Ask the Experts | How to Store Ratchet Straps?
Any piece of equipment is only as good as you treat it, and how you choose to store your ratchet straps is a very important aspect of their upkeep. Are you reading this right now and realizing your ratchet straps are sitting in their semi-permanent home in the messy heap somewhere in your garage? Then this blog is for you!
In the transportation industry, you have to be able to trust your equipment and one of the most popular methods for securing cargo, especially when it comes to shipping, is using ratchet straps – also known as lasing straps or tie-downs. Ratchet straps are the hammer of the transporters toolbox – with applications ranging wide from professional use to everyday common use. You may not realize it, but these simple straps are a large and important component in material handling. Read on to learn how to get the most life out of your ratchet straps.
How to Store Ratchet Straps
The working life of your equipment is affected by more than just how you use it – storing it incorrectly is one of the leading causes of damage. Ratchet straps that are stored improperly will need to be retired must faster and you may face issues such as mold, mildew, color fading, burns, tears, or loose tie down webbing that may damage the strength of your ratchet straps.
There are three main things you want to avoid when storing ratchet straps:
Storing ratchet straps is a place where they are exposed to moisture can cause it to mold and mildew. Mold can extremely weaken the strength of the webbing and the polyester can actually be destroyed, even in heavy-duty straps. This is a problem many people run into when choosing to store their ratchet straps in the back of their truck. This is also something to be aware of when using the straps in the rain – always ensure they are able to dry before putting them away.
Ratchet straps should always be stored in a dark, dry place away from direct sunlight. When exposed to harmful UV rays, they can get sun damaged – you’ll notice this by seeing the color of the strap fade.
Friction & Heat
Exposer to heat, such as the sun, fire, or other heat sources can cause weakening issues. This can also occur if the straps rub against a sharp edge or other objects while in use. If you notice any burn marks in your straps, they must immediately be placed out of service.
Ratchet Strap Storage Organization
Keeping your ratchet straps stored in an organized way is not only good for equipment upkeep but will also save you the headache of untangling your ratchet straps every time you need them. Here is the three-step guide on how to properly store and organize your ratchet straps.
Step One – Planning How to Store Your Ratchet Straps
The first and most important step is planning ahead. You need to have a location in mind that you plan to store your ratchet straps. This location needs to be in a dark and dry area away from the sun, as well as away from all sources of moisture. If you don’t have access to a place that fits these criteria we recommend using a ratchet strap duffle bag or a weatherproof bag for storage.
Step Two – Inspecting Your Ratchet Straps
Ratchet straps must be regularly inspected to ensure they are not damaged, and before and after storing them is a great time to do this. Even “minor” damage can drastically reduce the strap’s capacity and increase the chance of failure during use.
The entire ratchet strap assembly must be inspected before each use and removed from service if any of the following are detected:
- If the identification tag is missing or illegible
- Holes, tears, cuts, snags, or embedded materials
- Broken or worn stitches in the load-bearing splices
- Knots in any part of the webbing
- Acid or alkali burns
- Melting, charring, or weld splatters on any part of the webbing
- Excessive abrasive wear or crushed webbing
- Signs of ultraviolet (UV) light degradation
- Distortion, excessive pitting, corrosion, or other damage to buckles or end fittings
- Any conditions which cause doubt as to the strength of the ratchet strap
Step Three – Rolling Your Ratchet Straps
The best way to keep your ratchet straps stored in an organized way is by rolling them up. To do this, start out by threading the strap’s end through the space where the strap attaches to the buckle. Pull about five to fifteen inches of the strap through (depending on the length of the ratchet strap) and simply roll the strap tightly. Most ratchet strap users will use rubber bands or large socks to keep ratchet straps separated – find what works for you!
It’s as easy as that! If this technique of rolling your ratchet trap doesn’t work for you or the type of straps you use, feel free to change it up! Your ratchet strap roll doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to serve the purpose of keeping your straps contained, untangled, and stop them from rubbing up against themselves or each other and causing friction damage.
Want to learn how to choose the correct ratchet strap and use them properly? Click here to check out our blog, 5 Top Tips | Using Ratchet Straps Correctly & Safely.
Hercules SLR can design and manufacture heavy or light duty ratchet assemblies that are weather and wear-resistant and will secure your load properly and safely.
All our tie-down straps and ratchet assemblies are manufactured from the highest quality proof tested webbing hardware. They can be supplied with any one of several standard or custom made end fittings to ensure that your load is adequately and safely secured. Larger ratchet assemblies are available in standard or long-handled versions.
Hercules SLR is here for you and all your transportation requirements! Load Binders, ratchet straps, tie downs, tarps, chains, ropes, slings, hardware and more. We remain open, while respecting the emergency measures put in place by our provincial governments and health advice.
We have set up specific drop-off and pick-up points in-store and you can call us ahead of time to make sure everything is ready before your arrival. Your safety is our priority and when you need us, we are here for you. Call us: 1 800 461-4876 or visit us online here to find the nearest branch: https://buff.ly/2FFkXMu