Using Cam Buckles Safely

By | January 28, 2014


Truck owners and all those who have ever had to transport large loads know how very important it is to make sure cargo is secured on the road. The safety of other drivers can be jeopardized if care and attention aren’t given to the preparation of a load. Fortunately, there are many combinations of metal hardware and straps made from various types of webbing that can be used to provide optimum security. Today, we’ll look at one type of hardware in particular – the cam buckle.

Like ratchet straps, cam buckles are excellent for securing cargo. However, there are some potential dangers associated with their misuse. Because cam buckles are tightened by pulling on the strap, rather than with a ratcheting action, straps can only be tensioned as tightly as the users strength allows. Still, this tightening method does make it less likely that the user will over-tighten and damage the cargo.

Cam buckles are considered ideal for securing cargo onto pallets, trailers, or into trucks, as well as for use around the home, shop, garage or farm. Endless cam buckle straps have one piece designs that make them easy to use and store.

Using Cam Buckles Correctly

  1. Hold the buckle in one hand, and hold the webbing in the other.
  2. Press down the lever on the buckle with your thumb.
  3. While the lever is depressed, insert the webbing into the buckle opposite the thumb lever.
  4. Feed the webbing through the buckle without releasing the thumb lever.
  5. Pull the loose webbing to the desired tightness.
  6. To loosen the cam buckle, pres the thumb lever and pull the end of the webbing that is not loose.

Cam Buckle Safety

  • When using cam buckle straps to secure a load, check the tightness of the strap every 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Safe working capacity is 1/3 of the breaking strength. Under no circumstances should you exceed safe working capacity. Adding number of tie downs will not increase the load capacity.
  • Don’t use cam buckles for towing, lifting or personal restraint.
  • Inspect webbing and hardware regularly for signs of wear. Replace product if webbing is damaged, cut or worn.
  • For tie downs with load capacities greater than 500 lbs, use two pairs of tie downs. One pair should be positioned at the front, and another should be positioned in the rear.

Cam buckles can be very useful in securing loads, as long as they are used correctly. Make sure you understand regulations for safe use before using straps or buckles of any kind for load security.