types of Flatbed Tarps
The type of tarp you should use depends on what you are hauling and how big it is. Not all tarps are created equal.
Lumber tarps are used on loads that are tall and box-shaped. They have flaps at each end to cover the ends of lumber. Both the sides and tail flap of a lumber tarp are usually fitted with grommets and multiple rows of D-rings for a variety of tie-down points. Usually, two lumber tarps are used to cover a flatbed load.
Steel tarps on the most commonly used flatbed trailer tarp. They will also typically have grommets and D-rings built-in, however no flaps. They are used to protect shorter and lower-profile loads, and also used in combination with lumber tarps.
Smoke tarps only cover the upper front portion of a flatbed load. This protects loads from getting covered in exhaust fumes and dirt. They can also be used in combination with steel and lumber tarps when additional coverage is needed.
Machinery tarps are designed to protect manufacturing or machine equipment from weather and road vibration. These heavy-duty tarps have grommets around the hems and multiple rows of D-rings on each side.
Coil tarps are commonly used to protect steel or aluminum coils and cable spools during transport. Their rounded top-half allows for a fitted cover over cylinder-shaped loads. The side flaps are more rectangular shaped and split in each corner to allow transport chain to pass through.
How to Tarp a Flatbed Trailer Load
A tarp is only effective if it’s applied correctly and secured tightly. Follow these step for tarping a load on a flatbed trailer.
1. Lift your rolled-up tarp on top of the load and center it as best as you can.
2. You should always start from the back of your load. Start unrolling the tarp towards the back while keeping the centerfold of the tarp in the center of the load.
3. Once the tarp is unrolled, pull the bottom of the tarp so that it is covering the entire back of the load and touching the flatbed trailer.
4. Next, start unfolding the tarp once on each side, making sure it stays center.
5. If you are using multiple tarps repeat the steps above to cover any exposed cargo.
6. Once your tarps have been completely unrolled and your load is covered, roll up or fold in any excess tarp and secure the D-rings with bungee cords.
7. If your load is tall or oddly shaped, throw an extra tie-down strap over the tarp to prevent it from billowing.
How to Repair Tarps
Eventually, weather and prolonged use wear down tarps to the point that they must to be repaired to remain effective.
While a winch is a common term in the trucking industry, truck winches are still most often thought of as equipment designed for hoisting or hauling 4×4 trucks and sport utility vehicles while off-roading. Winches for flatbed trailers are different as they are designed for securing cargo straps to a flat bed trailer.
We’ve outlined the most common types of flatbed trailer winches. Generally, tractor trailer winches are right hand styles; left hand models are less common but are often available by request. Trucking winches are also classified as either side mount or bottom mount.
The different types of winches for tractor trailers include:
Designed for permanent placement, excellent for strength and security and quick use.
Intended for use with winch track. Allows the operator to slide the winch to any spot along the track, then locks in place when tension is applied. Great for more precise strap placement that’s faster than removing and reattaching portable winches.
Designed with two screws attached so you can place the winch just where you need it along the trailer side channel to offer exact strap placement where you want it.
Can be used with either webbing winch straps or wire cable. Available in a sliding or weld on style.
Low Profile Winches
Available as a sliding, portable or weld-on style, the low profile design reduces the risk of winch bar rollover, for an added measure of safety. It can also reduce tensioning time.
Can be either welded or bolted in place, or with a winch track, and offers the easy operation and fast release of a ratchet. A lashing winch is a smaller style than winches that accept 4″ webbing; this style is generally for use 2″ webbing.
A simple cap that can be placed over any traditional winch to convert it to a ratcheting winch so it’s faster, easier, and safer to tension a strap. Our SilverCap® OverDrive™ ratcheting cap includes all parts.
Shop our full selection of winches and related equipment:
Lots of new products have rolled out onto our US Cargo Control website lately, including many in our flatbed trailer group from Merritt®- a trusted manufacturer in the industry.
If there’s a product or a group of new items you’d like to see added to our website, be sure to let us know- either by a comment below or contacting us at 866-444-9990.
A Merritt® Equipment headache rack is an excellent investment for a truck/trailer. Sometimes also known as limited security racks (LSR) or cab guards for trucks, these not only look sharp but can add a measure of security to the cab in the event of an accident. We offer two aluminum cab guard styles: 70″ wide with E-Z view window and an 80″ wide with chain racks. Both feature Dyna-Tube extrusion on the outer edge for a tough yet smooth aerodynamic border. Mounting kits in both a 17″ size and a 21″ size are also available so you’ll have everything you need for easy installation.
Also be sure to check our selection of tire chains. We offer two styles, both from Pewag, a trusted manufacturer in the chain industry.
Aluminum Dyna-Deck covers are a simple, fast way to create sturdy walking deck spaces on your rig. The top-mount design is ribbed to create a non-skid surface and allow for draining. Variable mounting points make them easy to install, with no drilling required. All are 33.25″ wide so they easily slide together. Choose from three different lengths: 18.5″L, 28″L, 37.5“. Each deck cover meets DOT regulations for a walk area.