I was introduced to buckle straps a number of years ago. They were offered to me as an alternative to rope. I am not ashamed to say I was instantly hooked. Once I figured out all the ways I could use buckle straps, I was not to be stopped. However, I did learn that there is one thing I would never do with a buckle strap.
What is that one thing? You are going to have to wait for the answer. I need to go through a bunch of preliminary information first. For example, some of you might not know what a buckle strap is. You might not know how it works or the science behind it. So before I tell you the one thing I would never do with one, let’s take care of those preliminaries.
What a Buckle Strap Is
A buckle strap is a strap made of webbing material and secured by some sort of buckle. For example, the Rollercam tie down straps features a rectangular buckle with a rotating cam and a spring-loaded locking mechanism. You thread the open end of the strap through the buckle and over the cam. As you pull it tight, the locking mechanism clamps down on the webbing material to hold it securely.
Whatever you do, don’t confuse a buckle strap with a ratchet strap. A ratchet strap is also a strap made of webbing material, but it is secured with a ratchet rather than a buckle. Ratchets traps are often used by truck drivers to secure their loads. They can handle a lot of weight due to their strength and size.
How a Buckle Strap Works
A buckle strap works by applying force to whatever is being secured. Maybe you want to secure a dirt bike in the back of a pickup truck. Wrapping the strap around the handlebars and securing it on both sides of the pickup bed will do the trick. As you tighten the strap down, it applies force to the handlebars. Get it tight enough and you will create enough force to stop the bike from moving an inch.
As a side note, the cam buckle also has to deal with a certain amount of force. As you gradually pull the strap tighter, an equal force is exerted on the buckle. The buckle absorbs as much of that energy as it can, allowing you to keep pulling. Incidentally, a cam buckle with a rotating cam does an even better job. The rotating cam reduces friction so that you can pull the strap tighter with less effort.
The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For
Okay, so now you know what a buckle strap is, what it does, and how it works. Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: learning about the one thing I would never do with a buckle strap. Are you ready? Here it is.
Although theoretically possible, I would never use a buckle strap as a laundry line. I’m dead serious. Remember, I opened this post by explaining how I was introduced to buckle straps as an alternative to rope. I took that literally. I figured the straps could replace rope in every instance.
I suppose several buckle straps could be hooked together to make a laundry line. But I could buy a hunk of rope for a lot less. I don’t need the strength and tension buckle straps provide just to hang my laundry. Not only that, but it is also a lot easier to use clothes pins with a narrow-gauge rope.
So there you have at. I hope you’re not disappointed.