Corner Protector Comparison Video: What’s Best for Your Cargo?

Some of the different corner protectors we offer include plastic, steel, rubber, fabric, felt, and sleeves. What are the differences?

Corner protectors are an inexpensive way to protect not only your cargo but your straps, chains, tarps, and other tie-down equipment.

Some of the types of corner protectors that we offer include plastic, steel, rubber, fabric, felt, and sleeves.

Plastic Corner Protectors

Plastic corner protectors, or V boards, are flexible, lightweight, stackable, and weather resistant. We sell many different types of plastic corner protectors including corner protectors for bricks, flexible tarp corner protectors, and long and narrow edge protectors that are great for large sheets of drywall and plywood.

Steel Corner Protectors

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.

Protective Sleeves

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.

7 DIY Moving Tips for Preventing Damage

Heavy furniture, steep steps, bulky appliances, narrow doorways, and valuable breakables.  When you’re faced with moving all your possessions out of one home and into another, it doesn’t take much to cause costly damage. 

Without the proper moving preparation, you not only put your precious belongings at risk for damage, you could also put scratches on floors, gouges in wall paint, and dings in narrow doorways. Or worse yet, you could injure yourself.

Pack away these DIY moving tips to ensure minimal damage the next time you move. 

1. Shield your Floor

Whether your moving items over hardwood, tile, linoleum, laminate, or carpet flooring – start by obtaining floor covers. Not only do they prevent scratches and tears, they also protect against dirt and heavy foot traffic. In addition, floor coverings for moving protect you by creating a non-slip surface. 

2. Protect Doors and Doorways

Doorways take a beating during move-out and move-in – especially your front door. Everything you own will need to go through it. And if you’ve moved before, you know the struggle of maneuvering a couch or dining table through a narrow doorway. Protect all your doorways with a door jamb protector and cover doors in a quilted door cover for quick and easy protection. 

door cover for moving
Quilted door covers will protect against dings and scuffs.

3. Take Proper Precaution with Breakables

Nothing is worse than going through all the work of packing and moving, only to unpack and find that your dishes are broken, pictures are bent, and mirrors are cracked.  To ensure your most delicate items arrive in your new home the same way they left your old one, make use of the proper supplies. Start by wrapping breakables in plenty of packing paper. Use a double wall dish box and dish partition kit to ensure dishes stay properly positioned during the move. Remove bulbs before packing lamps and consider using a specially designed lamp box 

4. Construct and Pack Boxes Smarter 

All boxes are not created equal. Without a strong and properly constructed box, all your items could end up on the sidewalk. Construct your boxes with plenty of quality packing tape to avoid broken boxes and extra work. Tape the center seam twice and tape once along the bottom edges where the flaps fold in. The tape should extend four to six inches up the side of the box. To avoid overpacking boxes, it’s best to pack heavy items in smaller boxes and lighter items in larger boxes. 

constructing moving boxes properly
To properly construct moving boxes, tape the center seam twice and the bottom edges once.

5. Protect your Furniture 

Move, load, drive, unload, move. Moving day presents plenty of opportunities to ding your new washing machine or put dirt all over your white mattress. Wrap your expensive furniture in moving blankets and moving pads to shield against scratches, scuffs, and dents. To ensure they stay put during transport, consider putting stretch-wrap around the blankets, or use pre-shaped furniture protectors for a perfect fit around love seats, refrigerators, and more. If precipitation is in the forecast, plastic furniture covers will ensure everything stays dry. 

6. Take the Pressure off Yourself 

The average king size mattress weighs about 150 pounds. The average front load washing machine? 225 pounds. Moving all this is not only a lot of work, it’s potentially dangerous. But you don’t need to be an Ironman Champion if you have the proper moving tools. Moving straps take pressure off your arms and back and allow for better control and maneuverability. If you use a hand truck or moving dolly, you can simply push and pull many items into your new home. 

lifting straps for DIY moving
Forearm Forklift Moving Straps take the pressure off your back, making heavy lifts much more manageable.

