Cheap and easy to install-these are the two reasons why tie downs are the preferred choice when securing cargo. Tie downs have different load ratings, and that's something you have to consider before you make a purchase. If you're not sure in the kind of tie down that you want to install in your vehicle, you better read this guide so you can make an informed decision.
Types of tie downs available on the market
- Bungee cords- For lightweight applications such as holding down tarps, trimmers, and rakes, bungee cords are the perfect tie downs that you can use. Bungee cords have a hook on each end, allowing them to safely secure cargo. To make sure that a bungee cord is in good condition, always check for frays and wear.
- Cam straps- These tie downs come with a cam device that keeps the strap tight and secure. The straps used are usually made of nylon, making them perfect for hauling lightweight cargo such as lumber, ladders, lawn mowers, grills, and even furniture.
- Ratchet straps- These tie downs are quite popular because they're available in different sizes, lengths, and load ratings. Since the straps are equipped with hooks, there's no need to tie them anymore. Because of the ratcheting mechanism of ratchet straps, they exert more down force compared to cam straps. The problem with ratchet straps is that they're prone to jamming, especially when the strap ends up being caught in the ratchet.
- Elastic cargo netting- This tie down is a good option if you're looking for a way to secure cargo of different shapes and sizes. Elastic cargo netting is affordable, and it can last for a long time if stored properly. Unlike other tie downs, the elastic cargo netting isn't capable of carrying heavy loads.
- Web netting- Unlike the elastic cargo netting, the web netting is able to keep heavy loads inside a truck bed. Aside from that, it's available in different shapes, sizes, and load ratings. Before buying a web netting, you have to consider that it's more expensive compared to other tie down products.
Understanding rated capacity and working load limit
Every tie down is rated based on its rated capacity and working load limit. For example, if a tie down has a rated capacity of 12,000 lbs., it doesn't mean that it can actually handle that much weight. If you want to know how much weight a tie down can actually hold, you have to derive the working load limit. To do that, multiply the rated capacity by 1/3 (in this case 12,000 lbs.) and you'll get a working load limit of 4,000 lbs. This only means that you shouldn't try to load a cargo to a tie down, if it would exceed its working load limit.