Today we have created this blog post with some of the most useful tips to help keep your ratchet straps lasting longer to help save you time and money. Let’s begin with some useful and lesser-known tips to help make your ratchet straps last longer.
Properly Storing Ratchet Straps Between Uses
While on the road for long periods, it is incredibly easy once you reach your next stop to attempt to save time by throwing your straps into a truck bed or compartment for quick storage. One of the downsides of doing this over some time is that the ratchet straps can become damaged from friction burns or even mold and mildew causing the straps to need to be repaired or replaced.
We often hear from those who leave their straps sitting in the back of pickup truck beds or laying on the floor of inside trailers who are shocked the next time they go to use a ratchet strap that there are burn marks in the webbing, tears in the webbing, or even cuts in the webbing in some cases as they were improperly stored in-between uses over a long period.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your straps lasting longer is to take a few minutes between uses to roll up ratchet straps so that the webbing is neatly stored around the ratchet hardware and held in place using a rubber band to hold the webbing in place. Next, we recommend using our popular Ratchet Strap Duffle Bag., a Ziplock Freezer bag, or equivalent to keep the straps safe from moisture that could otherwise cause mold and mildew that could damage the straps polyester webbing over time.
Those who are avid Hunters can also benefit from taking down ratchet straps that are used to secure treestand ladders and treestands in the woods during the off-season. This helps to ensure that your straps remain safe throughout the off-seasons and are ready for use during the next hunting season. This also allows you to retighten your ratchet straps when safety is the number one priority. Remember, a safe hunt is always considered a successful hunt.
Proper Routine Maintenance to your Ratchet Straps
One of the best ways to extend the lifespan of your ratchet straps is by keeping up with proper maintenance on the ratchet hardware to help prevent potential jams. We strongly recommend several times per year to spray some silicone spray such as a can of WD-40 to help prevent potential surface rust as well as keep your ratchet hardware moving smoothly.
One thing to avoid when using WD-40 is to try your best to avoid getting any WD-40 or silicone spray on the webbing as it could attract dirt, dust, or debris. This also allows you a chance to further inspect your ratchet straps for any potential defects, dings, cuts, or potential issues before they begin.
We often hear feedback about ratchet straps becoming dirty over time from road grime from being in the elements and on the road for long periods. The best way to clean Ratchet Straps is by using a wet cloth or a quick wash with a garden hose and ensuring a complete drying process of the ratchet straps to clean from dirt, road grime, or other contaminants that cover your ratchet straps from repetitive use while on the road.
Those who opt to clean their ratchet straps with a garden hose should make sure to only use strictly water when cleaning the straps. You will want to avoid at all costs any form of chemicals, dish soap, or detergent as they could potentially weaken or cause damage to your ratchet straps tie-down webbing. We recommend using a soft brush and warm water to help remove most road grime without the use of any harsh chemicals to keep your ratchet strap maintenance in good shape.
Avoid Leaving Ratchet Straps in Direct Sunlight
Did you know that one of the number one causes of tie-down webbing damage comes directly from the sun’s ultraviolet rays? Although ratchet straps are often exposed to the elements when in the back of a pickup truck bed, pickup trailer, or flatbed trailer you can help play a part in making your straps last longer and while becoming safer by storing the straps when not in use out of direct sunlight.
If you notice any visible change in the color of the webbing becoming a lighter shade or becoming discolored the strap should be inspected and likely replaced before the next use depending on the amount of sun fade damage. Discoloration in ratchet straps and tie-down webbing can become a major concern and should be taken seriously.
Avoiding Sharp Edges by Pairing Straps with Corner Protectors
Polyester Tie Down Webbing is the webbing of choice when it comes to manufacturing ratchet straps and is at risk of becoming damaged from sharp edges or friction burns. One of the best ways to ensure that the cargo you are transporting remains safe and your straps during transport is using corner protectors. Corner protectors are designed to create a layer between sharp metal edges on your trailer to help prevent straps from becoming damaged.