7. Load Smart and Secure Cargo 

Take the time to load your boxes and furniture in a safe and smart manner. This means loading larger and heavier items first to avoid crushing. No matter how far you’re moving, you’re probably going to run into some bumps, potholes, and sudden stops. Secure any items that could shift around or blow away with bungee cords or tie-down straps. Below is an example of what not to do.

How not to move
Don’t get caught moving without quality cargo control equipment like tie-down straps and bungee cords.


Feeling overwhelmed with all that goes into moving? Don’t sweat it! Learn how to remove the stress of moving. 

5 Tips for Hunting with Your Portable Tree Stand

Whether hunting with a bow or firearm, utilizing a portable tree stand is a popular way to gain an elevated view of approaching game and ensure your scent is not easily detected down below. However, tree stands can result in serious injury without preparation, the appropriate tree stand accessories and proper installation procedures. Add the essential hunting accessories and you’re ready for a good hunt.

Climbing tree stands allow for superior mobility while searching for the optimal spot to blend in and wait. No matter what portable tree stand you choose – even if you make your own – there are safety considerations to remember and best practices to follow. Use these tips the next time you venture out:

  1. Inspect your gear. Before you even leave home, look over all of your equipment and hunting accessories. Check your safety harness and straps for fray or other defects. Make sure the pieces of your stand are in working order. Double check your supply list so you don’t forget to pack any essential tools.
  2. Find the right tree. Locating an ideal tree may take a while unless you’ve previously scouted the area. Trees have to be sturdy enough to support both you and the platform. Live, healthy trees with a sizeable circumference are the goal. Tall and sturdy with no lower branches or loose bark are other preferred features. Some stand manufacturers set restrictions or size specifications. Confirm the area you’re in allows the type of system and accessories you are using. Screw-in styles or steps are frequently not permitted in order to protect trees from permanent damage.
  3. Lock your safety harness to the trunk. Getting your stand set up and safely secured can take a little while. Once you have the top and bottom parts of the stand ready to make the climb, tether your body harness to the trunk with a moveable ratchet strap secured just above the top of the stand. This securement will serve as backup if the stand falls. In addition, a safety strap from your harness to the tree takes some weight and pressure off the stand itself.
  4. Don’t rush the climb. Step onto the bottom part of your stand, which should already be attached to the tree. Once in the stand, you should be able to reposition the tree strap about 12” up the tree and tighten it back onto the tree. Grab the top part of your stand and move it upward, then use your feet to grab the bottom portion of the stand and lift that up, as well. Repeat this process a number of times until you feel you have a good overview of your area that’s out of a target’s line of sight, yet within your desired shooting distance. Descend the tree by simply reversing these instructions. Never carry your firearm or bow while climbing. Keep these items on the ground, perhaps in a bag, tethered to the top of the tree stand with a strap or a rope that you can pull up to you once you’ve secured your tree stand to where you plan to perch during the hunt.
  5. Check the local weather forecast. Know what conditions to expect. Temperature and precipitation affect how readily you can reach your tree stand, and influence the ability to see, hear and track your prey. Also, dress appropriately. Especially in high altitudes, a warm day can turn into a freezing cold night. If necessary, carry a blanket to bunker down with.

Keep these safety tips in mind to help guarantee a successful and injury-free harvest season. US Cargo Control carries a variety of hunting accessories such as camo blankets and camo safety straps with choices of hooks and ratchets for your unique needs. Call us anytime with questions: 888-719-4020.

10 Ways to Store Tie Down Straps

blogggAfter an un-official poll on our US Cargo Control Facebook page, some of our customers replied and sent us messages with great ideas on how to store tie down straps.

First, before storing them away for any period of time, it’s important to make sure the webbing is clean and dry- be sure and check out our How to Inspect, Clean, and Store Tie Down Straps article for more information.

Also keep in mind that even though it’s tempting to just throw straps in a pile or bucket, taking the time to wind up a strap is also an ideal time to inspect the webbing for rips, tears, and abrasions.

Some of the great tie down storage ideas we received:

Plastic zip ties. Traditional zip ties are generally a one-time use, so these are great if you intend to secure and store away your tie downs for awhile. If you use your straps repeatedly, pick up the reusable zip ties that have a release mechanism.

