Ratchet straps, commonly known as tie-down straps, are indispensable tools for securing cargo. Whether you're transporting goods in a truck or van, moving home, or tying down a motorcycle or car, these straps offer a reliable way to ensure everything stays in place. But how do you use them properly? In this guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process, complemented by a video demonstration for visual learners.
1. Unwind the Ratchet Strap
Before using the ratchet strap, fully extend it so that it's straight and free of any tangles. Lay the strap flat on a surface to inspect for any damage or wear. Always ensure you're working with straps in good condition to maintain safety.
2. Thread the Strap Through the Ratchet
Hold the ratchet handle in an open position, ensuring the drum (the circular part where the strap winds) is accessible. Now, slide the strap's free end through the slot in the drum's centre from underneath the ratchet.
3. Securely Tighten the Strap
Pull the strap's free end until you have achieved the desired tension. Remember, the tighter you pull at this stage, the less cranking you'll need later.
4. Crank the Ratchet
Begin to crank the ratchet handle up and down. With each motion, you'll notice the strap winding around the drum, thus tightening around the cargo. Continue this motion until your cargo is securely tied down.
5. Lock the Ratchet in Place
Once you've achieved the desired tension, lower the ratchet handle until it's completely flat against the ratchet base. This locks the strap in place, ensuring a sturdy hold.
6. Store Excess Strap
Any additional length of strap hanging loose can pose a risk or be damaged during transport. Roll it up, secure with a rubber band or tie, and ensure it doesn't interfere with your cargo or vehicle's movement.
7. Releasing the Ratchet Strap
To release the strap, simply pull and hold the release handle, then open the ratchet handle completely. This will loosen the grip, allowing you to pull the strap out.
Key Points to Remember:
- Always inspect your ratchet straps before use for signs of damage or wear.
- Ensure the hooks or attachment points are securely fastened to anchor points.
- Regularly check tension during transport, especially on long journeys.
Ratchet straps, when used correctly, are a must for transport and cargo management. This guide and accompanying video demonstration provide a clear, step-by-step method to ensure you're using them safely and effectively. For premium UK-manufactured ratchet straps, explore our collection of ratchet straps here.