How To Tie Down A Kayak

How To Tie Down A Kayak

When transporting a kayak on the roof of your car, you need to make sure you’ve secured it properly - otherwise, you run the risk of damage to your vehicle or your kayak coming loose during the trip. At Nationwide Trailer Parts, we’re here to show you how to properly tie down your kayak. Once you’ve practised a few times, you’re ready to hit the road and the water!

Step One: Prepare your roof rack by placing padding blocks on the top of the roof rack bars or padding that wraps around the bars themselves. This will ensure that the kayak doesn’t damage your car roof during the drive.

Step Two: Secure the kayak with cam buckle straps. By using straps that are designed specifically for tying down kayaks, you’re ensuring that your journey is easier and safer! The cam buckle straps will allow you to tighten the kayak to the roof rack without risking over-tightening and damage to the kayak.

Step Three: Now it’s time to secure the bow and stern of the kayak to your car. Use bow and stern lines with a cam buckle or ratchet strap attached to ensure that your kayak cannot lift or detach itself from your car. The cam buckle can be easily tightened to keep the bow and stern lines in place.

Step Four: Lift the kayak onto the roof rack, ensuring that it is right side up. This is often a two-person job so take care when lifting! The bow of the kayak should be at the front of the car and the stern at the back.

Step Five: Adjust the kayak so that it is in the middle of the two roof rack bars. Once it is in the middle, centre the kayak between the two sides of the car to avoid unequal weight distribution.

Step Six: Take one of the cam buckle straps and using the bare end,  run it over the kayak and loop under the roof rack bar. Leave the strap with the cam buckle attached hanging on the other side of the car and once the end of the strap has been looped under the roof rack bar, pull the slack at the end up into your hand.

Step Seven: throw the end of the strap without the cam buckle across the kayak to the other side of the car. Walk around an take the strap end, looping it under the same roof rack bar. Make sure you are using the same roof rack bar, on the opposite side of the kayak. Loop this the same way as you did the other side of the car.

Step Eight: Take the bare end of the strap and run through the cam buckle, closing the strap and securing the kayak to the roof rack bar. Place the bare end of the strap through the slot in the cam buckle and pull the strap through until all of the slack has gone.

Step Nine: Secure the kayak by tightening the strap with the cam buckle. To do this, pull on the bare end of the strap so that more slack comes through the cam buckle. The kayak should be tight enough so that the kayak does not shift but not so tight that the kayak gets damaged.

Step Ten: Complete the same process with the strap on the other side and ensure that the kayak is secure. To further prevent damage, wrap the strap ends around the roof rack bars to ensure they do not get caught during your journey.

Finally, ensure that all of your straps are secure and you’re ready to drive. Some of these steps may take a few tries to get perfect, but it’s always best to take your time and get it right! Take a look at our full range of load restraint products or contact a member of the Nationwide Trailer Parts team for advice and guidance.

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CV Show 2019 Review

CV Show 2019 Review

The 2019 Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC was another huge success and it was great to meet and talk to many existing and potentially new customers, so thanks to those that came along.

This year's show had our biggest stand yet with Haco Tail Lift Parts, considerably bigger than past years, and it generated a lot of interest and allowed us to showcase even more products.

Our retractable Anderson Leads and Haco's new Air Lines and ABS/EBS Cables were particularly popular.

It was also the launch of Issue 2 of our latest product catalogue containing 1,500 products across our ranges of Tail Lift, Shutter Door, Load Restraint, Curtain Side and Commercial Body parts.

If you didn't get chance to make it to the Show or to our stand we're always available all year round for a chat or meeting about your tail lift, shutter door, curtain side or load restraint parts requirements. Give us a call or drop us an email.

You can also request a free copy of our NEW Issue 2 Product Catalogue here.

How To Tie Down a Motorcycle On a Trailer

How To Tie Down a Motorcycle On a Trailer

If you’re a biker looking to transport your bike long distances or it needs to go for repairs, a trailer is a great choice. With summer just around the corner, more and more motorcyclists are taking to the roads and knowing how to properly tie down your bike on a trailer is key for safe transport. If you’re not used to tying down vehicles or unsure about what to use, it can lead to accidents to yourself, others and damage to the bike itself. To help avoid this, we’ve created a handy guide to tying down your motorcycle to a trailer with ratchet straps.

Before doing anything, you need to ensure that the trailer you are using is suitable for the weight of your bike and that the straps you are using are in good condition. Loading and unloading a motorcycle is really a two-man job, so try and enlist the help of a friend to make things easier.

The bike should be guided on to the trailer via a ramp and the bike should be in neutral with the front brake covered at all times. Once it is on the trailer, deploy the side stand and get your ratchet straps ready.

How to secure a motorcycle with ratchet straps

Step One: We recommend using our Motorcycle Recovery Strap system when securing a bike. The soft loops are designed to fit over handlebars whilst the fleece protection sleeve helps prevent damage to the fuel tank. The connecting strap runs over the top yoke and from here, straps run to the trailer floor to the tie-down points on the trailer floor.

Step Two: Once the front straps are secure, it’s time to look at the rear of the bike. For this, we recommend using motorcycle recovery straps that can be fitted around the rear footpegs, swingarms or frame. Another longer strap can be added over the bike sandal, however, it’s advised to use a rag or cloth in between the seat and the strap to avoid any damage.

Step Three: Once the straps are in place, it’s time to start to ratchet them to secure the bike to the trailer. Remove the side stand before starting this process and compress the front suspension down to ensure the bike wheel does not move around. We recommend one person pushes down the front of the bike while the other does the actual ratcheting to tighten the straps.

Top Tip: Check out our blog on how to use ratchet straps to make sure you’re ratcheting properly!

