Ratchet straps and winch straps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with different working load limits and overall lengths, but one of the more important differences is their end hardware. Depending on what you have on your flatbed you might have specific end hardware.
When and Where is Tie Down Hardware Used?
Tie down hardware is used when transporting any sort of cargo on the back of a flatbed trailer, enclosed trailer, or pickup truck and usually seen in the form of a ratchet tie down straps. Depending on the type of securement method, a specific type of strap may be required. For example, if you have an E-track, you’ll find yourself using a ratchet strap with an E-track end.
Tie downs are vital to cargo transport whether it’s on the back of a flatbed or in the bed of a pickup truck, no matter what is being moved, it needs to be secured properly or it puts your cargo at risk of getting damaged or worse.
Tie down hardware varies with its ends because the type of vehicle moving that cargo varies as well. You can’t use an endless strap in a trailer with an E-track, nor could you use an E-track strap on a flatbed without an E-track installed. The type of strap being used depends on the hardware that’s currently available on the trailer or truck you are using. Depending on the strap, installing tie down rings to your trailer may be something that needs to be done as well.
Types of Ratchet Tie Down Hardware
End fittings aren’t the only thing on a ratchet strap that differs among them. The ratchet mechanism itself can come in different sizes and materials too. The material it comes in can differ depending on the conditions the strap may usually see. A zinc coated ratchet or a stainless steel ratchet may be used if it sees the outside elements on a regular basis due to the materials ability to resist corrosion and rust. For loads that don’t require a high working load limit, you might find working with a cam buckle strap. The size of the ratchet also depends on the size of the load and what you’re working with. Ratchet straps can range from one inch in width to four inches.
Types of End Fittings
As the name suggests, J-Hooks get their name due to their “J” like shape. Because of their shape, they can be latched on to various different tie down points such as rails or rings. These hooks are often found on swivels so that latching on at different angles is done easily.
One of the more common end fittings you’ll see are wire hooks. Wire hooks are heavy duty and have a versatile design that helps truckers attach the hooks quickly so they can get on the road faster. These hooks come in a variety of colors, sizes, coatings, and most importantly, working load limits.
S Hooks are designed to quickly attach and detach from tie down points. They get their name from; you guessed it, their signature “S ” shape. They come in various sizes from small to big, and can fit many securement points. These hooks are very popular among new and professionals.
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Similar to S Hooks, snap hooks have an “S” shape, but snap into securement points and can only be removed when you apply pressure to the hook. This type of hook is popular among truckers and haulers who worry about their cargo and or if the cargo being transported is high in value.
You’ll find that flat hooks are more commonly used on flatbed trucks. Because of their shape, they’re able to latch onto the side railing of a flatbed trailer without having to worry about having a tie down point; however they still can be attached to rings later installed. These are extremely popular among flatbed truckers for their accessibility and high working load limits. Truckers protect the cargo and can increase the truck mileage with the help of tarps and tonneau cover which are attached with a flat hook.
Last but certainly not least, we have chain anchors which are straps that have a chain link at the end of the strap and a hook connected to the end of that chain. These types of straps are used for heavy duty loads such as large machinery or farm equipment. These straps are ideal for any large cargo haul, but due to the chains, leaves your cargo vulnerable to damage from the chain if undo pressure is applied.
Types of Ring Hardware
Delta Rings, commonly known as D Rings, are used to provide tie down anchor points for various types of straps with suitable end hardware such as J hook straps or Chain anchor straps.D rings get their name from their signature shape and come in different sizes and materials all varying in load limits and breaking strengths. D rings can be easily installed to any point on a flatbed trailer and can be used for large cargo securements like vehicle tie downs.
Getting its name from its shape, much like the D Ring, The O Ring shares similar characteristics to the other. O Rings are commonly used for tents, E-track systems, and so on, but they are used in other securement methods and equipment such as tie-down lasso straps for car. The “O” shape of the ring allows for multiple straps to be wrapped around it without causing abrasion.
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Bolt Down Plates
Bolt down plates are used for 1-inch tie down straps, ideally endless straps, and anchor to the floor of a trailer. They work well for many load types ranging from crates to palletized cargo. They are similar to floor mounting brackets but are designed for a more permanent securement location.
The seemingly endless variety of straps and chains may seem overwhelming, but in reality it’s great to know that no matter what you need for cargo securement, there is a perfect fit for your needs out there.