There is a reason the trucking world moved away from rope: liability. Ratchet straps are so much more secure and reliable. You are responsible for your load, so take a few minutes to learn how to use a ratchet strap and you will happy you did.
Good ratchet straps not only keep your load secure, they also let you drive a little more relaxed. If your straps did break and your load flew off, you are responsible. It’s not just your UTV or mattress you lost, you may have also caused an accident and that would also be your fault for failing to secure your load.
Ratchet straps are easy to use once you have used them a few times and understand how to load them. They don’t require a lot of effort to tighten or release them once you arrive. The key to any ratchet strap is to use the right size for you load.
All ratchet straps are load rated. You wouldn’t use a 1” ratchet version rated out 300 lbs working load limit to secure a UTV, but you would to hold a refrigerator in the back of a truck.
The Department of Transportation has a rule that you take the actual breaking strength of your ratchet strap and divide that number by 3 to get the Working Load Limit of a strap. This gives the user a safety factor so they know how much a ratchet strap can support.
The working load limit is also called the WLL and is typically on a tag sewn into the ratchet strap. On the larger ratchet straps, it is sometimes written right on the webbing every few feet. In Canada, the ratchet must also have the working load limit stamped on one side of the ratchet.
You have probably used ratchet straps without even realizing it, as they are a common part of many different types of cargo transportation jobs. Those who frequently transport big pieces of restaurant equipment, home appliances, furniture items or office supplies, often find themselves needing heavy duty solutions for keeping items from shuffling around during transport.
Remember it only takes someone cutting you off and slamming on your brakes for your load to shift. Well placed, high quality ratchet straps will keep your load right where you put it.