How to Ratchet Strap a Car to a Trailer?

ratchet strap

Proper securement of cargo is crucial when shipping cargo. Having the correct tools to secure any type of cargo is necessary for any carrier service. For those who would need to secure cargo by themselves, you must understand the proper way to do so to avoid getting damages or scratches on your cargo. Also, using cargo securement tools is required by the government in Ontario. You may refer to the National Safety Code (NSC) Standard 10 – Cargo Securement which was created by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) for detailed information about all types of cargo securement.

There are many kinds of securement tools available in the market. Choosing the best one depends on the kind of cargo you are planning to transport. For motor vehicles, one of the best securement tools one can use is called ratchet traps. This will be discussed more in this article. In addition, you will be taught the proper way of using ratchet straps when tying down cars.

Different Types of Securement Tools Used to Tie-Down Cargo

Before discussing the correct way of using ratchet straps in tying down cars on a trailer, you should be more familiar with the different types of cargo securement tools available in the market. The type of securement usually depends on the kind of cargo that is being secured. Knowing about these types of securement devices will familiarize you, especially if you need to secure other kinds of items. You may refer to the following list for the most common tie-down tools for motor vehicles:

Ratchet strap

o   This is one of the most common types of tie-down tool that is used for motor vehicles.

o   It is used as supportive equipment that uses the tension of a strap to secure cargo on a platform.

o   A durable ratchet strap is made of flexible polyester fibers. These fibers are usually industrial grade and are of excellent quality.

o   The polyester fibers are woven into a tight pattern to create a strong and durable strap.

o   Some ratchet straps are made out of nylon, but these are usually not recommended in securing heavy cargo. This is due to the fact that nylon tends to stretch more than polyester and might risk loosening while the cargo is in transit.

o   A ratchet strap comes with specific break strength. This is the amount of weight that would cause the strap to break. There is a rule being followed that you should only put cargo that has a total weight that is 1/3 of the break strength. This is called the working load limit. By using the working load limit as your basis, there is less risk for the strap to break or loosen during transit.

o   If you need to secure cargo that is more than the working load limit, then you can add more ratchet straps to secure it. You will just need to add up the total working load limit for each ratchet strap. Using more ratchet straps than what is computed may also be better to ensure safety.

o   Ratchet straps also come in different sizes. For heavier cargo, you may need to use longer and wider ratchet straps. This will allow the ratchet strap to cover more area on the cargo, making it more secure during transit.

o   There should be anchor points placed on the platform where the anchor straps can be attached to.

Chain  binder

o   For heavier types of motor vehicles and equipment, chain binders are more effective.

o   Chains binders are known to resist wear and breakage since they are made from heavy duty and durable materials. These are made from high-strength forged steel that will not stretch and rip during transit.

o   This type of car tie-down has different sizes and working load limits.

o   People must be careful when working with tie-down chains and binders since they are heavy. They usually weigh around 3.5 lbs and some weigh more than 20 lbs.

o   There are two types of chain binders. Their difference is mainly their way of tightening the binder. The two types include:

Lever binder

  •       This is also called a snap binder.
  •       Using a lever binder is known to be easy since there are fewer moving parts.
  •       This type of chain binder uses leverage for the chain to be tightened. Also, when the lever rotates 180 degrees, the binder will lock itself.
  •       Working with a lever binder needs caution since the lever stores energy, and there is a risk that the handle will recoil back at the person handling it.

secure with ratchet strap

Ratchet binder

  •       Using this type of chain binder may take more time to finish the job.
  •       A ratchet binder is composed of multiple parts. These include the handle, pawl, end fittings, and a gear.
  •       The loading and unloading process of a ratchet binder is steadier than the lever binder.
  •       This is much safer to use since the lever does not store so much energy which will not cause it to recoil back to the one handling the equipment.

o   The biggest disadvantage of using chain binders is that it may cause damage to the frame of the vehicle when they are not installed properly.

How to Secure a Car on a Trailer Using Ratchet Straps

It is recommended that you contact a trusted carrier service when you are in need of a hauling service for your car. This will ensure that the car will be handled properly and damages will be avoided. Premium carrier services are known to follow strict guidelines when loading a motor vehicle on top of a trailer. They use high-quality ratchet straps so that there will be no chance for the motor vehicle to fall off the trailer during transit. However, if you are in a situation where you will need to secure the motor vehicle onto the platform by yourself, you should know how to properly do this. You should refer to the list below regarding the proper way of securing motor vehicles on a platform or trailer using ratchet straps:

  • You should determine the exact weight of the motor vehicle that you would be loading on the platform. Doing this will determine the total working load limit that you must consider during the securement process.
  • Prepare ratchet straps that would cover four securement points. You may use multiple ratchet straps for each securement point, depending on the total weight of the motor vehicle. By placing tie-downs on four securement points, this will ensure that the car will not be able to move around during transit.
  • You must check the ratchet straps thoroughly and look for signs of damage, cuts, mold, or any burn marks. If a ratchet strap has any of these, you should replace it with a new one. Do not put your motor vehicle at risk by using ratchet straps that are not in good condition.
  • Test the hooks of the ratchet straps if they will not easily loosen on the anchor points of the trailer. This is crucial since vibration may cause the hooks to move and loosen up, which will be very dangerous while in transit.
  • One of the best ways to secure a motor vehicle is by wrapping the ratchet strap on its wheels. This is a good practice because the motor vehicle will be using its suspension whenever the trailer hits some bumps on the road. This will prevent the motor vehicle from moving around the trailer.
  • To tie down the tires using the ratchet strap, you should first place the hook of the ratchet strap in front of the wheel of the motor vehicle. Then you need to feed the long section of the strap behind the tire of the motor vehicle. Move it around the top section of the wheel. You should make sure that the “choker” section of the ratchet strap is positioned horizontally on the outside of the wheel being tied down. You should then place the ratchet on the opposite side of the wheel to the hook. Feed the strap through the ratchet drum. Wind the strap on to the drum and allow for at least one full wrap on the drum before the tension is fully taken up. Tighten the strap before locking the ratchet handle.

Securing a Motor Vehicle Can Be Done in Different Ways Using Ratchet Straps

Always remember that there can be different ways to properly secure a motor vehicle on a trailer. It would actually depend on the design of the trailer on where the anchor points would be located. By using the motor vehicle’s wheels as the primary objects to be tied down to the trailer, there would be less risk for any movement during transit. There are also other ways like tying down the whole chassis of the motor vehicle on the trailer. However, some of these methods may give scratches to the motor vehicle. This is one of the reasons why it is highly advised to have professionals secure the motor vehicle on a trailer. The reputable carrier services will be able to determine the best way to secure cargo on their trailers. Their securement tools have been picked specifically to fit the design of their trailers.

You can contact Toronto Trailers at 416 477 5488 if you need any help with shipping any type of motor vehicle to your preferred location. As one of the premiere shipping companies in Ontario, we assure you that all of our equipment is maintained regularly, and we only use the best cargo securement tools available.

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