When we think about tie down devices , the ratchet strap and winch straps are playing a big role in tying down load , ratchet straps can be used almost anywhere, such as on the trailer or in the box truck , while winch tie downs almost in all cases are used with truck winches on flatbed only . Of course there are other truck tie downs , for instance there are transport chains , chain binders, e track strap , etc.
Now we will discuss about the reflective straps which get two reflective strips on the strap , in low light the reflective strips can be seen from far away , this seems like a nice feature, is it? Let’s consider this, even slight improve on the risk should encourage people to get the reflective ratchet straps. Due the reflective tie downs are relatively new on the market, we don’t have much proof of safety benefits, but common sense tells us that if we can see the straps even in relatively dark environment, the probability of collision will be reduced.
Now let’s look at the price of both reflective straps and regular ones, usually you can figure this out by checking online retailers, a simple search tells us that the reflective ones are about 10% more expensive then non reflective ones, tie down straps are usually sold at $10-$12, reflectives will increase the price by $1 to $2 , it looks pretty reasonable to me, spend extra 10 dollars or more to get 10 reflective tie downs is not bad, these straps will last more than a few months, the conservative estimation will be at lease 6 months, that means $2-$3 more a month to get reflective straps for added safety! Its definitely worthwhile to get the reflective tie downs!
Ratchet straps are assemblies of ratchet buckles with all kinds of straps with or without hooks, endless or not. The strap part of the assembly can be made of nylon, polyester or some other materials, and their working load limit can be a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds, the width of the strap can be 1” to 4”, the ending can be a loop, endless, double J hook(wire hook), flat hook, spring e fitting, snap hook, chain extension, etc..
The ratchet buckle is primary made of steel, some buckles have plastic handles, some have aluminum handles, and there is one kind of buckle called one piece ratchet buckle, the handle is steel. For regular ratchets, see following drawing for reference:
The straps are made of nylon webbing or polyester webbing, nylon webbing is used in many applications where shock absorption properties are important because nylon webbing has better elongation than polyester webbing of the same construction and strength, such as motor cycle tie downs, polyester webbing is used where low elongation and low creep are desirable, such as flat bed tie down straps, we don’t want the load on the truck bed to move.
Webbing cab also be coated with suitable materials that will impact desirable characteristics, such as abrasion resistance, sealing to prevent penetration of foreign particles and matter, increased(or decreased) coefficient of friction, ultra-violet light resistance.
Now we know the basics of the ratchet straps, we will post more information about ratchet straps late.