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
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. This 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. These are the straps you want to use for heavy and dense loads, ideal for solid, heavy loads.
Types of Hook Ends you’ll want to use
S-Hook -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-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.
15 Uses for ratchet straps
- 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.
- Use them 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 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?