How To Thread A Ratchet Strap
If you’ve never used them before, figuring out how to use ratchet straps can be a bit daunting. The good news is that it is very simple to figure out how to assemble a ratchet strap, and once you’ve done it once it is very easy to repeat.
- Align the ratchet axle so that the open slot is pointing up when the ratchet handle is closed. To achieve this, open the handle and ratchet the axle until the open slot is properly aligned. (Figure 1)
- Once the open slot in the axle is properly aligned, close the ratchet handle.
- Insert the webbing from below the ratchet through the opening in the axle & up through the other side. (Figure 2)
- Now you’ll want to tighten your ratchet strap. To do this, secure the hooks into position and pull the slack out of the webbing. It is very important to remove all slack, as excess slack will cause the ratchet strap to be ineffective or potentially even cause damage to the strap. Then ratchet the handle assembly by raising & lowering it. The strap around the axle will tighten. Do not overtighten the strap! You can cause irreparable damage to the ratchet straps by over tightening them. (Figure 3)
You’ve just figured out how to use ratchet straps! Wasn’t that easy?
How To Loosen A Ratchet Strap
Figuring out how to release a ratchet strap is pretty easy, but sometimes they simply don’t want to cooperate. They might be bound up too tight by loads shifting slightly, or simply have dirt stuck in the axle. Let’s take a look at how to release a ratchet strap, along with how to loosen a ratchet strap.
- When it is time to loosen a ratchet strap, pull and hold the release handle while you completely open the ratchet. The strap will pop loose, and now you can pull the ratchet to loosen the strap.
- If the strap happens to still be tight, you can simply pull on the loose end of the webbing to help free the mechanism.
How To Store Ratchet Straps
Storing ratchet straps is very easy, and contrary to popular belief you don’t need rubber bands or gear ties to easily do it. To properly store ratchet straps, perform the following steps:
- With the ratchet strap disassembled, start at the end of the webbing without the hook. Roll the webbing up so there is about a 2″ diameter opening in the middle of the webbing. An easy way to do this is to simply wrap the webbing around your hand. Leave about 8-10″ of strap unrolled.
- Flatten your roll of webbing. With the remaining 8-10″ of webbing (along with the hook) wrap it perpendicularly around the roll of webbing until only the hook and a small amount of webbing remains. There should be about a 1/2″ gap on each side of the webbing.
- Take the hook of the strap & hook it through one of the 1/2″ gaps. You’ve just figured out how to store ratchet straps without any rubber bands or gear ties!
- Put the ratchet mechanism & properly rolled webbing into your carry bag that was included with your Vault Cargo Management ratchet straps.
Tips for Maintaining Your Ratchet Straps
Learning how to use ratchet straps isn’t the only thing you need to know. If not treated properly, tie-down straps will wear down over time and eventually stop working. However, when they’re taken care of properly Vault Cargo Management’s ratchet straps should provide you with a lifetime of dependable use. After all, if that expensive truck you bought rusts if not properly cared for, why would a $20 set of ratchet straps be any different? We suggest the following tips for maintaining the integrity of your tie-down straps for optimal performance.
- Before using any ratchet strap, always inspect the webbing and ratchet handle assembly to make sure they are free of damage. You’re looking for cuts & frays in the webbing, as well as any other obvious compromises in the assembly.
- Keep your tie-down straps out of direct sunlight storage. Over time, sunlight can make the nylon and polyester fibers used in our ratchet straps brittle, causing them to discolor, break down, and potentially lose strength. This is one reason why we include a carry bag with each set of Vault Cargo Management ratchet straps.
- Make sure you allow any parts that got wet during use to dry thoroughly before storing it away to prevent mildew.
- Always loosen & disassemble the assemblies before storing your ratchet straps. We highly recommend using the method above to keep the webbing from getting tangled & knotted. You’ll thank yourself the next time you use them for the time & headache you saved yourself by properly storing your ratchet straps.
- Apply lubricating oil, such as dry silicone spray, to the moving parts of the ratchet handle assembly. WD-40 also works well, but do not get the lubricant on the webbing, as it will attract dirt and eventually cause the strap to bind.
- Always inspect the tie-down straps after each use. Look for frayed fibers where a sharp edge may have come into contact with the strap. To prevent further damage from corners, use rubber corner strap protectors; they are inexpensive, easy to use, and will help maintain the integrity of your tie-down straps.