Page 23 - Commercial Vehicle Engineer - December 2021
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other objects during use causing wear or damage should also be avoided.
Another way to prevent damage to straps is to stow them away neatly when not in use, after hosing them down with clean water to remove any dirt and then hanging them up to dry, says Napthine. “These actions will help to ensure the webbing remains clean, dry and safe
from accidental damage,” he adds. “The longevity of the webbing can also be increased by using things like wear sleeves and edge protectors to reduce friction and protect against sharp edges.”
Napthine adds that when not in use, straps should be rolled up and placed in storage secured with a rubber band or
zip tie, which will help to prolong their life, and, ideally, stored in a carrying
bag. There are also products available
to wind straps up, so they are ready for storage and to prevent multiple straps from getting tangled together. There are also various storage solutions that can be lashed down to a truck while it is in transit to keep them safe.
Ratchet straps should also be stored out of direct sunlight as, over time, ultraviolet light can make the nylon and polyester fibres they are made from brittle, which can cause them to discolour, break down, and potentially lose strength, according to Ratchet Straps UK.
It is also important to maintain the moving parts of ratchet straps, Napthine adds. “Steel sprockets and other moving parts will benefit from an occasional application of WD40 or other lubrication,” he says. “This will help to maintain
a smooth ratchet action and act as
a rust inhibitor.”
CargoStop produces a range of heavy- duty ratchet straps that fully conform
to or exceed the requirements of the BS-EN12195-2:2001 standard in all areas. They include double sprockets, which make for a solid, more durable ratchet with a smoother action and an EN Stitch pattern – side-to-side stitching resists stitch failure which can lead to frayed webbing. They also include textured tear resistant vinyl labels, which keep the strap compliant with regulations at all times.
Driver responsibility
It should be remembered that operators and drivers are responsible for securing a load and should be aware of what to look for. “Companies should replace all straps regularly and provide training
to all drivers on strap maintenance in some form,” says Napthine. “Vehicles should ideally be fitted with a safe storage area for straps and other load restraint equipment.”
Napthine adds that CargoStop recommend that every time a ratchet strap is used it should be inspected for damage. “Straps must be discarded if they show signs of tearing, cuts or abrasions,” he
“Straps must be discarded if they show signs of tearing, cuts or abrasions”
says. “A ratchet strap where the webbing
is knotted, or the strap has been cut or broken and then tied back together should also be disposed of as this will seriously affect the strength of the webbing. The blue labels sewn into both the ratchet and tail ends of the strap must be intact and legible for the strap to legally comply with the EN 12195-2:2001 legislation.”

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