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There’s Nothing to Worry About if You Use Cam Straps Correctly

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I was looking around on an aviation forum recently when I ran across a post from a user who questioned whether cam straps were appropriate for a particular application. He explained how he had tested two straps, and both failed. His unscientific test led him to declare cam straps unfit for purpose. Fortunately, several other users posted follow-ups explaining that they had successfully used cam straps for the same application for years, without issue.

So what’s the difference? Why did one person fail while others succeeded? Given that I don’t know the details, that’s a question without an answer. But I do know that there is nothing to worry about if you use cam straps correctly.

Cam Straps Are Tools

Cam straps are tools. Like any other tool, they are designed for specific applications. Cam straps can be used as tie-downs or in place of ropes for other purposes. They can be used for rigging a whitewater raft. In aviation, cam straps can be used to secure a smaller aircraft when it is parked.

The key is using the strap correctly. For starters, the makers of the Rollercam brand say users should always be cognizant of a strap’s working load limit (WLL). The WLL assigned to a particular strap indicates (in pounds) how much force it can withstand before catastrophic failure. The heavier the load, the stronger the strap you need.

It is also a good idea to spread the load across multiple straps. Five straps will do a better job of securing a dirt bike in the back of a pickup truck than just two. It’s common sense. If you are tying cargo to a utility trailer, a mattress to the roof of your car, etc., use as many straps as you can. You can never use too many.

Maintenance and Replacement

Another thing to consider is strap maintenance and replacement. As tough as cam straps can be, they are not perfect. They are not completely impervious to all wear, tear, and damage. Performing proper maintenance will extend the life of a strap for as long as possible.

When a cam strap does show signs of wear, it is time to think about replacing it. Repairing cam straps just isn’t worth it when you consider how cheap new straps are and the fact that repaired straps are never as strong as new ones. Under no circumstances should you ever use a frayed or cut strap. A damaged strap should immediately be discarded.

When it comes to cam buckles, keeping them clean is a must. Allowing dirt and grime to embed itself in a cam buckle can affect its integrity. Also, storing cam straps in a cool and dry place will limit corrosion risk.

Stick With a Quality Brand

Finally, it is best to stick with a quality brand you trust. I am a fan of Rollercam. But there are other brands to choose from. Here is the point: established brands with a solid reputation for quality are highly motivated to make sure they maintain that quality. You can trust that their cam straps are built well and properly rated for load.

I get the fact that some people are not big cam strap fans. They prefer the tried-and-true rope tied off with knots they have been using for years. That’s great. But cam straps are not a less worthy choice just because they aren’t ropes. A well-designed cam strap in good working condition can be every bit as effective as rope. The key is using cam straps correctly. Do that and you have nothing to worry about.

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