How to Maintain Ratchet Tie-Down Straps

Corner Strap ProtectorLike anything else, tie-down straps can wear down over time if not treated correctly. However, with proper care and minimal effort, a well-made tie-down strap should provide you with a lifetime of dependable use. We at suggest the following tips for maintaining the strength and reliability of your tie-down straps.

  1. Keep your tie-down straps out of the sun during storage. Over time, ultraviolet light can make nylon and polyester fibers brittle, causing them to discolor, break down, and potentially lose strength.
  2. If a tie-down strap gets wet or damp during use, let it dry thoroughly before you store it to prevent mildew.
  3. On a ratchet strap, remove the strap from the ratchet hardware between uses. Otherwise the strap can eventually become thickly wrapped around the ratchet spindle – making the release mechanism unusable – or become bunched up within the teeth of the ratchet. In either case, you’d have to cut the strap in order to free it.
  4. Wrap the cargo tie-down webbing around the ratchet after use, and then hold it together with a rubber band or Velcro strap. It’s also a good idea to keep all of your ratchet straps together in a carrying bag.
  5. Apply lubricating oil such as dry silicone spray to the moving parts of the ratchet. WD-40 works well, but do not get the lubricant on the webbing, as it will attract dirt and eventually cause the strap to bind.
  6. Inspect the tie-down straps after each use. Look for frayed fibers where a sharp edge may have come into contact with the strap. To prevent further damage from corners, use rubber corner strap protectors; they are inexpensive, easy to use, and will help maintain the integrity of your tie-down straps.

To learn more about tie-down straps, see our article on the basics of tie-down straps, and if you have any questions, please contact us.


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