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Thread: Tying Down For Travel

  1. #1
    Member AKbarehunter's Avatar
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    Default Tying Down For Travel

    I have seen people buy a $10,000.00 machine and strap it to their trailer with $14.99 for four rachet straps. Once a machine comes off a trailer at highway speed all that is left is scrap metal. No recoverable parts.

    My solution: Eyebolt at front of trailer. Stop machine, let out winch hook and hook to eyebolt. Move to back of machine and use the "seatbelt style" retracting straps that are bolted to the trailer frame, (available at Sportsman's Warehouse for $34.99), and place those two straps on and tighten. DONE. Total time to load and secure 4 wheeler when doing it by myself is less than 3 minutes. That's right, LESS THAN THREE MINUTES.

    And I am confident that my machine is secure for the ride. But, I always stop and check staps every 20 or 30 miles. Be Safe, Not Sorry.

  2. #2
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    Default

    Most of the companies don't recommend using the winch to tie down. I believe it tends to warp the drum when it isn't turning but has a load on it. I have done it a time or two but try not to make it a habit. I use 4 heavier ratchet straps from the ATV frame to my D-rings that are welded to my trailer. I also have 3 D-rings mounted to the bed of my trailer with steel backing on the bottom of the trailer.

    Anytime I am sitting at a stop light next to someone's trailer I like to see how they have tied down their machines. I really like the ones that run a strap over the seat of 2 machines!!
    EricL

  3. #3
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Then how much money should we spend on these straps? Is there a ratio between the price of the straps and the cost of the load being tied down? I find it far more troubling that people put $20,000 worth of equipment on a $300 POS trailer.

    Four quality ratchet straps are just as good as what you've described. In fact, I'd trust good ratchet straps much more than my winch. If you go from somthing immobile on the trailer up to a solid point on the wheeler (or snowmachine for that matter) and compress the suspension a bit as you tighten the straps down, it ain't moving. I like to start with a mechinical block to prevent the machine from rolling, especially forward during braking. Two straps would hold it, the other two are redundant in case one fails. If you take care of your stuff and know what you're doing as far as securing a load, ratchet straps won't fail. I have no worries about driving 200 miles with a properly secured load in between checks. If I had to stop every 20, I'd find a different method.

    The cam-loc style straps that are often only rated for about 300# are the ones that you should be leary of. I wouldn't trust those very far and they do loosen up over time. Those you've got to stop and tighten up about every 30 miles for sure.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    HUGE problem!! I cringe when I see stuff tied down with the winch. Have you seen the inside of ATV winches? Plastic. What does the thing do when going down the road on a trailer? Boing, boing, boing! That thing bounces up and down all over the place. This is also why I do not and will not tie to any part of the wheeler but the suspension. I've seen winches come loose and/or break and straps break from bouncing. And if you ratchet the straps so tight you think "this thing can't possibly bounce and strain the strap", there is always one sneaky pothole that will prove you wrong. Winches are made for a constant pull and steady strain on the line. This is also why the owners manual will say to never use it as a tow rope to get out of a hole. Most if not all winches under the 3000# mark are plastic housings which means plastic teeth in those housings. I have switched from the cheesy 1 inch straps to the 2" ratchet straps for tieing down wheelers. Another thing to do is drive sensibly. Remember these are Alaskan roads and they suck. No sense in losing your load to save 5 minutes.

  5. #5
    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Add me to the list of those that thinks using the winch as a tie down a bad thing. That is not what they are designed for. I will trust my $10000 investment to a $20 set of straps before I trust the winch. Different tools for different jobs. Now, I will admit that I too have done it. I do try to avoid though.

  6. #6
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I use 1500# 2" wide ratchet straps. Two per wheeler. Since my wheelers are too wide to go side by side, they sit end to end on a 20' long 10,000# capacity trailer I'm working on something better to hook to the outside ends of the suspension and screw down like the snowmachine ones do.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  7. #7

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    I put 4 tie down rings on my trailer and run all my straps to them and have yet to lose a machine. The price of your straps is going to make a bit of difference if they are not the right load rate for your machine.

  8. #8
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    No to the winch tie down.... a winch is too expensive to damage during trailering.

    4 ratchet straps per machine in a cross pattern. Up high on the machine, not to the trailer hitch or front axle.

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    I second the four ratchet straps for redundency on each corner. Another overlooked tip that I was taught was to place your hooks facing down or such that if the strap loosens the hook stays in place by gravity and is less likely to fall off (a loose strap is better than no strap).

  10. #10
    Member AKbarehunter's Avatar
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    Default I stand corrected

    Thanks for all the responses. I will devise a better system for the front tie down other than the winch. I see the folly of my ways. But there is a lot of knowledge out there and I am never too old to learn!

    I like to check my load. Gives me a chance to stretch the legs. Generally 30 miles is about 45 minutes. I check straps every time I stop for a break.

