A few years ago, I started working at a company that sells safety restraints for baby car seats, school bus seats and large vehicles. At some point, I was given a tour of the product display area where there sat a trailer with ratcheting straps unlike any I had seen before.
I’ve never figured out how to use the old style ratchet straps to secure Johnny to our trailer. I dreaded trying to help Tim with this part of the load/unload process. The typical tie down straps are difficult for me to get started. I always feed the strap into the ratcheting end incorrectly making it near impossible to work correctly. It also takes a long time. We always use 4 tie downs, this process took longer than attaching implements to Johnny and driving him onto the trailer.
So I began to ask questions of employees who had worked at IMMI longer than me. No one really seemed to know if these “CargoBuckles” would hold down a tractor. I wasn’t asking the right people. I should have gone straight to the Sales people or an engineer. This product is typically marketed to the recreational sector – ATV, UTV, and boats. Just Hook, Rachet, and Go is the slogan. I wanted to Hook, Rachet and Go too, but I knew that our tractor was probably heavier than a typical ATV or boat. Of course I told Tim about what I had seen. He looked up the product specifications and features – smart guy right?
- Strap Dimensions: 2″ wide x 6′ long
- Safe working load limit (WLL): 1,167 lbs
- Maximum Load (breaking strength): 3,500 lbs
- Mounting bolt dimensions: 3/8″ diameter x 1-3/4″ long (included)
- Quanity: 2 rachet straps per package
- 1-Year limited warranty
- Heavy-duty, tie-downs
- Self-retracting straps that automatically wind up into built-in housings
- Ratchet mechanism that make it easy to tighten down straps and maintain tension
- Wide, rubber-coated handles
- Dual safety locks ensure each ratchet arm stays in position
- Push-to-release lever quickly and easily loosens straps
- S-hook is vinyl-coated
- Corrosion-resistant steel body
- Sturdy plastic housing with a stainless steel spring
- Engineered in Indiana!
Tim also read reviews about the CargoBuckles and people love them. There was only one complaint -if you leave them out in the elements for a long period of time, the plastic becomes brittle and might break. Also, the metal components begin to rust even though it is corrosion resistant steel body. Overall, these buckles seemed to be the perfect fit to buckle up Johnny for safe travels.
We decided not to mount the CargoBuckles directly to the bed of the trailer due to the rust/wear issue. Instead, we went to Menard’s to purchase shackles and bolts. We actually couldn’t find all the supplies we needed at Menard’s and had to go to Tractor Supply! Tim wanted to reinforce the trailer bed underneath the shackle with a second piece of steel. We found the perfect piece at TSC that already had bolt holes at both ends. To see us drill holes in our new trailer (gasp), mount the shackles and test the CargoBuckles with Johnny, watch our video.
Let’s do the Math
But, are these straps strong enough to keep Johnny from jumping off the trailer at the first attractive looking project he sees? We started by reading this document from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Section 2.1.5 says:
The WLL of all components used to block cargo from forward movement must be 50% (or more) of the weight of the article being blocked.
Each of these straps has a Working Load Limit of 1167lbs. We have two of them on the rear, so a total WLL of 2334lbs. If I’m interpreting this correctly, this means that we could safely (and legally) tie down a 4667lb object. Johnny would weigh ~1450lb (tractor) + ~600lb (FEL) + ~600lb (backhoe) (Total ~2650lb) in his heaviest configuration. So, these straps should be suitable. Whew. No more math! (at least until we get to the finance committee section!)
Loading Johnny has gotten so much easier with the new CargoBuckles. Katriel tried them out for the first time in our video. We didn’t even give her a chance to try it before filming her, which maybe we should have. But, the video shows just how easy they are to use even for a novice. Now, both Katriel and I feel like we can load or unload Johnny without Tim’s assistance! This should make moving Johnny to a project location much faster and efficient.
Finance Committee Approved
I was able to get employee pricing for these buckles but the price on Amazon is very reasonable for the quality and functionality you’ll receive. A pair is around $65 and is available for Amazon Prime-that’s a little over $130 to hold down your compact tractor securely and have ease of loading/unloading. I am sure your finance committee will approve!
If you choose to purchase these, please click use the Amazon links in this post. This shows your appreciation to Tractor Time with Tim while not increasing your cost.