For flatbed trucks there is one thing which is essential , the truck winch, if your flatbed doesn’t have them, you’d better get them installed then you only need winch straps to tie down loads on truck bed , you most likely will see 2” and 4” winches available and correspondingly there are 2” & 4” winch straps for the winches. Occasionally people are looking for 3” winch straps, which is not as popular as 2” & 4” winch straps but people have their use for them.
The concept of truck winches with winch straps are pretty straight forward, the component of both truck winch and ratchet that the tie downs are inserted into for tightening the whole web tie down straps called mandrel, the mechanism to tighten the straps on truck winch is different than the self contained ratchets, you will need the help of winch bars to tighten the winch straps. The winch structure is pretty simple, there is a barrel goes through the winch body, one side has a though hole and the other side has a gear with a brake, in between lies the mandrel, just put the straps into it, when the brake on the gear is closed, the gear can only go one direction so you can tighten the straps one notch at a time, when you let the hook loose and open the brake, you can retract the winch straps by turning the winch the opposite direction, that should be pretty straight forward. You are required to use a winch bar with the truck winch, you can use something like a wood stick or wood beam with, it’s not safe and not legal as well.
For your information, usually you can choose from 4 different kind of winch bar, the standard winch bars painted black, the chromated standard winch bars, chromated combination winch bars and combination winch bars painted half yellow. To be honest, all these winch bars are serving the exact same purpose, and it’s all about personal preference and sometimes people choose combination winch bars for specific reasons, one of them being that you can use something else with the combination winch bar, thus the word “combination” in the name.