Tie Down Straps

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Tie Down Straps

Postby epipete » Sat 30.05.2015, 13:37

When the cars were shipped from the factory I understand that the studs at the jacking points were removed and a threaded bolt with a steel loop was screwed in thus allowing the car to be tied down to the transporter or whatever.

Does any one have any of these items, is this a better way of securing the car for shipping rather than strapping through the wheels?

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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby rdodger » Sat 30.05.2015, 19:31

It's better to tie a car down using the wheels rather than tie down the chassis.

If you tie the wheels the suspension will still work and tow much better. Probably better for the car too.

Something like this

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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby lotusflasherman » Sat 30.05.2015, 21:04

:agree: with comment about allowing suspension movement but that looks complicated.

I used to tie the race mini onto the trailer using a couple of ratchet straps around the outboard ends of the lower suspension arms. Still allowed suspension movement but a darn sight easier than trying to tie around a wheel. I added vertical curved plates to the trays so the car stopped in the right place to give me the ideal nose weight and tie straps pulled it against those. Took no more than 30 seconds to anchor each side.
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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby dapinky » Sun 31.05.2015, 10:40

Each method has it's own advantages and disadvantages - and the main thing is to get the load stable under as many conditions as possible...

..... but then we have the "lets limit any potential damage" consideration - with the photo above method (which is used by just about every recovery truck driver in the country due to its simplicity and speed of application), the issue with the Elan is that the strap across the front of the wheel may well rub against the wheel surface (due to the shape of elan wheels) - now, on a 2 mile trip home that isn't likely to be an issue - but as you're looking at going half way across Europe, and with newly-powdercoated wheels, I wouldn't do it.

As Phil says, for your circumstances I'd use the 4 suspension points nearest the hubs, that is where most of the weight transference occurrs anyway.
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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby Andy_J » Sun 31.05.2015, 22:42

Shipped 2 elans over 500 miles each using the same style straps as rdodger. I always strap cars by the wheels and have never had damage to the wheels. I would never strap down the suspension arms as they are not designed to pulled down by a ratchet strap .
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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby lotusflasherman » Mon 01.06.2015, 00:15

Andy_J wrote:Shipped 2 elans over 500 miles each using the same style straps as rdodger. I always strap cars by the wheels and have never had damage to the wheels. I would never strap down the suspension arms as they are not designed to pulled down by a ratchet strap .


As a qualified engineer and a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology I'd say that in my professional opinion wheels are designed to rotate. They are not designed to be tied down either. :lol:

Using a ratchet strap just enables the slack to be taken up in a matter of seconds - there is very little tension imparted as you are only trying to stop the vehicle shuffling around on the trays - or bouncing off. Just think about the loads suspension arms are designed to take when cornering or braking - or even clipping kerbs if the driver is clumsy enough, and you'll understand to restrain the car using them is perfectly acceptable.

Having towed a race mini on a trailer to most of the UK circuits for several years that system worked well over several thousand miles and was quick and reliable. Would work just as well for an Elan.

To get back to the original post about using body jacking points to tie down - as the trailer goes through bump and rebound the car's suspension can also absorb some of the shock if it's free to move so the trailer suspension doesn't have to work so hard. If you do tie down by jacking points, or any part of the body, the tie straps will be restricting this movement but the car will still be trying to move and will do so through bump so will be tugging at the straps on rebound and the trailer suspension will have to work harder when it's carrying a 'deadweight' too.
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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby Fredjohn » Mon 01.06.2015, 08:05

Pete
Just to clarify your need, are you planning to have your car transported by road (and a bit of sea!) to Cyprus, or have it sent by sea all the way from the UK?

The advice proffered so far seems to look purely at road transport. If going by sea all the way, advice/methods may differ slightly.

Hope it all goes well, but as an alternative you could just take a relaxing (?) 2-3 weeks holiday and drive to Cyprus, and then take a final ferry from Athens.
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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby epipete » Mon 01.06.2015, 09:50

Thanks John, It looks as though I've raised a lively debate, but I can see logic in all of the replies.

I am mindful of the overland drive and have every reason for confidence however it would be traumatic to have a failure somewhere miles from anywhere, if you know what I mean, at least here, at home, I can mitigate the risk and similarly once its there I'll have the time to sort but the intervening 2K miles???? Hummm!!!!

