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yellow vehicle tied down to blue tow dolly with an orange wheel strap

Which Car Tie Down Strap is Right for Me?

yellow vehicle tied down to blue tow dolly with an orange wheel strap

Car tie down straps are a critical component in auto transport. They work to secure vehicles in place, preventing any damage from occurring and protecting yourself and others around you on the road. Auto haulers regularly use these straps when towing vehicles with their trailers: flatbed, tow dolly, enclosed, etc.

It's important to know that not every car tie down strap works for every vehicle. In fact, you should take into account a couple of considerations when choosing a tie down strap, such as the vehicle's weight, tire size, and the type of trailer you use for auto transport. With many different options to choose from, it can feel a little overwhelming to know if you chose the right strap, or straps, for your needs.

We explain further below the different types of car tie down straps we offer through US Cargo Control. These different configurations suit different auto hauling applications and cater to different tire sizes and vehicles.

Types of Car Tie Down Straps

image of yellow polyester wheel strap wrapped around a car tire

1. Wheel Straps

Wheel straps are widely used by auto haulers to transport vehicles because of their easy setup and usage. These car tie down straps fit over the tire and attach easily to existing tie down points on the floor of a trailer close to the tire itself. These straps are then tightened using the ratcheting component to ensure your vehicle stays put when moving. For transporting low-profile vehicles with small-to-average-sized tires, wheel straps work the best.

Most wheel strap configurations contain two end fittings to secure the tire. Such end fittings include swivel hooks, wire hooks, and more. There are a select few of these car tie down straps that contain three straps or three end fittings for better security. Other models include 3 rubber cleats that securely fit into the treads of the tire to ensure the strap stays positioned within the threads. Rubber cleats can be fixed or adjustable, depending on the make of the wheel strap.


2. Wheel Nets

Wheel nets offer additional security for safe auto transport. They work for all general trailer types and consist of many different configurations and styles.

  • Side Mount Wheel Nets
    Side mount wheel nets are designed with attachment points facing outward that connect to the sides and rails of the trailer. These work differently from the normal configurations, which attach to the end and the front of trailers. These car tie down straps are available in single strap and dual strap options and come in two types of end fittings: flat hooks or chain extensions.

    Our Lasso Strap is generally used for side mount applications as well, as they work to create an over-the-tire setup that attaches to a tie down anchor point along the side of the trailer.
  • E-Track Wheel Nets
    Another option, E-Track wheel nets work to connect with any existing E-Track railing system installed in flatbed or enclosed trailers. Each strap comes with three adjustable rubber cleats that fit into the rain grooves of the tire and stay in place once draped over it and tightened.


image of yellow tow dolly strap with two flat hooks for attachment to tow dolly trailer

3. Tow Dolly Straps & Basket Straps

Tow Dolly Straps and basket straps, or wheel bonnets, work by securing the vehicle's tires to a tow dolly trailer. Compared to other car tie down straps, these use additional polyester webbing: tow dolly straps use one perpendicular strap that sits directly over the tire, while basket straps use three straps (as shown above) to create a basket that sits over top the tire. Both provide further support and keep the tire better secured to the trailer.

Tow dolly and basket straps come with one or two tie downs to secure to the tow dolly trailer, with different end fittings to choose from. Most of these car tie down straps can adjust to fit the size of the vehicle's tire. However, you can also choose the blue dolly straps to handle extra large tires that go beyond the adjustable straps.

 image of red polyester axle strap

4. Axle Straps

Lastly, axle straps are another car tie down strap you can use to secure your vehicle for auto transport. Axle straps fit around the axle of the vehicle rather than the tire, and they attach to other ratchet tie downs connected to the trailer to tighten the vehicle in place. These straps can also come with Cordura® sleeve protection to prevent wear and tear to the webbing.

Tips on Using Car Tie Down Straps

All of our car tie down straps from US Cargo Control contain industrial-grade polyester webbing that's resistant to tearing, UV, and water, so you can rest assured these straps will do the job for you. That being said, there are a few tips you should follow when using these straps, as well as any tie down straps for auto transport:

  • Always work within the posted working load limits of the car tie down straps.
  • Never use straps for incompatible trailers (i.e. tow dolly straps for flatbed trailers)
  • Never use straps for incompatible tire sizes (i.e. fixed car tie down straps for extra large tires)
  • Make sure to use the appropriate tie down hardware to keep you and your trailer setup safe.

More Articles You May Like:

9 Types of Trailers in the Trucking Industry

E-Track 101

How to Tie Down an ATV Using Ratchet Straps

USCC Tie Down Straps Used to Secure Race Car (Testimonial)

Wheel Chocks: Uses & Safety

Need help on our towing and auto hauling products? Talk with our team of product experts to get the answers you need. Call (866) 444-9990 or email today.

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