  11. #11
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    I run tire bonnets on mine. It's a great system, but you have to be able to attach straps to the trailer deck, and not just the corners.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE22n8NEqwg

    Something besides the types of straps you run that you should consider is how they are connected to the trailer. Almost all tie-down straps have hooks on the end. The problem with strap hooks, however, is that tension is reduced on them as the ATV's suspension compresses (such as when driving down a bumpy road). If your trailer tie-down points are holes, consider running shackles through the strap (right next to the hook usually works), and shackle the strap to your trailer, instead of hooking it.

    Oh, yeah, and add me to the so far unanimous list of those recommending against using your winch as a tie-down!

  12. #12
    Member Laker Taker's Avatar
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    Default

    Thought these looked kind of interesting

  13. #13

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    Four straps on every machine and NEVER use a winch for a tie down. If you can bend a good truckers knot you can do away with the ratchet straps.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laker Taker View Post
    Thought these looked kind of interesting
    IMO those screws would have to be backed up by a plate underneath the deck.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laker Taker View Post
    Thought these looked kind of interesting
    That is hands down the quickest and simplest way to tie them down. Also the strongest. Race car drivers have been using this method for decades and I am sure that is where these are copied from. We have them on one of our mud truck trailers as well. Takes only seconds to tie down the race car or race truck and I can guarrentee that they will not move.

    Yes, they need to be installed with bolts thru the deck and a metal backer behind them. Don't rust wood srews on our roads

  16. #16
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    No to the winch tie down.... a winch is too expensive to damage during trailering.

    4 ratchet straps per machine in a cross pattern. Up high on the machine, not to the trailer hitch or front axle.
    actually this can cause you isues...( except agree to winch... don't use it)


    if you tie low to the frame and hitch... you have 90% less chance of loosing your straps as the suspension bounces on the the ATV...

    if you are going to anchor something do it firm.. and low where you have a good pull on it..


    tie one or two ATV in a boat and take off.. you will find out very fast what works best on them as soon as the wind kicks up...

    let the suspension work on its own... you will save straps and save on maintenance on the atv...

    i would bet that i trailer 15,000 miles a year with my bikes on average...

    as for straps...

    you gt what you pay for.. look at the load rating on them and figure your 450 lb bike weighs 1000 lbs as that trailer catapults it in the air at 65MPH on that frost heave..........and about 1500 lbs at 75-80



    in contrast ... did you know a 40 lb pair of tire chains weigh over 500lbs at 35 mph? due to the centrifugal force applied to them...

    apply the same to your 10,000 dollar investment.... drug behind your rig
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  17. #17
    Member Kort's Avatar
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    Exclamation physics 101

    "...did you know a 40 lb pair of tire chains weigh over 500lbs at 35 mph? due to the centrifugal force applied to them..."

    Not trying to be an ***, this is just something that bothers me. There is no such thing as "centrifugal force" (this is a physics weed) it is actually centripetal force, as in the way an object orbits in a circular motion, these are completely different ideas. In the case of the chains you would not have centripetal force but instead inertial force. Sorry I was just being pedantic! Now back to tie downs. I too am guilty of using the winch a time or two in the past, but typically I use 4 2" 4000lbs Fat Straps on my Ranger. I tie low using the hitch on the back of the machine and the frame on the front. I believe the trailer will break before the straps will.

  18. #18

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    I use quality straps with compression of suspension on the front and rear and then the winch with no tension but no slack as a back up.

  19. #19
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    My 2 cents ...

    Loadmaster rule is three gravities (Gs) forward, One G back (unless you have a Hemi). For a 500 to 600 pound machine, you need ratchet straps rated to 1500 pounds. I use two straps on back, one on the front (but should really use two on front).

    Even if you strap to the axles, unless you have the machine perfectly positioned and exactly equal tension on straps on both ends, the machine will move (during bumps) until the tension is equal front to back. This means the straps get slack.

    I put a shock cord to the rear straps to keep tension on the straps during road hazards. Doesn't seem necessary on the front. Haven't lost a strap or had one fall off the machine using this technique.

    I don't like the Fastrap tie downs (as shown in photos below) because there's no lateral support. What happens if/when the tire looses pressure. If they had straps around both sides of the tires too, I'd have much more confidence in them.

    Using the winch is not a good idea ....

  20. #20
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kort View Post
    "...did you know a 40 lb pair of tire chains weigh over 500lbs at 35 mph? due to the centrifugal force applied to them..."

    Not trying to be an ***, this is just something that bothers me. There is no such thing as "centrifugal force" (this is a physics weed) it is actually centripetal force, as in the way an object orbits in a circular motion, these are completely different ideas. In the case of the chains you would not have centripetal force but instead inertial force. Sorry I was just being pedantic! Now back to tie downs. I too am guilty of using the winch a time or two in the past, but typically I use 4 2" 4000lbs Fat Straps on my Ranger. I tie low using the hitch on the back of the machine and the frame on the front. I believe the trailer will break before the straps will.

    i know but my spell check had the wrong word in it. and the roundy roundy moton still applies....


    ( hows that for engineering terms)
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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