How to Use Ratchet Straps: An Instructional Guide to The Proper Use of Ratchet Straps

using a ratchet strap

Ratchet straps, also known as ratchet tie-downs, are a great invention. These special straps help secure cargo when it needs to be transported or when it needs to stay safely and securely in place for any amount of time. Think of ratchet straps like an adjustable seat belt for cargo. Ratchet straps are essentially extremely helpful for things like moving, delivering cargo, storage, and cross country trips. If you want to make sure that your cargo is secure and will not shift or fall, you will want to know How to use ratchet straps.

Instructions for using a ratchet strap:

releasing a ratchet strap

In order to know your way around a ratchet strap, you’re going to need to make sure that you are clear about the proper steps in securing your cargo with ratchet straps. Good thing we have some ratcheting tie down instructions. The ratchet straps instructions aren’t super complicated, but you will want to be sure you’re following them correctly so that you don’t have any accidents with heavy cargo. Here are the five steps for how to put together a ratchet strap.

Step One: Opening the ratchet

First you will want to open the ratchet on your ratchet strap. The way to do this is to use the release lever, which should look like a big lever on the top of the ratchet. When you pull this lever the ratchet will open, allowing you to begin the process of threading through the ratchet strap.

Step Two: Threading a ratchet strap

Thread the strap through the center of the ratchet, called the take up spool also called the mandrel. Then pull the strap through the mandrel until there is not much slack left from the strap. You want to pull the strap taught so that the only thing left to do is to tighten it to the maximum necessary tightness using the ratchet.

Step Three:Ratchet strap assembly

Once the strap is through the take up spool, it is assembled but the job is not quite done. In order to make sure that your cargo is securely fastened in the ratchet strap, you now must adjust the strap using the ratchet by cranking the ratchet until the cargo feels completely secure in the strap. Be cautious: you do not want to over-tighten the strap. If the strap becomes too tight this could cause damage or breaking to either your cargo or the ratchet or strap itself. A good test to make sure that the strap is not too tight is to see if you can fit your index finger underneath the strap. If you can’t fit your index finger, the strap is probably a bit too tight and you will want to loosen it a bit to allow for some slight shifting without breaking the strap.

Step Four: Using a ratchet strap

Once you have set your ratchet strap up properly, you are good to use it for whatever cargo storing or towing needs you have. The strap should keep everything in place, even the most unconventionally shaped cargo. You may need more than one strap to make sure that the cargo is securely in place. If this is the case, you will simply follow the same instructions using the additional strap(s).

Step Five: Releasing a ratchet strap

Once you are finished using the ratchet strap it is time to release it in order to have access to your cargo. Say you’ve gotten all the way from New York to California with a dresser securely strapped in your truck bed with a ratchet strap or two. Now what you will need to do is release the strap by pressing on the release lever, just like you did in the very first step. This will release the strap from the ratchet and then allow you to pull it the rest of the way out of the take up spool to access your cargo. Be warned, before you release the ratchet strap it is important to make sure that nothing has shifted during the drive or during the time that you were using the strap. If something has shifted out of place you could injure yourself or damage your cargo by releasing the strap without being sure that your cargo is secure and stable. Always check your cargo to make sure that it is level and not precariously placed before you release the ratchet.

There you have it: the instructions on the proper use of ratchet straps in five easy steps. Now that you know the basics of ratchet strap use, you are one step closer to making that move with your family or taking that camping trip with your significant other. Whatever the need, ratchet straps are a good way to pack things up securely and efficiently, and they’re simple to use.

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