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A poll conducted a few years back by the folks at Harris Interactive shows that “Made in the USA” is pretty important for most Americans in their buying decisions, as it influences about 3 in 5 of us. That number begins to vary slightly, however, when you drill it down further by age and region, with it being a factor of greater importance for U.S. adults age 55+. It also tends to play a bigger role for people living in the Midwest as opposed to the east coast and the South, or on the west coast, where it carries the least weight. In general, though, if we can find the product we need AND it is manufactured domestically, most Americans view that as a very big positive.
Since everybody’s feeling all patriotic and full of national pride with Independence Day having just been celebrated, we thought we’d do a Product Roundup of just a few of the U.S.-made products we have available.
Big Boy II Motorcycle Ramp
Whatever kind of bike you ride, whether it’s a cruiser, sport bike or even any of your other toys, this 2-piece motorcycle ramp system is perfect for loading onto a trailer or pickup truck. These deluxe ramps for motorcycles and other equipment have tons of features to make the process safe and seamless and allow you to load your motorcycle either by riding or walking it on board.
Hitch Cargo Box
ATV Drop Basket Carrier
If you’re headed out into the woods or field on your quad, you’ll have plenty of room to carry extra gear, tools, clothing or other supplies with this four-wheeler rear rack. It’s made of lightweight aluminum.
Threshold Ramp for Wheelchairs and Walkers
A quality wheelchair ramp constructed of recycled polymers helps make the transition through a doorway much smoother for those using a walker, power scooter or power chair.
Bed Pet Stairs
If your pet is getting on in years and struggles with climbing into bed each night, these wooden dog stairs are just the thing. The dog step is available in multiple 2- and 3-step configurations, with several finishes to match your decor.
Aluminum Truck Rack
If you’ve ever broken the rear window of your pickup from hauling ladders, lumber, rakes or shovels in the bed, you know how frustrating and expensive it can be! Rugged Rack truck racks protect the back window and also prevent dents and scratches.
So…How strong of an influence does that “Made in USA” label have for you?
There’s a local morning radio show that plays a special call-in feature before every major holiday, “Where Ya Going, Whatcha Taking?” Listeners phone in with colorful tales of mothers-in-law, great uncles and green bean casserole. But sometimes the “what you’re taking” part is much more complicated than holding a delicious raspberry fluff on your lap.
Say you are headed out for a weekend camping trip, helping your best friend move every one of his worldly possessions or picking up Grandma, who gets around best with the help of a power scooter. Whether you are trailering, loading into the bed of a pickup truck or have a handy hitch-mounted carrier, you need to secure the items being transported in the most safe, dependable way. What kind of tie down straps will best do the job?
First, understand there are much better options than using a length of rope or a bungee cord you dug out of the garage. Not using the proper equipment and techniques puts you, other motorists and your possessions at risk. You also need to consider the size of the job at hand and make sure you have straps that are the proper length, width and strength.
There are many lengths of tie downs available, from just a few feet to upwards of 40 feet for commercial trucking applications. The same holds true for strap width, typically ranging from one to four inches wide. Just remember that when it comes to tie downs, “more” is, generally speaking, better. In other words, better to be safe with heavier straps than sorry with tie downs that are not strong enough for the job.
Tie down straps come with two ratings to indicate overall strength. While the Break Strength rating tells you the minimum weight it would take to cause the strap to totally fail, it’s the Working Load rating that you really want to pay attention to. Working Load is the maximum amount of weight that a tie down can support with regular, day-to-day use and without damaging it. Working Load is calculated as 1/3 of the Break Strength.
Once you determine what you need for a tie down strap in terms of the length, width and load limit, you have more options to consider. The two main strap “styles” are Cam Buckle Straps and Ratchet Straps, and there are advantages to both.
Cam Straps are generally lighter-duty than Ratchet style and create tension through the metal teeth in the buckle to hold the strap taught. They are easy to tighten and release, an advantage for someone who may not have great hand strength or dexterity. However, if the load you are securing is a solid or dense item, such as a refrigerator or other appliance, it may be more challenging to get a Cam Strap tightened. Something like an ATV or dirt bike, however, that has “give” because of its suspension will be easier to get a secure hold with the Cam Strap style.
Ratchet Straps typically have a higher strength rating than Cam Straps and can create a tighter, more secure strap tension. However, they tend to be slightly more complicated to use and release, so they might not be ideal for all users. The Ratchet Straps also tend to be the more expensive option.
