What Are the Best Tie Down Options for DIY Moving Jobs?
Do-it-yourself (DIY) moving is pretty common in this country. People only tend to hire moving companies for long distance moves involving a lot of stuff. But for moving across town or to the other side of the county, DIY is a considerably less expensive option. However, that does not mean you can be careless. You still need to pay attention to everything from box selection to tie down options.
When it comes to tie down options, you are basically looking at three categories: rope, tie down straps, and bungie cords. The best option depends on your vehicle and the type of cargo you are dealing with. Let’s unpack that a little bit, no pun intended.
1. Tying Down with Rope
Rope is the all-purpose tie down option that works fairly well in nearly every scenario. Whether you choose a nylon rope or a rope of some other material, the process of tying down cargo is pretty straightforward. You tie one end to an anchor point, stretch the rope out and over the cargo, and tie it to another anchor point.
Rope’s one weakness is its narrow gauge. The narrowness isn’t so much of a problem when securing something like a table. You wrap the rope around each of the four legs and you’re good to go. But rope doesn’t work so well over five or six rows of boxes. It is too narrow to keep all the boxes secure during transport.
Another challenge with rope is making sure it stays tight for the entire journey. Rope stretches. And if you don’t know how to tie proper knots, even the tightest rope can loosen with constant road vibration. As a DIY tie down, rope should be used judiciously.
2. Tying Down with Straps
A more modern alternative is the tie down strap. A tie down strap is a webbing strap with some sort of buckle to secure it. If you are not quite sure what that means, check out the Rollercam brand. Their truck tie down straps utilize a cam buckle through which you thread the open end of the strap. The buckle clamps down on the strap and keeps it in place.
Truck tie down straps are manufactured as both buckle straps and ratchet straps. The latter are generally used by truck drivers securing heavy loads to flatbed trailers. You could use a ratchet strap for a DIY move, but it might be overkill.
The biggest advantage here is ease-of-use. Tie down straps are much easier to use than rope. Because they are wider, they are also capable of covering more area. On the downside, they are tougher to thread through smaller spaces and wrap around things like table legs.
3. Tying Down with Bungie Cords
Last but not least are bungie cords, those flexible cords with metal hooks on either end. Bungie cords can be made of solid rubber, or a series of smaller rubber and nylon cords packed together in a nylon sleeve. They are pretty cheap and available at just about every department store and hardware outlet.
Here’s the most important thing you should know about bungie cords: it’s not safe to use them to tie down loads of any weight. They just aren’t strong enough. Use bungie cords too tie down tarps for hold moving blankets in place. Do not expect them to carry the weight of heavy furniture and moving boxes.
For most DIY moving jobs, truck tie down straps are the best bet. Ropes can work as well. Between the two, keeping a moving load secure is pretty easy to do.