Axle straps are the first go-to tool for anyone trying to move or transport a heavy load. They have a simple design that you don’t realize is essential unless you don’t have one. The short strap makes moving a car or truck easier and safer, protecting you and the vehicle from damage.
There are many different types and brands of axle straps on the market today, but they all do the same job. As long as the strap is strong and secure, it will work for just about any towing or transporting task you have in store.
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What is an Axle Strap?
An axle strap is an accessory used to connect a tie-down strap to a vehicle’s axle to transport the load without causing any damage to the car and keeping it safely in place. It’s hard to find a good strong place on any vehicle that will keep it from shifting or wiggling during the ride.
If you are transporting a car, truck, ATV, etc. without it properly tied down, it can lead to devastating accidents and expensive damages. Because of the lack of easy-to-access strong access spots to attach a strap, many people choose to hook their ropes to the vehicle’s tires or bumper, which are the least secure places possible.
In short, this strap secures onto your vehicle, which is secured to the recovery truck being used to move it. Without an axle strap, you won’t get as good a hold on the car you are trying to transport.
How to Use an Axle Strap
Using an axle strap is very simple. They come in various sizes but are much shorter than, say, a recovery strap. On both ends of the strap are strong solid metal rings. These are the connecting points.
Wrap the axel strap around the axle of the vehicle being transported. Bring the straps together, place one ring next to the other, and connect the ratchet strap. Loop the ratchet strap through both of the metal rings and then pull all of the straps tight until there is no slack left. Now your load is going nowhere unless you want it to.
How Not to Use an Axle Strap
Although axle straps are amazing and reliable tools, they can only work if used as intended. It is not uncommon for people to use an axle strap improperly.
- Only attach to the axle- Yes, sadly, we have to say this. Do not wrap the axle strap around the tire, bumper, or any other point of your vehicle.
- An axle strap is not a tow Strap- An axle strap holds an object in place securely so that it does not move or sway in any way. It is not designed to tow or pull a vehicle of any kind.
- Keep the strap tight- Because the strap’s main job is to secure any swaying or moving, the strap can wear down and possibly tear.
- Never use solo- An axle strap is a great option for a secure hold, but a vehicle needs multiple straps and tie-down points.
A good tip to follow is to make sure you check the axle straps every hour or so of a long trip. These straps have a small bit of flexibility and stretch to them, so they can loosen up after a while of traveling.
(If you are ever exciting your vehicle on the side of the road, always err on the side of caution, make sure you are watching for other vehicles, and make sure they can see you)
Guide for Purchasing a Good Axle Strap
When transporting a vehicle on a truck bed or trailer, you must buy a strap that is well made and durable. These straps have to hold down and secure heavy loads and often for long periods. So what should you look for in a good axel strap?
- Thickness- A good, thick, heavy-duty strap will be about 2 inches wide to ensure a lasting hold even if the rope takes a beating. (Even if your rope is still secure, once it starts to fray or wear, it’s time to replace it with a new one. Never risk using an old or torn strap.)
- Secured Sides- Having reinforced sides on the strap will prevent side cuts that can cause it to tear and fast.
- Material- Look for high-grade abrasion-resistant material. Nothing can be 100% resistant, but the higher strength material will be able to handle a lot more.
- Reinforced ring loops- Ensure the ring loops are reinforced and secure, keeping the rings from separating from the strap.
- Strong metal rings- The strap must connect to solid strong rings that are not going to break free from the ratchet strap or secure point.
- Color- You may want to look for axle straps that are bright in color. Having a security strap that is easy to see is useful in the dark and in bad weather.
This Vulcan axle strap kit is ideal for any person or company in need of a well-made, high-quality axle strap and accessories. This kit includes a heavy-duty abrasion-resistant strap and the ratchet strap, D-rings, and snap hook ratchet strap to complete any transporting job.
Rhino is another reputable off-road gear and recovery company. Its designs are patented and created by experienced professionals who have spent a lot of time researching what is needed to make the perfect gear. Its axle straps are heat treated with polyblend webbing and designed to last.
Although these are two fantastic and well-made products, they are not the only good ones on the market today. Look for an axle strap that fits your vehicle, your preferences, and your budget.
Things to Consider When Using an Axle Strap
Just getting a vehicle tied to your truck or trailer shouldn’t be the only goal when using an axle strap. Keep in mind the other variables that will play a role in the transportation of a heavy load.
There are some conditions and situations you should prepare yourself for in case of an accident or emergency.
- Weather- Sometimes, not even the strongest axle straps can support a heavy vehicle being transported on top of a trailer. If you find yourself stuck in a storm with heavy rain and wind, you may want to add a few more straps for extra hold.
- Broken strap- Hey, it happens. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so always keep an extra strap and set of rings in your truck. This way, you won’t have to waste time stopping to get new ones or, worse, rigging it with something not nearly as secure.
- An accident- If you could prevent them, they wouldn’t be called accidents. Nothing can prepare you for an accident, but having an emergency kit can come close. Keeping extra straps, rings, and a tow winch can help you re-reinforce or remove the vehicle altogether.
- Accident, adjustments, or emergency- Keep bright orange cones, vests, and straps on hand in case you ever have to stop on the side of the road. Ensuring you are visible to other drivers is extremely important, even if it is only to quickly adjust the strap.
- Gear up- Keep yourself and anyone who is with you safe when working with dangerously heavy loads. Always have a set of gloves, first aid kit, winch cover, safety glasses, etc. just in case.
Tied Down at Multiple Points
The axle strap is a great way to get a good hold on a heavy load. However, pair it with multiple secure tie-down points to get a solid stronghold on the vehicle from multiple locations, keeping it evenly held down.
You accomplish this by using at least four different tie-down points on the vehicle.
Use the ratchet and tie-down straps to weave through the tires, or you can loop it around the control arm.
An axle strap, though small, can be your best friend when you are hauling a vehicle across town or the country. Technology these days has allowed manufacturers to combine multiple strong materials and layers of coating and protective covering to the strap giving it the ability to hold the heaviest objects.
Weaving strong fabrics to create a durable, long-lasting design means you don’t have to worry as much about safety when you are hauling another vehicle down the road.
There are plenty of well-made products available to you. Find the brand you are most comfortable with that makes you feel that both you and your haul are safe and secure.