How to Use A Ratchet Strap: 4 Easy Steps

Ratchet straps lock your cargo into place for worry-free, dependable hauling. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to thread, tighten, and release a ratchet strap.

(Click here for the PDF version of this guide.)

Step 1: Thread Strap

Press on the release latch and open the lever fully to expose the axle slot. If the axle slot is not facing upwards, pump the ratchet a few times until it is.

Thread the feed end of the strap through the slot from the bottom.

Pull the strap through to the front about 5 or 6 inches and slip under the ratchet mechanism.

Ratchet 2 or 3 times so that the ratchet mechanism gets a light grip on the feed end.

Step 2: Attach Hooks and Eliminate Slack

Insert the S-hooks into the anchor points. Pull on the loose end until you’ve removed all the slack.

Step 3: Ratchet Tight

Once you’ve removed the slack, pump the lever until the strap is taut. You should see the webbing winding around the axle.

Do not overtighten. If you can’t fit your finger between the ratchet and the cargo, you’ve probably ratcheted it too tight.

Step 4: Lock into Place

Once you’ve tightened the strap, bring the ratchet to a completely closed position. This will lock the strap into place.

Fold the excess webbing and tuck it under the strap. This will prevent it from getting underfoot or causing damage during transit.

How to Loosen the Ratchet Strap

To undo the strap, press on the release latch while opening the ratchet lever completely flat past the 180 position. Grab the webbing from the adjustable side and pull it towards you to get slack.

How to Store the Ratchet Strap

Be sure that the straps are completely dry before storing. Consider storing your straps in an E-Track bag or toolbox to keep them accessible and safe.

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