Chances are favorable that if you’re a pickup truck owner, you haul things. Maybe you haul furniture if you’re helping a buddy move. Maybe you’re a biking enthusiast and you haul your bikes to ride different trails on the weekends. Maybe you’re a contractor and the bed of your truck is routinely used for hauling all the materials you need for your job.
Whatever you’re hauling, odds are you use (or should be using) something to secure your cargo. Failure to do so can scuff up your cargo, damage it or even worse, you may lose it all together.
So what can be done to make sure that doesn’t happen? Simply put, you need some kind of tie downs. Whether you use Ford tie down anchors, pop up tie downs, flush tie downs or retractable tie downs, here’s what you need to know about different types of tie downs.
- Ratchet Straps: These are available in several of lengths and sizes, plus they come with different load ratings. If you’re loading and securing cargo yourself, they are easy for one person to handle and they have hooks on both ends, so they don’t have to be tied. Another benefit of ratchet straps is that they stay tight while you’re driving, which is great if you’re hauling heavy cargo.
While they do stay tight in transit, overtightening ratchet straps can damage cargo and they are more expensive, compared to materials like rope. If a strap gets caught in the ratchet, it can create a jam that’s hard to fix.
- Rope: When it comes to securing cargo, rope is one of the most inexpensive materials available. You can find it pretty much anywhere in all sort of different thicknesses and materials.
Though rope can be tied in a variety ways and often very easily, but it can loosen up during travel. Rope can also be difficult to untie when it gets wet. Another downside of rope is when you’re trying to tie down an irregular batch of cargo, it can be hard to secure the rope across all parts of the load, meaning some parts may be loosely tied down or not tied down at all.
- Tarps: One benefit of tarps is they come in a variety of materials and sizes, which helps keep your cargo dry. They’re also easily stored when folded and most importantly, they can prevent loose items from blowing out of a truck bed. Having anchors, such as Ford tie down anchors can give you plenty of spots to tie down your tarp.
On the flip side, tarps can rip very easily depending on the material. They can also be very hard to secure if you’re trying to haul an irregularly-sized load. One of the most frustrating things about them too is that tarps can be very difficult to tie off in a way that keeps them from flapping around while you’re driving. When tarps flap, they tend to tear more easily.
- Truck bed covers: Unlike tarps, truck bed covers give your truck bed a complete covering that will keep dry whatever you’re hauling. You can also get covers that are foldable and can give you easy access to the cargo in your truck bed.
One downside to these covers is that they don’t hold your cargo in place, so it may shift a little (or a lot) when you’re driving. If you’ve got a Ford F-150, tying your cargo down to Ford tie down anchors to secure your cargo first gives it an extra layer of protection under a truck bed cover.
Whatever type of truck tie downs you’re using, you want to pick the best option to secure the cargo you’re hauling. Not doing so can have some disastrous or even fatal consequences. A four-year study by AAA found that two-thirds of the 200,000 car crashes over a four-year period were caused by improperly secured truck cargo.
Rather than putting yourself and others as risk, getting some Ford tie down anchors or tie down anchors for another brand of pickup can give you plenty of spots to help secure your cargo safely.