The Ultimate Guide on Ratchet Straps with Step by Step Instructions

Published on 09/01/22

How to tighten a ratchet strap gif

How to Tighten A Ratchet Strap Instructions

1). From the bottom of the ratchet hardware thread the webbing through the center spool and pull the webbing through.
2). Next, begin to pull the excess slack of the strap but leave enough webbing to tighten the ratchet mechanism back and forth 3-4 times to tighten.
3). Make sure that the ratchet handle is completely down and begin ratcheting. Remember to tighten the webbing snugly but be careful of over-tightening as it can cause potential damage. 3-4 clicks after removing the excess slack are more than enough typically. Make sure to check out our video instructions on how to use a ratchet strap below.

If the ratchet is partially or not completely closed it can be unintentionally released.

How to Release A Ratchet Strap Instructions

1). Begin releasing the ratchet strap by pulling up on the release mechanism and opening the ratchet handle until the ratchet is completely open and laying flat.
2). Next, pull the webbing out of the ratchet mandril hardware.
3). The strap is now fully released and should be stored for the next use in an area protected from sunlight, reduced moisture, and any potentially sharp edges that could damage the webbing from cuts or burns.

The Different Sizes of Ratchet Straps

1-inch Ratchet Straps – 1-inch Ratchet Straps are one inch wide and are used for around-the-house securement applications, in the bed of pickup trucks, utility trailers, motorcycle securement, ATV securement, and light-duty cargo securement. These straps feature several different types of webbing options such as our lighter-duty 1,500 lbs breaking strength, our standard-duty 3,000 lbs breaking strength, and our heaviest-duty 1-inch webbing in the industry featuring a 6,600 lbs breaking strength.

2-inch Ratchet Straps – 2-inch Ratchet Straps use two-inch wide tie-down webbing and are used for securing anything from Motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, Automotive vehicles, Utility Trailers, Moving Vans, Dry Vans, and endless other cargo securement applications. Two-inch ratchet straps are the most commonly used size of ratchet straps for different securement applications. There are several different strengths of 2-inch webbing such as 6,000 lbs breaking strength, 10,000 lbs breaking strength, and 12,000 lbs breaking strength which is our heaviest duty 2-inch webbing.

3-inch Ratchet Straps – 3-inch Ratchet Straps use three-inch wide tie-down webbing that is designed for use with securing cargo on flatbed trailers. These ratchet straps are extremely heavy-duty and should never be used for securing the around-the-house type of securement applications as the ratchet hardware alone weighs over 8 lbs. Our 3-inch Ratchet Straps make for a great alternative to flatbed winch straps and are made to be extremely strong and yet durable for some of the heaviest loads on the roadways.

4-inch Ratchet Straps – 4-inch Ratchet Straps are made by using our 4-inch polyester tie-down webbing and 4-inch ratchet hardware that is used for securing some of the heaviest loads that are being transported on the roadways. The Ratchet Hardware alone on this strap weighs over 8 lbs and should never be used for any around-the-house, pickup truck, or personal cargo securement applications. These straps are designed to transport oversized machinery, farm equipment, metal racks, and other extremely heavy, oddly shaped, and hard-to-secure items on flatbed trailers.

Build your own ratchet strap customization options

The Different Customization Options for Ratchet Straps

When it comes to customization options for Ratchet Straps the options are nearly unlimited to make the perfect strap for almost any customization need. Lodi Metals is one of the leading manufacturers of Ratchet Straps in the United States and makes a majority of our ratchet straps to order in-house.

Before creating the custom strap that fits your cargo securement application needs best you will need a rough idea of a safe working load limit and the length of the strap that you will need for securing a single application or various different applications depending on your cargo control needs.

Some of our customization options include:

Ratchet Hardware – Ratchet Straps start off by finding the ratchet hardware of choice that fits your application needs best. This can vary depending on the weather you are traveling in and the time of year. For example, someone who is in a climate that receives a lot of rainfall, or snow throughout the year may opt-in for ratchet hardware with a rubber grip in order to have added grip when tightening the straps. We also have options such as a wide handle, different colors of ratchet hardware, and different strengths to accommodate almost any application need.

Tie Down Webbing – After selecting a Ratchet Hardware of choice it’s time to find the tie-down webbing that helps you reach the selected target working load limit and length. First, you will want to decide if you need a 1-inch, 2 inches, 3-inch, or 4-inch wide webbing. Once you have determined the length of strap that you need and the working load limit it’s time to determine if you need light-duty, standard-duty, or heavy-duty webbing for your strap. This is also the time to decide the color choice of the webbing.

If you are someone who secures a wide range of cargo with various weights or someone who secures cargo often you will likely want to opt for a webbing blend that is designed to be more durable such as our heavier-duty blends. This is due to when ratchet straps tend to fail the weakest point of the strap in terms of durability is almost always the webbing becomes damaged before the hardware. You may also want to consider using corner protectors that help improve the product’s life span of ratchet straps as it creates a protective barrier between the strap and potentially sharp edges or corners.

One of the best ways to find the length of webbing that you need to secure your application would be to take a piece of yarn or string and measure point to point or around the object you are securing to the securement point. As all cargo control applications can vary greatly this can be different from application to application for lengths of webbing that are required. Once you have a rough idea of the length of webbing that you will need to secure the cargo you can cut the piece of yarn and use a tape measure to get an exact measurement.

