How & When to Use Ratchet Straps & Cam Buckle Straps

By Christine Halvorsen • 12.08.21
cam buckle strap  cam buckle straps  cam strap  cam straps  Category Articles & How-To's > Ratchet Straps & Tie Downs 

This video details the different types of ratchet strap fittings, how to use a ratchet strap, and how ratchet straps and cam buckle straps are different.

What Are These Straps?

Ratchet straps and cam buckles are used to secure various types of cargo and come in various sizes: 1", 2", 3", and 4" widths. The ratchet strap comes with many different end fittings to choose from: chain extensions, D-rings, E-Track firting, E-Track double stud fitting, F-Track hook and spring E-fitting, flat hook, flat snap hook, j-hook with D-ring, S-hook, and vinyl coated wire hooks. Polyester webbing works great for cargo securement because of its low stretch rate. It's also very abrasion-resistant.

In some cases you may not need the strength of a ratchet strap. In those cases you would use a cam buckle. Cam straps come with various fittings: butterfly fittings, e-track fittings, f-track hook and spring e-fittings, handlebar straps with s-hooks, flat snap hooks and s-hooks. Cam buckles typically come in 1" and 2" sizes.

How to Thread a Ratchet Strap

  1. Open Your Ratchet Up
    This gives you access to the take up spool.

  2. Pull the Strap Through
    Slide the strap through the spool and bring it right back around on itself. After this is done, pull on the strap to remove the excess slack.

  3. Start Ratcheting
    Once all the slack is removed, then you can start to ratchet the strap to the tension you want. Be sure to keep the strap straight on throughout this process.

  4. Lock It
    Once it's where you want it to, lock the ratchet down in its closed position.

  5. Release
    To release the strap, open the ratchet all the way again so it lays completley flat. Once it is flat, you have it in the release position and the strap can be pulled out normally.

How to Thread a Cam Buckle

  1. Feed the Strap Through
    Firstly, turn the cam buckle over and feed the strap back through while pressing the thumb release. While pressing the thumb release, pull the strap to your desired tension, then release.

  2. Remove the Strap
    To remove the strap, press the thumb button and simply pull the strap. You don't have to pull the strap all the way out, just enough to get to your cargo.

When To Use These Straps

In choosing between a ratchet strap and a cam buckle, it usually comes down to the working load limit, or how fragile the product is. If it is something light and fragile, choose a cam buckle since you're not able to over-tension and possibly crush the product. If it's anything heavier, less fragile, a ratchet strap is generally a better choice.

Want to learn more about our ratchet and cam buckle straps? Get answers from our product experts by calling (866) 444-9990 or emailing today. Make sure you get what you want, when you need it.


About US Cargo Control

Founded in 2005, US Cargo Control is a trusted leader in the cargo control industry, specializing in professional rigging and lifting equipment, trucking and transportation tie downs, and moving supplies. With a superior online shopping experience, industry-experts available via phone, and a central Midwest location, USCC is dedicated to getting you what you want, when you need it. For more information, visit

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