How to Thread a Strap through Ratchet and Cam Buckles
Cargo securement tensioning devices must be used properly in order to secure a load. This starts with threading the straps through the hardware. The hardware selected to secure a load will determine the method used to thread the strap. The most common tensioning devices are ratchet buckles and cam buckles.
A ratchet buckle consists of a rotating gear, a pawl, and a lever, which all function together to provide optimal tension to the tiedown strap. A cam buckle is simpler in design and usage. It uses a small spring within the buckle to provide tensioning along with a set of teeth to keep the strap tensioned.
Ultimately, which tensioning device you choose depends on the type of load you’re transporting. For extra heavy-duty oversized loads, ratchet buckles provide the industrial strength needed to keep cargo firmly secured.
But using that ratchet buckle on a smaller, more lightweight load can be overkill. That’s where cam buckles come into play.
Also, make sure to consider the tensioning devices’ Working Load Limit (WLL) when determining which one to use. Most ratchet buckles have a WLL ranging from 500 to 8,000 lbs. Cam buckles have a lower WLL, ranging from 200 to 835 Lbs.
Cam buckles are usually designed with an all-in-one universal shape that can be used in most situations, making them a more flexible choice. Ratchet buckles, on the other hand, come with different sized handles, such as long and wide, for easier leverage. As they may be used on heavy-duty loads, they can go up to 4 inches in size.
Combining a ratchet buckle or a cam buckle with a length of durable polyester webbing along with a pair of industrial strength end fittings can create the ideal tiedown assembly to keep loads firmly secured and immobile for transport.
How to Thread
Watch the video below for a demonstration on how to thread a strap through different tensioning devices:
No matter which kind of tensioning device or cargo strap you’re using, always start threading with the adjustable end of the strap — the one without an end fitting.
To thread a ratchet, feed the ratchet strap through the top of the ratchet handle through the slot. Next, pull it through and come back out the top of the ratchet. From there, you can pull to adjust the length needed. Once you have the desired length, release the ratchet handle and start ratcheting to tighten the strap.
To thread a two-inch cam buckle, press the release on the cam buckle while simultaneously feeding the cargo strap in through the bottom and out the front of the cam buckle. From there, you can pull to tighten the strap or press the button to release the strap.
To thread a two-inch-over-center buckle, bring the cargo strap in from over the top and then underneath the first bar and around the back roller. Next, go back into the top of the buckle and then again underneath the roller. From there, pull to lengthen or shorten the strap. Once you've got it where you want it, you can lock it and have it secured.
To thread a slide bar adjustable buckle, take the adjustable end of the cargo strap webbing and feed it underneath both bars and come back through the top in between the two adjustable bars. With the tension on there, the webbing should stay in place.