Ratchet straps, also known as tie-down straps, are highly useful when transporting cargo in a vehicle. The ratchets allow users to make sure that the straps are taut and that the items are tied down securely to a roof rack, truck bed, or elsewhere. Learning how to use a ratchet strap can be key to safe cargo management.
Ratchet straps are typically made of polyester webbing, which has a low stretch rate and is resistant to abrasion.
In addition to the ratchet housing, tie-down straps usually include hooks, rings or other connectors for different attachment needs, such as hooking to a built-in attachment point in the bed of a truck or cargo carrier. Select a ratchet strap and its accessories based on its intended use.
Different sizes and types of tie-down straps have specific break strengths and working load limits, so be sure to match the appropriate strap to the cargo or gear. If the item is too heavy and exceeds the load limit, the strap may fail. Some of the most common ratchet straps are the 2-inch size.
Inspect straps before use, especially ones with older polyester. Replace straps that appear torn, frayed, mildewed, or show too much wear and tear.