End Fitting – After selecting the ratchet hardware and the tie-down webbing strength and length it is time to find the end fitting of choice that fits your application best. Choose between options such as endless loop, e-track fittings, flat hooks, wire hooks, chain and hook, s hooks, and many more.

Branding – At Lodi Metals we also have the ability to print company names on webbing to help your straps stand out with your company name, location name the straps are going to, team names, and many more branding options. If you are interested in learning more about our stenciling and printing capabilities please give our sales team a call at 800-807-5634 or by using our online contact us form. We look forward to helping you create the custom strap that fits your securement and business needs.

Shop Popular Ratchet Straps and Accessories


Webbing 12,000 lbs BS
Assembly 3,335 lbs WLL


4 Axle, 4 Ratchet Straps
Assembly 3,335 lbs WLL


Webbing 12,000 lbs Breaking Strength
Assembly 3,335 lbs Working Load Limit


Webbing 3,000 lbs BS
Assembly 500 lbs WLL


Webbing 3,000 lbs BS


Wire Hooks 5,000 lbs BS
Assembly 1,466 lbs WLL


Webbing 12,000 lbs BS
Assembly 3,335 lbs WLL


Webbing 12,000 lbs BS
Assembly 3,335 lbs WLL


Flat Hook 16,200 lbs BS
Assembly 5,400 lbs WLL

wheel net ratchet strap in use securing a diesel truck

Frequently Asked Ratchet Strap Questions

How Often Should you Inspect your Ratchet Straps? – You should always inspect your ratchet straps before and after every use to help ensure that the straps you are using are safe to use for your cargo securement.

How Many Ratchet Straps Should I use? – We often recommend using enough ratchet straps to provide the ultimate levels of safety if one of the straps fails. You should also always follow the Working Load Limits of your straps and never exceed your straps with the weight of your cargo. By exceeding the strap’s safe working load limit you are at risk of having the straps fail as well as causing potential damage to your cargo or other motorists on the roadway.

Does the Ratchet Hardware Make a Difference? – The type of Ratchet you choose to use on your straps no matter if the straps are 1 inch wide or 2 inches wide are relatively the same working load limits. The ratchet hardware options offered are more along the lines of most ratchet straps based on personal preference for your securement applications.

If you are opting for a heavier-duty strap the ratchet hardware may be stronger and more heavy-duty and offer potentially higher working load limits. We strongly urge customers who are in areas of extreme moisture from rainfall, fog, extreme snow, or icy conditions to opt for our rubber handle ratchet hardware as it provides a grip where the grip may otherwise be more limited.

How Should you Store Ratchet Straps Between Uses? – When it comes to storing ratchet straps in between uses you should always make sure the location you are storing the straps is moisture free, away from direct sunlight, and not have any items near the straps that have sharp edges as it could cause damage to the webbing to cause the straps to need to be repaired or replaced. Remember to also inspect your ratchet straps frequently to make sure that the straps you are using for your cargo securement are safe to use.

What should you look for when Purchasing Ratchet Straps? – When purchasing Ratchet Straps you always want to ensure that the straps you are purchasing are from a reputable company. You also want to make sure the tie-down straps you are purchasing are safe to use and include an easily readable working load limit tag on the strap itself. Straps sold without a working load limit tag can be extremely unsafe and even illegal in many different states. Remember to read all of the Department of Transportation’s general guidelines for your state regarding ratchet straps.

securing a motorcycle to a trailer using a ratchet strap

How do you Tie Down a Motorcycle with Ratchet Straps? – The best way to tie down a motorcycle with ratchet straps is by using our 1-inch Ratchet Strap and Handlebar Strap SET that is designed to be an easy way to secure a motorcycle including 4 pieces of our 1-inch ratchet straps with s hooks and 4 pieces of our 1” soft loop handlebar straps to create a four-point securement on your motorcycle within minutes to prevent against load shifts.

Can you use a Ratchet Strap as a Slackline? – Yes, we have many customers who use our endless loop ratchet straps as slacklines. We make a majority of our tie-down straps in-house so we have the custom capabilities to make just about any kind of ratchet strap that fits your slackline needs best with custom lengths of webbing, and colors of webbing, as well as different strengths.

Can you use Ratchet Straps to Tie Down a Kayak? we have had great feedback from customers using our endless loop ratchet straps on their roof racks of the vehicle to secure kayaks. We recommend using our heavy-duty 1-inch tie-down webbing ratchet straps as they provide extreme amounts of strength and durability for their size. You can also take a look at our Stainless Steel Ratchet Hardware options for those who are kayaking in salt-water applications to help make sure your straps last even longer.

Can you use Ratchet Straps as a Tow Strap? – No, you should never use a ratchet strap that is designed for cargo securement applications as a tow strap as the little stretching from the ratchet straps webbing may cause damage to your vehicle. Tow straps are designed with a webbing blend that stretches to reduce the number of forces off of your vehicle and into the strap itself. We have a full selection of different tow straps you can view by clicking HERE.

Can I use a Ratchet Strap without a Working Load Limit Tag? – No, any ratchet strap that does not have a visible working load limit is deemed unusable and should never be used as it is against the law in many different states across the United States and can cause fines and penalties for doing such by the Department of Transportation if you are caught. Tie Down Straps that do not have a working load limit tag are unsafe to use as you are unable to know the limitations of your tie-down straps and could put other motorists at risk by securing cargo that is much heavier than the straps are rated for.