National Farmer’s Day

National Manufacturing Day is a day to celebrate farmers across the nation for all their hard work to provide food for everybody.

Without Farmers and Agriculture, there would be no food in grocery stores or on our tables.

National Farmer’s Day was on October 12th. Originally known as Old Farmer’s Day, it is a day to pay tribute to the men, women, and families who put food in our grocery stores and onto our tables every day.

Since the beginning of agriculture, the impact of farmers hasn’t just been their integrity and their continued ability to provide our nation with the food we eat. They contribute to our economy in several ways. Farmers supply a stream of jobs, keep small and large communities together, and provide numerous products and needs that keep other businesses running. Other products and industries that are relied on by agriculture include restaurants, transportation, apparel, railroads, and more.

Source: Leverage

National Farmer’s Day was set on October 12th because it is after the traditional harvest time of many crops. This way, farmers would be able to join in on the festivities because they are done with the harvesting.

One of the things US Cargo Control is able to help farmers with is providing them with the right tools for their farm equipment. In fact, we recently hosted an Iowa Corn Growers event at US Cargo Control headquarters. The event included important training and discussion on how to safely extract a vehicle with the proper equipment, as well as giving additional information on the products we carry and how they help ensure safety when transferring cargo both on and off public roadways.

USCC team member, Tim Sanders, talking to the crowd of Iowa Corn Grower Members.

Some of the equipment discussed in this lecture included shackles, recovery straps, and tow straps. We carry galvanized shackles and stainless steel shackles, but they have different applications. Stainless steel shackles are used for marine applications, while galvanized shackles are more for industrial applications.

Along with shackles, it is important to know which strap to use. Recovery straps are the better choice to use to extract a stuck vehicle because of the nylon fabrication. Tow straps are not recommended for extracting stuck vehicles but are better for moving a free-moving vehicle behind your vehicle.

To learn more about how to use these products, read about the types of shackles we carry as well as the difference between recovery straps and tow straps.

To all the farmers who work hard every day, thank you for all that you do. Being headquarted in Central Iowa, we understand how important agriculture is and your presence is much appreciated!

Source: Leverage

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

Extracting a Stuck Vehicle

When extracting a stuck vehicle, many factors can affect the actual pulling force needed. Read on to learn what they are.

How to Calculate Minimum Winching Effort & Minimum Working Load Limit

extracting a stuck vehicle calculation formula

When extracting a stuck vehicle, many factors can affect the actual pulling force needed, as well as selecting recovery equipment with high enough load ratings.

During a recent Iowa Corn Growers Event hosted at US Cargo Control headquarters, Tim Sanders, a Trucking and Transporation expert, and USCC business development specialist, gave an informative overview of what goes into effectively extracting a vehicle that’s stuck in the mud, sand, gravel, snow, etc.

When work needs to get done, it may seem tempting to just grab a strap or chain and pull until something happens. However, if you take a few minutes to do some simple calculations, you’ll likely save time in the long run and more importantly, help ensure the safety of those around the extraction scene.

The formula for calculating the required minimum recovery capacity

Total vehicle weight (W), additional rolling resistance (ARR), and additional gradient resistance (AGR). Once you have these calculations, you can quickly determine the recovery equipment strength you will need:

  1. What does the stuck vehicle weight, including all cargo, attachments, trailers, etc.?

    This is the “W” part of the formula.
  2. What factors will add to the pulling effort and safe working load limits required to pull the total weight of the vehicle?

    When we say “additional factors” we’re mainly talking about two things: additional rolling resistance (ARR) and additional gradient resistance (AGR)

Minimum Capacity Required = W + ARR + AGR

tim sander USCC sales and trucking gear expert
USCC Business Development Specialist, Tim Sanders, shares how to determine the minimum recovery equipment capacity required for extracting a vehicle to a crowd of Iowa Corn Grower Members

Calculating additional rolling resistance

Additional rolling resistance (ARR) is essentially the surface in which the vehicle is stuck or will need to get over in order to become free. Different surface types have different multipliers that, when multiplied by the total vehicle weight, give you the “ARR.”

