How to Secure Things in a Pickup Truck

Learn the best ways to secure your belongings in your truck using retractable ratchet straps.

blue vintage pickup truck with motorcycle cargo and blue sky

Pickup trucks are a popular choice for people who need a versatile vehicle that can haul all sorts of cargo – from motorcycles, ATVs, and kayaks to furniture and heavy-duty equipment. However, if you do not properly secure your load, some items can get damaged or, worse, fall out of the truck while in transit, which is a dangerous risk for you and everyone on the road.

In fact, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA states that out of the approximately 6.8 million police-reported motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2019, about 212,000 of those crashes were attributed to objects on the road. Because of this, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is urging drivers to properly secure their cargo to prevent debris on roads and highways.

Fortunately, there is a reliable way to ensure your cargo is safe and secure – the use of retractable ratchet straps. There are many different types of tie-downs you can use, but the retractable versions offer numerous advantages. This blog post will explain how to use these straps to secure things in your pickup truck.

What are retractable ratchet straps?

Retractable ratchet straps are tie-downs made up of a long piece of webbing. One end is attached to a ratcheting mechanism, while the other end has a hook, most commonly an S-hook, that can be attached to your chosen tie-down point on your truck bed. What makes them different from the regular tie-downs is their ease of use. Retractable ratchet straps can be easily tightened and released without tangling. You also won’t have to worry about extra straps that can look cluttered and can cause some hazards.

When getting retractable ratchet straps for your cargo, consider the size and weight of the items you’ll be transporting. Ensure that the weight-bearing capacity of the strap you choose should be higher than the weight of the item you want to tie.

How do you choose the right tie-down points?

Choosing the right anchor or tie-down points is crucial for securing any type of cargo with retractable ratchet straps. They are the locations in your truck bed where you can attach the hook on the end of the strap. They should be strong, in good condition, not frayed or damaged, and securely fastened to prevent the straps from slipping or coming loose.

Most pickup trucks today have a range of tie-down points built into the truck bed, including hooks and loops. Look for points that are positioned to provide the best hold on your cargo and make sure that they are properly fastened to the bed.

tattooed man securing box cargo on pickup truck using strapinno retractable ratchet straps

What are the general tips and rules for securing cargo in a pickup truck?

Securing cargo in a pickup truck requires some general rules and tips to ensure the straps won’t get loose and risk items falling off your truck. Here are a few to consider:

  • Before you start strapping items down in your truck, organizing them is critical to a secure and safe hold. Make sure to place the heaviest items at the front of the truck bed or the area near your cab to balance your truck’s center of gravity. Otherwise, an uneven level of weight distribution can negatively affect your vehicle’s steering and stability.
  • If the items you are loading in your pickup truck are prized art pieces, appliances, furniture, or anything with a surface prone to damage, use webbing protectors or moving blankets to protect them. Protective padding should also be added to the corners of the strap in contact with the items to avoid friction and abrasion of the webbing. Additionally, ensure the pads are securely attached to the straps and will not loosen during transit. Using protective pads is a simple but effective way to protect your tie-down straps and the items being transported.
  • When strapping down the items, make sure you tie them down from at least two different angles, so if one strap comes off (although unlikely with retractable ratchet straps), there’s still another strap holding your cargo. However, it is highly recommended to use multiple retractable ratchet straps.
  • Use soft loops to secure objects that are hard to hook. These soft loop straps are helpful as a tie-down extension for dirtbikes, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, and UTVs. Aside from securing your stuff, soft loops can protect items from damage and help keep your vehicle scratch-free. Create tie-down points to attach the hook so it won’t scratch your car’s paint. However, ensure that the straps are rated for the weight of the cargo and are not frayed, and follow proper steps when securing the items.
  • Attach a bright-colored flag on overhanging items or those that lay past your truck’s tailgate. Flags allow the vehicles behind you to see the end of your cargo to prevent them from accidentally hitting your load.
  • Lastly, make sure to double-check after loading items on your pick-up truck. Double-checking all the straps and attachments ensures everything is tight and secure, preventing serious road accidents.

Strapinno offers reliable retractable ratchet straps that can effectively secure items in your pickup truck. Learn more about the amazing technology of these tie-downs and the entire product line at

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