Top 5 Reasons You Should Buy Made in the USA Products this Week

While the option to buy domestic or import cargo control products is always on the table, the domestic option may be especially appealing to you this week. Here’s why.

Hint: #5 will save you money.

At USCC, we pride ourselves on providing you with a wide range of options to ensure your specific needs are met. As a solutions provider that continually works to get you what you want, when you need it, we have thousands of cargo control products from a variety of sources, all within one easy-to-use website.

While the option to buy either domestic or import cargo control products is always on the table, the domestic option may be especially appealing to you this week. Here’s why.

1. You will help save and create jobs

manufacturing recovery tow straps in USA

There are currently around 12.84 million workers in the manufacturing sector. Buying products that are manufactured by American companies not only helps ensure that those workers get to keep their job, but it also opens the door to continued growth within the manufacturing industry. At USCC we’re proud to have over 30 employees on our manufacturing team right here in Iowa. They’re the backbone of our organization and the reason why we’re able to deliver high-quality custom cargo control products.

2. You will help boost the entire American economy

uscc warehouse being built for expansion

Buying American-made products causes domestic growth beyond only the manufacturing industry; it creates a positive ripple effect throughout our entire economy. When American manufacturing plants prosper they spend more on things like energy, accounting, and construction. All of this spending positively affects other American companies (and workers) that offer these services. Overall, the EPI estimates that every U.S. manufacturing job supports an additional 1.4 jobs in other parts of the economy.

3. You will help reduce pollution and carbon footprint

US Cargo Control manufacturing floor

Although the domestic option usually isn’t the cheapest, there are hidden costs for import products that go far beyond your wallet. Robust air, water, and health regulations in the United States ensure that, in general, American-made products are created in a way that significantly minimizes the creation of hazardous chemicals. In addition, products made overseas have a much higher carbon footprint due to the fact that they must be shipped across the ocean, which requires large amounts of fossil fuel.

4. You will get a high-quality product

custom tie down straps from USCC

When it comes to cargo control gear, dependable products are the name of the game. We’ve partnered with American vendors to provide a variety of high-quality product options that are made here in the USA. We have a broad selection of products to meet the needs of our customers and get them what they want when they need it.

5. You will save 10% with our made-in-the-USA promotion

fourth of july promotion for cargo control gear

Last but not least, a major reason to buy made-in-the-USA products this week is our 4th of July promotion! From now until Sunday, July 7th you can save 10% on nearly 2,000 different made-in-the-USA cargo control products including Crosby® wire rope slings, transport chain and binders, polyester round slings, endless slings, and more. That’s huge savings on the high-quality products that minimize pollution, boost our economy, and ensure American manufacturing jobs.

See the full selection of 10% off USA-made products today.

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.

Using Chain Binders to Safely Tie Down Heavy Cargo

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.

 

benefit of chain binders over nylon tie down straps
Instead of nylon straps, use transport chain and chain binders to tie down sharp objects. image source

 

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.

 

benefit of a lever chain binder
Lever binders are considered easier to use, but not necessarily safer.

Lever Binder

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.

 

 

 

ratchet binder vs lever binder
Ratchet binders take some strain off the operator but tightening and untightening generally takes longer.

Ratchet Binder

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.

rules for using tie downs
Length and weight both play a factor in determining how many tie downs you need.

 

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.

 

how to tell if you need new transport chain
This chain has been stretched and bent beyond use. image source

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.

 

Chain Grades: Comparing Grade 30, Grade 43, Grade 70, Grade 80, Grade 100, and Grade 120 Chain

We turned one our most popular posts, “What are the Differences Between Grade 70 Chain, Grade 80 Chain, Grade 100 Chain, and Grade 120 Chain?”, into a simple chart for quick and easy chain grade comparison.

We also added information on the Grade 30 chain and Grade 43 chain. While we don’t sell these chain grades on our website, you can always call in to order them.

chain grade information

Typical Chain Uses

Grade 30

General purpose economical chain. Used in a variety of industries and jobs including light construction, agricultural applications, and the marine industry.