Keep in mind that these calculations assume the wheels are level with each other.

how to calculate additional rolling resistance by surface type
This chart shows the multipliers for different surface types. Multiply the total weight of the stuck vehicle by the appropriate multiplier to get total “ARR.”

Calculating gradient resistance

Gradient resistance (AGR) is simply the degree of slope that the extraction may take place on. The greater the slope, the higher the multiplier. Again, you will take the total weight of the stuck vehicle and multiply by the appropriate multiplier.

chart for calculating gradient resistance when extracting a stuck vehicle
This chart shows the multipliers for different degrees of slope. Multiply the total weight of the stuck vehicle by the appropriate multiplier to get total “AGR.”

Example Calculation

Let’s say the total weight of the stuck vehicle is 42,000 lbs., and it’s stuck in the snow with a 15-degree slope. Can you figure out the minimum capacity required? Remember the formula is:

Minimum Capacity Required = W + ARR + AGR

See below for the answer.

example calculation of minimum capacity required
Assuming all the factors on the left side of this chart, here is how to calculate the minimum capacity required for extracting a vehicle

Selecting the right recovery straps

Make sure the working load limit of the recovery equipment is greater than the minimum capacity required. Additional resistance could be encountered when the stuck vehicle is deeply submerged, or there is damage to the vehicle that prevents it from moving. When in doubt contact a vehicle recovery expert.

More Vehicle Recovery Resources

If you’re needing to pull an automobile out of snow that’s close to a public roadway, there are specific steps to take to ensure safety beyond just recovery capacity. Click the link above to learn what they are.

We also have resources that cover the common questions our team gets like how to choose a recovery strap and auto-recovery straps vs. tow straps.

If you have further questions on recovery straps and safe vehicle extraction, give Tim or anyone on our team a call at 800-969-6543.

NOTE: This article contains important safety information about the use of synthetic web slings. However, it does not contain all the information you need to know about handling, lifting, and manipulating materials and loads safely. Sling use is only one part of a lifting system and it is your responsibility to consider all risk factors prior to using any rigging device or product. Failure to do this may result in severe injury or death due to sling failure and/or loss of load

How to Pull a Car Out of Snow Using a Recovery Strap

Recovery straps can be used all year long, but they’re especially handy in the winter months when roadsides become flooded with spun-out vehicles.

Recovery straps can be used all year long, but they’re especially handy in the winter months when roadsides become flooded with spun-out vehicles.

how to pull a car out of snow
source

The best way to get a car out of snow quickly (without the cost of a professional tow truck) is by rigging a recovery strap to a tow hook or recovery point on the vehicle and slowly dragging it out. Between the type of vehicle, weather conditions, and distance from the roadway, there are many variables that make each vehicle recovery situation different.

Use the steps below as a general guideline for how to pull a car out of the snow, but know your limits and never push the capabilities of your vehicle or yourself.

 

1. Make yourself visible to others

If you’re recovering a vehicle that’s near a roadway, take precaution seriously. Having your hazards on is a good start, but you should also have some type of hi-vis clothing to protect yourself. Consider getting reflective safety triangles to help warn drivers of your presence as they’re approaching the recovery scene.

emergency warning triangles

 

2. Make the recovery as easy as possible

If the car that’s stuck in the snow is really buried in, you might want to spend some time shoveling snow away from the tires and from underneath the car. Putting sand or kitty litter under the tires will also help ease the strain on the recovery strap and make the pull a whole lot easier. If you have them, applying tire chains will add even more traction.

2. Secure the strap to the recovery vehicle

First, make sure the recovery strap you’re using is rated high enough. A good rule of thumb is for the vehicle weight to be half the break strength of the recovery strap.

Next, attach the recovery strap to the rear of the towing vehicle, somewhere with plenty of structural support like a trailer hitch with steel loops for mounting a hook with a safety clip or a shackle. Anchor shackles are one of the best and safest ways to secure a recovery strap. Refer to your vehicle’s owners manual for guidance on safe recovery strap rigging.

Never attach the strap to a trailer hitch ball. This can cause bending and breaking that could result in serious injury.

