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Old 09-05-2015, 04:24 PM   #1
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How much is too tight on the tire straps????

I've been towing for while now on our American Car Dolly. All has gone pretty well with no problems or complaints. Probably have run about 20 K miles total on several trips , including a trip from our home in west GA to Anchorage AK and back on the Alaska Highway this past summer.

I have not been comfortable with my approach to strapping down and tensioning the straps on the wheels. Everything I have seen says to tighten the ratchets as tight as possible- and I do get them tight and check them frequently.

Thats a lot of fixed stress on the toad's tires in just a few spots, especially if its for a sustained period of time such as when we had it tightly strapped down for 12 days on our run from Anchorage to GA. We never loosened or needed to tighten straps on the trip, and never took the car off the dolly in that period.

How does one gage if the straps are damaging the tire or if the straps are over tightened?

I was concerned and sensed I may have broken a belt on the front toad tires but never confirmed that before I had a new set of tires put on the toad on when I arrived home.

Any thoughts or experience on how much ratchet is too much and is there a sweet spot?
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:35 PM   #2
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If you have a built in ratchet handle they are somewhat self limiting. IF you have a nub for a socket wrench you can over do it. I'd just avoid long breaker bars.

If you are that worried why not just release the straps at night and put a hang tag on the MH steering wheel?
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:45 PM   #3
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I drive my toad thru New York City.

If their roads don't bust up my tires, straps on a dolly won't. Remember heat and flexing ruin the cords in tires.

I've cranked my straps down tight for 15,000 miles with no problems.

I changed the toad tires, 2,000 miles ago, with 50,000 miles on them. They were bald but still ran smooth.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:12 AM   #4
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The strap is spreading a few hundred pounds of force all the way around the tire. Hitting a bump while driving puts many tons of force on a tiny spot on the tire. Don't worry about the strap.
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:03 AM   #5
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There is someone on this forum who used to work in the tire industry, can't remember his handle, but he usually responds in tire pressure threads. He might be a good person to ask this question.

I think one thing going for the tires on the dolly is they are not moving or heating up, i.e., no flex.
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:37 PM   #6
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Getting back to you all

Thanks for the continued input.

The straps are OK and are not showing any stress or wear. Primarily my concern is what is happening to the tires at those spots where the strap presses into the tire and makes an indentation.

I really honk down hard on the ratchets to the point there is no more capability of tightening. Mine are hand or foot pressure ratchets- no wrench to tighten and I typically use my foot.

I've noticed some significant indentation in the tires when I tighten.

Just wondering if I am damaging them. Doesn't seem like it could be any good to indent the tires, but I go out of my way to assure there is no slack in either end of the strap.

Thanks again for your continued input on this .
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:48 AM   #7
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I do the same amount of tightening down those straps. I had to buy new tires for my Mini Cooper because the steel belt separated from the thread on the front tires.
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