Having a trailer strap break on the highway is every driver’s worst nightmare. You’re worried about damaging whatever you’re transporting, and you fear for the safety of drivers around you. We’re here to help you reduce those risks as much as possible and respond quickly in an emergency. Read on to learn what to do when a strap breaks on your trailer.
Inspect Your Straps Before Locking Down the Load
Look over your straps every time you use them, especially if they’ve been sitting in the sun. The straps may become brittle in certain areas, and those brittle points are the first places to break under pressure. If you feel iffy about one of the straps, don’t risk it. Find an alternative tie-down solution.
The quality of your straps makes a big difference in durability. Low-quality straps can break on the first use. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on high-impact ratchet straps. The peace of mind is well worth the price.
Use Multiple Straps or Safety Hooks for Extra Security
It’s always a good idea to have multiple straps securing your load in case one breaks while you’re driving. You may still need to pull over and add another strap, but the secondary strap helps hold the load in place until then. Many boat owners use a safety hook to support their boats during transport, just in case the winch strap breaks. You could use this same principle for anything you’re transporting.
Keep backup straps in your vehicle or trailer. Even if all you have is some extra rope available, you’ll be able to lock down your load in an emergency.
Check Your Load Periodically During Transport (Watch the Mirrors)
If you’re going on a long trip, make a few stops along the way to double-check your straps. You may need to tighten or adjust them as the load shifts around.
Monitor the trailer in your mirrors as you drive. If you notice anything that looks out of place, pull over in a safe location and check it out.
What to Do If a Strap Breaks While Driving
If a trailer strap breaks while you’re driving, pull over to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so. Do not slam on your brakes or dart over to the shoulder because that may cause more damage. In an ideal situation, your backup strap will hold down the load until you get to the shoulder. Then you can re-secure using rope or extra straps from your vehicle.
If the broken strap caused your belongings to fly onto the road, you may want to call the police for traffic control. They can direct vehicles around you while you gather your items. If you need a tow truck for transport, reach out for one right away. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, and do not risk walking into traffic if it threatens your safety. Your life matters more than anything that may have come off the trailer.