Beyond the strap styles of Cam and Ratchet, tie down straps have many different options available in terms of the hook end varieties. S hooks, J hooks, flat hooks, snap hooks and more all have advantages in particular applications; this discussion may be addressed in a future posting.
Finally, a note about overall quality. Be aware that there is a significant difference in the tie down straps available in the marketplace! The material of the strap itself, along with the quality of the metal used in the buckle and hook ends, can create significant differences in the tie down’s performance and length of life. Cheap, soft metal in a buckle will wear teeth down more quickly and lead to a strap slipping or loosening. Some ratchet handle styles are designed without an opening for an easy-to-grip handle, making them more difficult to use. Invest in a good quality set of tie down straps, and they should, with normal use, last indefinitely.
In addition to the many sizes, strap and hook end styles, there is a multitude of tie down accessories and specialized tie downs available. You can check some of them out here.
So with your quality tie down straps in hand — where are you headed next, and what are you taking?
Discount Ramps has just released the top 10 Summer Buys list of Summer 2009! As always, we have done our best to offer the highest quality products at the lowest possible discounted prices available anywhere. Many of our hottest selling products are well under 100$ before shipping and cost considerably less than anything offered by our competition. On our top 10 products of Summer 2009 list you will find a wide range of products such as bike racks, cargo carriers, pet ramps, pet barriers, atv ramps, cargo bars, motorcycle wheel chocks and many other products that allow our customers to load and haul many things — even pets!
For your convenience below you will find our top 10 summer buys of 2009!
(1 being the most popular)
- Dirt Bike Carrier – Model# AMC-400 - ONLY $129.99 + S/H
- Mobility Carrier w/Ramp – Model# SC500 - ONLY $289.99 + Free S/H
- Universal Cargo Bars – Model# TRCB-4460 – ONLY $39.99 + S/H
- Motorcycle Wheel Chock – Model# MC-CH-5.5 - ONLY $26.99 + S/H
- Pet / Dog Ramp – Model# DR-06 – ONLY $79.99 + S/H
- ATV Loading Ramps – Model# AFL-9012-2 - ONLY $99.99 + S/H
- Vehicle Pet Barrier – Model# PB-STD – ONLY $27.99 + S/H
- Hitch 2 Bicycle Rack – Model# HMBC-2 – ONLY $59.99 + S/H
- Bicycle Storage Hoist – Model# BL-7122 – ONLY $8.99 + S/H
- Hitch Cargo Basket – Model# HCB-4818 - ONLY $69.99 + S/H
As you can see many of these products require hitches in order to utilize them, and we have been selling a ton of hitches to help customers accommodate the wide variety of different cargo and bike carriers. It is advised to take a good look at the rear of your vehicle before ordering any of the hitch mounted products to verify what type of hitch you currently have on your vehicle which will make sure that you order the correct carrier, rack, or adapter. If you find that your vehicle does not currently have a hitch installed we recommend using our handy hitch selector system that will require that you enter a few details about your vehicle and then it will tell you the hitches that are available to fit your car or truck.
We have recently added a new hitch cargo carrier system to our website that is unlike any other carrier on the market. It is called the Take-A-Seat hitch mounted carrier. The Take-A-Seat carrier is a 3-in-1 system that allows you to carry cargo or bikes and allows people to sit on it as a chair/bench. When the Take-A-Seat is setup as the cargo carrier it can haul an assortment of items ranging from toolboxes to coolers or any other item that is under 500lbs (for the 2″ hitch model) and 350lbs (for the 1-1/4″ hitch model). When this hitch carrier is setup in the bike rack position it allows for users to carry up to 3 bikes at a time. It even has an integrated tie-down system to secure the bikes to the carrier. When this unit is set up in its last form, as the hitch mounted seat, two people can comfortable sit to enjoy a great tailgating session. It even comes with two cup holders! Here is a picture of the Take-A-Seat Cargo Carrier in action (Picture also shows it setup as bike carrier and hitch seat).
As you can see this carrier is the most versatile on the market and we’re proud to offer it to our customers at very low prices. (Note: Pricing varies depending on size and color chosen.) The standard color for this carrier is black. For further details on the Take-A-Seat hitch cargo carrier, bike rack, and seat checkout DiscountRamps.com.
If you are looking for a carrier that isn’t made of fabric check out our other hitch cargo carrier models.
Here is just one example of our popular steel folding carrier and bike rack cargo carriers that mounts in to your hitch.