Being a huge motorcycle enthusiast, I’m always stuck between the choices of either trailering my bike or riding it to the place I plan on going for an extended period of time. Let’s be honest, bikes are exciting, but they’re not the most comfortable way to travel long distances, especially if there are chances of heavy winds or rain. Regardless, I don’t go anywhere without my bike, and in order to do that, I always strap it on my truck with a load securing equipment.
When there’s a need for something to be secured on the back of a truck, van, SUV and trailer, doing it with a load securing equipment (such as tow straps and tie downs) is your best bet. These dependable and sturdy pieces of equipment will allow you to rest assured your valuable possessions (in my case my bike) are safely secured for transport.
Both tow straps and tie downs are made of very similar, and sometimes the same material. However, they’re used to solve different problems. Tie downs are long, flat pieces of woven material and are mostly used to secure items to an open trailer or vehicle in the back. They also include a way to tighten the hold down, which is something you need in the case of transporting a bike.
Tow straps on the other hand, are configured in a way to strap down a vehicle for recovery, or hold tires in place. Their capacity is outstanding and they’re most often built to specifically haul vehicles or fit race car trailers. Besides hauling cars, they can be used for hauling heavy equipment. I personally haven’t used one of these, but I have one in the back of my truck for emergency cases.
One of the easiest tie downs to use are the ratchet straps. They’re called ratchet straps because they have the ability to “ratchet” up the tightness of the strap easily and quickly with hardware that is integrated into the strap itself. Ratchet straps work in a similar way as belt buckles, except they don’t have holes so you aren’t limited to certain lengths.
The hardware that accompanies the material is of great importance. It doesn’t matter how sturdy and strong the material is if the attachment parts are flimsy and weak. You’ll want to ensure you’re getting high quality hardware when looking for tow straps or tie downs. By hardware I mean vinyl-coated S-hooks to avoid scratching your bike, and buckles that prevent slippage when you’re tightening the straps.