Ratchet straps (also known as ratchet lashings or tie-downs) are a type of load restraint product that can be used to secure loads for transport. A ratchet strap consists of a ratcheting mechanism and a webbing strap. The straps can be supplied in a variety of different sizes depending on what you're ratcheting down.
Ratchet straps are often used to secure loads that are being transported by trailer, van, lorry or flatbed truck. They are also used to secure cargo shipped by air and sea. The humble ratchet strap is a supremely versatile piece of equipment!
If you want to know more about securing loads, the types of load that have to be secured, and the potential consequences of failing to do so, here's some guidance from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency.
What is minimum breaking strength (MBS)?
Different ratchet straps have different strengths, indicated by the product's minimum breaking strength (MBS). This refers to the amount of weight a ratchet lashing can withstand before it sustains damage or breaks. It is also referred to as the minimum breaking load (MBL).
It's vital to check each ratchet strap's minimum breaking strength when securing a new load; neglecting to do so can create very dangerous situations, potentially causing severe property damage, personal injury, and even loss of life.
What is lashing capacity (LC)?
Lashing capacity (LC) refers to the maximum allowable tension in the ratchet strap. LC is measured in deka-Newtons (daN), and is usually marked on the ratchet strap itself. It's also worth remembering that the lashing capacity is NOT the same thing as the amount of weight that a strap can hold. Here's a good rule of thumb: the maximum load a strap can secure is usually double the lashing capacity. For example, a strap with a LC of 1500 daN can secure a load of 3000kg.
This PDF from Highways England has some useful information about lashing capacity and safely securing loads.
What is standard tension force?
Standard tension force (STF) is another measurement you may find on your lashing strap. STF is the measure of the tension created by your lashing strap when tying down a load. Similar to lashing capacity, standard tension force is also measured in deka-Newtons (daN).
To give you idea of how the standard tension force is applied, a strap with a STF of 2500daN will put 2500kg of force on top of the load it is securing.
If you have any other questions about ratchet straps, feel free to reach and contact the SafetyLiftinGear team today.