Tie down hardware

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Tie down hardware used on a transmitter tower in Mullaghanish, Ireland. Mullaghanish Cable tie down.jpg
Tie down hardware used on a transmitter tower in Mullaghanish, Ireland.

Tie down hardware is used to turn webbing into a tie down strap. There are various categories of tie down strap hardware that allow for the creation of a virtually unlimited number of different types of tie down straps. These pieces of hardware fall into several categories including fasteners, end fittings, and buckles.



There are three major types of fasteners: cam, over-center, and ratchet.

Cam fasteners are a simple type of fastener that use a cam to push down on the webbing that is passed through the cam and prevent the webbing from slipping back through the fastener. The edge of the cam lever that faces the webbing is usually knurled to provide a firmer grip on the webbing. Tension is added by pulling the excess webbing through the fastener until the necessary tension is achieved and then releasing the cam lever to lock the webbing in place.

Over-center fasteners require a slightly more complex threading procedure to start the webbing through the fastener. The tensioning method provided by this fastener makes it easier than the cam fastener to get more tension into the strap and to keep it there. When the fastener is “open” you can feed the excess webbing through the fastener. When all of the slack is removed, the act of “closing” the fastener will add tension to the webbing and hold the tension tightly in place.

Ratchet fasteners are the most complex of the three fasteners to thread, but offer advantages in taking up the slack in the webbing and tensioning the assembly. Once the webbing is threaded through the fastener, the ratcheting mechanism is employed to take up the slack and tension the assembly to the necessary level. The ratcheting mechanism functions similarly to a socket wrench; you open and close the fastener repeatedly to pull the webbing through the fastener. Releasing the tension is a simple matter of depressing the release lever and pulling the webbing back through the fastener.


There are several types of buckles found in tie down straps. The two most common are threaded buckles and snap buckles. Threaded buckles work like those found on backpacks and duffel bags for the purpose of adjusting the length of the tie down strap. Snap buckles are also commonly found on backpacks and duffel bags to allow fastening of the strap. These two components are often used in conjunction with the threading buckle providing tension and the snap buckle providing fastening. While threading buckles come in metal varieties for use with tensioning fasteners like over-center and ratchet fasteners, snap buckles are often plastic and are not designed to withstand a great deal of tension.

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Buckle Mechanical device for fastening two loose ends

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MOLLE load-bearing equipment and backpacks used by a number of NATO armed forces

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Fastener Hardware device that mechanically joins or affixes two or more objects together

A fastener or fastening is a hardware device that mechanically joins or affixes two or more objects together. In general, fasteners are used to create non-permanent joints; that is, joints that can be removed or dismantled without damaging the joining components. Welding is an example of creating permanent joints. Steel fasteners are usually made of stainless steel, carbon steel, or alloy steel.

Strap Strip of flexible material, especially leather, used for fastening or holding things together

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Safety wire

Safety wire or locking-wire is a type of positive locking device that prevents fasteners from falling out due to vibration and other forces. The presence of safety wiring may also serve to indicate that the fasteners have been properly tightened.

Latch Mechanical fastener

A latch or catch is a type of mechanical fastener that joins two objects or surfaces while allowing for their regular separation. A latch typically engages another piece of hardware on the other mounting surface. Depending upon the type and design of the latch, this engaged bit of hardware may be known as a keeper or strike.

Belt buckle

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All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment Equipment

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Tie down strap

A tie down strap is a fastener used to hold down cargo or equipment during transport. Tie down straps are essentially webbing that is outfitted with tie down hardware. 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.

M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment Equipment

The M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment (LCE), also known as the Individual Load-Carrying Equipment (ILCE), was developed by the U.S. Army and first issued in the early 1960s. The M-1956 LCE was designed to replace the M-1945 Combat Pack, the M-1923 cartridge belt, the M-1936 pistol belt and the M-1937 BAR magazine belt. The M-1956 LCE was designed to be quickly configured, using no tools, to accommodate various mission and ammunition loads. The M-1956 LCE remained in service through the 1980s and set the standard for future United States military load-carrying equipment.

Lead (tack)

A lead, lead line, lead rope (US) or head collar rope (UK), is used to lead an animal such as a horse. Usually, it is attached to a halter. The lead may be integral to the halter or, more often, separate. When separate, it is attached to the halter with a heavy clip or snap so that it can be added or removed as needed. A related term, lead shank or lead chain refers to a lead line with a chain attached that is used in a variety of ways to safely control possibly difficult or dangerous horses if they will not respond to a regular lead.

Screw Type of fastener characterized by a thread wrapped around a cylinder core

A screw and a bolt are similar types of fastener typically made of metal and characterized by a helical ridge, called a male thread. Screws and bolts are used to fasten materials by the engagement of the screw thread with a similar female thread in the matching part.

Quick release skewer

A quick release skewer is a mechanism for attaching a wheel to a bicycle. It consists of a rod threaded on one end and with a lever operated cam assembly on the other. The rod is inserted into the hollow axle of the wheel, a special nut is threaded on, and the lever is closed to tighten the cam and secure the wheel to the fork. Wheels equipped with quick release mechanisms can be removed from the bicycle frame and replaced without using tools by opening and closing the cam lever, thus more quickly than wheels with solid axles and nuts. On the negative side, a quick-release hub renders a wheel more vulnerable to theft and care must be taken to ensure that the mechanism is properly tightened.

The 1972 Pattern Webbing was intended to replace the 58 pattern webbing, but never got beyond user trials. It was made from PU-coated nylon to counter the Soviet NBC capability with a general look closer to a load-bearing vest. It was designed to be used in wide variety of environments such as jungles, deserts and was configurable for use, ranging from short-duration jungle patrols to general infantry use.