When to Use Ratchet and Cam Buckle Straps Effectively

Published on 01/30/24

1inch Purple Cam Buckle Strap with S Hooks  Ratchet Straps USA

What are Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps used for?

Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps are both commonly used to secure cargo ranging from securement applications around the house, in pickup truck beds, moving vans, or for heavy-hauling for professional truckers. While both are used for cargo control purposes they are made for vastly different cargo control applications. Let’s begin with when to use Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps effectively.

1inch Purple Endless Loop Ratchet Strap  Ratchet Straps USA

The Benefits of Using Ratchet Straps

One of the main benefits of using Ratchet Straps is the design of the ratchet hardware flows in one direction. This allows the straps to only become tighter and remove excess tie-down webbing with every click of the ratchet hardware. One secured ratchet can hold the cargo in place throughout transportation with a breeze until you reach the next destination safely and are ready to unload.

Ratchet Straps come in four main sizes ranging from 1 to 4 inches wide. The general rule of thumb is the wider the polyester tie-down webbing is used the heavier-duty the ratchet strap is. This rule applies to the ratchet hardware paired with the tie-down webbing. Depending on the combination of the ratchet strap the safe assembly working load limit can range from 500 lbs WLL for 1-inch straps to upwards of 5,670 lbs WLL per strap.

Ratchet Straps are extremely rigid and work best with applications where safety is a must such as securing vehicles, motorcycles, ATVS, UTVS, pallets of cargo, or hefty cargo. Another benefit of using ratchet straps is various end-fitting hardware options ranging from s-hooks, wire hooks, endless loops, flat hooks, safety latch s-hooks, e-track fittings, and many more.

We also have an extensive range of colors of polyester tie-down webbing that fits you best. No matter if you are choosing your favorite color, a color that others don’t have to ensure you know where your straps are, or to match with your sweet ride we have the color selections to fit everyone. Here at Ratchet Straps USA, we manufacture ratchet straps and cam buckle straps in-house and can custom-make them in any tie-down webbing needed to fit your exact securement needs.

Ratchet Straps In Use on Flatbed Trailer  Ratchet Straps USA

Most Common Uses for Ratchet Straps:
• Pickup Truck Beds
• Moving Vans
• Dry Van Trailers / Reefer Trailers
• Utility Trailers
• Automotive Car Haulers
ATV/UTV Securement
• Motorcycle Securement
• Kayaks
• Bicycles
• Box Trucks
• Palletized Cargo
• Machinery
• Lawn Equipment
• Farm Equipment

Different Customization Options for Ratchet Straps

The Benefits of Using Cam Buckle Straps

A few of the major benefits of using cam buckle straps is that the straps are tightened into place by using hand strength vs using ratchet hardware that poses a risk of overtightening. When overtightened tie-down straps can cause dings or damage to your cargo if you are not careful and in some circumstances damage the cargo beyond repair. This causes lost time, damage claims, and often very upset customers.

Cam Buckle hardware is made from a metal construction and has teeth on one side of the inner surface that grip onto the tie-down webbing and hold the webbing in place without the risk of it coming undone due to the lever design inside of the cam buckle. As they are tightened by hand strength the risk of damaging cargo when tightening the cargo is minimal.

Cam Buckle Straps are commonly paired with either 1-inch or 2-inch polyester tie-down webbing and come in various breaking strengths and working load limit ratings ranging from 183 lbs safe assembly working load limit rating to 915 lbs safe working load limit rating for 2-inch heavy-duty cam buckle straps. As both of the straps are made with the same types of tie-down webbing the color options for either strap are nearly endless and can both be made to custom lengths that your cargo securement needs require.

