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Using a bungee when you need a tie down strap is a risky scheme at best, and really, just asking for disaster to strike. Do you know why?
1. You don’t know the exact strength of a bungee cord.
Most bungee cords do not come with a Break Strength or Working Load rating. Quality cargo straps, however, will have one or both of these important numbers printed on their tag or some other permanent spot on the strap or hardware. No guessing.
2. You think using a bungee is OK because you’re “just going a couple blocks.”
If a bungee isn’t strong enough to hold the cargo you are carrying, it doesn’t matter if you’re traveling across town or across the country. A skimpy elastic cord may allow a load to shift; once that happens, you risk the safety of surrounding motorists, yourself and your belongings.
3. Overloaded or old bungee cords wear out quicker than you think.
It is recommended that the maximum “stretch” of a bungee cord be limited to 50% of its resting length. Even with normal use, these cords eventually stretch permanently, fray or break, or are subject to loose hook-end connections. Exposure to sun, rain, wind and hot or cold temperatures can accelerate a cord’s deterioration, and many experts recommend replacing bungees every six months or once a year, even with light use.
4. A metal hook end can straighten, become loose from its attachment point or scratch the items you’re moving.
Just as is the case with not knowing the exact strength of the cord, it is also likely you would not know the strength of the hooks, either. So the potential of failure exists not just with the elastic woven cord but also with the metal hooks. More common, though, is that the hook simply unlashes from the object it was securing.
5. A stretched bungee that accidentally slips from your hand becomes a sharp – and really dangerous – projectile.
Enough injuries occur every year when a bungee hook slips from a person’s hand during loading that studies have been performed on the process. The most common injury is to the eyes, with estimates indicating the hook recoils at speeds of 45 to 60 miles an hour. That can do some very serious damage.
Despite all this bungee cord bashing, there is a good and useful application for them, tasks like holding down a tarp or securing the cover on a cooler; but nothing that involves containing heavy, bulky or airborne-prone items.
More massive cargo should be left to heavy duty, high quality tie down straps. They come in a variety of lengths, widths, and Work Load ratings, and many styles of hook ends and ratchet straps are available to reliably perform whatever hauling or transporting job you may have. Use the right tools for the task at hand, and you’ll find that investing in tie downs for dependability and longevity will be more than worth it!
- Biker’s Friend. Bungee Warning. Retrieved from http://www.bikersfriend.com/pages/bungee.htm
- Lexco. Bungee Cords FAQs. Retrieved from http://www.lexcocable.com/faqs-12.html
- Meyer, Lewis. How to: Safely strap a ton of shit on your car. Matador Network. August 23, 2011. Retrieved from http://matadornetwork.com/goods/how-to-strap-shit-to-your-car/
- State Fund. Bungee Cords – More Than Meets the Eye. Retrieved from http://www.statefundca.com/safety/losscontrol/LossControlArticle.aspx?ArticleID=295
- Triodyne Inc. (June 1997) Bungee Cord Danger Analysis. Safety Brief, volume 12, no. 3. Retrieved from http://www.triodyne.com/safety~1/sb_v12n3.pdf
No, summer isn’t over; there’s plenty of time left. But with Labor Day having come and gone and the kids getting back to school, you know winter is on its way. And with the onset of the colder weather comes a huge laundry list of “season end” chores that need to be addressed before the snow flies. Sure, you may already have weeded all the whites out of your wardrobe for the season, but there’s a lot more to be done.
The Big Cover-Up
There are tasks like closing up the cottage, pulling in the pier from the lake, picking the final harvest in the garden and preparing your beloved toys and tools and equipment for storage. No small feat, and, thankfully, there are plenty of resources and checklists available to help in making sure you’ve got it all handled. A critical step in this process is the ‘covering’ part; specifically, what you use to cover your equipment as it rests over the cold months.
As you proceed through the steps of winter prep for your motorcycle, boat, Jet Ski, lawn tractor, kayak or canoe, you might be tempted to use a plastic or canvas tarp, a retired blanket or even some bed sheets. Don’t go there! By using a good cover that is designed to fit your equipment properly, your equipment will be protected and in good shape to provide many more years of dependable service.
The selection of a cover should be based on the material of construction and the fit.
Made of the Right Stuff
So ask yourself:
Is the cover waterproof or water-resistant to protect against moisture?
Is it breathable or vented to guard against moisture build-up, which can cause corrosion, mold, etc.?
Will it protect against dust, dirt and UV rays well enough to prevent scratches, fading, etc.?
Is it durable to withstand tears? (Note that not all covers are not necessarily designed for trailering.)
A Good Fit
Is the cover a good fit without gaping pockets of excess fabric? (These can be a welcome mat for bugs or small critters looking to nest.)
Is it easy on / easy off? (With less bulk, a better fit usually means less hassle, especially if you are doing this job solo.)
