Ratchet 101 – Getting to know your gizmo
Since not everyone has used a ratchet
before This section is strictly on general usage tips.
Slot – This is where you slide the
webbing you want to tighten through. Just slide the slack
end through, pull tight and your ready to tighten. It is the
center of the take up spool.
Handle – The handle has three
positions, fully closed and locked, fully open which allows
the center slot to rotate thus releasing any tension stored
and in the midway section where you would be working it back
and forth that creates the tension.
Release tab – You must pull
the release tab towards the hand grip on the handle to
release tension from the ratchet.
General procedure: Connect
the clip on the ratchet to an anchor point #1. Connect the
clip/carabiner on the webbing to the other anchor point #2.
Avoid twists in the webbing so make sure the line is flat.
Place the webbing in from the under side of the ratchet, up
through the slot and pull all of the slack through and back
towards the anchor #2. Pull as much slack through as
possible before starting to work the ratchet. Once desired
tension is achieved make sure the ratchet is in a fully
closed position to lock off all tension. To release, pull
the release tab and extend the handle straight with the
Mis-threading the line
On many occasions I’ve seen the loose end of the strap fed
through the slot in such a way that the handle is covered by
the strap. This mistake completely prevents tightening of
the strap as the handle cannot be operated. The strap must
be threaded through the slot and back under the handle.
Failure to pull out the slack prior to ratchet operation
Another common mistake is to begin operating the ratchet
prior to pulling out the slack from the free end. This may
simply result in delaying the desired tension if only a
moderate amount of slack exists. However, if too much slack
exists, the spool will fill up to its capacity which will
prevent any further tightening. If this is the case it will
be necessary to unwind the strap and start over with the
slack pulled out prior to operation.
Pulling the slack out of the free end in the direction of
the fixed end
When pulling the slack out of the free end, the proper way
is to thread the free end through the slot on the take up
spool then pass it back over the spool (under the handle)
and pull back in the direction of the free end. Pulling the
slack out in this fashion will have the effect of tensioning
the entire assembly, the fixed and free end of the strap.
This will allow for effective operation of the ratchet
handle in quickly tightening the strap. Some people fail to
thread the free end back between the handle and the bale in
the direction of the free end. Instead they may thread it
straight through the bale and pull the slack out towards the
fixed end. This will leave the fixed end and the ratchet
mechanism loose making it difficult to tighten.
Not leaving the ratchet handle in the locked closed position
while strap is under load
When the desired strap tension is achieved the handle should
be left in the locked closed position which provides a means
of assuring strap tension and preventing any possibility of
the slot “free-wheeling” out slack.