How To Use Ratchet Straps

Ratchet straps are available with a wide variety of end fittings and ratchets, but all generally work in a similar way with two separate straps connected with a ratcheting assembly.

Below we've listed general guidelines about how to use ratchet straps, but if you don't see the information you need, give our sales team a call. They'll be happy to answer your questions or place your order.

You can see all of our ratchet straps on the Ratchet Straps and Tie downs page, which also includes cam straps and winch straps.

How to Use a Ratchet Strap

A new ratchet strap will arrive as two separate straps. To assemble for use, see these ratchet strap instructions.

Break Strength and Working Load Limit:

In learning how to use ratchet tie down straps, it's important to choose a strap based on the break strength (BS) and working load limit (WLL).

Each component of a ratchet strap assembly - the webbing, the ratchet, and the end fittings - have a break strength that is determined through independent testing. The break strength is the amount of force a component can withstand before failing.

Because a tie down assembly is only as strong as its weakest point, the component with the lowest break strength is considered the break strength of the entire ratchet strap assembly.

The working load limit is then determined based on the break strength. The working load limit is figured by taking 1/3 of the break strength of the weakest component. This means a tie down strap with an assembly break strength of 10,000 lbs. would have a working load limit of 3,333 lbs. An assembly should never be used in applications over its working load limit.

All of our ratchet straps are manufactured with labels attached that include break strength and work load limit information.

They meet the standard requirements for trucking and transportation tie downs, including those of the principal organizations:

Custom Ratchet Straps

Custom ratchet straps are always an option at US Cargo Control. Because we sew and assemble all of our ratchet straps on-site in our Iowa facility, a custom strap is cost-efficient and ships quickly. There are no minimum quantities required to order a custom ratchet strap.

Learn more about our custom straps.

Ratchet Straps vs. Cam Straps

The terms ratchet straps and cam straps are sometimes used interchangeably since they're both used to tie down cargo with polyester webbing. There are some key differences between ratchet straps and cam straps (outlined in the video below) and you should choose which one to use based on what you are hauling.

Video Library:

Looking for more information? Check out our how to ratchet strap videos below, including how to use a ratchet strap with E-track and L-track.

How to Use Axle Straps

How to Tie Down an ATV Using Ratchet Straps

How to Tie Down a Motorcycle Using Ratchet Straps

How to Insert an E-track Fitting into an E-track Rail

Types of E-track Fittings Available

How to Choose Fasteners for E-track Installation

How to Install E-Track on an Aluminum Flat Trailer

How to Use an Endless Cam Buckle Strap