Step Four: Once the straps are tightened, tie any strap excess out of the way so it does not impact transport. When you’re on the move, periodically check the bike to make sure it does not tip over on an angle.

For more quality transport options, take a look at our full range of vehicle recovery straps today. If you have any questions about how to tie down your motorcycle, get in touch with a member of the Nationwide Trailer Parts team today.

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How To Use Ratchet Straps

How To Use Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps (also known as tie-down straps) are fasteners used to hold down equipment or cargo during transport. The straps are made from hardwearing webbing outfitted with tie down hardware and a ratchet for tensioning the strap. These straps are often used for fastening down goods on trucks, trailers, pallets, containers and boxes.

In this guide, we’re going to look at some of the commonly asked questions about ratchet straps and how to use them.

How To Thread A Ratchet Strap

In order to thread a ratchet buckle, place the webbing through the slot in the centre rotating spool of closed ratchet. Pull the webbing through, ensuring that you leave some slack and begin raising and lowering the handle. The webbing will wind itself and lock in place to that and further ‘ratcheting’ will increase the tension in the strap.

How To Release A Ratchet Strap

To release the strap, simply pull and hold the release tab on the top of the ratchet and open until both sides are in line. Pull the webbing from the side that isn’t fixed down in order to release the strap.

How To Store Ratchet Straps

It’s important to properly store ratchet straps so that they don’t become damaged by mould, UV rays, tears or friction. Before you do store your straps, check them thoroughly for any damage or tears.

Roll the ratchet straps up carefully and separately, this avoids having to untangle straps when you get them out for their next use. Rubber bands or zip ties can be used to keep the roll in place.

Place the secured ratchet straps away from direct sunlight or moisture to avoid any damage during storage, many drivers opt to keep theirs in a duffle bag or plastic toolbox for safe keeping.

How Much Weight Can A Ratchet Strap Hold

Ratchet straps are marked with a tag that highlights the break strength and working load limit of the strap. The break strength is the weight in Kg at which any load-bearing part of the ratchet strap fails. The working load limit is the maximum load assigned to each ratchet strap by the manufacturer, this should not exceed one-third of the overall assembly breaking strength.

The Guidance on Load Securing has recently been updated by the DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, formally VOSA). This guide details useful information for hauliers and operators on how the DVSA and other regulators expect loads to be secured during transit. 

How To Adjust Ratchet Straps

To tighten your ratchet strap, place the hooks into position and pull the loose end of the strap away from the ratchet. This will remove any slack before you raise and lower the ratchet handle to tighten it. When the strap is fully taut, close the handle to lock it in place.

To loosen the strap, pull the release handle and completely open the ratchet. Once the strap is loose you can pull the ratchet to loosen the strap.

How To Use Ratchet Straps On A Truck

Once the cargo is secured in or on the truck, place the ratchet strap over the cargo. Hook the ends over the side of the truck bed, in the lashing rings/anchor points or in grooves on the van wall.

Pull the ratchet back and forth to tighten the strap, once it feels taut - check the strap to ensure it feels secure. Lock the strap securely by flipping the ratchet back into the closed position.

How Do Endless Ratchet Straps Work

Endless ratchet straps are ideally used when you’re bundling items together on a pallet or moving dolly. Also known as endless loop ratchet straps, they are available in a wide range of widths, lengths and colours to suit your needs.

We advise using corner protectors if you’re strapping together loads that can be damaged as ratchet straps can be tensioned very tightly.

How To Use Endless Ratchet Straps

If securing a load to a pallet, feed the endless ratchet strap through the bottom. Ensure that the strap is going in the same direction as the fork truck tines to avoid any damage being caused by the tines themselves.

Take the loose end of the strap and guide over the top of the pallet. Feed the webbing through the take-up spool on the ratchet and pull the extra webbing through so that there is no slack in the strap.

If needed, place your corner protectors over the edges of your cargo. As well as protecting the load itself, these will also protect your endless ratchet strap from abrasive cargo that could cause damage.

Once the slack has been removed, start to ratchet to the desired tension.

How Often Should You Replace Ratchet Straps

You should inspect your ratchet straps before and after each use to ensure no damage has occurred during transit. Even if your straps are stored away, we recommend checking them every couple of weeks to make sure they haven’t been damaged or corroded.

Typically, ratchet straps should last anywhere from 2 to 4 years depending on the usage and how well they have been protected from causes of damage. Moisture, direct sunlight, mould and mildew can all impact the lifespan of your ratchet straps so it’s always best to check your regularly!

Why Do Ratchet Straps Come Loose

Ratchet straps commonly come loose if the webbing has stretched under the movement of your load. As ratchet straps are always under tension, any disruption during transit such as potholes or speed bumps can contribute to your ratchet strap coming loose. If you do hit a bump, it’s important to check your load to ensure it is fully secure before continuing. If not, you can run the risk of the load shifting under the slack or worse, the hooks coming loose and the strap coming off the vehicle.

How To Tie Down A Car With A Ratchet Strap

For modern or smaller vehicles, secure the tyres with tyre straps in order to keep the car steady. These straps are designed to protect the body of the car. If your vehicle is large or made before 1999, it is best to use axle straps instead.

Once the tyres are secured, wrap the main strap around the back of the left front tyre, feed it through the diverter strap and pull it tight. Take the exposed end of the main strap and place through the centre hole of a ratchet strap buckle, leave a little slack and crank the handle to fully connect the straps. The main strap should squeeze into the side of your tyres, if not, repeat the process until it does.

Secure each wheel on the car in this way.

If you have any questions about ratchet straps or want to know more about the products that we sell at Nationwide Trailer Parts, contact a member of the team today on 0800 14 22 480.
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