This is also a great way to help ensure that you are getting the most out of your straps in the long term as we often hear feedback from customers on how much longer their straps last after pairing their straps with corner protectors. One of the number one reasons that straps become damaged from sharp edges is from over-tightening ratchet straps when securing cargo. It is important that you use corner protectors and make the straps tight when tightening but avoid cranking the ratchet strap too much as this can greatly reduce the number of loads that the ratchet straps will last.
Drying Your Ratchet Straps After Exposure to Moisture
Moisture is one of the leading causes of long-term damage to polyester tie-down webbing that ratchet straps are made with as it can cause mold and mildew if it is exposed to a high level of moisture over time. As the tie-down straps are used outdoors often on the back of a pickup trailer, pickup truck bed, flatbed, or even in use in a dry van they can often be found around moisture-prone areas.
When storing your tie-down straps without drying off the straps you are putting them in a situation where they can develop dangerous mold which can weaken the webbing or even in some cases cause the straps to fail or break. This greatly increases when you are on long trips on the road where rainy or snowy conditions may cause the straps to be damp and cold for long periods throughout the day or week.
Inspecting Straps Before and After Every Use
The number one way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your ratchet straps is by inspecting the straps before and after every use. This helps you correct any issues you are seeing before it becomes a larger problem that could end up causing you to need to repair or replace your ratchet straps. By inspecting your straps more often you can ensure that you are becoming safer on the road while making the most out of your initial investment.
You should look for any potential mold & mildew damage, friction burns, and webbing that has become torn. Make sure to check out our full guide on how to inspect your ratchet straps today! On average Ratchet Straps tend to last between 2 to 4 years on average as a product lifespan. If you find straps from storage that look extremely aged you may want to consider the risk of putting old and potentially worn out straps back on the road securing cargo that could be at risk of the straps coming undone or even the cargo coming out of place or even off of the trailer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Do Ratchet Straps Last? – On average depending on the number of times the ratchet straps are used, you can typically expect anywhere from 2 to 4 years. If you are taking proper care of your tie-down straps and following some of our tips to make the straps last longer or rarely use them you can likely expect the straps to even exceed 4 or more years.
Does The Ratchet Strap Half Twist Technique Help Make Ratchet Straps Last Longer? – Although we have not seen any solid proof or testing that shows this as a result we have heard feedback from numerous drivers stating they have noticed this technique may help with straps lasting longer. This is due in part to harmonics that allow wind to more easily flow between the straps and help to reduce the amount of wind that could cause damage to tie downs.
How Often Should You Inspect Ratchet Straps? – We always recommend anyone who is using ratchet straps to inspect the straps before and after every use as you never want to be put into a situation where the straps could potentially fail on you. If the straps have been sitting around for a period of time without use you should still inspect the straps regularly as animals, mice, or other outside factors could damage or weaken the webbing of the ratchet straps.
How Tight Should Ratchet Straps Be When Securing Cargo? – You should always make sure when securing cargo that your straps are firm but avoid over-cranking the ratchet handle as it could cause damage to your strap or to your cargo securement. We normally recommend 1 or 2 clicks of the ratchet after the slack is removed to avoid any potential overtightening or damage to the cargo to occur.
However, this can vary from application to application and the judgment of the users who are operating the ratchet hardware. If you feel unsure or unsafe about the cargo you are securing it is never a bad idea or practice to add another strap to your securement to provide added safety and peace of mind.
How many Ratchet Straps Should I Use to Avoid Dangerous Situations if a Ratchet Strap Fails? – We recommend using at least four straps per securement application to help with weight transfer, a strap failing, and balance while the cargo is in motion going down the road. There is never an issue with using too many ratchet straps but using too few ratchet straps can cause serious problems such as injury, fines, or damaged and destroyed cargo.
Is Ratchet Straps Webbing Waterproof? – No, the polyester webbing that is used to secure cargo with is water resistant as it will dry much quicker but is not fully waterproof. This means that the Ratchet Straps Webbing can still get wet and may absorb water while being outside in the elements.