If you are transporting cargo, of any kind, over roads in a truck or van, then foremost in your mind should be the security and safety of the cargo itself. Rollercam.com, a company specializing in cam straps for cargo transport, say that for real peace of mind in this area, there are in fact many different cargo-securing devices that can be used to prevent trouble. You should always tie down your cargo with secure tie-down straps but, depending on the value of the cargo (or the potential costs of any damage), you may decide it’s wise to use a combination of different cargo securing devices. A great solution that can be used in tandem with other devices are E-tracks.
What Are E-tracks?
Despite the familiar “E” prefix, there is nothing electronic about E-tracks. You probably thought it stood for electronic tracking, right? But no. E-tracks are, in fact, a mechanical device consisting of a system of mounted steel rails with small slots in then. These steel rails serve as an attachment point for various types of load securement options, including ratchet straps and cam straps.
E-tracks are attached to the floor or the walls of cargo areas with screws, rivets, or welding. There is no moving these E-tracks once they are installed, and they are perfect for ensuring your cargo doesn’t move an inch. Above all, they give you the infrastructure to tie down anything at all.
What Can I Use E-tracks For?
Well, as just mentioned, anything! E-tracks are normally associated with heavier cargo, but you can use them for a variety of load types. But the question isn’t just “what can I use them for” but also “what vehicles can I use them in”. Their versatility means that they can be installed in everything from semi-trails to shipping containers, from moving vans to enclosed trailers, and even for recreational vehicles. As mentioned, they can also be installed either on the walls or the floor. Given their versatility, you might be wondering what the best E-track installation option for you is. Let us turn to that now.
Horizontal vs Vertical E-Tracks
The first thing to note here is that any cargo can be safely secured with either vertical or horizontal E-tracks. The only practical difference lies in how the anchor points are presented in relation to the length of the vehicle. One or the other is usually preferred for different applications but do bear in mind that in 99% of situations either will do the job.
The slots of horizontal E-tracks run perpendicular to the sides of the rail. They have multiple securement points that can be used at any time to hold down items. They are most commonly used for enclosed trailers and flatbeds as they are perfect for hauling loads that don’t take up dead space inside.
The slots of vertical E-tracks are rectangular, and they run parallel with the rail. They are perfect for when the height of loads varies a lot from trip to trip. You can use vertical rails to create a shelving system within the cargo space, which is especially useful for when you also have a lot of smaller items to transport. This type of set up will allow to you to transport single loads made up of items of varying sizes. They are slightly more common than horizontal E-tracks within the trucking industry.
There are simply no rules for selecting the right E-track system for your loads. Consider the vehicle you are using and the size and shape of the load, and you are sure to make the right choice. It is pretty difficult to make the wrong one.