3. Secure the strap to the stuck vehicle

This is where it can get tricky. If you’re lucky enough to be pulling a vehicle with clearly visible tow hooks, secure the recovery strap to those. Many smaller vehicles and newer model cars don’t have the best tow hooks, or they are often hidden.

Before resorting to hooking onto the frame, check the front bumper for a small square section of the plastic that’s removable. Many newer vehicles have removable tow hooks that are stored with the car jack.

hidden tow hook location on cars

Never attach a recovery strap to the bumper, axle, suspension, or steering rods.

If possible, lay a tarp or some jackets on top of the recovery strap to slow the recoil of the strap if it were to break.

4. Reduce slack then pull slowly

Once the recovery strap is safely secured, the recovery vehicle should slowly pull forward to reduce strap slack and prevent snapping. Then, with drivers in both vehicles and no people near the strap, the recovery vehicle can start accelerating slowly and gradually. The vehicle being recovered should be in gear and once they’re moving the driver should apply some gas and steer the vehicle out.

5. Inspect equipment and get home safe

Once the car is pulled out of the snow and back on drivable land, inspect your recovery strap and all hardware before heading home. Clean the strap when you get home and store it in a dry and cool place.

Why you need to use recovery straps

Make sure to use recovery straps for stuck vehicles and not tow straps. Recovery straps are designed to have more stretch than tow straps and this helps prevent the strap from snapping when the vehicle is being tugged on. Recovery straps also provide a more controlled pull compared the tow straps. Without getting too scientific, the stored kinetic energy from the strap stretches then recoils back to its natural length to provide control and prevent the strap from snapping.

Learn more about the differences between recovery straps and tow straps.

 

Best Recovery Straps

2 inch recovery strap yellow
2″ x 20′ Recovery Strap
8 inch heavy duty recovery strap with cordura
8″ x 30′ Heavy Duty Recovery Strap
3 inch recovery strap 2-ply
3″ x 20′ Recovery Strap 2-Ply

 

 

8 Practical Present Ideas for the Holidays

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. 

 

Moving Supplies

1. Moving Blanket

using a moving blanket as a dog bed

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. 

 

Truck and Trailer Gear

2. Cargo Net

cargo net on pickup truck flatbed

Cargo nets are an excellent gift for pick-up truck owners. They’re lighter and easier to manage compared to tarps, and they still do a great job at securing cargo. US Cargo Control has short bed truck cargo nets and long bed truck cargo nets. Both come with cam buckles and S-hooks for quick securement. We also sell small cargo nets for motorcycles and mopeds.

 

3. Recovery Straps

where to get recovery straps

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

image of adjustable wheel net

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.

 

5. Ratchet Straps

yellow ratchet straps in truck bed holding a kayak secure

A person can never have enough ratchet straps. And US Cargo Control has one of the largest selection of ratchet straps, cam straps, and heavy-duty tie downs that you’ll find anywhere. Hunters and outdoorsmen love our camo ratchet straps and if the person on your list ever hauls heavy cargo, our BlackLine ratchet straps have the strongest break strength in the industry.

 

6. Good-N-Tight Ratchet Handle

tool for tightening ratchet straps

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.

 

7. USCC Apparel

trucking industry clothing

Clothing is always a great practical present idea. Everyone needs it. Give the present of warmth this holiday with our pullover style hooded sweatshirt with a double-lined hood. We also have branded mechanics gloves, USCC trucker caps, and stainless steel tumblers that keep drinks cold for 24 hours and warm for up to 6 hours.

 

Lifting Equipment

8. Chain Hoist

chain hoist 1 ton

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. 

 

Auto Recovery Straps vs. Tow Straps

We get a lot of questions about which straps to use when hauling and towing a vehicle versus the best straps for recovering cars from ditches or other situations. There is a difference between recovery straps and tow straps, and each type has its benefits.

Recovery Straps, Snatch Straps, Tow Straps
Situational usage of recovery straps.

Recovery Straps

Recovery straps are best used to “recover” a stuck vehicle. Say your car or off-road recreational vehicle gets stuck in the mud or a ditch and you’re not going anywhere no matter what you try. If you don’t want to call a tow truck, you can use another vehicle and recovery straps to do the job.