Plastic Stretch Wrap - SW31000
Plastic Stretch Wrap SW31000

Plastic stretch wrap. Popular in the moving industry, stretch wrap is great because it can secure cargo compactly, yet is re-positionable and doesn’t have sticky adhesive to leave residue behind. For tie down straps, simple wind up tightly and roll a few layers of stretch wrap around it to keep it in place.

Cinch Strap - BSC36
Cinch Strap
BSC36

Rubber band. Simple, fast and easy, but these can quickly become brittle and break, especially with extended sun exposure or extreme temperatures, so you may need to replace often. Another variation that will last a bit longer: elastic hair bands.

Cinch strap.  Velcro cinch straps are great for securing a loop of webbing. If you have a trailer with E-track installed, you can loop the strap through an E-track fitting with O-ring to keep straps up and off the floor.

Plastic freezer bags. Gallon-sized plastic bags work great to not only secure the strap in a loop, they’ll keep them dry too. Gallon-sized bags will accommodate 1″ straps. Larger-sized bags with 2-gallon, 3-gallon, and larger sizes are becoming more common and are great for storing straps with wider webbing.

Bungee Ball - BBB6-100PK
Bungee Ball
BBB6-100PK

Bungee balls. These handy ties come in a bulk package of 100 so you’ll have plenty to wrap up your tie down straps, and some left over for other uses:  securing canopies, keeping box lids closed, anchoring yard ornaments, bundling tent poles, etc.

Bungee Cords - BC3836-10PK
Bungee Cords
BC3836-10PK

Tackle box. Pick up one with dividers; they’re great for storing smaller 1″ straps. An old briefcase is another idea for larger straps. The narrow height keeps them rolled and intact.

Bungee cords. Like bungee balls, the uses are endless with bungee. Our bungee cord selection comes in a wide range of sizes, sure to fit around even your largest 4″ winch straps or ratchet straps.

Plastic storage boxes.  These are a great idea if you’ll be keeping them on a shelf in a garage or shed. Plastic storage boxes come in so many sizes, find one that’s small enough to keep the strap wrapped compactly. Be sure to purchase boxes with clear sides so you can easily see what’s inside without having to open the box. Most have a molded lid design that makes them easy to stack, too.

Shock Cord - SHC18COIL
Shock Cord SHC18COIL

Shock cord. Lightweight shock cords makes it easy to make custom length straps, just by adding bungee hooks.

BONUS TIP: If you work with a lot of tie down straps, especially the larger 3″ and 4″ widths, check out our Strap Winder.

How to Inspect, Clean, and Store Tie Down Straps

image of orange tie down strap from uscargocontrol.comWith winter weather pretty much over (we hope!), it’s a good time to clean and inspect your tie down straps for wear and tear.

Whether you use 1″ ratchet straps to tie down a motorcycle in an enclosed trailer, or you’re a flatbed truck driver using 4″ winch straps, it’s important to regularly inspect straps, clean them, and store properly when not in use. Not only will these best practices extend the working life of the strap, they can also be the difference between a safe trip and a disastrous haul.

Inspecting a tie down strap

Besides holes, tears, and knots, check for these sometimes less-obvious indications of wear:

  • Broken stitching in the stitch patterns
  • Weld splatter, or any areas of melting or charring
  • Damage caused from UV rays: color looks bleached or webbing feels stiff
  • Small particles embedded in the webbing
  • Burnt areas caused by acid, alkali, or other chemicals
  • Cracks, pits, or corrosion on ratchets, cam buckles, hooks, and other fittings.
  • Unusual wear patterns of webbing at the point of contact with the fitting
  • Tag: work load limit information must be visible40401-2-x-24-orange-ratchet-strap-w-double-j-hook_4_640

If any of the above are visible, the straps should be removed from service. If in doubt, check The Web Sling and Tie Down Association (WSTDA)  publication Recommended Standard Specification for Synthetic Web Tie Downs. It’s the gold standard for tie down maintenance guidelines.

After a thorough inspection, create a record with dates to keep on file. Write your notes in a notebook, or keep an electronic file on your computer; either way, it’s a good idea to also take photos of straps so you can refer to them if needed during the next inspection.

