Recently I got a pick up truck to move a lot of small things . Most stuff I have are things in cardboard boxes, luggage bags, shoe boxes, small chairs, hiking equipment , toy bikes , some loose toys , in a word, it’s a mess. In the beginning I believed that I could pack them well, in the middle of stacking I was totally lost. When I was looking at the dump site, I was just amazed by myself, I actually did this! I said to myself that there was no way I could go ahead like this, If I went on the road with the dumpster here were what would happen: you could imagine the whole mess would collapse onto the road and might cause accident, or before anything could happen I would be stopped by a police officer and get ticketed.

I had at lease two choices , I could start over and try to tidy them up and tie them down or simply find something to hold them together, to sum it up, I only need to find something to hold all stuff together and I would be good to go! Was that simple? Of course in this case we don’t need big tie downs like 10,000lb ratcheting straps or grade 70 binder chains,

The tie down is a really big product category, there are so many different kind of tie downs, but I only search for stuff for pick up truck, first I came across 1” ratchet straps, 6 or 9 feet, but with 2000 or 3000lb strength they were overkill in a sense, though there were not expensive at all, cam buckle straps were in the same shoes, all I found was too much for my simple application which was to hold things together, the 1” ratchet straps won’t be able to do anything to the huge mess, only would bring more chaos. Besides, 1” ratchet straps won’t be able to hold a lot small pieces together at all. Fortunately I found this darling cargo net , with the size 60”x84”(5’x7′) , which is a perfect match, just put the cargo net on top the pile then tie it down, you’re all set. With cargo nets come bungee cord , the bungee cords are just perfect for tying down cargo net, in fact the cargo net is made of interconnected bungee cords! In a nutshell, the small cargo nets and bungee cords are light duty tie downs made just for the purpose of holding together and tying down small but irregular loads such as the pickup truck mess in my case. There are a lot interesting use for these cords and nets, the only limit is your imagination. Cargo net and bungee cord are not the only game in town,  a lot of time you will see people have a load bar in their vehicle, you can use these cargo bars(lock bars or load bars) as trunk divider, stop stuff from shifting, almost everybody will need one at some point.

 

When it comes to cargo securement, there is DOT rules for all kinds of situations, say for different kind of motor vehicles, different loads and different routes. For commercial trucks the rules are pretty strict, since all the big rigs on the road are potential threat to public safety, especially surrounding motorist, therefor thorough understanding of the tie down rules is essential for any truck drivers and shippers.

The generic rules are pretty simple, and only two important aspects are being considered, the weight of the load and the length of the load. You will need at least one tie down for articles 5 feet or less,  weigh 1100lbs or less, at least two tie downs for articles 5 feet to 10 feet long, irrespective of the weight, tow tie downs if the articles are 10 feet long, and one tie downs for every extra 10 feet or less, say the article is 15 feet long then you will need at least 3 tie downs, 25 feet you will need 4 tie downs at least, and so on.

The generic rules are pretty simple, though there is no mention of working load limit of the tie downs, the rules involving WLL called aggregated working load limit rules, we will discuss about WLL rules in next post.

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When it comes to truck tie downs, most of the products are pretty heavy. One piece of 1/2”x20′ Grade 70 Transport Chain usually weighs 54lbs, one 3/8”x25′ G7 binder chain weighs 38lbs, one 1/2”-5/8” ratchet binder weighs 16lbs, and I can give you more examples like these, but you get the idea. For a lot of truckers to do online shopping for tie downs, the shipping charge is the biggest hurdle for them to get a decent deal, even the products are cheaper than B&M stores, the shipping will kill the deal. What if you can get the lowest prices in town for the tie downs and enjoy the free shipping at the same time? Is that possible?

Actually it’s possible for truckers to get low cost heavy duty tie downs and enjoy free shipping at the same time, you probably will ask “How is that possible”? First let’s see who’s offering this kind of really nice deals, just search for “ratchet straps free shipping” or “binder chain free shipping” or similar terms on google, in first a few results you will see a few vendors are offering “free shipping”, but some of them are just the words combination, not real free shipping, their results are there only because on their pages there are combination of “free” and “shipping”, not “free shipping”, in fact there is only one vendor offers real free shipping for all items, and the criteria is pretty simple, you only need to order $50 or more stuff you will get free shipping.

But how? How can they offer free shipping on items like 1/2”x20′ or 3/8”x25′ grade 70 binder chain while keeping the price competitive? It seems that it’s impossible to offer competitive price with free shipping, because the shipping charge is way too much for the price to cover. But the reality is that there is one vendor who is offering free shipping, but how do they do it? According to Manufacturer Express(http://www.mfrexpress.com), it’s pretty simple, they use USPS priority flat rate box to ship the chains and some other heavy tie downs, since post office flat rate even works for Alaska and Hawaii, people everywhere in US can enjoy the low cost and free shipping. The most difficult part is how do you put the chains in those flat rate boxes, ME people told us they have their way to do it and 99% packages arrived without any issue. That’s pretty impressive I have to say.

If you want to score a decent deal for tie downs online, don’t forget to add “free shipping” to your search term!

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