Snapping Straps

Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:45 pm

I was hauling my Super M home the other day. I had 3 Keeper 3" Ratchet straps on it. As I was going down the road I looked back and noticed my straps were loose??? So I pulled off the road and checked things out rather quickly and low and behold it had snapped in two. I had them through the rims and so I looked for sharp edges?? There was but couldn't see how the strap would have snapped from it since it wasn't that bad. So I did a NO NO and tied the two ends together to get me home. Then I started thinking, these straps are 10+ yrs old, I guess it is time to replace them. 2 of the 3 I tossed in the trash. They were old, brittle and stretched to many times. After so long they just need replaced. This is something I had never thought of till now.

These straps have been used a lot and nothing like this has ever happened to me. I own about a dozen straps and after this incedent, I plan to carry newer straps on all tractors and save the older ones for light stuff. It could have been rather scary if I hadn't set the brake and parked it in reverse on the trailor.

I just wanted to share my experience so others can be aware what can happen.

This is a fun hobby, but like anything else, you really can't ignore the little things that help get you there.

Take care

Re: Snapping Straps

Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:07 am


Thanks for the timely reminder to check those straps periodically.


Re: Snapping Straps

Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:06 am

Mine very seldom are around more than 2 or 3 years. They usually get scuffed, or oil and grease on them to the point I don't trust them much longer than that. The cubs I use straps on, but when hauling my H I use chain binders on it. I have loops bolted to the side rails at the front and clevis on the drawbar for the chains.

Re: Snapping Straps

Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:22 pm

Good reminder for all of us. I use 3" ratchet strap binders on my "M", two on the front, two in the middle and two in the rear. I got a set of 4 ratchet chain binders and use them from time to time. I have forged shoulder eye bolts in my front bolster and clutch housing for hook points and hook the rear up on the axle clamps.

Re: Snapping Straps

Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:16 am

As a rigging inspector/instructor on our buoy tenders (Coast Guard heavy lift ships), I am not a fan of flat synthetic webbing. We would often intentionally damage different pieces of rigging gear, take them to a rigging shop, and pull test them to failure. The flat synthetic webbing is extremely susceptible to UV degradation. I forget the numbers, but it was something along the lines of 6 months of sun exposure results in a 45% decrease in tensile strength. If it's not bright and yellow like new, it's been degraded. Also, just the slightest nick in the webbing will render it useless. Putting a 1/16" nick in a 3" wide strap results in the strap failing on a test bed long before it ever reaches its Working Load Limit.

The industry standard, and OSHA requirement, is a visual inspection before EVERY use. Also, a rigging gear's Working Load Limit (WLL) and Breaking Strength are two different items. NEVER exceed the WLL!

Re: Snapping Straps

Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:21 pm

Keeping your straps rolled up and covered(out of the sun)helps a lot.Using pieces cut from an old inner tube or even heavy cardboard to prevent the strap from chafing on sharp edges helps too.

Re: Snapping Straps

Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:23 am

I use straps a lot and I'm very fussy about them. When not in use, they're neatly rolled up and stored in my box on the front of my trailer. To protect them from sharp edges, each strap has one or two short pieces of old fire hose slid onto it. Works great!

Re: Snapping Straps

Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:47 am

I also use straps a lot and I am also fussy about them. Most of them are new. A lot of the straps I have originally came from my brother-in-law cranes though. These are all heavy duty straps (from Hercules) and we always ensure that they have no tears, rips, nicks or other obvious damage to them. Also, when we buy straps we always buy straps that are rated 2-4 x's the expected WLL. Never take a chance on webbing and never rely on breaking strength limit. So, some of my straps are older, but they are always rolled up and stored either in his under bed lock boxes or when I get them in my strap pails with lids. If there is a strap that is suspect, I usually simply save the hook and the ratchet to make other tie-downs. We also use edge protectors - some are plastic, some are lengths of damaged straps that we cut up. Never use web straps on rough edges without protectors.

Only new straps are used to tie down Ellie when transporting. The older straps are used as secondary tie downs and I do not rely on them as primary at all.

Re: Snapping Straps

Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:19 am

Straps are easy to use. But for my 'main' tiedowns I use chains and binders.

I will never forget a friend yanking stumps, with my truck. Started out just trying to get the reciever out of the hitch, but was so successful we pulled a bunch of stumps. 15' chain a 'tree saver' strap.... lessons learned 1) if it doesn't move a lot, go to the next stump and 2) be 16' (or more) away from the chain AND, 3) leave the tailgate up (a 15' chain WILL reach the cab). There is a set of 'chain tracks' on the tailgate and despite all that I still couldn't budge the reciever (got a whole new one on ebay). Oh yeah, number 5 is don't put too much faith in webbed straps.