Most commonly referred to as “tie downs or lashing straps”, tie down straps are essential for holding down and securing cargo, personnel, and equipment for transportation or as a safety measure. Although tie down straps have many uses, it is not advised to use the product outside its purpose.
Variations and Types
Tie down straps are generally heavy duty webbing outfitted with tie down hardware like buckles and fasteners. The hardware allows for the strap to attach to itself or to the cargo securely. Tie downs are mostly separated into two types: loop straps and multi-piece straps. The former is made out of one piece of webbing and then looped around to fasten itself on the object. The latter is composed of multiple pieces of webbing (usually only two) fastened together to create one assembly and are used mostly as nets and support straps.
The quality of tie down straps depends mostly on the material used for the webbing. Materials with high tensile strength can hold greater weight, while lightweight materials are mostly used for general purposes. Webbing used for tie downs can vary from lightweight cotton, multipurpose nylon, cost-effective polypropylene, or heavy duty high-strength material like Kevlar. In addition, the quality and design of the tie down hardware should be specific for its application. Similar products include ratchet straps, tie backs, cam buckles, and axle straps – each specifically made to fit their purposes.
Applications and Proper Care
Tie downs and ratchet straps are used in everyday lives from cargo and container strappings, safety straps, and even on more open applications. However, even heavy duty tie downs are not suitable for lifting heavy objects or for towing. Companies and suppliers usually sell tie down straps by bulk, while also offering customization options, color variations, and configurations for more specific applications.
Although they are very durable and can be stored in a long term, worn and broken tie down straps can easily be looked over especially for those who are hoping to save a few extra money. This practice should be avoided as it may result in an accident. Like anything else, tie down straps should be thoroughly inspected before using and before storing. Damaged webbings and/or tie down hardware should be replaced immediately just to be on the safe side. Basic tie-down inspections and maintenance should also be exercised regularly. To avoid damage and make tie down straps last longer, make sure to buy only quality products from trusted companies.