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Beginners’ Guide on Tie-Down Straps

You might be shocked and feel anxious if you see your vehicle stuck for the first time. Further, you would not know how to save your vehicle without damaging it. Also, you would not know about the equipment used to keep your vehicle. If you are terrified thinking about the above situation, you are at the right place.

All you need is to tie down straps to save your stuck vehicle. There are many kinds of straps like wheel tie down straps, tow straps, etc. Read further to know about all the straps and how to use them.

What is a tie-down strap?

A tie-down strap is a long-length strap used to strengthen and secure a vehicle, equipment or cargo. It is available in different lengths according to the application. For instance, a strap of 6 feet is good and good for small loads, and commercial trucks strap up to 40 feet are available with a range of one to four inches.

A tie-down strap has two indicators to assess its strength. One is the break strength, and another is the working load limit. As the name suggests, break strength is the maximum weight a strap can support before it fails, and the working load limit is the weight the strap can manage with regular day-to-day support without damaging the strap.

The working load limit is known to be one-third of the break strength.

Different types of tie-down straps

Lashing straps

These straps are sound with a gator clip. It is used mainly in the lightest-duty tie-down strap. Its maximum working load is 100lb, and its break strength is 220lb. It can be used in cargo carriers, game carts, and other loads.

Ratchet straps

The main feature of this is its locking and securing mechanism. It is ideal for heavy loads with a breaking strength rating of 5000 – 15000 lbs. It can assure a tighter and secure restraint.

Cam buckle straps

It is lighter than lashing straps and heavier than ratchet straps. It usually works as wheel tie down straps for off-road bikes and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles). The typical workload of the cam buckle strap is 500lb, and the breaking strength is 1500 lb.

The above straps work with the help of specific hooks like s hook, snap hook, flat hook and j hook like below.

  • S hooks – This is the most common hook that can fit any hole and remain secure with any strap.
  • Snap hooks are similar to s hooks but have a latch close to the tie-down point. It provides a more secure grip than the shake.
  • Flat hook – It is a low-profile strap. It uses other straps as anchor points.
  • J-hook – it is known by another name called wire-hooks. Usually, a ratchet strap is used with it to provide a tight grip.

How to care for and maintain tie-down straps?

Do not keep in the sun

Wheel tie down straps are made of nylon and polyester fibres. UV rays can break down these fibres with ease. It can cause dis-colour and make the strap brittle. So, please do not keep it in direct sunlight. Make sure you store it in a toolbox.

Do not store it wet

Sun may break the strap, but it does not mean that storing or leaving the strap wet is good. Mould and mildew can grow and weaken the straps as well. So, keeping the straps well without being damp or left to crackle in the sun is essential.

Thus, these are the fundamentals of a tie-down strap used to save a stuck vehicle. Having the right one according to your vehicle’s weight is enough to keep your vehicle in any situation.

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