How to Use Air Cargo Straps

Loading a vehicle or heavy object on a trailer is typically a fairly easy process, but making sure it’s secured correctly is another story. You want to make sure the object being towed is tightly mounted to the trailer, otherwise you could loosen a strap and lose the load. For that, you use air cargo straps. These tie-downs work great for securing a load to an aircraft, to a trailer, or to a hand truck. Using them correctly is pretty easy; it’s just a matter of technique.

1. Look at the object that you want to secure and start to figure out a plan of action. The goal is to make the object being moved and the object doing the moving (pallet, truck bed, etc) one solid unit. By doing this, you minimize damaging the object in transport, and also lessen the risk of loosening a strap because the object moves. To do this correctly, find a space to tighten the load to on the pallet.

2. Secure one hook of the air cargo strap to the tie-down on the pallet or trailer bed, and wrap the strap around the load. If you’re moving a vehicle, wrap the strap around a suspension point such as the axle or lower control arm, or just hook the other end of the air cargo strap to a suspension point. If it’s an object, connect the other hook to another tie down point on the pallet or trailer.

3. Locate the ratcheting mechanism on the tie-down strap. It’s a handle with a barrel in the middle, which the strap wraps around. Place your hand on the handle and pull it in the opposite direction, then back down. This is going to pull the air cargo strap into the barrel, so if you see excess strap, make sure to line it up as you’re ratcheting using your free hand. Continue ratcheting until the strap is tight, and then pull back on the handle really hard to secure the load. Wrap any excess strap around the rest of the strap and tie in a knot if necessary.

4. Repeat this process for any additional cargo strap you want. If this is on a vehicle, you want a cargo strap to be on each corner, pulling the suspension point away from the center on all corners. This way, if one strap fails, the others will keep it in place. Apply the same method for an object that you’re carrying, by orienting the straps to pull in opposite directions.

Below is a detailed video on how to use a ratchet. This will help speed up the process of securing the air cargo strap to your shipment.