Strap Truck Car Haulers - what straps to use

Now that most new car transport requires auto tie-down via wheel straps, many auto transport trailer manufacturers have come out with trailers that feature wheel straps tightened by a quick-release ratchet box built in to the trailer.

Boydstun Screw Trailers

Boydstun came out with a strap truck that utilized screw actuators to move the decks. The Boydstun straps came with a bolt loop at the end of the strap to secure them to the ratchet box. The Boydstun straps were usually 2 inches by 10 feet long, with no rubber cleats, and just two wire hooks to attach to the aluminum “tulip bar” that Boydstun used for a decking material. The Boydstun screw technology was extremely innovative, but unfortunately Boydstun went out of business during the Great Recession.

Cottrell Strap Trucks

Cottrell came out with a strap truck that used traditional hydraulic cylinders to move the decks. Cottrell straps are usually 2 inches by 12 feet long, using two swivel J hooks to attach to the punch plate decking. The Cottrell straps did not come with a bolt loop at the end. Unlike the Boydstun straps which were basically “naked” straps, the Cottrell straps came standard with three rubber tread grabs, similar to the regular hand ratchet wheel straps.

Strap Truck Conversion

Many car haulers that have chain trucks in good shape couldn't justify spending a quarter million dollars on a new Boydstun or Cottrell strap truck. In order to avoid having to purchase and maintain 36 hand ratchets to tension their ratchet wheel straps, they made modifications to their old chain truck to allow them to use the existing chain ratchets to tension the strap. Typically, this involves welding a small section of rod to the chain ratchet spindle, in order to secure a two inch strap. (Similar to Cottrell strap trucks). Others plasma cut slots in the spindle of the chain ratchet. Additionally, some people we have spoken to have used a small piece of round stock welded to either side of the ratchet box-- this is to prevent premature wear against the aluminum punch plate decking.

Once they made these modifications, they were able to use a longer wheel straps like the Cottrell straps.

Some head rack companies like T&C Welding in Jacksonville, FL came out with innovative systems that radically transformed the old-fashioned chain truck. They created their own quick release ratchet box and created new mounting positions for it (below the deck plate). T&C Welding also created a design that modified the old Cottrell chain trailers so that the top decks of the trailer could be lowered further, enabling the car hauler to work with both feet on the ground while putting on the wheel straps.

What strap to use?

If you are looking for wheel straps to put on a strap truck conversion, or if you have a Cottrell strap truck, we recommend our line of Cottrell style wheel straps. They are 2 inches by 10, 12 and 14 feet, and have three rubber tread grabs.

If you have a Boydstun screw trailer, then check out our line of Boydstun-style wheel straps. They are “naked” wheel straps with no rubber tread grabs. These wheels straps have the double j wire hook that has a big enough bend radius to fit around the Boydstun tulip bar decking. Available in 10, 12 and 14 feet lengths. These straps have a bolt loop sewn to one end, similar to the original Boydstun straps.