Recovery straps are made of a nylon fabrication that stretches when necessary. These straps, also called “snatch straps” since they can snatch a vehicle out of a sticky situation, have loops on each end.

3x20 strap with looped ends and Cordura eyes
Recovery straps have loops on both ends.

To use a recovery strap you attach the strap to the back of the vehicle performing the recovery at an appropriate frame point, and also to the front of the vehicle being recovered. Thread the strap through the eye of the other end to choke the frame. Make sure the strap is not rubbing against any sharp edges. If you need hardware to secure the strap, anchor shackles are great for recovery vehicles. As the first vehicle begins to move forward, the strap stretches and pulls the stuck vehicle free.

Recovery straps are safer for this type of usage than chain, they’re easier to use and they are not nearly as heavy. Making sure your recovery strap is in good shape is very important before using. Any straps that are frayed or warn increases the likelihood of breakage during a recovery. Straps with faded color are also more apt to break during usage. Store straps out of sunlight and away from excessive heat. Straps perform well in cold temps as well as heat, but should not be used in temperatures in excess of 194 degrees Fahrenheit. To clean your strap, spray with water and do not use chemicals.

Tow Straps

The biggest difference between a tow strap and a recovery strap is the stretchiness of the fabric. A tow strap is made of less-stretchy polyester, and is intended for the towing of a freely-moving vehicle behind another vehicle. Typically, tow straps have metal hooks on each end. Tow straps should not be used in the recovery of stuck vehicles simply because they are less stretchy and can more easily break under the pressure a recovery entails. Traditional tow straps and chains are similar in their towing applications.

Strap Safety

No matter which type of strap you’re using, there are standard safety protocols. Because straps can snap, or break, and launch through the air at a high rate of speed, it’s a good idea to keep any bystanders at least the distance of the length of the strap away from the application.

Choosing the right size strap is also very important. US Cargo Control straps come in widths from 2” to 12” with break strengths from 20,000 lbs. to 400,000+ lbs., and can be made to any custom length since we manufacture them in-house. We can also layer the strap from 1- to 4-ply designs, so you can get the width you want with the strength you need. More plies allow for a narrower strap with greater break strength than single ply.

Our straps are designed with CORDURA® at the eyes of the strap for better resistance to wear and tear. It’s important to note that US Cargo Control straps are manufactured with high-quality, heavy-duty nylon designed for both recovery and towing uses.

If you have any questions about what strap is best for your application, or if you need a custom strap please call us at 866-444-9990 and we’ll be happy to help you get you what you want, when you need it.

Employee Recommendation: Recovery Straps

6" x 30' Recovery Strap
6″ x 30′ Recovery Strap

Our Made in the USA recovery straps are one of our best-selling products, and in this video, Sales Specialist David gives a quick overview of the benefits of these heavy duty nylon straps, including:

  • Break strengths ranging from 20,000 lbs. to 400,000+ lbs.
  • Widths from 2″-12″
  • Custom lengths available
  • Available in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-plies. More plies allows for a narrower strap but with same strength.
  • CORDURA® protected eyes to resist wear and tear at the point of contact
  • Simple eye design can be used for both recovery and towing applications

Shop our entire selection: Recovery Straps & Tow Straps

2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Men from US Cargo Control

We know it can be hard to find us guys a great gift…so we thought we’d help offer up a few ideas since our US Cargo Control website has a lot of items men would like to add to their “collections.”

Presenting our top five great gifts for men:

2" ratchet strap from USCargoControl.com

This 2″ x 18′ Ratchet Strap is a great all-purpose ratchet strap. With a universal wire hook end fitting, a working load limit of 3,335 lbs. and an assembly break strength of 10,000 lbs., it will hold down most anything.  This would work for strapping down ATVs, large motorcycles, even cars on a trailer.  Two straps make a great gift, but pick up four for that Dad of the Year recognition. Coming in at $12.99 each, it’s a great deal. To see more tie downs, see check out this page on our website: Ratchet straps and tie downs.

