various ratchet straps

When you attach a ratcheting mechanism to a tie-down strap, you get a ratchet strap. The two main components that make up a ratchet strap are a fixed end and an adjustable end, with other components in between make up the ratchet assembly. Compared to other tie-down methods, ratchet straps are the most widely used due to their strength and versatility, and this makes it a good idea to know their parts in case you want to build a custom ratchet strap or want to replace a component without having to replace the entire ratchet strap. With that said, read on to find out the various parts of a ratchet strap.

4 Parts of a Ratchet Strap that You Need to Know

Fixed End

The fixed ends of a ratchet strap are the part that is non-adjustable. They are of a fixed length and are sewn into the buckle itself. This is also where the fixed end hardware or fittings are attached. The various types of fixed end fittings that can be attached to it are flat hooks, grab hooks and chain anchors, snap hooks, wire hooks, D-rings and E-track and L-track fittings. The fixed end hardware is what you use to attach the ratchet strap to the anchor point of your vehicle.

Adjustable End

The adjustable end is the part of the ratchet straps that is inserted or fed into the spindle of the ratchet. Just like the fixed end portion of the ratchet strap, you can also attach various end fittings to it (like the ones mentioned above). Most adjustable ends are removable so that you can replace them with ends that are suitable for your particular tie-down application. But certain types are sewn in into the buckle as well.

Tension Device

This is usually referred to as the ratcheting mechanism. This is the part of the ratchet assembly that provides you with a mechanical advantage when it comes to tightening the webbing to secure your load to the vehicle. All you have to do is crank the lever a few times, and everything will be safe for transportation or storage. They come in sizes of 1, 2, 3 and 4 inches, with working load limits of up to 5,400lbs.


Webbing is essentially the strap itself. Ratchet straps usually have polyester webbing that is between 1 and 4 inches. Polyester webbing is strong, light weight and can be used for a variety of applications without fear that it will snap. It doesn’t stretch much due to the fabrication (nylon straps stretch more than polyester). It is also very highly weather resistant, meaning it can withstand sun damage and it absorbs very little water, which prevents it from shrinking, molding or rotting.

Overall Length

This is the total length of the ratchet strap, from the adjustable end to the fixed end. The measurement of this length includes all the parts of the ratchet straps assembly. To get the length of the adjustable end, you have to get the difference between the overall length and the fixed end.