It’s a tow truck driver’s nightmare to find out that the car he is towing has been damaged simply because of a bump or pothole on the road. There are many factors that could affect the success and safety of the towing service. One of them is the towing accessories you use.
One of the important towing accessories that you should get to know more about is the tie-down straps. What do you know about the tie-down straps you use? Do you just use them because they are the ones available?
There are different types of tie-down straps. They are designed to fit or attach to the tires differently. Additionally, they are also rated according to working load limits. For today, we’ll take a look at the options available and which one would be best suited for your needs.
Tire Strap Materials
The most common material used for hauler straps is polyester webbing. That’s because it is durable, resistant to cuts and abrasions, and water simply slides off of it. Although it doesn’t stretch too much, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t stretch at all.
While in use, the polyester webbing can stretch to about 3%. That seems to be low but that doesn’t mean you have to be complacent. You have to check and recheck the tie-down straps before you use them to avoid them from snapping.
The number of tie-down straps used for cargo will depend on the weight and size of the cargo. For cars, you’d need one tie-down strap for each tire to make sure that it is stable and secure during towing.
Car Tie-Down Straps Types
This list may not contain all the different types of car tie-down straps. However, the ones listed here are the most commonly available and commonly used.
These are also known as tow dolly wheel straps and they are adjustable to fit the tires. Although they are adjustable, they still provide a secure fit and can hold the wheels snug so that it doesn’t slide.
This is the most common tie-down strap that you’ll see. With these straps, there are two anchor points. This type is only compatible with towing beds that have floor anchor points. If the trailer bed doesn’t have the floor anchor points, e-tracks can be used as a substitute.
Another way to use tie-down straps to secure the car is to attach them to the front and rear axles by using the axle straps. There are various lengths available for this kind of tie-down strap. By using this strap, you are securing the vehicle at its strongest points. This will also require hooks and mountain rings that are connected to e-track rails to make sure the vehicle doesn’t roll, come loose or shift. Snap hooks are also connected to them so they can further be tightened with ratchets.
Tips In Using Tie Down Straps For Cars
Whether you’re already an experienced car tow truck driver or just a beginner, it is worth refreshing your memory on some of the best ways to use the car tie-down straps.
- First of all, car tie-down straps are manufactured specifically to keep the car secured on the trailer beds. Substituting it with non-tire straps, tow ropes or chains may be tempting but shouldn’t be done. For the car’s safety, you shouldn’t substitute the tie-down straps for anything else.
- The car you are towing should be centered and leveled when loaded onto the trailer. You should also be using four tie-down straps, one for each wheel and attached to four different anchor points. This helps make sure that the car is still balanced and wouldn’t shift even through hard brakes or sharp turns. Remember to keep the weight evenly distributed among the car tie-down straps too.
- Wool sleeve protectors or rags can be used to help protect the wheel rims of the vehicles from being scratched through transport. It’s a simple yet useful trick to keep your clients happy and satisfied with the towing service provided.
- A thorough inspection of the tie-down and hauling equipment should be done before use. Look out for mold, cuts, or signs of stretching on the webbing. Check the metal ratchets and hooks for any defects as well. If you find any damages or risks, it would be best to replace them the moment you find them.