Whether they are marketed as cam straps, tiedowns, or even cam buckle straps, tiedown straps have a lot of good uses. Overlanders rely on them to secure cargo to their rigs. Whitewater rafters rig their boats with them. The list goes on and on. But recently, one UK resident discovered a particular use that was highly inappropriate.
What was that use? The man in question used the buckle end of a tiedown strap to beat up a car belonging to someone he was having a dispute with. If you’ve ever seen a cam buckle yourself, you know it’s capable of doing a lot of damage to a car’s body. Scratches and dents would be pretty routine.
A $600 Mistake
According to news reports, 21-year-old Samuel Irving was involved in a dispute with friend Jack McLaughlin. The argument was apparently over money. When Irving didn’t get the satisfaction he wanted, he pelted his friend’s car with eggs and drove away. McLaughlin responded by following him and throwing some sort of box at his car.
Things escalated when Irving showed up at McLaughlin’s house later on, with tiedown strap in hand. He put a severe beat down on the victim’s car, putting dents in the roof and one of the doors. He also broke the rear glass and a side window as well.
All told, the damage done to McLaughlin’s car was in excess of £600. Irving was ordered to pay restitution along with £85 in court costs. His total bill in US currency came to about $850. Hopefully it was a lesson learned for Mr. Irving.
A Tough Piece of Metal
It is not exactly clear what type of tiedown strap Irving chose to do the dirty deed. It could have been a cam buckle strap or a ratchet strap. Cam buckles and ratchets are two distinctly different pieces of hardware. But either way, the buckle is a tough piece of metal.
The makers of the Rollercam buckle straps say that cam buckles and ratchet buckles tend to be made from stainless steel. A well-made buckle or ratchet could do a significant amount of damage without any problem. The buckle or ratchet probably wouldn’t even be scratched.
Better Uses for Tiedown Straps
The lesson here is that tiedown straps really shouldn’t be used to attack cars. In fact, they shouldn’t be used to attack anything. Tiedowns have much better uses, ranging from cargo securement to rigging. Here are just a few possibilities:
- Transporting Toys – Transporting outdoor toys, like motorbikes and ATVs, is a lot safer when said toys are secured during the trip. Tiedown straps are easy to deploy and strong enough to handle the job.
- Moving House – Tiedown straps are indispensable when you are moving to a new house. Whether you use a pickup truck, a trailer, or a box van, tiedown straps keep stuff from moving around.
- Outdoor Recreation – The possibilities for tiedown straps in outdoor recreation are endless. Secure a kayak to the roof of your car. Strap propane tanks to the back of your RV. You are limited only by your imagination.
Tiedown straps have two things going for them: webbing material and the buckles that hold them tight. They are superior to rope, bungee cords, and chains for so many applications. Just remember that they are not made to be weapons.
If you ever get the urge to beat up a car with a tiedown strap, walk away and get some tea. Go somewhere and relax. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a world of hurt.