How to Safely Tie Down ATV with Ratchet Straps

tie down ATV

Are you ready for a wild off-roading adventure? The first step is to properly and safely tie down your ATV using ratchet straps. Rest assured, it’s a pretty simple process if you have the right gear for the task and enough time to double check your work before driving off.

What you need: 

  • A properly attached trailer equipped with D-rings
  • Ratchet straps (x4)
  • Ramp or trailer foot

Basic Instructions How to Tie Down ATV with Ratchet Straps

tie down atvStep 1: Load & prepare your ATV

Use a ramp or trailer foot to load your ATV onto the trailer. Otherwise, flat-bed trailers are prone to lifting in the opposite direction, which can damage your trailer and/or truck. A trailer foot or ramp stops the back of the trainer from touching the ground while also making it easier to load the ATV onto the trailer.

Make sure the ATV is in neutral with the parking brake on. Additionally, adding blocks under the tires can help prevent unwanted movement when you’re on the go.

Step 2: Secure the ATV at 4 points

Take the long end of the ratchet strap and loop it through the frame or rear grab bar of the ATV. To prevent scratching or scuffing your ATV, run the straps through the center of your vehicle’s frame and cross them so they form an X at the front and back. If your trailer is not equipped with D-rings you’ll need to add them.

  • Don’t loop the straps around the axels or any other vulnerable points that could bend or break.
  • Don’t strap it to your car’s bumper, luggage rack, or the axels of your ATV, as these components will move with the vehicle as you drive and go over bumps, potentially causing the straps to come loose.
  • Don’t use your vehicle’s winch to secure the ATV on the trailer or else you could damage it and void the warranty.
  • Be warned, if you attach it to your vehicle’s tires it will allow the suspension to hift the weight of the vehicle while you’re in motion  creating a rather stressful drive.
2 inch ratchet straps

Step 3: Tighten and ratchet the straps

Once the strap is through the frame, pull the slack out of the strap. If there’s too much slack or webbing near the mandrel, the ratchet can bind and not properly tighten. Once it’s pulled tight, begin to ratchet. As you lift and release the clamp you will see it cinching right up.

Step 4: Close the ratchet and secure excess strap

When the strap is tight enough, but not too tight, let the ratchet stay closed. There will be excess strap hanging down, wrap it around the tightened portion of the strap and slip the last leg of the strap into a knot so that it doesn’t blow around while you’re driving.

What About the Back of the ATV?

You should always tie your ATV down at four points, 2 in the back and 2 in the front. The back of the ATV is tied down in the same manner as the front.

What are the Best Ratchet Straps to Use to Tie Down ATV?tie down ATV

Quality and size of ratchet straps play a big role in the stability of your ATV. Invest in quality ratchet straps—they are not expensive and so worth the investment. Look for straps that are no less than 2-inches wide for the best support.

Overtime, ratchet straps start to show their age at which point it’s time to replace them. There’s no need to risk a strap snapping while you’re driving along the highway.

Vault Cargo’s 15-foot ratchet tie down straps made with rubber coated hooks and ergonomic handles offer all the support and peace of mind you need to safely transport your ATV. Check them out at vaultcargo.com.

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