If you are like me then you probably don’t give a lot of thought to the straps you use to anchor your ATV to your trailer. I usually head to the local auto parts store and pick up whatever they happen to have on the shelf then complain about them when they don’t work right. Once everything is battened down and we are on our way, I usually spend most of the drive worrying about a strap breaking or disconnecting. We dont usually give a great deal of consideration to straps but they are a very important component of our riding experience.
I was fortunate enough to acquire a set of Gator Straps from Gator Inc. and all of that has changed. These straps ROCK! The construction quality is exceptional. The material is thicker and the buckle mechanisms feel much stronger than Brand X from the auto parts store. The quality construction pays dividends in performance. My one inch El Cheapo straps were rated at 400 lbs. while the one inch Gator Straps were rated at a whopping 1800 lbs. My whole quad doesn’t weight that much (not even with me on it!).
The ratchet mechanism on the 1.5 inch ratchet strap is considerably over-engineered. The oversized handle allows you to get a good grip on the ratchet so you can really crank it down and the mechanism works smoothly. The 1.5 inch straps are rated at 2000 lbs so four of them should be able to safely secure any ATV.
These straps aren’t just tough they are innovative too. The greatest feature is the built in soft loop that allows the hook nearest the ATV to loop around a bar then hook to the strap rather than hooking directly to the ATV. This arrangement is more secure and it keeps the hard metal hook off of your paint. It also allows you to secure to larger items (a frame rail, for example) if you so desire.
Another Gator Strap innovation is the reverse design. With Gator Straps, the buckle is designed to sit near the floor so you can leave excess strap on the floor rather than flapping in the breeze. I personally prefer to secure the excess strap but it is a nice feature nonetheless. Also, since you pull up rather than down to tighten the strap you can sit on a corner of your ATV to compress the suspension while you pull on the strap. This better secures the ATV to the trailer.
Some might say that getting excited about straps is a bit like getting excited about broccoli. They are very mundane items that most people just don’t pay much attention to. If you think about, however, straps are the only thing keeping your quad from flying off of the trailer and careening on to the highway at 75 miles per hour. They are also the first and last thing most people touch when they ride their ATVs. Bearing this in mind, do yourself a favor and consider a high quality set of straps such as Gator Straps.
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