Grade 43

Typically used for container securement, logging, farming, towing, marine applications, and as general purpose utility chain.

Grade 70

Made from a higher strength, heat-treated carbon steel that has a load rating approximately 20 percent higher than Grade 43. The gold chromate finish makes it easy for DOT officials to recognize. Typically used by truckers, loggers, and highway crews for load securement and towing.

Grade 80

A high strength, heat treated alloy chain that can be used as a sling component for overhead lifting as well as heavy duty tow chain. The most economical choice that is suitable for overhead lifting.

Grade 100

A high strength, heat treated alloy chain. Primarily used as a sling component for overhead lifting.  Has approximately 25 percent higher strength than Grade 80. Popular in construction, manufacturing, and rigging applications.

Grade 120

An ultra-premium high strength chain designed specifically for the rigorous requirements of overhead lifting applications. The links have a unique square shape and it has approximately 50 percent higher strength compared to Grade 80. There are currently no official standards for Grade 120 chain in the U.S. or Europe, however, it does meet or exceed the standards of Grade 100 chain.

chain working load limits

Safety Standards for Chain

Organizations like ASTM (American Society of Testing & Materials), ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), and OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) have released safety standards and regulations for various materials and grades of a chain.  

Essentially, it’s a formal way of recognizing and documenting that not all chain is created equally and therefore, it should not all be used for the same applications. 

ASTM Chain Specification 

What does A413, A391, and A973 all mean? Those are simply how the ASTM categorizes and references their specification standards. Each specification outlines the different manufacturing and testing requirements as well as the appropriate performance standards, grades, and applications.  

Determining Chain Grades

Chain grades are a standard method for showing the ultimate breaking strength (tensile strength) of a chain. Grades help determine what sort of applications are appropriate for a given chain. 

Chain grades are determined by calculating newtons per square millimeter, using the formula “N/mm2”.

Where “mm” is the area of the two cross-sections of a single chain link, and “N” is newtons. A newton is approximately 0.224805 lbs. 

So, to determine a chain grade, manufacturers must find the ultimate breaking strength. Then, divide that number by .224805 to determine ultimate breaking strength in newtons. Next, take that number and divide by the total area of two cross-sections of a single link. That number is the chain grade. 

You could reverse this formula to determine ultimate breaking strength if all you know if the chain grade.  

Note: chain grades advertised by manufacturers are one-tenth of the actual mathematical grades. So grade 80 is really 800, and grade 120 is 1,200. 

Determining Chain Working Load Limits

Working load limit (WLL) of a chain is another designated safety measure. WLL is a weight significantly less than the weight that would cause a chain to fail (tensile strength).

WLL = MBL / SF. Where MBL is minimum breaking load and SF is the safety factor.  

A safety factor is the ratio between allowable stress and actual stress. In other words, it’s the ratio between the chain strength and the expected maximum stress.

In lifting and rigging applications, factors such as gravity and the additional force caused by angles must be considered.  

Always adhere to the WLL to ensure a chain does not break or wear quicker than it should.  

Grade 70 Transport Chain: Specifications, Sizes, Safety Tips, and Attachments

Transport chain is essential if you plan to haul heavy duty cargo or equipment. Grade 70 chain is the ideal transport chain since it’s made with carbon steel that’s heat treated to create additional strength.

When purchasing Grade 70 chain, look for these specifications:

  • Meets or exceeds safety regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
  • Meets or exceeds safety regulations set by the National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM).
  • Chains and attachments such as clevis hooks should be stamped with a “G70” for easy identification.

Chain sizes
Short link transport chain is generally available in three widths: 3/8″, 5/16″, and 1/2″ widths, Lengths are usually anywhere from 16 to 25 feet. If your job requires a direct ratchet connection, an 18″ chain connection is generally a good choice.

Safety tips for using transport chain:

  • Do not exceed specified working load limits of the chain and accessories.
  • Inspect chain before each use to look for any visible signs of damage or wear to the links.
  • Inspect attachment points and any hook or other attachments for signs of wear.
  • Always calculate the number of chains needed to transport your cargo safely.

Transport chain attachments and accessories