Everyone has a tool or two packed away in the garage gradually gathering dust. Usually, these tools are forgotten about because they’ve done the job you needed them to do and no longer serve a purpose.
But you may be surprised to know that tools that seem to be coined for one use actually have many purposes. Take the humble ratchet tie down for instance. This tool, also known as a lashing strap, tie down, or ratchet strap, is used primarily to hold down cargo during transport.
But load restraint is far from the sole purpose of a ratchet tie down. In fact, there are a number of alternative uses for ratchet straps. Here are just seven of them.
Who doesn’t love the feeling of relaxing on a hammock, gently swaying from side to side while the sun gently warms your skin? People who have fallen out of hammocks, that’s who! But with ratchet straps you don’t need to worry about being robbed of this simple pleasure.
The use of ratchet straps rather than traditional rope will ensure that your hammock is reinforced and set up for success. Other than being relaxed, you’ll be exactly where you want to be – securely above the ground.
Of course, you need to double check the working load limit of your strap, but most of the ratchet straps that are on the market today are strong enough to successfully tow vehicles. At one point or another, most drivers will find themselves needing to be towed. Wouldn’t you rather be prepared for such an eventuality?
Because ratchet straps are so strong, durable, affordable and effective, they’re a must-have for the modern driver – tow truck or otherwise.
3. Rope Swings
Rope swings are synonymous with child-like fun. The only problem with rope is that, over time, it becomes frayed and weakened. Replacing the rope on a rope swing with a ratchet strap is the ideal solution to this problem.
Using a ratchet tie down system in place of traditional rope systems will not only make your swing more secure but it will also last longer and enable it to take more weight. That means that adults can confidently join in on the fun!
If you’ve been looking for a new hobby that is as unique as it is fun, why not consider taking up slacklining? Similar to both tightrope and slack-rope walking, slacklining improves core balance and can even aid in strengthening or rehabilitating your legs and knees after injury.
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What do kayaks and ratchet straps have to do with one another? For starters, you can use a ratchet tie down to help physically transport your kayak from your home to your kayaking destination. You can secure it on top of a roof or trailer.
Secondly, you can use ratchet straps to hang your kayak upside down. This ensures that no water gets inside the kayak, making for a more enjoyable user experience. Additionally, this means that your kayak is less likely to become the temporary home to a crawling critter.
Thirdly, while your kayak is hanging upside down, you’re automatically provided with a dry spot in case it rains.
6. Hands-On Projects
Ratchet straps aren’t just a tow truck driver’s best bud but also that of a woodworker. When used with hooks, a ratchet tie down essentially acts as a giant wood clamp. This is especially handy when you run out of wood clamps or if you need to clamp bigger items.
An added bonus to using ratchet straps in place of clamps is that you don’t need to worry about the wood sustaining any damage while being held together.
7. Securing and Storing Items
You know that ratchet straps can be used to secure items during transportation. But did you ever think to use them for something as menial as keeping your groceries safe on the way home from the grocery store?
Use a ratchet tie down to keep your groceries in their bag by simply threading the strap through the bag’s handle.
Additionally, you can use ratchet straps as a space-saver. Instead of piling box upon box in your garage, why not use ratchet straps to hang larger items from your garage’s ceiling? Items such as bicycles, canoes, canopies and more can easily be hung up using ratchet straps.
The next time you see a ratchet tie down in the boot of your vehicle or bottom of your toolbox, remember this article and what it has taught you. Sure, ratchet straps are primarily fasteners that secure cargo during transport. But that’s just one of their many functions.
All in all, ratchet straps are incredibly versatile tools that can be used to make an assortment of tasks simpler, more efficient and more enjoyable. What will you be using yours for?