Load Restraint Equipment & Systems
What is a load restraint
A load restraint is a device which securely ties down loads to your vehicle. We have probably all seen vehicles with precariously balanced loads which are not tied down securely. When this happens, is poses a danger to the load, vehicle carrying the load and the driver, not to mention the enormous hazards it puts other drivers under. A lorry which sheds its load over the road has many implications. These scenarios can easily be averted by tying down loads correctly. There are a number of load restraint devices to help to secure your loads correctly, ratchet lashings, simple cam buckle & strap and a variety of different load binders.
Ratchet lashings are a simple piece of load restraint kit, and always useful to have in your vehicle for securing loads, as are the more simple, web strap and cam buckle arrangements. A ratchet lashing is simply a piece of flat webbing with a ratchet buckle mechanism.
Simple straps with cam buckles are available in numerous safe working loads usually coming in 2 pieces with the can buckle fixed to one. They can be wrapped completely around or just over the load the ends are then secured to the vehicles anchor points often via their end hooks the loose end is then passed through the cam buckle and pulled tight, the tension on the cam will hold the webbing strap securely in place. There are many types of fixings for securing the ends of the webbing to the vehicle, they include crab hooks, claw hooks and snap hooks.
Ratchet lashings are even more robust, secure and often easier to tension down due to the ratchet mechanism. Ratchet lashings/straps are used more or less in the same way as a strap and cam buckle, however with the ratchet mechanism, the loose end is threaded through the take-up spool/drum on the ratchet mechanism, pulling it through until most of the slack is taken up and you can just get your fist under, then you just need to crank the handle up and down to pull through and tighten/tension the strap, and subsequently the load. This is much easier than just using sheer muscle like with the simple strap and cam buckle arrangement, it is also muck more likely to get a tighter strap and so a more secure load.
There are two main types of load binders, lever and ratchet. They will essentially achieve the same results as other ratchet lashings/straps, however they are designed to be used with chains, not webbing straps. This makes them ideal for loads with sharp or abrasive edges that could easily damage or cut through webbing.
Load binders are made from steel and so very robust, they also have 2 connecting/grab hooks for securing to the chains. The difference between a lever load binder and a ratchet load binder is the method which is used to tighten the chain.
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