Tag Archives: tie down straps

Tie Downs Trucking

Flatbed Tie Down 101: why choose the winch straps and winch bars

So far truck winches and winch straps are only being used with flatbeds, I don’t know the exact percentage but a big portion of flatbeds sold with winches installed, this is a big plus for most drivers since they only need to get winch straps and winch bars(assume they don’t have them) to get started, and the plastic corner protectors maybe required or optional depends on what kind of loads on the truck. A few different kinds of truck winches are available, most seen ones are slide in winches and weld on winches, to use slide in winches the flatbeds have to have rails installed at one side of the truck bed, 2” and 4” are most popular sizes of truck winches, and of course we can say that 2” & 4” winch straps are the most popular ones, 3” winch straps are not that popular but you still can see them from time to time.

The way the truck winch and strap system works is pretty simple, the mandrel, the part into which you can insert the tie down strap, can be used to tighten the winch straps easily, thus tie the loads down pretty much by just put winch bar into the winch side hole then turn as many rounds as needed until the loads are secured properly. The winch structure is pretty simple, there is a barrel goes through the winch body, one side has a though hole and the other side has a gear with a brake, in between lies the mandrel, just put the straps into it, close the brake on the gear will allow you the tighten the straps over the load, since the gear is only allowed to go one direction, when you untie the strap, open the brake, turn the barrel the opposite direction to pull the  strap off the load. You are required to use a winch bar with the truck winch, you can use something like a wood stick or wood beam with, it’s not safe and not legal as well.

There usually are 2 kind of standard winch bars, chromated one and black one, and two different combination winch bars, chromated and painted half yellow, you can find them online or locally. Sometimes people get confused with all the different winch bars, they are only used with truck winches after all, why all the different styles? It all comes down to personal preferences and specific needs, for instance, with combination winch bar you can use something else with it, say using a standard winch bar with a combination winch bar under some special circumstances.

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Tie Downs

What We Use to Tie Down Truck Loads

Truck tie down means a lot different stuff to different applications , we will focus on big rig tie downs in this article, specifically, we are going to talk about flat bed truck this time.

Since people put all kinds of stuff on the flat bed truck, sometimes they just have to , the needs for tie downs become complicated.

Now let’s talk about winch straps and truck winches, lots of flat beds have winches installed, you only need to get winch strap for your rig.

For most flat bed trucks, truck winch and winch straps are what we need, some trailers come with winches installed you have to get winch straps .

Some trailers come with winches installed, not all flat beds have winches installed . When the flat bed have the winches installed, we can use winch tie down straps to tie down articles on the flat bed , usually we tie down steel coils, concrete pipes, skids, anything that not too heavy for the the straps’ safe load limit . Winch straps usually come with flat hooks, because we usually hook the straps on the edge of the flat bed , of course the wire hook can be used too. There are 2” and 4” truck winches and 2” and 4” winch straps , depends on different applications , the strap length can be 20′, 25′, 27′, 30′, 35′, 40′ or more than 50′ .

Of  course we just can’t leave the most used tie down device, ratchet straps, out .

Ratchet Tie Down is most popular tie down straps because of their capability , you can put them almost anywhere when it’s applicable. The ending comes with quite some varieties, flat hooks, double J hooks , chain anchor , snap hooks, endless and more. And it’s width can be 1” to 4”, length can be a few feet to more than 50′ . On 18 wheelers ratchet tie downs are the most popular tie down devices for truckers , those trailers without winches installed will look at ratchet straps seriously .

To get these tie down straps, you have the choice between local stores and online retailers , depends on different situation , sometimes purchase them locally is a better choice , sometimes online deals are much better .

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Tie Downs

A Close Look of Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps are assemblies of ratchet buckles with all kinds of straps with or without hooks, endless or not. The straps part of the assemblies can be made of nylon or polyester webbing, the safe load limit can be less than 100lbs to more than 1000lbs, the strap width can range from 1 inch to 4 inches, usually we can see hooks, loops or chain extension at both ends of the assembly.

The handle of the ratchet buckle have a few varieties, steel handle, aluminum handle or plastic coated handle.

Both nylon and polyester webbing are used to make the straps, but they have different characteristics, for shock absorption, we need nylon webbing and for tie down bulk loads we need polyester webbing straps, nylon webbing has better elongation than polyester while polyester webbing are stronger than nylon ones, in real world applications we need varieties, that is to say we need both nylon and polyester webbing  straps for different needs.

Webbing cab also be coated with suitable materials that will impact desirable characteristics, such as abrasion resistance, sealing to prevent penetration of foreign particles and matter, increased(or decreased) coefficient of friction, ultra-violet light resistance.

Of course the quality of the straps is the most important characteristic, to properly and safely use the ratchet straps is a must. Now how to find these straps with quality and low price? Your local store will probably have most straps you need, but the price to quality ratio probably will be pretty high, but this is not always true. Online tie down stores actually is a better choice if not  most of the time, you can search all around the country even the world to find the deal just for you, when you search “ratchet straps free shipping” you will find the best deal ever for your money.

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