2inch Cam Buckle E Track Straps for Dry Vans or Enclosed Trailers  Ratchet Straps USA

Most Common Uses for Cam Buckle Straps
• Moving Vans
• Utility Trailers
• Pickup Truck Beds
• Motorcycle Securement Applications
• Kayak Securement Applications
• Bicycle Securement Applications
• Transporting Antiques
• Moving Sensitive Wooden Furniture & Cabinetry
• Moving Glass Surfaces

Nissan GTR attached to car hauler with ratchet straps

When to Use Ratchet and Cam Buckle Straps

Cam Buckles are ideal for quick and easy securement applications that are normally lighter in physical weight. If you have oversized cargo or need a higher working load limit rating to secure your cargo safely, you should go with the ratchet hardware. Another reason to use cam buckle hardware is if you are limited on space as they take a minimal amount of space to tighten or release the cargo once it arrives. Cam buckle straps are also ideal when it comes to DIY projects or securement applications around the house.

When price comparing the two straps as they are made from the same polyester tie-down webbing the durability is around the same expectancy as tie-down webbing is typically the first piece of the strap to become damaged. Cam Buckles tend to use fewer metal materials for construction so they tend to be more affordable in smaller quantities but may be comparable in large quantities depending on the number of pieces.

Ratchet Straps on the other hand are ideal for heavier or oversized loads that require higher levels of safety such as professional haulers, commercial applications, ATV/UTV securement, securing vehicles, and more. Ratchet hardware may be more secure and provide higher levels of safety for harder-to-secure loads but is less forgiving as the metal hardware is a lot more rigid.

You can view our full blog post of The Differences Between Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps for the full break down to decide which strap works best for your securement application need.

If you have any questions about deciding which strap works best for you can reach our tie-down strap experts by giving us a call at 800-483-2189 or by using our online contact us form located at the top of the website. Our experts are standing by and willing to lend a helping hand to help with pricing, further information, or a quote delivered to your doorstep.

Slackline Set for Pros

The Cost Differences Between Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps

When it comes to purchasing either 1-inch or 2-inch ratchet straps or cam buckle straps the price tends to be very close depending on the configuration you are looking for. Cam Buckle Straps tend to be slightly cheaper as they use less metal materials to tighten the straps into place compared to ratchet hardware which tends to be more bulky.

Another reason that ratchet straps tend to be slightly more expensive is due to the heavier-duty working load limits which cause the need for more tie-down webbing to secure the cargo safely when paired with heavy-duty ratchet hardware and heavy-duty end-fitting hardware. 2-inch Cam Buckle straps for example may have the highest working load limit per strap at 915 lbs, whereas the 2-inch heavy-duty ratchet might be at 3,335 lbs safe working load limit rating per strap.

One of the things to consider when determining which tie-down strap is ideal for your securement application is the weight of your cargo. If your cargo is not extremely heavy-duty you can likely get away with using cam buckle straps, but if the weight of your cargo is extremely heavy-duty, oddly shaped, or at higher risk of coming undone or falling off the trailer you want to ensure that you use ratchet straps.

Tree Stand Ratchet Straps  RatchetStrapsUSA

Frequently Asked Ratchet Strap and Cam Buckle Strap Questions

Are Cam Buckle Straps or Ratchet Straps More Popular? – Ratchet Straps are by far the most popular tie-down strap between these two options. One of the main reasons that ratchet hardware is more popular is they have been tried and tested throughout decades in the cargo control industry. Cam Buckle Straps on the other hand are newer in terms of product age and thus fewer people know about them and the benefits of using them.

What are the Best Maintenance Tips for Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps? – One effective maintenance tip for both types of straps involves the application of lubricants like WD-40 or silicone spray. Regularly lubricating the metal hardware ensures smooth movement and helps prevent corrosion or rusting over time, thanks to the protective film created by the residual oil inside the sprays

Do 3-inch and 4-inch Cam Buckle Straps Exist? – No, the largest size of cam buckle straps is 2-inch cam buckle straps because they are tightened by hand strength. 3-inch and 4-inch straps tend to have a higher working load limit rating and would be unsafe to attempt to tighten into place by using hand strength or once secured relying on the cam buckle hardware teeth to hold it in place.