15 Ways to Put Ratchet Straps to Good Use

Ratchet straps¦ most of us have them around in the garage or car trunk. I’ve kept one in the back of my truck for a couple of decades now! Over the years, it has come in handy more than I ever thought it would.

Ratchet straps come in a variety of strengths, widths, lengths, and hooks. The weaving of ratchet straps is similar to that of a seat belt, designed to keep things secure and in place.

Types of ratchet straps

There are three types of tie down straps, including lashing straps, cam buckle straps, and, of course, your classic ratchet strap or ratchet tie.

Lashing Straps

These have a gator clip and are fairly easy to use for light weight objects. They usually have a 100 lb. working load and 200 lb. break strength.

They are great for grouping small cargo, hanging light weight items, staking and securing trees, or use as a rope to tie things together. Very handy when bundling up firewood to transport.

Cam Buckle Straps

Cam buckle straps are more of a medium weight. They typically have a 500lb working load and 1,500 lb break strength. They are good for medium-sized loads like ATVs, dirt bikes and toys of similar size. These straps are easy to use and you can quickly tighten and release them.

Ratchet Straps

Ratchet Straps use a ratcheting technique to secure substantial items. A ratchet strap is easy to use and can quickly be tightened. Ratchet straps generally have a 5,000 lb working load and 15,000 lb break strength.

They are used to produce a snugger and more secure hold on items. You want to use a ratchet strap or multiple ratchet straps for heavy and dense loads, ideal for solid, heavy loads. Typically, ratchet straps are made of nylon and polyester fibers.

Types of Hook Ends you’ll want to use


The most standard type of hook end, S-hooks fit just about any hole to remain secure when a simple strap would not.

Snap Hook

Snap hooks are similar to an S-hook, but feature a latch that snaps closed around the tie-down point to provide a more secure grip than an S-hook.


J-hooks, also known as wire hooks, are typically used on one end of a ratchet strap to tightly grip onto an anchor point.

Flat Hook

Flat hooks feature a low-profile, versatile design to go over the rub rail of a trailer, and can use other tie-down straps as anchor points.

Ratchet Strap Instructions: Step by Step

Step one: use the release tab or release lever to open the ratchet strap. Use the release catch to lift up the handle so that the open slot is pointing up.

Step two: close and flip the ratchet over. You want the cogs to be facing upwards.

Step three: thread the strap through the open ratchet. Wind it around, and then slip the strap back through the initial opening. The strap should be flat and overlap with the other half of the strap on the opposite site of the ratchet.

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Step four: securing the the end-fittings. Do this by taking the end-fittings on both ends and strapping them into position.

Step five: pull the free end of the strap webbing so that it is nice and taught, and then tighten the ratchet strap.

Step six: close the ratchet handle so that you have a properly closed ratchet. Lock the strap in place.

To unbuckle the strap when you finished using it, simply pull and use the hold release tab at the top of the ratchet to release webbing. This will allow you to override ratcheting function. In between use, keep your straps in a dry location.

15 Casual Uses for Ratchet Straps

Use can use the ratcheting function of these straps for many purposes, in your truck bed or really in any vehicle, thanks to their versatility. Here are 15 ideas:

  • Strap down cargo/luggage in top of a car or van. We have used them to secure luggage bags on our van.
  • Secure items and prevent them from sliding around in the back of a truck with a ratchet strap.
  • Use ratchet straps in place of clamps when wood working.
  • Wrap them around something that my need a handle or two to lift. In our garage, we have big plastic bins that hold emergency supplies, with 2 straps around them. Keeps them closed and secure and easy to quickly move/carry.
  • They are studier and safer than bungees and ropes for transporting items. Bungees are good for absorbing shock, not as good as securing items.
  • Use to store things up high, like containers, bikes or a canoe in a garage. Look for ways on walls or ceiling to make more storage.
  • Use them to hoist up large or heavy items. (Check the weight load first)
  • Attempt slacklining. It is like walking on a tightrope, but a strap instead. You can determine how high and far you want to walk. They are portable, so when the desire and location show up, you are ready.
  • The are great to use if you are out of rope.
  • We once used a very heavy-duty strap to pull a car out of the mud.
  • Ratchet straps can make a great netting over the back of a pickup truck or over items on a vehicle luggage rack.
  • Quick repairs. I have seen a bumper to two being held up by straps until the vehicle can get into the shop.
  • Use them to secure bikes on a car bike rack. Or items on a hitch carrier.
  • Straps are perfect to use when moving. They can secure items in a moving truck with a S or J hook.
  • Straps can be used to move heavy furniture. Place the strap under the furniture and lift. We have used this method for our big China cabinet and piano.`

Straps Are Essential

Straps are a must have for your preparedness gear. Store some in your cars and garage. Remember to use the correct type of strap for the weight load and job you are doing.

What could you use ratchet straps for?

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5 thoughts on “15 Ways to Put Ratchet Straps to Good Use”

  1. I’ve used them to get a tire to seat back on the rim. From front lawn mower to larger truck tires .Safer then starting fluid

  2. They are also handy to tie down an airplane to ground cables or hooks. The are easy to carry and come in handy at airports that don’t provide ropes or chains. – Margy

  3. I just used them to hoist up and secure a Kayak to the roof of my carport by myself since I had no second person to help me. I only have a small storage room and no other place to store my kayak so had to think out of the box. I used three straps wrapped them around the cross beams, wrapped a fourth one around my kayak in a spiral and then tied off each end in a knot. I then would go to the other end and do the same, and then the one in the middle. It took a little longer without a second person helping but I got the job done. And for added support, I went back and added two more straps (I know it was probably overkill but the straps are cheap and plentiful) in the middle so it was held tightly and snugly to the cross beams because I wouldn’t want the kayak to start swaying and rocking and falling down on my head or my truck when a monsoon storm comes ripping through with high winds.

  4. The heavy duty straps can also be used to help straighten a canted wall while building or remodeling. They are easier to use than a wire ratchet come-a-long and most straps are longer. I used 6 5,000 lb. ratcheting straps to straighten a 24′ building damaged by a tree falling on one side. Slow, but worked.

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