Page 22 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - December 2021
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Ratchet straps are a vital part of keeping cargo safe, but it is easy to overlook the maintenance of them – which could lead to them failing or needing to be replaced more often. By Dan Parton
n 2019, more than 5,500 incidents were caused by ratchet strap debris on the UK’s roads, according to data
a strap can affect its working load limit and breaking strength, putting both equipment and individuals at risk, so we recommend replacing straps with signs of wear and damage immediately,” he says,
This demonstrates the importance of maintaining ratchet straps properly and taking every precaution to ensure failures do not happen. It also makes financial sense – with margins being squeezed in road transport, operators can ill afford to be replacing equipment such as ratchet straps more regularly than they could be. While any equipment can fail, there are practical steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of it happening.
Prolonging life
“Where possible, care should be taken to prevent straps getting wet,” says Napthine. “Of course, there are times when loads have to be transported
in wet weather and we apply a PVA coating to our heavy-duty straps, which helps to stiffen the webbing and resist water absorption.”
If straps do get wet and don’t have
a protective coating on, then it is recommended that they are thoroughly dried out before being stored to prevent mildew growing on them.
Napthine adds that friction from the strap rubbing against sharp edges or
  from Highways England. In addition, between April 2013 and May 2020 there were some 33,000 reports of ratchet strap debris on UK roads.
While ratchet strap debris on the road can be dangerous, if they fail in transit,
it also can threaten the safety of the driver and other road users if it causes
a load to become unsecured, says Tom Napthine, product development manager at CargoStop. “Any kind of damage to

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