To loosen a ratchet strap, pull and hold the release tab on the ratchet. Fold the ratchet flap flat, and then pull out the webbing. This should release the webbed strap, allowing it to be adjusted freely without the tension of the ratchet.
Ratchet tie-down straps are used when cargo or equipment is being transferred. Each tie-down strap comes with a mechanical tool (the ratchet) sewn onto it, which allows it to quickly be put together around cargo and then tightened.
With a ratchet, tension can be applied to cargo on trucks, boats, freight carriers and trailers. There are two main types of ratchets, including the two-piece ratchet strap and the loop ratchet strap. Loop ratchet straps are created with a single piece of webbing that can be looped around the cargo. The strap is then looped through the tie-down fastener to provide the tension needed.
Two-piece ratchet straps are made with two pieces of webbing. Each piece of webbing has its own hardware that can be fastened at one end and then connected to the other.
Ratchet straps should be checked before each use to make sure they have not worn down. Any strap that isn't in good condition should be replaced as soon as possible.