Most pickup trucks haul cargo. Be it building supplies, lumber or anything else, this cargo should be secured properly. This is because one of the primary causes of truck accidents is improperly loaded cargo.
Keeping in mind the catastrophic nature of truck accidents, it is always important to follow the correct measures in order to prevent those at all costs. To secure the load well, you should invest in suitable tie-downs for your truck.
Some of the common tie-downs for trucks include rope, ratchet, bungee cords, cargo netting and so on. Each of these has specific benefits. While buying tie-downs for your truck, you should be very careful to identify the superior ones from among the options. Following are a few things that you need to consider while buying tie-downs for your truck.
Before selecting a tie-down strap, it is important to consider its strength and durability. For example, while ropes are quite common and inexpensive tie-downs available, these can turn out to be insufficient for securing the cargo well compared to a ratchet strap. That being said, depending upon the usage, ropes can be quite durable.
You would need to weigh out the pros and cons in terms of strength and durability before deciding which tie-down to buy. Also, always buy stainless steel accessories for your truck. Since these are exposed to various kinds of weather conditions, they are prone to wear and tear and stainless steel will last long.
Every truck tie-down has a maximum capacity rating. Before buying a tie-down, it is important to have an idea about the maximum load that your truck will carry. Based on this, you can choose a tie-down that is appropriate for your cargo.
Additionally, the anchor point rating should be three times the weight of the cargo. Also, the working load limit of a tie-down should be one-third of the capacity rating. The weight of the load should always be kept below the working load limit. It is advisable to look for a tie-down that is reliable and safe in terms of capacity.
Ease of Installation
One of the primary things to consider while buying a tie-down for trucks is how easily and quickly you can install it. Usually, installation of tie-downs involves drilling holes in the metal body of the truck in order to bolt the anchors on the truck beds. The downside to this is, rust can form around the edge of the hole, thus compromising its efficiency.
However, you can employ another method of installation that does not involve drilling. With this method, anchors can be secured through the stake pockets positioned on the sides of the truck bed. While this can be a safe option, it also enables you to remove the anchors easily.
Types of Tie-Downs
You should have a complete idea about the types of tie-downs available before making a purchasing decision. The common ones include the following:
- Ratchet straps have a hook on one end. The other end has a lever mechanism along with a hook. The lever and spool mechanism allows you to tighten and loosen the strap according to the requirement.
- Rope is the most common and inexpensive tie-down for trucks. The downside to using a rope as tie-downs is that it tends to become loose and can also be quite difficult to tie in cold weather conditions.
- You can use tarps to not only secure the cargo properly in your truck but also keep it dry. Tarps are available in a variety of sizes and materials. You can use bungee cords along with tarps to ensure that the cargo is held properly. While buying, ensure to get the right size.
- A stretchy and elastic cargo netting can be a very useful option when it comes to selecting tie-downs. These can hold the cargo snugly and keep it from falling off. These can be used along with tarps.
Each of these has several pros and cons depending on the type, size and weight of cargo you are hauling.
Apart from the tie-down components, tie-down systems comprise anchors and tightening components as well. While buying a tie-down for your truck, you should take into consideration, the specifications of each of these and ensure that they meet your requirements. An educated purchase decision can go a long way in preventing accidents.
Contributed by: www.texas-truckaccidentlawyer.com