I expect that it will go by Sea all the way, from either L'pool or Sthampton, hopefully strapped down in a container by professional loadmasters! But I doubt I'll be able to witness its actual loading!

We still have no dates yet, and I've got a medical interview later this week - I hadn't realised that Id need to be combat fit, I thought the draft stopped when you turned 42!

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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby dapinky » Mon 01.06.2015, 09:55

John,

That was mainly why, for Petes' circumstances, I advocated the suspension tie-down not the wheel tie-down method - 3 weeks + in a container with the tyres being compressed and deformed would not be ideal......

Either way, I wouldn't want to tie the body due to lack of somewhere to tie to (hence the original question, I suppose) - and sea-travel often isn't conducive to smooth travel, thus putting extra strain on the straps if the suspension can't move at all.

I wonder how they were originally sent to the various export markets - we're they crated singly, loaded on semi-trailers, or just tied-down to decking points?????
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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby rip » Mon 01.06.2015, 12:45

I worked for a plant hire company some time ago. They usually tied vehicles down by their axles.
Consider that the wheels on plant machinery have much larger tyres than on a car so this would exaggerate the effect, but the principle is still be the same.

On the odd occasion that a vehicle was tied down by its wheels, the drivers commented that it would bounce all over the place & tying them down by the axle is more stable.
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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby lotusflasherman » Mon 01.06.2015, 12:46

Just speaking to a fellow mini racer from the 70's and he mentioned that his daughter's car was transported some distance on a trailer by 'a professional organisation' who used the wheel securing system and she suffered a chafed brake hose and damage to the ABS wiring on the OSF. It was the ABS fail light that got him looking under the wheel arch to spot the brake hose. She was picked up from the hard shoulder on a motorway and reckoned the guy was watching traffic when he tied down the offside, more than looking what he was doing - who can blame him! Perhaps a check at first opportunity would have been good though.

If it's going by sea... my experience of numerous channel crossings with a car, mainly across the water, is that cars don't tend to move - if the handbrake works! Most memorable crossing was returning on the SeaCat in winter when conventional ferries weren't running because of sea conditions. It was so choppy they closed all restaurants and duty free shop and advised passengers to remain seated. SeaCat was supposed to have computer controlled stabilizers but was bouncing around like an adventure playground ride and bottles of booze and perfume were coming off the shelves and smashing in the duty free shop - the smell reminded me on some of the best parties I'd been to. :bananasex: Cars were packed in very close to each other so I expected some movement and maybe damage but saw no evidence of either. Cars were still where we'd parked them and the only issue was the noise on the car-deck coming from alarms set off by movement - mainly Range Rovers. Seen plenty of Toleman's car transporters carrying new Range Rovers with hazard flashers and alarms sounding too so maybe they were a bit trigger happy.

If I was going to ship an Elan I'd maybe consider providing long M12 eyebolts to substitute for a lower wheel bolt on each wheel. Maybe add a suitable flat plate or washer with pad to stop wheel getting scratched. Wheel could then be conveniently secured and car move on suspension as required. Tyre pressure could be increased to stop tyre deformation if considered an issue. Might be an idea to deactivate the alarm too.
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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby lotusflasherman » Mon 01.06.2015, 12:51

rip wrote:I worked for a plant hire company some time ago. They usually tied vehicles down by their axles.
Consider that the wheels on plant machinery have much larger tyres than on a car so this would exaggerate the effect, but the principle is still be the same.

On the odd occasion that a vehicle was tied down by its wheels, the drivers commented that it would bounce all over the place & tying them down by the axle is more stable.


You've got me scratching my head on that one... isn't the wheel firmly connected to the axle? - or is the issue that a tyre is such an awkward shape to secure?
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Re: Tie Down Straps

Postby CalElan » Mon 01.06.2015, 19:06

I'd imagine the difference with plant machinery is exactly that they do have larger wheels. Those tie straps do have some elasticity in them. Not sure what percentage of stretch you'd expect but if you get say 5% you can easily see that wrapping one around an Elan tyre is a much smaller distance than around the wheel of plant machinery.
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