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 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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Commercial Vehicle Show 2019

Commercial Vehicle Show 2019

Nationwide Trailer Parts will again be exhibiting at this years CV Show at the Birmingham NEC, along with Haco Tail Lift Parts. The show is on from Tuesday 30th April to Thursday 2nd May 2019.

This year we will have a new bespokely built stand with double the exhibition space to previous years. We will be showcasing Haco Tail Lift Parts and also the many other Curtain Side, Load Restraint, Shutter Door and Commercial Body parts that we do. 

We are located between halls 4 & 5 on stand 4B15. So be sure to come visit us to discuss your parts requirements and allow us to demonstrate the cost savings we can provide, along with our 5-star rated service. 

Tickets are FREE to attend the show and can be obtained from the CV Show website

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2018 Xmas & New Year Opening Times and Delivery Schedule

2018 Xmas & New Year Opening Times and Delivery Schedule

Xmas & New Year Opening Times

We are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm with the following exceptions over the Christmas & New Year holiday period:

  • Monday 24th December - 9am to 1pm
  • Tuesday 25th December (Xmas Day) - CLOSED
  • Wednesday 26th December (Boxing Day) - CLOSED
  • Thursday 27th December - 9am to 1pm
  • Friday 28th December - 9am to 1pm
  • Monday 31st December - 9am to 1pm
  • Tuesday 1st January (New Years Day - Bank Holiday) - CLOSED


Please note: a small number of parts are shipped direct from the manufacturers and some of them will be closed from the 14th December through to the 2nd January 2018. If you require parts urgently please contact us before ordering. 

  • Friday 21st December - Order before 3.30pm for Same Day Dispatch with delivery on Thursday 27th December
  • Monday 24th December - Order before 12 noon for Same Day Dispatch with delivery on Friday 28th December
  • Tuesday 25th December (Xmas Day) - CLOSED
  • Wednesday 26th December (Boxing Day) - CLOSED
  • Thursday 27th December - Order before 1pm for Same Day Dispatch
  • Friday 28th December - Order before 1pm for Same Day Dispatch with delivery on Wednesday 2nd January
  • Monday 31st December - Order before 12 noon for Same Day Dispatch with delivery on Thursday 3rd January
  • Tuesday 1st January (Bank Holiday) - CLOSED
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DVSA: Load Securing Vehicle Operator Guide - Updated

DVSA: Load Securing Vehicle Operator Guide - Updated

The DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, formerly VOSA) have updated their Guidance on Load Securing.

The guide provides hauliers and operators with useful information on how the DVSA and other regulators expect loads to be secured while in transit.

Key points on what load restraints should be used from the guide are:

  • Curtain Side Vehicles – Items or pallets under 400kg can be secured with Curtain Side Load/Cargo StrapsAnything over 400kg must be secured with either Ratchet Straps to the bed of the trailer/vehicle or with load rated nets. Whatever method you use, it must be able to restrain half the weight of the load to the side and rear, and the full weight forward.
  • Box Vehicles & Rigids - Vehicles with rigid sides are no different to any other vehicle when it comes to load securing. Load securing requirements still apply. Box vans and rigid-sided vehicles offer some load security, but you need to consider the effect of a load shift on vehicle stability. It is recommended to use one or a combination of the following:
  • Vehicle Transport & Recovery - Vehicles carried on car transporters should face forward, unless the loading scheme says otherwise. Their weight should be distributed evenly across the width of the vehicle so the driver has enough space to work safely on either side.

    Their centre of gravity should be over the lengthwise centre line of the transporter.

    The number of chocks and lashings used depends on the load. But as a general guide, there should be three points of contact between the vehicle and the transporter:

You can check out the full guide here

It is important to adhere to the guide to prevent significant fines, prohibition notices and fixed penalty notices for drivers.

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