Different types of cargo tie-downs help you secure your plethora of luggage and load. Whether you are moving across Australia's Highway 1, the world's longest highway, or a short trip to the countryside with some bundles in the back of your pickup, it is important to secure the luggage. Here we discuss the different types of straps because they help secure your cargo.
What Are Cargo Tie-Downs?
It is nothing but strapping methods, types of straps to secure your cargo on the haul. Because you need the right materials to do the right job, you must have some basic knowledge. For example, there are many good products in the market but you cannot buy blindly because not all might be suitable for your particular task. The commonly used materials like bungee cords, fabric straps are not all-rounders.
For example, the Australian fright network moved about 728 billion tonnes of cargo last year alone. These long-range hauling trucks do not work on bungee cords. Why? It's because these products are great only for transporting lightweight and smaller items like behind your pickup or the roof of your car.
Types of Cargo Tie-Downs
Before we talk about what's best for you in the long run and what the best methods, let us take a brief detour. Let us learn about different types of these straps in the marl because this forms the foundation of the next section.
Let's start with basics first and this divided the straps into 3 types:
- Nylon ropes
- Ratchet straps
- Cam straps
But, do know that heavy-duty transport may even need a stainless steel chain to secure the cargo properly. Try looking for some online videos on YouTube if you think it's a little too much?
But for common scenarios and average citizens, the above three types would suffice and primarily because they have their pros and cons.
1. Nylon Ropes
There are the best friends because they are waterproof and non-elastic. So, they stay in place. Further, these are good straps because they are affordable. You can find them for $7 to $14 for a pack of 10 across varieties in the Australian market. And they are good enough for securing up to 4500lbs of heavy-duty materials. Look for the thickness. For instance, one-fourth inches is a good enough thickness for bikes. It is a great handy rope because nylon is famous for strength, stretch, and all-around durability.
Braid them using two or three nylon ropes to get added strength and load fastening capacity.
2. Ratchet Straps
There are the next types of fasteners or cargo tie-downs. They are also hugely popular because they come with a ratchet crank handle to tighten the strap easily. In the case of a nylon rope, you have to manually apply the force. Because the ratchet has hooks at the ends, it will help you secure the cargo to a trailer or any other fixture. Further, you can also hit them with e-tracks for further versatility of operations.
Because ratchets come with specifications, make sure to check the luggage, such as, its weight, dimensions, and so on.
3. Cam Straps
There are the final cargo tie-down products that you can use as webbed straps. These straps are different because of their construction, where they have a spring-loaded cam. This locks in place with the webbed strap to securely lock the cargo in place. Then, you can pull the strap to increase the tension and ensure the cargo is secure. It is easier to work on it relative to a nylon rope of ratchet, but it offers lesser strength. It is good only for a bundle of smaller items.
It is for bigger items like an ATV, motorcycles, or a bike, use ratchet straps, or nylons if you need a more affordable solution.
So, now that we have covered the basics, let's see how to keep these cargo tie-downs working properly.
Ensure Proper Working of Cargo Tie-Downs
To be able to transport the load safely and long-distance, you must legally secure the cargo loads. For truckers, this is a strict regulation that you must meet. So, properly use tie-downs well before you embark on your long haul.
One thing to understand that the consequences of negligence can lead to:
● Fine and citations
● Damage of Vehicle
● Cargo damage
● Cargo loss
● Loss of life
So, always ensure you follow three safety regulations.
● First, ensure that cargo straps have corner protectors for sharp edges.
● Keep the straps dry and clean for efficient performance.
● Finally, attach them to the anchor points or fixtures on the floor.
● Never cross the working load limit.
You can find the Load Restraint Guide from DPTI, Australia's website for more details.
The National Transport Council of Australia offers the Australia Standards or AS 4380, which people commonly refer to as the Load Restraint Guide. But, for an average citizen, your semi-truck, use common sense because going through all these safety checks and paperwork is not for you. If you are sure that the straps meet the load carrying specs, then go for it.
Because each cargo tie-down has its own advantages, you will have to evaluate them based on your particular cargo. Also, the way you want to carry them, the place where you would like to keep them, the fixtures, etc matter as well. What's most important is that unless you tie them properly, you are putting not just the cargo, but others' life on the road at risk too.