Tie down straps (also called ratchet straps, lashing straps or tie downs) are fasteners used to hold down cargo or equipment during transport.
This hardware allows the tie-down strap to attach to the area surrounding the cargo or equipment, loop over the cargo or equipment, and/or attach to the cargo or equipment.
It usually also includes a method of tensioning the strap, such as a ratchet.
A ratchet strap has a hook on one end and a lever mechanism with a short strap and hooks on the other end. A slotted spool is located at the centre of the strap. To use the straps, secure the hooks to strong components, like the metal loops or rails on the truck bed. Next, slide the strap through the middle slot and then turn it back in the direction you started from. Pull most of the slack out of the strap and begin moving the lever ("ratcheting" it) forward to turn the strap around the spool.
When both hooks are secure, the strap tightens as you move the lever. A 6-foot long strap will typically cover any length under about 5.5 feet, and reduce to as short as about 1 foot. To loosen a strap, pull it a little tighter first and then release the locking device.