how to release a ratchet strap

How to Release a Ratchet Strap – Why Does This Happen?


It is summer time and the family just wants to get out of town, drive to another state or just explore hidden wonders within your county, and what’s the common activity for that? Camping. Well with that, you’ll be bringing lots of stuffs for camping, not to mention the personal stuffs of each family member. So how will these things be tightly sealed? There is a solution for that. Thanks to ratchet straps!

In a nutshell, ratchet straps or also known as tie-down straps, are widely-used for transporting cargo in a vehicle. This tie-down straps make sure that cargoes are tightly secured in a roof rack or truck bed (for pick-up trucks). So to maximize the function of this invention, we should know how to release a ratchet strap when it’s time to do so. Learning the basics of ratchet straps is a good way to observe safe cargo management.

Let’s start with the basics: What is a Ratchet Strap and what does it do?

A ratchet strap is invented to address the issues on securely tightening cargo loads in your truck bed when travelling. This is the most common usage, but as to delivering heavy loads from one place to another in a trailer truck, ratchet straps are the ones who makes sure that these heavy loads are tightly locked and won’t fall off from the trailer truck. In short, ratchet straps are very beneficial when transporting cargoes.

To deep dive into technicalities, each ratchet strap has its own load capability, and we call this “working load limit.” This is a very important ratchet spec because without considering this, issues and problems will surely happen like losing your cargo, falling off from your vehicle, or even hurt or injure others. The working load limit spec is also a mandate by the government when using such and if you don’t know the working load limit of your ratchet strap, you will be in big trouble.

In what certain applications can I use my ratchet straps?

Let us highlight the different applications that ratchet straps can be used. They are as follows:

  • Secure Cargoes the tightest way as possible. This is the application wherein ratchet straps are commonly used whether a big trailer truck or just a pick-up truck. Since it has loading capabilities, there’s no need to worry as long as you know the specs of that specific ratchet strap.
  • Personal usage such as securing groceries at the back if your pick-up truck
  • Trucking companies
  • Professional movers – aside from securing cargo, ratchet straps also allow space to be maximized in order to make sure that nothing is left behind
  • Transporting Bikes, Motorcycles, ATVs
  • Transporting Cars
  • Towing
  • Storing Luggage in the Garage – ratchet straps ensure that nothing will fall off that could damage other things or even injure others
  • Hammocks – ideal when camping or just going out of town to see the lake
  • Rope Swings – ratchet straps can be used as an alternative to traditional ropes

So let’s go back to the main question on how to release a ratchet strap

There are several reasons why a ratchet strap gets blocked, and you just don’t know how to release it. Like for example, how to release a jammed ratchet strap? How to tighten and loosen a ratchet strap? How to release a tangled ratchet strap? As new to all of these questions, it’s normal not have an idea but then again, there is always a room for improving and adding up to your knowledge. We will highlight below some of these reasons and how to efficiently solve these problems.

  • Rust is all over the place. The ratchet is already full of rust and this might be because of a lot of reasons and one of that is when it has already been sitting down in an open area like for example in your truck bed or trailer bed. The DIY solution to finally release this is to spray WD-40 on it. After spraying, shake the ratchet and slowly try to release it. Repeat the process and check if this is effective.
  • Not fully detached. Either closed or just partially-closed, this is a common issue for tie-down straps. To release the strap from the ratchet, flatten the ratchet by squeezing the manual pawl lifting it eventually. After which, pull the handle completely flat and remove all of the loose strap or pull the loosened strap out of the ratchet.
  • Overloaded ratchet spools. This is normal and when this happens, don’t fret. Simply disengage the ratchet mechanism and after that, pull the unhooked strap as hard as you can until lose. This might require a lot of your strength but this will save you from all danger and issues later on.


Releasing a ratchet strap is just easy, right? Depending on the circumstance, or the reason behind it being jammed, there are a lot of ways to release it; sometimes, it just takes common sense to solve it as long as you already know the basics about ratchet straps. Knowing how to release a ratchet strap is very important when transporting cargoes from one place to another. In this case, make sure that you clearly understand how the ratchet mechanism goes.

Being mindful of the situations and the things involved when dealing with logistics is vital to successfully carry out your agendas for that day, week or even month. Being able to do this troubleshooting on your own saves you a lot of money, time, and more importantly, knowledge has been added to you and you can also share this to others.

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