How often should you inspect tie down straps? The WSTDA suggests an initial inspection before the strap is placed in service; then again each time before the strap is used. Periodic inspections should be based on: how often the straps are used  and the severity of the conditions the strap is used in. You can also use your experience of using tie downs in similar applications to know how often a strap should be inspected.

How to clean tie down straps

Keeping straps clean is one of the best ways to extend their working life. Mix a mild detergent with warm water and scrub with a quality scrub brush to loosen any dirt and debris. Avoid bleach-based cleansers or any with acid additives.

Even though the polyester fabrication of tie down strap webbing limits water absorption, it’s still best practice to hang straps to allow for thorough air drying.

Tie down strap storage

Straps can be hung on walls, stored in plastic bags or fabric bags, etc., but a good rule of thumb is to be sure and keep them in a dry area away from sunlight.

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Replacing Tie Down Straps

If the webbing on your ratchet straps, cam straps or winch straps is showing signs of wear and tear, they need to be replaced. According to the Web Sling and Tie Down Association (WSTDA), web tie down straps should no longer be used if tears, holes, snags, cuts or embedded particles are evident that could raise doubt about the tie down’s strength. They should also be replaced if the work load limit (WLL) information is no longer visible on the webbing.

Replacement tie down straps

Replacement strap: fixed end with ratchet and flat hook
Replacement strap

 

Replacement tie down straps are a great choice for because you’ll need to buy only the end that needs replacing.  Several options are available, including wire hooks, chain extensions, and flat hooks. Replacement straps can also be used to easily turn a winch strap into a ratcheting strap. Polyester webbing replacement straps can be purchased in 2″, 3″ and 4″ widths.

 

Polyester cargo webbing

Polyester cargo webbing: 2" width
Polyester cargo webbing

 

If you only need to replace the webbing on your current ratchet straps, cam straps or winch straps, you can purchase polyester cargo webbing by the foot. This way you only buy the lengths that you need. It’s available in a range of colors and in 1″, 2″, 3″, and 4″ widths.

E-Track Fittings

visual of vertical e-trackWhat makes E-track so great is the amount of e-track fittings, tie down straps, ratchet straps, etc. that work with e-track systems. Even simple accessories like a bungee cord or a cargo net are easy to quickly secure when you have an e track system installed in an enclosed trailer or on the floor of an open trailer.

Here, Charlie goes over the basic types of e-track fittings available at US Cargo Control:

E-track fittings and products shown in this video:

Other E-track videos you may be interested in:

How to install e-track

 L-track & E-track: Which Tie Down System is Right for You?

Have questions about e-track fittings, shoring beams or any of our other products? Call our sales team at 866-444-9990, they’ll be glad to help you.

New Warehouse Space Nearly Complete

The big news at US Cargo Control really is big- as in a new warehouse space to house USCC products. Another 42,750 square feet has been added, which nearly triples the current warehouse space.

Several new products have been added to the US Cargo Control merchandise line-up recently, including replacement tie down straps, tire chains, rope, hand trucks, reflective tape, and even a line of premium heavy duty tie down straps, BlackLine. The new warehouse space will allow us to keep more inventory on hand so customers can receive orders more quickly.

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We’ve also added a trailer set to use for filming instructional videos about our products. Let us know if there are any US Cargo Control products you’d like to see in our videos.

Keep checking back for even more pictures as we add in racking and products in the warehouse, and create new videos with the trailer set. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Tie Down Strap Tag Information: Break Strength and Working Load Limit

Webbing tie down straps like ratchet straps and cam buckle straps should be marked with a tag indicating the break strength and working load limit. Blackline tie down straps from USCargoControl.com

 What does the break strength mean on tie downs?

According to the Web Sling and Tie Down Association (WSTDA), breaking strength is the load in pounds or kilograms at which point any load bearing part of the synthetic web tie down fails.

 What does working load limit mean?

The working load limit, also marked at WLL, is the maximum allowable load assigned to each synthetic web tie down by the manufacturer which is not to exceed one-third of the complete assembly breaking strength. This means a strap with a break strength of 16,200 lbs. would have a WLL of 5,400 lbs.