We Cover Everything
Getting a close-to-custom fit for your equipment going into winter storage is easy and affordable with a wide selection of covers to choose from:
Boat covers (aluminum boats, hunting boats, fishing boats, pontoon boats, outboard motors)
Motorcycle covers (styles for all makes of motorcycles, including Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, BMW, Triumph and more; also available for motocross and scooters)
Personal watercraft covers (Jet Ski, Sea-Doo, Wave Runner, more)
Garden Tractor / Lawn Mower covers (riding, push-behind, zero turn)
Car / Truck / SUV covers
Camper covers (full size RVs, motorhomes, travel trailers, pop-up campers)
Patio Furniture covers (grills, patio chairs, chaise lounges, tables, benches, cushions, umbrellas, standup heaters)
The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting bitterly cold temperatures for two-thirds of the country this winter with a bonus of heavier than normal snowfalls for some of us. It’s time to button things up and batten down the hatches because winter, she’s on her way. Have you started your fall cleanup and storage yet?
Did you hear? Discount Ramps is running a contest for motorcycle owners!
That’s kind of a little joke, because if you follow Discount Ramps through any of our social media outlets (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest), you’re probably WELL aware of this, since we’ve been a bit incessant about getting the word out. The Road Warrior Photo Contest kicked off the last week in August and extends through next weekend, closing on September 15. The winner of the contest (the person whose motorcycle photo receives the most votes by closing) is going to be rewarded handsomely with a Black Widow Motorcycle Jack / Lift. This is a super handy tool for anyone with a motorcycle who wants to take care of their own repairs or maintenance, so we thought we’d show you a little bit about it.
The Black Widow Motorcycle Lift handles most motorcycles weighing up to 1,500 pounds, whether you own a Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, BMW or other make, so any bike, even the big, heavy ones, are easily maneuvered for repairs or to swing into the corner for winter storage. The motorcycle jack elevates a cycle up to 14” and has two non-slip, rubber padded rests that protect the motorcycle’s finish as well as keep it secure and in place while you work. There are also several tie down points, should you want that added peace of mind to prevent the motorcycle from shifting, and the Black Widow Motorcycle Jack even comes with two *quality* ratchet tie down straps. A padded hydraulic foot pedal raises the bike, and there is a safety locking system that secures the lift at heights of 9”, 11-7/8” or 13-7/8”, depending on what works best for you in your shop. A pair of rear swivel caster wheels let you turn and pivot your motorcycle for the best access, and a 27” handle helps out, too, though the handle is removable if that gets in the way during maintenance.
We’ve sold this very same motorcycle jack to custom motorcycle shops who have been pretty darn happy with the Black Widow Lift, so you know it’s a nice piece of equipment for your own garage, too.
And winning one for your very own is as simple as a few clicks (and maybe some good campaigning to get the most votes!). Bear with us as we continue to promote for more entries to the Road Warrior Photo Contest in this next week, since you are sure to see more of our posts, but don’t put off submitting your own entry any longer!
I am the rocker! I am the roller! I am the out-of-controller!
–Nightrider, “Mad Max” (1979)
Ever feel this way with a stretch of road before you? Hopefully, you don’t get TOO crazy (safety first, kids), but if you’ve racked up some miles on your motorcycle this summer, you get the idea. And even though it’s not an out-and-out motorcycle flick (Nightrider drove a car, after all), “Mad Max” is worth a re-watch if you haven’t seen it in a while because there’s a ton of still-thrilling bike action in the movie that tickles a special little brain fold we all know exists in every road warrior out there.
To celebrate this road warrior mentality we love so much, Discount Ramps is throwing a little photo contest. It’s pretty straight forward, the goal being to catch a glimpse of an awesome driver (you) on an awesome machine (your motorcycle) oozing awesomeness. It extends from August 26 through September 15, so you’ve got plenty of time to capture that once-in-a-lifetime image, perhaps at the upcoming Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary, or maybe it’s a shot you already captured at Sturgis a few weeks back. But then again, your best motorcycle shot may have presented itself when it was just you tooling around on some back roads you’ve always wanted to check out… Point is, be a little creative, keep it clean and send us material that shows off your machine in its best light.
Just go to the app on our Facebook page, Like us to “get inside,” and you will see where to upload your mind-blowing picture, along with all the rules and regulations put forth by The Man. Once you have that handled, you’ll need to sing it from the mountain tops to your best pals and family that you’ve entered the Road Warrior Photo Contest because the image accumulating the most votes at the end of the contest wins. Simple as that. Oh, and you’ll need to check back on the contest page every so often to see if you are the conquering hero so that we can get a hold of you and lavish you with a fabulous prize.
And exactly what’s in store for the top vote-getter, besides the eternal love and admiration of your family, friends, acquaintances and the general public? The Winner receives a Black Widow Motorcycle Jack Lift, an über-useful addition to any garage’s arsenal. It’s a motorcycle lift that hoists up to 1500 lbs. with a hydraulic foot pedal or removable jack handle for the maintenance, repair or general admiration of your baby. This motorcycle lift has a couple of rear swivel casters to make it maneuverable, some built-in tie points to make it safe, and it’s valued at 100 clams. Believe us, you will LOVE using this lift! So enter the contest. Do it.