How Many Tie Down Straps Do I Need to Secure My Cargo?

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

using several straps to tie down straps load

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.

Source: US Cargo Control

How Many Heavy Duty Ratchet Straps Do I Need?

truck straps for your tie down application needs

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?

blue corner protector to protect your cargo or your strap
Corner Protector – Blue

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.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you would have any questions about our flatbed trailer accessories, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

How to Use a Ratchet Strap

Some of the most common questions we receive from our customers are about the use of a ratchet strap. Along with questions about break strengths, working load limits, and safety guidelines, are those about how to use these versatile tie down straps:  “How to thread a ratchet strap,” “How to release a ratchet strap,” or something similar. If you’ve never used one of these versatile tie down straps, assembling one for the first time can be confusing.

You can check out this video about ratchet straps and cam straps, which shows how to put together an assembly. We’ve also created the handy photo demonstration below for quick and easy reference.

All of our ratchet straps are DOT-approved and are manufactured with labels attached that include break strength and work load limit information. They also meet several requirements, including:

  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)  guidelines
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations
  • Web Sling & Tie Down Association (WSTDA)
  • California Highway Patrol (CHP)
  • North American Cargo Securement

To see our full line of tie downs, visit our Ratchet Straps & Tie Downs page.

 

infographic for how to use a ratchet strap

 

How to Thread Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps

While both ratchet straps and cam buckle straps are used to haul various types of cargo and come in sizes ranging from 1″ to 4″ in width, there are some key differences between the two.

Ratchet straps

A ratchet strap is available with many different fittings: chain extension, d-ring, e-track fitting, e-track double stud fitting, f-track hook and spring e-fitting, flat hook, flat snap hook, j-hook with d-ring, s-hook and vinyl coated wire hook.

Polyester webbing is most often used for both ratchet straps and cam buckle straps because it has a low stretch rate and is very resistant to abrasion.

How to thread a ratchet strap

1.) Open the ratchet so you have access to the take-up spool.

2.) Slide strap through the spool and bring it right back on itself.

3.) Pull on the strap to remove the excess slack.

4.) Once the slack is removed, you can start to ratchet the strap to the desired tension, keeping the strap straight.

5.) Once you have reached your desired tension, lock the ratchet down to its closed position.

To release the strap, open the ratchet all the way so it is completely flat and pull the strap out.

In cases where you do not need the strength of a ratchet strap, a cam buckle is an excellent choice. Cam straps are also available with various types of attachment hardware: butterfly fitting, e-track fitting, F-track hook and spring e-fitting, handle bar strap with S-hook, flat snap hook and s-hook.

Cam buckle straps 

Cam buckle straps typically come in 1″ and 2″ sizes. This video highlights the differences between ratchet straps and cam buckles and also shows how to thread a cam buckle.

How to thread a cam buckle strap

1.) Turn the cam buckle over and thread your strap back through  while pressing the thumb release.

2.) While pressing the thumb release, pull the strap to your desired tension and then release.

To release the strap, press the thumb button and simply pull the strap.

In choosing between a ratchet strap and a cam buckle, it generally depends on work load limit or how fragile the product is that you are securing. If the cargo is light and fragile, go with a cam buckle since you cannot run the risk of over-tightening and crushing the product. For items heavier or more sturdy, a ratchet strap is a good choice.