How to Thread Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckles

How to Thread Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckles

For some people, selecting a tie-down strap to use is as easy as grabbing the first thing they see on the shelf. Doing this shouldn’t be an issue if you are only working on an at-home project. However, when transporting valuable objects/items across the country, you need to choose the best tie-down straps. More importantly, you need to learn how to thread them. If you are just new to this, start by digging a little deeper into the different types of tie-downs. 

In this article, we will help you determine which tie-down is better suited to your transportation needs. More importantly, we will provide you with the similarities and differences between ratchet straps and cam buckles to make your decision easier. Finally, we will show you how to thread both cam buckles and ratchet straps.

What are the Differences Between Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps?

We will base our comparisons on the lowest to highest possible values for breaking strength and working load limit of each strap. It allows you to understand the power of ratchet straps and cam buckle in general. 

Ratchet Straps 

Ratchet straps, also referred to as ratchet tie-downs are available in a variety of sizes. Typically, their sizes range from 1 inch to 4 inches. Usually, ratchet straps are made from durable polyester webbing that is designed to resist the elements. As long as you learn how to thread ratchet straps properly, they will stand the test of time.

The breaking strength of a 1-inch ratchet strap webbing is 3,000 pounds. This 1-inch ratchet strap has a working load limit between 500-1100 pounds, depending on the hardware attachment. Also, they are commonly used to secure smaller vehicles like ATVs or motorcycles.

A 4-inch ratchet strap webbing has a breaking strength of 20,000 pounds. However, when it comes to the working load limit, it has a capacity of 5,400-5,670 pounds. Among all the straps, ratchet straps are the strongest one on the market for freight securement purposes. Typically, these straps are suited for securing heavy equipment or machinery.

Cam Buckle Straps

Cam buckle straps are also called cam buckle tie-downs. These straps are only available in 1 inch and 2-inch widths. Just like ratchets straps, they are usually made out of polyester webbing. The breaking strength of cam buckle webbing with a 1-inch width ranges from 1,500 to 6,600 pounds. Most likely, it will have a working load limit that tops off at 500 pounds due to cam buckle hardware.

The breaking strength of 2-inch cam buckles webbing is 6,000 pounds. This 2-inch cam buckles have a working load limit ranging from 833 to 915 pounds. However, its working load limit depends on the combination of hardware that you plan to use.

When working with any tie-down strap, it is essential to know its working load limit. In fact, this may be more important than learning how to thread both ratchet and cam straps. 

The Department of Transportation sets these working load limits for your safety and those around you. If you are buying any tie-down straps, look for those with clear labels about the working load limit. Failure to comply with that limit could lead to serious damage to you and your shipment.

How to Use (Thread) Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckles

The following tips will help you make sure that you are threading your ratchets straps and can buckles the right way.

How to Thread Ratchet Straps

  1. It would help if you opened the ratchet to have access to the take-up spool.
  2. Slide the straps using the spool and bring it right back on itself.
  3. To remove the excess slack, you need to pull-on the strap.
  4. Once you remove the slack, you can start to ratchet the strap to your desired tension. Keep the belt in a straight position.
  5. Once you have reached the desired tension, lock the ratchet down to its closed position.
  6. In releasing the strap, open the ratchet throughout, so it is entirely flat. 
  7. Lastly, pull the strap out.

How to Thread Cam Buckles

  1. To thread the cam buckle, you must depress the lever and pull the webbing up through the opening.
  2. To make the desired tension, release the lever and pull the webbing.
  3. You can adjust the webbing length via a depressing lever and by pulling the webbing.

Final Thoughts

First, you must learn how to thread a cam buckle and ratchet strap the right way. The second thing is to choose between them. When choosing between a ratchet strap and a cam buckle, you must consider the workload limit. It would help if you also considered the fragility of the items that you are going to secure. 

If your cargo is lightweight and fragile, choose cam buckles. A cam buckle cannot over-tighten and crush the product. If you have items that are heavier and more sturdy, ratchet straps are a good option.

If you are looking for ratchet straps and tide-downs, Toronto Trailers is your one-stop. Get the right ratchet straps for your vehicle and cargo with customizable options from us. Let us customize your bands with your preferred strap width, fittings and even material choice. Contact us at 416 477 5488 or email us via info@torontotrailers.com to get a quote today.

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