When cargos are being shipped, their safety is one of the concerns for both the customer and the shipping company. What makes a good shipping company is the way it ensures that all of the items will arrive at their destinations without any damage. Damages may occur during transit. With all the vibrations happening, the chances for cargos to move around are high. This is where using supportive equipment is crucial. Ratchet straps are examples of supportive equipment that are used for tying down cargos. Securing loads is an important step that is mandated by law. The use of cargo securement equipment should be carefully followed by anyone travelling while carrying cargos. This article will discuss the relevance of cargo securement and the proper way to secure cargos using ratchet straps.
Cargo Securement Standards In Ontario
Using cargo securement equipment is not only done to protect cargos from getting damaged during transit. It is also used to ensure that traffic accidents are avoided. Movement of cargos is inevitable during transit. Without any supportive equipment holding down these items, they may fall and possibly cause traffic or damages to any vehicle travelling just behind the trailer or vehicle that was carrying the cargo. To know more about cargo securement in Ontario, you may refer to the following list:
- The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) has imposed through the National Safety Code (NSC) Standard 10 – Cargo Securement, the rules and regulations related to securing all types of cargo on trailers or any other mode of transportation. These are being implemented in the province of Ontario, Canada.
- The NSC Standard 10 has also set some performance criteria that should always be met. Failing to do so may land the shipper or person into some legal problems.
- The standards were created to protect the cargos, the shipper, and any other parties that may get into accidents due to improper securement of all types of freight.
- Some legal consequences for those who do not follow the standards set may receive fines, citations, or the possibility of the vehicle being held until all legal obligations have been resolved.
- Before any vehicle travels with cargo, the shipper or user must ensure that the proper securement tools are being used. These tools must be able to fully withstand the force or weight of the cargo.
- Multiple securement tools may be used based on the size and weight of the cargos.
Important Factors to know about Ratchet Straps
When people talk about cargo securement, one of the most well-known tools being used are ratchet straps. Compared to some other securement tools being used, these are relatively lighter and safer to install. Everyone should be more familiar with them as they can effectively protect the safety of any type of cargo that is being shipped. Below are some factors people should know about ratchet straps:
This is a securement tool for tying down cargos on platforms.
o Ratchet straps use tension to prevent cargos from moving.
o High-quality ratchet straps are known to use industrial-grade polyester fibers. These flexible fibers are woven into a tight pattern. This process makes the ratchet strap strong and durable. This kind of ratchet strap is recommended for securing heavier and larger cargos.
o For those who need to secure lightweight and smaller items may use ratchet straps that are composed of nylon fiber. This kind of ratchet strap is not advised for heavy loads since nylon tends to stretch more as compared to polyester.
Ratchet straps have different break strengths and sizes.
o Break strength is the total weight of the items that would cause the ratchet strap to break. To avoid ratchet straps from breaking, a working load limit should be followed instead. The working load limit is computed by dividing the break strength of a ratchet strap by 3. This would entail that the allowable weight limit of the cargo should not exceed the working load limit of the ratchet strap.
o There will be a need to use multiple ratchet straps that will have an aggregate total working load limit that will match the total weight of the cargo. This will ensure that the ratchet straps will not loosen their tension when the force of the vibration or movement is added to the weight of the cargo during transit.
o Bigger cargos would entail that there will be a need to use longer and wider ratchet straps. This will make it possible for the ratchet straps to cover more area on the cargos.
Using ratchet straps that have signs of wear and tear should be replaced.
o It is crucial for ratchet straps to maintain their tension. Having low stretchability is what makes ratchet straps effective in holding cargos in place.
o If there are tears, rips, deep scratches, or if the straps have considerably loosened, it is recommended that you stop using them and replace them instead. One will never know how much abuse the ratchet straps are taking during transit. Straps that are not in good condition may have the tendency to break at any given time. It is never advised to take such risks when travelling with cargo.
How Ratchet Straps Should Be Used To Secure Loads
Even though it is recommended that people should always use high-quality ratchet straps, there will always be the possibility for these securement tools to suddenly fail. That is why it is very important to take proper care of them. Failure for these straps to do their jobs properly may be uncontrollable due to degradation of their quality as time passes. However, avoiding accidents from happening when the straps used are still in good condition can be controlled by the shipper or user. Here are proper ways of using ratchet straps to secure loads:
Ensure that there are available points on the platform where you will be able to hook the ratchet straps.
o There may be a need for multiple ratchet straps to be used to secure the cargo. These straps would need multiple points on the platform to latch onto.
o You must refer to the guidelines stipulated in NSC Standard 10 for the rules on the quantity of tie-downs needed for different types, weights, and sizes of cargos.
Make the necessary preparations before proceeding with securing the load on a platform.
o Before securing the load on a platform, you must ensure that the aggregate working load limit of ratchet straps will be able to meet the total weight of the cargo.
o Preparation is needed to ensure that the installation of the tie-downs will be done efficiently. By knowing how many ratchet straps will be needed beforehand, you may be able to properly plan how and where you will be latching the ratchet straps onto.
o You must also prepare padding to place between the ratchet straps and the sharp edges of the cargo. Corner protectors are best paired with ratchet straps. These are used to prevent friction between the ratchet straps and the cargo. Friction is one of the causes that would increase the rate of wear and tear on the ratchet straps.
You need to secure loads with a good amount of tension on the ratchet straps.
o After placing the cargo to the preferred position on the platform, you must place the ratchet strap across the cargo and attach the ends to the anchor points on the platform using hooks.
o You may need to wrap the ratchet strap around some areas on the cargo to ensure that they will be completely held in place.
o Always try to pull on the webbing of the ratchet strap to keep the tension high. However, you must not over-tighten or the straps may break during transit.
o Do not forget to lock the ratchet.
You should properly thread the ratchet straps the proper way.
o While the ratchet is closed, the webbing should be placed through the center rotating spool.
o While pulling on the webbing through the center rotating spool, you must leave some slack.
o You can start ratcheting by raising and lowering the handle to increase the tension.
Securing Loads With Ratchet Straps Is Safe When Done Right
Do not take for granted the proper ways of tying down your cargo. Other than it is required by the government of Ontario, this is a way to ensure that your items will maintain their quality when they reach their destinations. Ratchet straps may not have the strength as compared to other types of securement tools, but they are still excellent tie-down tools when properly installed. They are safer and easier to use. There is less risk for ratchet straps to cause structural damage to cargos or cause injuries to the person handling them. Ratchet straps are cost-efficient tools for securement. This is why they should always be handled with care.
If you are currently in need of ratchet straps, you may contact Toronto Trailers at 416 477 5488. Our ratchet straps are made from excellent-quality materials to ensure that they may be used multiple times.