Ratchet straps are a common design for tie-downs that are used to secure loads on flatbeds, in trucks, vans and even on top of cars. There are many different types of ratchet tie-downs that are available in a variety of lengths, thicknesses, and widths. Not all ratchet tie-downs are made the same; there are some that are much better quality than others. We have researched dozens of ratchet tie-downs and determined that the AUGO Ratchet Tie Down Straps is our best overall pick. We’ve additionally included two others in our top three that are customer favorites for you to take a look at as well.
Ratchet Tie Downs Buying Guide
Difference between Ratchet Straps and Other Straps
Ratchet tie downs are much easier to tighten and secure than other types of tie down mechanisms. They also can be adjusted to the size load you have so it is secure whether it is small or large. Tightening ratchet straps is very easy; just pull the end of the strap through the ratchet in the open position until it is tightened properly.
Even though ratchet style tie downs are not the best for ALL situations, they are the best situation when you want to secure loads from moving at all. There are several different types of straps available so making sure you know a few things about their differences can help you get the right ones for your moving needs.
The Types of Ratchet Straps
There are two different types of ratchet tie downs: 2-piece straps and the loop style. It is important to understand the difference between these two styles so you can choose the right one for your specific tie down jobs.
Loop Strap – The design of the loop strap includes single webbing that loops around the items you are securing and fastens to the floor. Each end contains a fastener that can be pulled on to increase the tension against the cargo so it becomes more stable and immovable.
2-piece strap – the 2 piece strap is also called the ratchet strap. This has two webbings, each with a fastener. Each end of the strap fastens to the end of the items you are securing and connects to each other. This style is perfect for very large items that are inside shipping containers or moving trucks.
How to Choose the Best Ratchet Straps
Below, three important factors are listed that you should look for when you are sorting through the different ratchet tie down choices available. These factors will help you narrow the choices which will make deciding on one much easier.
Load capacity – You should always make sure that the ratchet tie downs you choose have a load capacity that is equal to or higher than what you will be moving. If you are securing an item that has a higher weight than the load capacity on your straps, they can be ineffective in keeping things secure especially when in the back of a truck or van or on a flatbed.
Match the tie down to the job – Think about what you will be using the ratchet tie downs for and look for a design, load capacity, and break strength that matches the items you are securing. This will ensure that you will be able to protect the items being strapped down without fear that they can break free.
Webbing Materials – The quality of the material used to make the ratchet tie downs make a big difference in its strength and durability. Low quality materials can buckle under heavy loads. The strap of the tie downs is called the webbing. It is almost always made of polyester, nylon, or a combination of the two. Polyester webbing is abrasion and weather resistant so it is a popular choice for companies to use. The width of the webbing is also important. Standard widths run from 1-4 inches. Some companies allow a custom request in width if you need it but not all companies offer this.
Ratchet Construction – The ratchet itself and the end fittings need to be made from premium materials as well or they can be very weak and easy to break. The ratchet part is what allows the straps to be tightened without having to knot anything. The lever of the ratchet allows users to tighten the straps and the release button will make the ratchet “let go” when you are ready to unload.
End Fitting Construction – There are many different types of end fittings that a ratchet tie down can have. These include flat snap hooks, S hooks, flat hooks, wire hook, and others. Look at the work load limit to ensure that they are the right choice for the job at hand. Additionally, look at the coating on the end fittings to make sure the straps can prevent or reduce damage to the surface of what you are transporting.
Break Strength – Break strength is how strong the ratchet assembly is and how much weight it can take before it breaks. This strength is not determined only by the strap, it is actually determined by the weakest part of the entire unit which includes the end fittings, the ratchet, and the webbing.
More Things to Consider
Aside from the points above, look at these things when you are narrowing your choices as well.
What type of transportation are you using to move the cargo or items? The mode of transportation you are using whether it be by car, flatbed truck, regular pickup, or something else, is very important in choosing the right length and style of ratchet tie down.
Length of the Strap – Standard ratchet tie downs are usually 15 feet per strap. Truckers that are strapping down large pieces of equipment or other cargo to flat beds may use ratchet tie downs that are 27 to 30 feet in length. Some manufacturers will make custom lengths as well so check into that if you need a specific length.
Brand Name Reputation – Brands are important to look at when it comes to choosing a quality product. A company that has taken pains to ensure a good relationship with their customers will not usually create substandard products so you can rest assured that if their reputation is good, the products will be good too.
Warranties and Satisfaction Guarantees – Not every set of ratchet tie downs come with warranties but it is a good idea to purchase the ones that do. A warranty and satisfaction guarantee show that the company stands behind their own products. You want to be sure that your products are covered against defects in construction that may not be apparent right away.
How to Use a Ratchet Tie Down
Using a ratchet tie down is not difficult if you understand how they work. Below we have listed some pointers for using them properly to ensure safety during transport.
Inspect the Straps before every use – Don’t use straps that are torn, have holes, have broken stitches, or are otherwise worn. These problems can make it much easier for the strap to break during use and cause all kinds of problems and dangers.
Securing the end fittings – If there is not a secure place to secure the ends of the straps they will be useless in securing your cargo. If you are moving items on top of your vehicle, you must use a cargo rack of some kind. Without a proper rack to secure the straps to, the cargo can still slide even with the ratchet straps.
Tightening the Ratchet – Make sure that the webbing is not twisted as you tighten the ratchet. You want it to be flat against whatever it is you are tying down for the safest transport. Don’t over tighten it which can damage the cargo or the strap.
Number of Straps – The more ratchet straps you use to secure a load the safer it is to carry that load. With plenty of tie downs you can secure the items from front to back, as well as side to side in several places. If you are tying down several layers of cargo, strap down each layer individually for even more security.
Final Check of the Cargo – Once everything is strapped down with your new ratchet straps do a check of all end points and make sure that the straps are flat and tight. If you need to adjust the tightness of any strap, now is the time to do it. Don’t forget to check the anchors of each strap to ensure they are secure as well.
Using ratchet tie downs is pretty straightforward. Once you have decided on the right ones you have what you need to move your items, large and small, safely and efficiently. You can use ratchet tie downs for a number of jobs from securing your motorcycle in the back of a pickup truck to moving mattresses, appliances, or other large items.
Some people use ratchet tie downs for camping, moving equipment, moving smaller items and other jobs where securing things into a stationary position during transport is important.
Whatever you are moving, the main thing is to make sure you have plenty of ratchet tie downs and also make sure you have used them properly. Each of the top rated ratchet tie downs we have featured above are perfect for heavy duty jobs of all sizes and will ensure the safety and security of the items you are tying down.
The reviews and buying guide that we have provided for you here can help you sort through all of the different ratchet tie downs on the market so you can confidently choose the set that matches the job or jobs at hand and choose the ones that will be the best for you. In this buying guide you will learn what to look for when comparing tie downs, what factors make a quality set of ratchet tie downs, and much more.
The different top rated choices we have reviewed for you above are usually sold in packs of four so determine how many you need for your moving job and purchase the number of sets you will need to provide full, secure tying down. Ratchet tie downs are a real plus when it comes to moving items safely. You will like how easy they are to use and how secure they make the load you are carrying.