 

image of TeamStrap moving strap from USCargoControl.com

Moving straps are an ingenious invention. If the guy you are buying for ever needs to move something big and heavy, TeamStrap Furniture Moving Straps is the way to go.  A time saver, and a back saver, it’s designed to make the strong muscles of the body take the brunt of the lifting and saves the back in the process.  They are priced at a fraction of the cost of a chiropractic adjustment at just $19.95.  A couple of similar options are also available, you can see them on this page: Moving straps and mover bands.

 

2345-moving-blanket-supreme-mover-cotton-blanket-sold-ind_1_375 Staying in the moving theme – no guy should be without a few moving blankets. These can be used to move large pieces of furniture, to protect and cover items in transport – or just left in the back of the car or truck for a great last-minute cover when hunting, tailgating, etc.  These are so strong – one customer shared how he used one to move a 1200 lbs. safe across a cement floor, after the moving dolly broke.  This super strong supreme moving blanket is only $17.99, and other lighter weight options are also available here: Moving blankets and moving pads.

 

image of recovery strap / tow strap from USCargoControl.com

Always topping the list as an absolute must-have: the 2″ x 20′ recovery strap.  O.K., now we’re getting serious. Some people also call this a tow strap – either way, they are awesome and if the guys you’re buying for have a truck…they need to have one of these.  It’s mandatory to keep their man card.  These are a steal at $26.99.  If you do decide on the recovery strap…don’t forget to add a couple of shackles, he will need them to attach to the strap when pulling cars and trucks out of the ditch in the winter – or mud in the summer.

 

image of motorcycle tie downs from USCargoControl.com

If you have a motorcycle guy on your list – check out the 4 point motorcycle tie down anchor kit.  This will allow him to mount some small anchor points in his truck bed or trailer floor so hauling the motorcycle is  a breeze.  This kit comes will all the hardware to install it too – as well as four complete straps and soft loop handle bar straps.  This is a great all-inclusive kit for the guy who rides- all under $90. We’ve got more kit options, plus individual straps and other accessories on our Motorcycle tie downs page.

 

And there you have it- five great gift ideas for guys on your list. But here’s the best part- if you’re not exactly sure what you need, give our sales team a call at 866-444-9990. They’ll be more than happy to help you. Happy shopping!

 

How to Choose a Recovery Strap

Image of 4'x30" Recovery/Tow StrapApril showers may bring May flowers, and they can also bring lots of mud! It’s a good time to make sure you have a good working recovery strap if you’ll be traveling or working on wet, muddy fields or roads.

While traditional recovery straps and tow straps are not designed to be used interchangeably, US Cargo Control straps can be used for both, due to a unique mix of design features.

Recovery strap features

-Constructed of a rugged nylon webbing with a slight stretch so it can recover a stuck vehicle or tow a free-wheeling vehicle.

-Sewn-in loops offer much more flexibility than traditional tow straps that have hooks attached.

-Loops (also called eyes) are reinforced with CORDURA® fabric patches for an extra layer of protection at the points of wear.

-Available in a range in widths from 2″ to 12″, with break strengths from 20,000 lbs. to 400,000+ lbs.

-Our recovery straps are made in the USA, ensuring a guarantee of quality. 3218-recovery-straps-w-cordura-eyes-4-x30_3_640

How to connect a recovery strap

Screw pin anchor shackles are an easy way to connect and disconnect the strap to a vehicle for recovery applications. When choosing a shackle, be sure and take into consideration the working load limit (WLL)  of the shackle and the strap- whichever is the lesser value will be the work load limit for the entire assembly.

You can see our full selection of recovery tow straps here: Recovery Straps & Tow Straps

Choosing a strap can be confusing when trying to determine the strength that you need. Check out this video for a simple formula for determining the best strap for you needs. You can also always call our sales team for help: 866-444-9990.

How to Choose a Recovery Strap or Tow Strap

Image of 8"x16' recovery / tow strapWhile the terms recovery strap and tow strap are often used interchangeably, a tow strap and a recovery strap can be very different and are usually used for different purposes.

Recovery strap

-Made of nylon for a higher stretch value.
-Used for “recovering” a vehicle that’s immobilized.
-Sometimes also called snatch straps for the ability to “snatch” a vehicle from a stuck position.
-Can also be used for towing
applications. Continue reading “How to Choose a Recovery Strap or Tow Strap”