Secure anything and everything in your truck or SUV
When you're driving down the road with a motorcycle in your truck bed or a canoe on top of your SUV, you don't want to have to worry about whether or not they are secure. Ensure that you are able to stay focused on the road by purchasing good, reliable tie downs to keep items in their place. From ladders to recreational vehicles to furniture, tie downs allow you to transport virtually everything you need with complete confidence. Different types of tie downs are designed to handle different loads in certain vehicles, so it's important to know how heavy the objects you're hauling are. Tie downs are rated based on the amount of weight they can handle, so you'll need that knowledge to ensure safety. Consider the following questions to help in your assessment of which type of tie down is best suited for your needs:
Cam Buckles, Ratchets, Other Components and Usage
Tie down components include straps, buckles, rope, webbing and more. Each one is rated to handle a certain amount of weight. For example, a strap may be rated to handle 10,000 lbs. while a buckle can handle 12,000 lbs. This capacity is what's known as the rated capacity and should not be used to determine how much weight a tie down can truly handle. Instead, you'll want to consider the working load limit, which is 1/3 of the rated capacity. In the example above, then, the strap would be able to handle approximately 3,333 lbs. of weight while the buckle could support up to 4,000 lbs. The weight you're tying down should not exceed that of the lowest-rated component, so you wouldn't want to use this tie down for anything that weighed more than 3,333 lbs. unless you were using it in conjunction with another tie down.
Cam Buckles and Ratchets: In many tie downs, cam buckles and ratchets are used to secure straps or ropes. Cam buckles allow you to manually pull straps or ropes through them to increase tension before latching the buckle to secure the rope while ratchet tie downs utilize a ratchet handle to achieve the proper tension level. Regardless of which type you choose, you may want to use padding of some sort between the buckle and the object you're strapping in to prevent damage to either the object or the buckles. The chart below details some of the benefits of each as well as applications to which they are best suited:
|Tie Down||Applications||Benefits and Features|
|Cam Buckles||Moving light- and medium-sized objects, such as lawn mowers, some recreational vehicles, grills and furniture.||
|Ratchets||Moving medium-sized or heavy objects, such as lumber, larger recreational vehicles and more.||
Other Components: Straps, ropes and even chains can be used to secure objects. Lashing straps are adjustable and easy to release with a little thumb pressure. They're ideal for strapping objects to your roof, such as luggage, ladders or even canoes. Larger straps can be used for heavy-duty hauling. Look for straps that feature flexible edges to minimize the chances of them tearing or fraying. Ratcheting cargo bars are another handy storage device. They can be inserted along any point in the bed of your truck to prevent objects from sliding or rolling. They often feature rubber stoppers on the ends that both prevent the bar from slipping and protect the finish on your truck. Bed netting, which is composed of woven polyester or nylon straps, is another useful solution. It features hooks on each corner that can be used to secure the netting over virtually any object, no matter how oddly shaped. Depending on the type and brand you choose, it may even be strong enough to hold an ATV in place. Smaller netting is available for use with luggage racks and side pockets.
Installation and Usage: While some tie downs require you to bolt them in place, others can be secured without the use of drills. They are often installed in the stake pocket of a truck. Some devices, such as cargo bars and netting, can be shifted back and forth between vehicles with ease. You'll want to use at least two straps when tying down most objects, particularly if they're long, like a canoe. While bungee cords can be useful for securing lightweight objects, avoid using them for heavier objects. Even when stretched tightly, they may still expand slightly under great pressure, which will loosen the hold and increase the risk of the object falling out or sliding around. Don't tie recreational vehicles such as motorbikes or ATVs down by the handles, as they aren't designed to withstand that kind of stress and may bend or break over time.
Self-Locking Straps: These straps are designed to ensure security automatically as soon as they are strapped into place.
No-Drill Installation: If you're leasing your truck or just don't want to drill into the bed and create permanent damage, look for tie downs that don't require drilling. There are a large number of these types available, and most newer trucks are designed to accommodate them in the stake pockets.
Rings: Instead of clasps, some tie downs feature rings that allow you to connect hooks to them for easy loading and unloading. Some rings can be pushed down into the side of the truck bed to secure ropes and straps.
If you regularly use your truck to haul items, you’ll want to keep plenty of straps, ropes or chains on hand to secure objects.