I've had my enclosed trailer for 3.5 years now. When I was loading up my car this afternoon for winter storage, I noticed that the ratchet straps were starting to get a bit frayed in spots from age and rubbing. They are 2" straps with wire "J" hooks on the end, rated for 10K and a WLL of 3,333 pounds. The trailer has four x 6,000 pound D-rings on the floor for holding the car. I did zero research on tie-down systems when I bought the trailer, and just grabbed the straps that the dealer recommended off of his shelf. Obviously, they are reaching the end of their life, and will need to be replaced before my first event of 2014.
My biggest gripe with the current straps has been that there was no safety catch on the hooks in case one went slack from bouncing. In researching the strap options, I have come across this type with a locking tab at each hook:
It appears that the hooks are stamped from a flat piece of steel, and then bent 90 degrees at the thinnest spot so that the hooks are at a right angle to the straps. Homey is not an engineer by a long shot, but this looks like an accident waiting to happen due to metal fatigue at the thinnest spot on the hook. Am I over-reacting? Has anyone ever seen this design break/fail? It is rated for 10K/3,333 pounds WLL, so maybe I'm worried about nothing? (The same design is available from multiple manufacturers, and the picture above was chosen just because it was the clearest view of the bend that I could find.)
Does anyone have another suggestion for the type of ratchet strap to use with D-rings? Over the wheel nets aren't an option.....