What Is Ratchet? How to Use a Ratchet Strap?

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You might have seen pulleys which holds loaded items up while sliding down and must be wondering how is it even possible, isn’t it? There is a device that keeps pulleys from sliding down and that device is called a ratchet. It is a tool which is specifically designed to allow movement in one particular direction.

Ratchet makes sure that if the direction is clockwise then it goes in the same direction and if counter clockwise then it goes in that direction. As today we are going to talk about using a ratchet strap, here we bring you the detailed information about this.

Ratchet strap is used to secure cargo while on the go or transporting. They are type of fasteners which are used to provide enough support to the different cargo sizes and weights. You might have seen trucks or buses carrying a lot of stuff and everything is secured safely with ratchet straps.

To make an effective use of ratchet straps, you need to thread the strap through the mandrel and crank the ratchet further to tighten it. Press the release tab to release the strap and open the ratchet.

Here’s how to use a ratchet strap:

Thread the strap

Open the ratchet by using the release catch. It is also known as release lever which is kind of a small handle which disengage the ratchet handle. This is located in the centre of the top movable piece of ratchet. Pull the release catch up and flip the ratchet to open fully. You will see spiked wheels are facing upwards when you set the open ratchet on a table.

Use ratchet straps

Now through bottom of the ratchet, thread the strap and the mandrel holds the length of the strap which is located at the bottom of the ratchet. Here threading the strap is required as you get to start from below the ratchet and push up through the mandrel. You will see threaded strap lay straight where the length is overlapping with the second strap on the ratchet’s other side.

Secure your cargo

Now is the time to secure cargo with the strap hooks. It is easy to secure a cargo in a vehicle i.e. truck bed or moving van. Put the cargo wherever you want it to and place the ratchet strap across the cargo.

Hook the ends over the truck bed side or in the van wall. Hook the straps end around the item in order to hold pieces together. To hold large objects together, wrap the strap around them and hook the two ends together to create a large secure loop.

With this technique, you will be able to hold objects but not keep them in place. To do that, you need two ratchet straps, one to secure the objects and another one to wrap and strap them into place.

Now the ratchet has to be tightened by pulling it back and forth until it feels taut around the cargo. Do not over tighten it as too much pressure can damage the ratchet strap. To check, insert your finger between the object and strap, if it fits that means it is fine and if not, it means you have overtightened it.

Next, lock the strap securely and flip the ratchet in the closed position. You will hear it latch when press closed. Now it is all set to hold the cargo securely and if you don’t hear the click sound, tug on and buckle the strap to ensure its secure.

Release the strap

Now release the strap by pulling and holding the release tab. It is located on the top of the ratchet and if not, check the instruction manual to locate where it is. For this, open up the ratchet and pull the strap to loosen. Flip the ratchet so it lays flat and next pull the non-fixed side of the strap.

It releases the strap from the ratchet’s hold and you can remove the strap now. To close the ratchet, pull and hold the release tab. Locate the release tab and hold it while the ratchet is flipped closed. The ratchet will be locked until you want to use it again.

Watch this video below to better understand How to use a Ratchet Strap:

Maintain Ratchet Straps

As you use ratchet straps, it becomes important to manage them as well. Due to lack of maintenance, the straps will wear out and stop working. With proper care, it will be easy to use them for extended period whilst improvising the strength and reliability. Here are few maintenance tips:

  • Check the ratchet handle and webbing to ensure they are not damaged
  • During storage, keep the straps away from sun rays as UV rays can ruin the polyester fibers and also can cause discoloration
  • Before storing the straps, let them dry if they get wet or damp due to the moisture
  • When not in use, keep the straps safe and secure in a carrying bag
  • After each use, check the straps and if there are any sharp edges, use rubber corner strap protectors to maintain the integrity of the straps.


Ratchet straps are quite commonly used to secure cargo and large items for transport. To get best results, it is suggested to follow the right approach. The more you do the better experience you can build.  

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