When it comes to tie downs, you have to bear in your mind that there are totally different things, there are different kind of trucks, box truck, pickup truck, flatbeds, etc., they use similar or different tie downs, even for same kind of trucks, people probably will use totally different tie downs, say e track straps or plain ratchet straps for box trucks, so try to talk about generic tie downs is not a good idea, to make things simple, I’m sure you’ve already seen flatbed tie downs on the road, we will only talk about flat beds for the time being.
When the jobs come your way, chances are you are not going to decide what kind of stuff will be put on your truck, the only thing you can do is to prepare for all the options , it’s almost always not for you to decide what cargo will be on your truck. When it comes to flatbed truck , the first thing comes up will be the truck winches, you can see those flatbeds with truck winches at one side on the highway all the time, with those winches it’s easy for the driver to tie down loads with just winch straps with the help of winch bar .
Traditionally portable winch and winch straps are most popular tie down devices for flat beds . There is one thing indispensable for truck winch and winch strap tie down combination, winch bar, which is the tool to help you tie down the cargo on the flatbed, since you can only tighten the winch straps through turning winch barrel, this only can be done by making use of winch bars.
Some flat beds come with weld on winches installed, not all trailers have winches installed. Winch straps with winches on the flatbed can be used to secure pallets, machinery, steel coils, concrete pipes etc., with 5400lbs working load limit and the protection of plastic corner protectors these winch straps can tie down almost anything threw at them. Winch straps usually come with flat hooks, because we usually hook the straps on the edge of the trailer, of course the wire hook can be used too. There are 2” and 4” winches and 2” and 4” winch straps , depends on different needs , the length of strap can be 20′, 25′, 27′, 30′, 35′, 40′ or more than 50′ .
Now let’s talk about ratchet strap, which are the most popular tie downs. Actually the ratchet straps are just the assembly of ratchet buckles and tie down webbing, which can be nylon or polyester, the combination of different ratchet buckles and different straps gives us many choices.
Ratchet strap is most popular tie down equipment because of their adaptability , you can use them almost anywhere when it’s applicable. The ending comes with quite some varieties, flat hooks, wire hooks , chain anchor , snap hooks, endless and more. And it’s width can be 1” through 4”, length can be a few inches to more than 50′ . On commercial trucks ratchet tie downs are the most popular tie down devices for shippers , those flat bed trucks without winches installed will find ratchet straps pretty useful .
Before you get out or get online to buy these tie down straps , you will have to know how to get most out of them with less money , first thing to consider is the quality of the straps, maybe you know the local store stuff quality, when talking about websites you have to figure out by reading other people’s the reviews, trucking blogs, such as running tire , customer feed backs, or use alternate methods to make sure if the products and service are good or not.
So far truck winches and winch straps are only being used with flatbeds, I don’t know the exact percentage but a big portion of flatbeds sold with winches installed, when the drivers put the loads on the truck, they only need winch straps and winch bars to tie loads down. A few different kinds of truck winches are available, most seen ones are slide in winches and weld on winches, to use slide in winches the flatbeds have to have rails installed at one side of the truck bed, 2” and 4” are most popular sizes of truck winches, and of course we can say that 2” & 4” winch straps are the most popular ones, 3” winch straps are not that popular but you still can see them from time to time.
The concept of truck winches with winch straps are pretty straight forward, the component of both truck winch and ratchet that the tie down straps are inserted into for tightening the whole web tie down straps called mandrel, the mechanism to tighten the straps on truck winch is different than the self contained ratchets, you will need the help of winch bars to tighten the winch straps. The barrel across the winch body has holes at one end, a gear at the other end, the part between the winch body is mandrel, you can insert the webbing into it, when the brake on the gear is closed, the gear can only go one direction so you can tighten the straps one notch at a time, when you let the hook loose and open the brake, you can retract the winch straps by turning the winch the opposite direction, that should be pretty straight forward. To turn your winch barrel you will definitely need a winch bar, no one can do it with bare hands, besides, it’s required by law to use a winch bar with truck winches.
For your information, usually you can choose from 4 different kind of winch bar, the standard winch bars painted black, the chromated standard winch bars, chromated combination winch bars and combination winch bars painted half yellow. Sometimes people get confused with all the different winch bars, they are only used with truck winches after all, why all the different styles? It all comes down to personal preferences and specific needs, for instance, with combination winch bar you can use something else with it, say using a standard winch bar with a combination winch bar under some special circumstances.