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Guide to Using Ratchet Straps

Guide to Using Ratchet Straps

If you’ve been relying on bungee cords and rope to avoid confusing yourself with how to work a ratchet strap, we’re here to help. Follow these simplified, step-by-step ratchet strap instructions:

Step 1

Keeping the ratchet handle positioned upward, loop the strap around the cargo you’re securing, or hook the end(s) of the strap to an anchor point, depending on your application.

Step 2

How to start a ratchet strap: Grip the ratchet handle and release it by pulling upward on the spring-loaded center lever.

Step 3

Feed the loose end of the webbing from the bottom of the ratchet and through the open mandrel/axle slot, up over the top of the axle and back out the same way it entered. NOTE: If needed, crank the ratchet handle until the axle slot points outward and easier aligns with the webbing being inserted. Then, holding the ratchet handle firmly, pull the loose end of the strap away from the ratchet to eliminate slack.

Step 4 

Ratcheting straps: Raise and lower the ratchet handle, which allows the strap to wind around the axle and tighten against your load. Continue cranking until you reach your desired tension. When finished, pull upward on the center spring lever and fold the ratchet handle back and flat against the assembly to lock in place.

Step 5

How to loosen ratchet straps: Pull up on the center plunger, open the handle as wide as possible, and remove the webbing. Visit for a wide selection of ratchet straps and end fittings, along with corner protectors, fabric sleeves, and other accessories to prolong the life of your tie downs. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on strap maintenance.

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