What are Lashing Bands?
All That You Wanted To Know About Lashing Bands
The industrial lifting equipment industry is worth billions of dollars, ranging from mighty cranes to simple tie-down hardware like wire ropes and hooks. Industrial material handling categories is so diverse that it could be overwhelming to stay updated with the latest offerings. When it comes to essential tie-down equipment, Lashing Bands are often underrated. Load securing during hauling or shipping is impossible to imagine without Lashing Bands. Lashing Bands or ratchet straps are used to tie down or hold equipment or cargo while it is being transported. They’re also called tie-down straps or lashing belts. A Lashing Band is extremely strong, has high tensile strength, and is durable.
Different Types Of Lashing Bands
Lashing Bands are usually made from polyester fabric. These are strong, do not stretch as much, and are important when holding down large equipment or cargo. Since they do not absorb moisture, polyester–made lashing belts aren’t prone to mould and mildew. They can reasonably withstand UV rays and do not shrink as well. If your load is prone to expand or settle while being shipped, polyester Lashing Bands are ideal. Some manufacturers customise Lashing Bands to match a customer’s specifications. For example, nylon-made Lashing Bands are ideal for loads that need a slight stretch. You can choose from lightweight belts to hold weights up to 3000 kg or buy heavier Lashing Bands to tie down cargo up to 10,000 kg. Steel straps are used for equipment with sharp edges and materials that don’t settle. They can carry the heaviest load without breaking even when carried over long distances.
How To Use Lashing Bands
Before using a Lashing Band, it is important to know its break strength and working load limit. All lashing bands come with information about break strength and WLL.
What is Break Strength?
As the name suggests, it refers to the point at which any strap will fail because it cannot bear any more strength or breaks. This is used to make sure that the ratchet strap is safe for use. The weakest point of the strap usually determines this. For instance, a ratchet strap with a break strength of 10,000 pounds assumes that all its components, i.e., the end fittings, webbing, and tensioning device, have a break strength of 10,000 pounds. If even one of the elements, say, the ratchet strap, had a break strength of 8 0000 pounds, the overall product strength will be reduced to 8,000 pounds even though the rest of the elements, such as webbing, end fittings, etc., are rated for 10,000 pounds.
What is Working Load Limit?
Working Load Limit or WLL refers to the maximum weight that can be applied to the securing devices. WLL is 1/3rd of the break strength. For example, if the break strength is 15,000 pounds, its WLL is 5,000 pounds. When working with tie-down straps, you must always refer to the WLL and not the break strength. This ensures that the tie-down strap does not break even when there’s a sudden stop or sudden load shift. Before using the Lashing Band, always ensure that the webbing is not cut, frayed, or abraded or the hardware is damaged. We have explained to you the different steps involved in using a Lashing Band:
Assembling The Lashing Band
A ratchet strap is sold as two separate straps that have to be assembled before use. Assembling is relatively easy, but read the instructions because some straps have different configurations. Some prefer to keep straps assembled, while others prefer dissembling the ratchet straps to ensure proper maintenance.
Threading The Strap
After you’ve assembled, the next step is to thread the ratchet buckle. Open the ratchet handle, place the webbing in the mandrel, and pull it through this slot. Now pull the webbing towards you and over the spindle and pull the strap to secure it. Do not over-tighten the webbing at this point, or you may damage the items. Make sure there’s enough wiggle room to add tension at a later stage.
Tightening The Strap
To tighten the strap, crank the ratchet handle up and down until you reach the desired tension. When tightening, ensure that there’s just enough tension and the item to be transported is comfortably tightened. Without proper tension, you may end up damaging the item.
Loosening The Strap
To release the strap:
- Pull and hold the release tab on the top of the ratchet assembly
- Open it completely until the ratchet is flat, and you hear a click sound
- Pull the strap from the nonfixed side and pull the webbing
- Pull and hold the release tab to close the ratchet
What To Do If The Lashing Band Is Jammed?
While threading a Lashing Band is easy, sometimes, you may end up jamming the strap. If this happens, use pliers to loosen the webbing to take the strap out of the device. You will need some patience and time to do so. Usually, straps are jammed because they are overwrapped – they may have been unwrapped before being tightened. To prevent jamming, remember to remove the excess slack before ratcheting. Also, use very little webbing to tie down inside the ratchet mechanism. This prevents the webbing from becoming tangled.
Storing The Lashing Bands
Lashing Bands must be stored in a cold and dry place but away from direct sunlight. Moisture buildup could cause mould and mildew to form and severely damage the strap. Similarly, UV rays from the sun could cause the webbing to fade and weaken over time. This could be dangerous and affect the safety of goods and people.
Store them in a duffle bag or a storage container and make sure it is neatly organised. This prevents friction that could weaken or damage the Lashing Band. Proper storage also makes it easy when reusing. Always inspect the strap thoroughly to look for physical signs of wear and tear. Make sure that the ratchet buckle is not damaged or corroding. While these buckles are build to last long, they are subject to normal wear and tear and may have to be replaced.
When using Lashing Bands, make sure they’re stored in the passenger end of the vehicle. This is because if you suspect a load shift and need to tie it down again, it is easy to do so from the passenger side rather than the traffic side. And remember to get down and look for potential load shifts and make sure that the straps haven’t moved.
How To Buy Lashing Bands?
Choose Lashing Bands that are designed to carry the desired weight of your cargo. Or, better still, look for a strap with a rating that’s higher than your desired cargo load. Also, make sure you’re buying enough straps to tie down the cargo safely and securely.
General Tips To Use Lashing Bands
Always make sure that the handle is closed entirely before transporting any cargo. If you want to be thoroughly sure that the Lashing Band wouldn’t loosen, add an extra strap or two for safety. Check if the ratchet buckle is well lubricated or use a silicone spray to prevent the handle from sticking.