July 14, 2024

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Skip the Granny Knots and Use Cams Straps Instead

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Knots and Use Cams Straps Instead
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I cannot tell you the number of times I have helped someone load a truck or secure cargo in the back of a trailer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my friends and family members struggling with ropes because they don’t know how to tie a proper knot. They resort to the proverbial granny knot and hope their cargo doesn’t break loose on the trip.

I have some advice for anyone in this situation: skip the granny knots and use cam straps instead. Cam straps are the perfect replacement for old fashioned rope. What’s more, they beat rope at just about every level. Why continue using an old technology when cam straps are so much better?

The Cam Strap Explained

Some of my friends continue using rope because they do not even know what a cam strap is. I get it. Like me, most of my friends are either approaching sixty or several years beyond. When we were young men, cam straps were not a thing. We used rope whenever we had to tie something down. But times have changed.

A cam strap is vastly different from rope in multiple ways. First, it is made from a webbing material that’s usually nylon or polyester. You can occasionally find canvas if you look hard enough. Nonetheless, the webbing material is the key to a cam strap’s strength.

At one end of the strap is a cam buckle. This is usually a metal buckle with a spring-loaded plate and a circular cam. You slide the strap through the buckle just like you would a typical belt. As you pull it through, the spring-loaded plate grabs and digs into the strap, holding it secure.

I am a big fan of the Rollercam brand because their patented cam rotates. This reduces friction between strap and buckle as you pull the strap through. But even a cam strap with a fixed cam tightens easily enough.

Minimal Force Needed

The beautiful thing about the cam strap is that you need very little force to pull it tight. Cam straps are designed to secure snugly with a gentle pull. If you can tie your shoes, you can tighten a cam strap. It is that easy.

As an added benefit, the cam system gives you maximum control over the tightness of a strap. Unlike a ratchet strap, which locks you into a certain amount of force with every notch, cam straps are completely fluid. You can pull them only as tightly as necessary to secure your load. It is a lot safer for fragile items.

They Are Fast and Easy to Use

The icing on the cake for me is that cam straps are fast and easy to use. In years past, I have spent my fair share of time struggling with ropes. I have spent time weaving ropes in, around, and through cargo to make sure I got a firm hold of every piece. I have spent time coiling up yards of unneeded rope and figuring out how to get it out of the way without tangling it. And then there are the knots.

I am fortunate in that I learned to tie all kinds of knots in the Boy Scouts. I rarely had to rely on granny knots. As for my friends, not so much. That’s why I tell them to skip the granny knots and go to cam straps instead.

You can probably guess that I am not a big fan of rope as a tie-down. I was, until I bought my first cam strap. I haven’t looked back since.

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