How strong are your ratchet wheel straps, really?

The AA Extra Long

The other night a fellow who was comparison shopping called me up to ask about ratchet wheel straps. He said that the other ones he was thinking about buying were made out of 12,000 strap material.

"Ask the salesman if they come with tags showing a 4000 LB working load limit," I said.

The industry standard is for these auto tie-down straps to be tagged with the safe working load limit, calculated at a ration of 1:3 of ultimate (breaking strength) of the assembly.

Most of the straps I see on the market are built with a 5000 breaking strength hook, but few of the vendors will point that out to car haulers; they just talk about their 12,000 lb straps.

I've seen a major truck sales company selling basket tie-downs that had absolutely no working load limit tags at all. NADA!

I've seen other companies with phony working load limit tags. (Don't worry, we're putting some of those through a destructive pull-test and will publish the results.)

I've seen other companies selling ratchet straps with huge ratchets-- the kind better suited for tying down loads on a flatbed trailer, where clearance is never an issue.

When you do something day in and day out, you learn all the "tricks of the trades" and you also see people using lame sales tricks like talking about their "12,000" straps, and not mentioning the working load limit of the assembly. This industry needs to start putting safety ahead of profits and explaining to buyers EXACTLY what they're getting, and how long the warranty is on the product. (Not to mention, how long the strap is!)