How to use Cam Buckle Straps Like the Pros

Published on 04/29/20


In today’s guide, we will be going over some of the best practices for how to get started using cam buckle straps. Such as how to thread a cam buckle, how to secure cargo using a cam buckle, and how to loosen your load once you arrive at your destination. Let’s begin.

Stitching Weave on Ratchet Strap Large  RatchetStrapsUSA

What is a Cam Buckle Strap?


A Cam Buckle Strap is one of the more unique types of tie-down straps as they don’t use a mechanism to secure cargo with such as a Ratchet Strap that uses a Ratchet to tighten the cargo. Cam Buckle Straps are tightened by using hand strength and can only be tightened as much as your hand force can physically tighten. Some of the major benefits of using a strap like a Cam Buckle is the fact that sensitive surfaces such as antiques, lightweight cargo with sensitive edges, or brittle valuables are rarely ever damaged when tightening these straps.

Cam Buckle Straps utilize a Cam Buckle with a clip that is similar to a belt where once the tie-down webbing is pulled through and the cam buckle is released the strap is secured into place. This is the ideal cargo securement for lighter weight cargo securement or fragile cargo. Ideally, Cam Buckles are one of the most commonly used straps for movers who are dealing with customers who could potentially lose repeat customers if the customer’s valuables are damaged beyond repair.

One of the very few downsides of using Cam Buckle Straps is unlike Ratchet Straps or Winch Straps it isn’t exactly ideal for the heaviest of cargo weights such as professional trucking flatbeds. This is one of the downsides that you want to make sure are tighter than the force of webbing that you can pull through on cargo that could easily weigh more than several thousand pounds or more.

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Differences between Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps


One of the main differences between Cam Buckle Straps and Ratchet Straps is the amount of force that is being used to tighten the webbing. Ratchet Straps use a Ratchet that flows in one direction that allows the cargo to be tightened but never allowing the cargo to become loosened unless manually unlocking the tension on the ratchet handle. Cam Buckles utilize hardware called an alligator clip that bites down on the webbing to lock the tie-down webbing into place. The webbings strength can ultimately depend on how tight you can tighten the cargo by hand so if you intend on using heavier loads go with a ratchet strap or alternative.

Ratchet Straps can be found in 1 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch, and 4-inch varieties depending on the type of cargo that you are securing working load limits. Cam Buckles can be found in both 1 inch and 2-inch wide webbing varieties. Some of the different types of hardware options for both straps include S Hooks, J Hooks, E Track Fittings, Endless Loop, and Flat Snak Hooks just to name a few of the most popular options.

How Much Weight can Cam Buckle Straps Secure?


On average if you have cargo above 750 pounds you should instantly consider using a Ratchet Strap or a Winch Strap if you are using a commercial flatbed trailer. Ratchet Straps and Winch Straps are designed for the heaviest duty cargo securement, whereas Cam Buckles are designed for lightweight to mediumweight cargo.

The one main way to tell if you will be safe or not for your load is by looking at the assembly working load limit for each of the straps that you intend on using for your cargo securement needs. If the assembly working load limit is way too little for the weight of your cargo you will want to look for another strap. Although you should always use AT LEAST FOUR TIE DOWN STRAPS when you are securing cargo it may still not be strong enough for your cargo. One important thing to remember when securing cargo is to know that the straps are only as strong as the strap’s weakest link or part of the strap.

Cam Buckle Straps  RatchetStrapsUSA

How to Thread a Cam Buckle Strap


Before you begin securing cargo with your Cam Buckle strap you will want to inspect the straps for any visible damage, burn marks, sun damage on webbing, mold or mildew, or other damage that could risk the strength of the strap. These are all factors that could weaken the straps working load limit and could jeopardize the safety of your load. Once you have fully inspected each one of the straps you are going to use to secure your load we can now begin with the steps to secure your load using a cam buckle strap. This can also be known as how to secure a side release buckle.

1). – Firstly, you will want to wrap the cam buckle strap around the cargo you anticipate on securing for transportation.
2). – Next you will want to pull the webbing through the cam buckle similar to using a belt.
3). – Once you have the desired tightness you can release the Cam Buckle Hardware to secure the tie-down webbing securely into place once the desired slack of webbing is met.

How to Release a Cam Buckle Strap


When releasing a Cam Buckle Strap you will want to push on the alligator release clip to release the tension and you will be able to release the tension around your cargo once it arrives at its destination. The way that the alligator clips work is it is a clip that has many small teeth that look similar to an alligator’s mouth hence the nickname alligator clip. Once the teeth are opened the securement from the Cam Buckle is weakened and can pull the tie-down webbing out of the cam buckle strap allowing for the tension to be released and the slack or excess webbing to be able to be pulled out of the Cam Buckle Strap. After you have released the Cam Buckle Strap the next important step would be to store the cam buckle strap properly for the next use.

Ratchet Straps Duffle Bag for Storing Ratchet straps

How to Store a Cam Buckle Strap


The main way to store a Cam Buckle Strap would be to make sure that you are always making sure to keep the straps in a safe location away from moisture, sunlight, sharp edges, and most important organized. Having tie down webbing that is tangled can cause friction over time such as burn marks. To avoid this make sure the tie-down webbing is always wrapped into neatly around the cam buckle to keep the strap organized and you could even use a rubber band to keep the strap winded up.

Once the strap is winded up you can always store the cam buckle strap inside of a sock, ratchet strap duffle bag, book bag, toolbox, or anything along the lines of being able to protect the strap against the elements. The number one way to keep your straps long lasting is by maintaining them with proper storage techniques. Remember to always inspect your tie-downs before and after every use for any damage to prevent unsafe tie downs being used to secure your valuables.

Polyester Tie Down Webbing CAMO  RatchetStrapsUSA

How long of a length of webbing do I need to fit my trailer?


Answer – The amount of tie-down webbing you need to fit your Cam Buckle Strap can greatly vary from customer to customer. One of the easiest ways to determine how long of tie-down webbing you need for your application is to take a piece of yarn or string and wrap around the cargo you intend on securing in place. Although the yarn won’t be able to secure your application you can measure the yarn to provide the nearest length that fits you best.

You will always want to take the measure for instant 11 foot 5 inches long of yarn was used and round up to the next size to create extra wiggle room. In this instance, you would want to purchase a cam buckle strap at least 12 feet long of tie-down webbing to secure your cargo. This is one of the many tips that help the professional trucking industry determine the needed length of tie down webbing.

Tie Down Webbing

What Colors of Tie Down Webbing Does Cam Buckle Straps Come In?


Answer – Some of the different colors of tie-down webbing include Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Gray, as well as Camo. As Ratchet Straps USA is one of the leading manufacturers of tie-down straps and custom tie-down straps we have the capabilities to make just about any kind of custom Ratchet Straps or Custom Cam Buckle Straps for an additional price. If you are interested in learning more about some of our customization options you can contact our experts by giving us a call at 800-483-2189 today or by using our online contact us form at the top of the website.

28221 Tie Down Hardware

What Types of Hardware does Cam Buckle Straps Come in?


Some of the different types of hardware that Cam Buckle Straps come in include S Hooks, E Track Fittings, Wire Hooks, Endless Loop, and Plate Trailer Hooks just to name a few of the most common types of Cam Buckle Straps. As one of the leading manufacturers of tie-down straps in the United States we have the capabilities, resources, and knowledge to custom make just any kind of strap that you may need to be custom made.

If you are interested in learning more about our customization process please give our experts a call at 800-483-2189 or by using our online contact us form located at the top of our website. Our experts are standing by and willing to assist with all of your business’s securement needs or help answer any questions you may have.