How To Use Ratchet Straps Like a Pro

Before you use a new ratchet strap for the first time, it is important to make sure that you have assembled it correctly. Please watch this brief video which provides clear instructions for putting your ratchet strap together. Incorrect assembly may result in strap failure and cause personal injury or material damage.

How To Use Ratchet Straps Like a Pro

  • Open the ratchet handle and align the ratchet axle so the open slot is pointing up. This can be accomplished by opening the ratchet handle and ratcheting the axle until the open slot is aligned.
  • Close the ratchet so the axle assembly is easily accessible.
  • Lead the webbing from underneath the ratchet, through the axle, and out the other side.
  • To tighten your ratchet strap, place the hooks into position and pull the loose end of the strap away from the ratchet to remove any slack. Then raise and lower the ratchet handle assembly, and the strap will wrap around the axle and tighten. When the strap is taut, close the ratchet handle completely to lock the strap in place. Do not overtighten! Overtightening can cause irreparable damage to ratchet straps.
  • Lead the webbing from underneath the ratchet, through the axle, and out the other side.
If not treated properly, tie-down straps will wear down over time and eventually stop working. However, with proper care and minimal effort, a well-made ratchet strap should provide you with a lifetime of dependable use.

Tips for Maintaining Your Ratchet Straps

At Discount Ramps, we suggest the following tips for maintaining the strength and reliability of your tie-down straps for peak performance.

  • Before using any ratchet strap, always inspect the webbing and ratchet handle assembly to make sure they are free of damage.
  • 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.
  • If a tie-down strap gets wet or damp during use, allow it to dry thoroughly before storing it away to prevent mildew.
  • Remove the strap’s webbing from the ratchet handle assembly between uses to prevent the strap from wrapping around the ratchet spindle or bunching up within the teeth of the ratchet.
  • After each use, wrap the cargo tie-down webbing around the ratchet and secure it with a rubber band or Velcro strap. Even better, keep all of your ratchet straps stored safely together in a carrying bag.
  • Apply lubricating oil, such as dry silicone spray, to the moving parts of the ratchet handle assembly. WD-40 also works well, but do not get the lubricant on the webbing, as it will attract dirt and eventually cause the strap to bind.
  • Always 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.
At Discount Ramps, we offer a full line of the highest quality ratchet straps and tie downs designed to secure any size load. Whether you’re fixing a motorcycle or ATV to the back of a trailer, transporting a wheelchair inside a van, or hauling a pickup on the back of a semi-trailer, we have the right ratchet strap for the job. If you're not sure which ratchet strap is right for your load, or you have any other questions regarding ratchet straps, please contact our product experts who will be glad to help!