What is a Chain Binder?

Chain Binder

Whether you are hauling tons of equipment or only transporting heavy equipment into a utility trailer, it’s essential to understand what is a chain binder. These binders are used to fasten down your load securely. 

Nylon strap tie-downs are good cargo securing equipment. However, nothing anchors a heavy load better than chain binders. Regardless of size, installing the chains and the binders is the same.

What is a Chain Binder?

A chain binder, or also called a load binder, is a device used to tighten chains when securing cargo for transport. These binders are the ideal securement tools for anyone who transports heavy tools and machinery. 

Understanding what is a chain binder also entails understanding its types. There are two general types of chain binders; they are ratchet binder and lever binder. The main difference between the two chains is the method of tightening the binder.

Chain Binder

Ratchet Binder

A ratchet binder is also called a ratchet load binder or ratchet chain. It has two tension hooks on each end and handles. Unlike a lever binder, a ratchet chain cannot store as much energy in the handle because it is designed with a handle, gear, pawl, and end fittings. This binder is also easier to adjust in more acceptable increments without the recoil or snapping back effect of a lever binder. Typically, haulers use a ratcheting action to create tension in their chain. 

Lever Binder

A lever binder is also called a lever chain, snap binder or lever load binder. It has a tension hook on each end. Although lever binders are easier to install because of their fewer moving parts, they require more strength to be tightened. Generally, haulers use a leverage action to create tension in the chain and store kinetic energy in its handle.

When to Use a Chain Binder

If you’re wondering when to use a chain binder, the answer is anytime the cargo’s weight increases. Usually, the tie-downs’ working load limits add a minimum of 50% to the load’s weight. The required quantity of tie-downs to keep the load secure depends on the length, weight, and type of cargo.

Chain Binder

What are the Advantages of Using Chain Binders?

After knowing what is a chain binder? It is also good to know its advantages for your cargo.

  • Compared to tie-down straps made of nylon, chain binders provide longer-lasting securement. 
  • Chain binders are less susceptible to tears and cuts, whether these are used to tie down a Bobcat bucket or any heavy machinery.  
  • One of the advantages of using chain binders is it tightens chains when securing cargo for transport.
  • They are also best for tying down sharp objects.


Related article: Safety Benefits of Lever Binders and Ratchet Binders


How Do Chain Binders work?

Now that you know”what is a chain binder,” you must also understand how to use chain binders so you can operate it effectively.

Attaching the Chain

Step 1. Load the trailer with whatever equipment you are hauling.

Step 2. Locate the best places on the trailer to attach the chain to secure your load. Some campers have built-in rings or chain attachment points. On others, you need to connect the chain to the trailer’s frame. Remember to loop it over the heaviest framework of the railer. Axles, drawbars, motor mounts, and hitch supports are examples of suitable parts to attach your chain.

Step 3. Attach the chain to the trailer and over your cargo. You must use the hooks on the chains’ ends to adjust the chain as tight as possible.

Binding the Load

Step 1. To use a chain binder as cargo securing equipment, you must open the binder to its extended position.

Step 2. Hook the binder’s end near the handle lever to the chain’s link near the cargo being secured.

Step 3. Hook and tighten the opposite end of the binder by hand to the same chain. It will help if you pulled the lever handle on the binder to adjust the chain.

Step 4. Continue adjusting the lever as needed to get the chain tight. If the chain is still loose after adjusting the binder, reposition the binder’s attachment and try again. That’s how to use chain binders. You’ll have to reposition and adjust your cargo securely.

Step 5. If necessary, use a 3-foot length of 2-inch steel pipe as a cheater. Slide the pipe over the binder’s handle lever and use the extra length to lever the handle entirely to its closed position.

Step 6. Wrap 14-gauge steel around the chain and through the hole in the binder handle, then twist the wire ends together to ensure the handle doesn’t pop open from vibration or when the trailer hits bumps in the road.

Chain Binder

Final Thoughts

When you do heavy cargo haulings such as machinery or vehicles, it’s essential to understand “what is a chain binder” and its types. Aside from familiarizing yourself with its types, you should also know when to use a chain binder. 

This knowledge is essential so you can use each chain binder appropriately, efficiently and safely. Using a chain and operating a binder will give you extra peace of mind when transporting large and weighty cargo.

If you are looking for a chain binder, you may check Toronto Trailers. We offer different cargo securing tools and equipment. Call us to learn more via 416-477-5488.

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