What is a Cargo Net?
A cargo net is an essential securement tool for palletized or loose cargo that can be used in a variety of applications – from an enclosed trailer to a pickup truck. A reliable alternative to ratchet straps or winch straps, these nets are set up as a grid, a design with several advantages. Not only will it decrease your installation time – no messing around with twenty separate ratchet straps trying to get them to lay perfectly – but it means you can more easily tie down smaller cargo.
Jump to the Information You Need:
- What Cargo Net is Right for Me?
- Net Construction
- Tensioning Devices
- End Fitting Options
- What Size Cargo Net Do I Need?
- How To Install a Cargo Net
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How to Use a Cargo Net
While the most popular way to use cargo nets is in a cargo tie down system, some of our customers thought outside the box and have used them in some really unique and fun situations!
What Cargo Net is Right for Me?
Cargo nets come in several styles – variations include material, end fittings, tensioning devices, and more. Learn more about the different options in the video below.
Cargo Net Construction
Our cargo nets are made from either industrial-grade polyester webbing or a high-quality, flexible bungee material. The best option for you really depends on how and where you plan to use it.
The reason cargo nets are made from polyester instead of nylon is elasticity. Polyester webbing will stretch less than nylon, resulting in less cargo movement.
Other benefits of polyester include UV- and abrasion-resistance. It absorbs very little water, so you don't have to worry about mold or mildew either!
Polyester cargo nets are our strongest option, making them a good choice for most applications. The exception is oddly-shaped cargo, where a bungee net might be a better choice. These can be used in either enclosed trailers or pickup truck beds.
Tensioning Options: Ratchets or Cam Buckles
One of the most important considerations when purchasing a polyester net is the tensioning device. The two options are ratchets and cam buckles.
Ratchets provide you with superior tension control – they don't rely on operator strength, so you can get the strap tighter than you could with a cam buckle. They are ideal for heavy-duty cargo.
On the other hand, if you have fragile cargo, a cam buckle (which does rely on operator strength) is the better choice. It lessens the risk of overtightening, something that can damage your load. They are also faster to operate than a ratchet.
End Hardware: E-Track Fittings or Hooks
Our heavy-duty nets are compatible with E-track, allowing for additional versatility and strength.
The standard-duty nets come with hook end fittings. They can be quickly attached to anchor points like side rails and D-rings.
Why choose a bungee cargo net for bulky or oddly-shaped cargo? The flexibility of the material allows it to fit more securely around these objects, holding them in place.
All of our light-duty bungee nets come with plastic hooks that can attach to many different anchor points – so they're simple to install.
These tend to be used primarily in pickup truck beds, not enclosed trailers.
What Size Cargo Net Do I Need?
It's important to measure before purchasing a net. All of our nets include an image with the dimensions of each section to make it easy for you to decide if a net is a good fit for you.
You'll also want to look at the hole size, especially if you plan on moving small, loose cargo. If the hole is larger than the item, chances are it won't effectively secure it.
An example of a dimensional image is below. You can see the cargo net size, the overall net size, the strap length, and the hole size.
Popular Styles for Pickup Trucks
If you make a lot of hauling trips in your pickup, our truck bed nets are the best option for you. They come in multiple sizes and are popular with customers – all of them have a 5-star rating (at the time this blog was published)!
How to Install a Cargo Net
Installing a polyester net is fairly simple, regardless of the application.
If you are working in a pickup truck bed, place the net over your cargo and attach the end fittings to your anchor points, starting on the non-adjustable side. Once the adjustable side is attached, pull most of the slack through the tensioning device, then finish tightening using the ratchet or cam buckle until the cargo is securely held down. Make sure your net is still in-place around the cargo before proceeding.
If you are working in an enclosed trailer, typically you would start with the top strap and work your way down. Begin on the side without a ratchet, hooking it into place. Then, move to the adjustable side – once you've inserted the end fitting, pull most of the slack out of the cargo net and lock it in place with the ratchet.
Once all of the straps have been attached, you can finish tightening the net so your load doesn't move during transport.
Where to Buy a Cargo Net
US Cargo Control offers a wide selection of nets, ranging from light-duty bungee nets to heavy-duty trailer nets.
Our team of product experts has the experience and knowledge to help you find the best cargo net option, so if you have questions, reach out!
Custom Cargo Nets
Looking for a size, color, or end fitting that's not available on our website? Check out our custom options!
You can customize almost every aspect of your net:
- Webbing width
- Webbing color
- End fittings
- Tensioning devices
- Net dimensions
- Hole dimensions
Learn more about how we create custom nets and see the biggest net our team has created (so far!).