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I use cargo straps...they have two hooks and a ratchet to tighten things up...and they are not overly expensive...I buy a four pack whenever they go on sale...Great for my canoes and kayaks...rope is nice but nothing tightens up like a ratchet ..

The ratchet is great when it is new, but one day, it will pop loose and go flipping off onto the road. I see straps and bungee cords on the road all the time. A couple of years ago, somebody lost a surfboard and didn't even notice till he got home. [:(]

You are right to buy new straps fairly often.

Of course if you chain it as well, you will not lose the ladder.

My special rope isn't for everyone, and it would be too awkward on the tall Transit rack.

For the one guy that wants to read about my rope:

I lassoo the front rail, flip rope over the ladder, tie a loop of the rope with a double knot and slip the free end of that knot over the end of the rail. It can't come undone. The remaining rope goes over diagonally to the back rail, under and over the ladder, tied with a double knot. This end is also a loop.

A bungee cord goes from the diagonal piece around both rungs and the back rail of the rack, then over to the side to hook the free end of the knot. This takes about as long to do as it does to read about it.

The rope is just the right length and I use the same knots every time. It's a snap and it looks ok.

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32' ladder on conventional alum American van rack... two bungees per post.. 3 posts.. (2 on side, one at rear) and a lockable cable type system (bike-lock with cylinder lock). Change the bungees when they need it and you should be fine.. Not a problem in 18 yrs..Those latch sytems are not necessary..

Next van will probably have the swing-it-down thing ...Maybe going with a Transit connect... i dunno.. I like my E150...it's better to be sitting higher in this traffic.. Check out the nice parking job.. (North End of Boston) After a while.. you get used to this malarkey..

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Thread Drift...

A guy I know recently lost his $1800 bicycle and its carrier when it fell off on the interstate. He said he was in a hurry and probably did not attach the carrrier properly. He said the insurance would cover the carrier but not the bike...?

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Thread Drift...

A guy I know recently lost his $1800 bicycle and its carrier when it fell off on the interstate. He said he was in a hurry and probably did not attach the carrrier properly. He said the insurance would cover the carrier but not the bike...?

That's sad :( I would be really bummed if I lost one of my > $1000 bikes. On the plus side I could shop for a new one. The bike carrier was probably less than a few hundred...

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Just imagine how he'd have felt if that bike had bounced up, struck someone's windshield and hit them in the face sand killed or maimed that person.

It's the law here. You don't lash down your load and it ends up on the highway and they'll nail you to the wall. They've gotten particularly strict about it since an object that wasn't lashed down fell off a truck, went through a lady's windshield and almost decapitated her. She used to be really beautiful, now she's only got one eye and her face and head are held together with metal plates and you'd have never known she was so beautiful before. A damned shame.

There was a young fellow not long before that driving up I-5 on a motorcycle. A blue tarp blew out of the back of someone's truck, wrapped around him and he went right into a wall and was killed.

Drive down the road here with an uncovered load and look around. You'll wonder who all of those folks on their cell phones are talking to and why they are glaring at you and some are giving you the one-fingered salute.

Like Chad, I don't trust ropes or bungees. I've used ratchet straps for years and the only time I've had a problem with them is in the winter when they get wet and freeze and then I have to struggle to get them to release.

I've never had one break - even the ones that are so old you can't tell what their original color was. You just have to remember not to over-tighten them and that they stretch when they are wet. If you strap the load on dry and then it begins to rain, you'll want to pull over and snug them up another notch or two so you won't have a loose load when they stretch. If you strap the load on wet, and you know that they'll dry out between jobs. you'll want to release the ratchet a tooth or two when you park so that as they dry out and begin putting more pressure on the ratchet mechanism the mechanism won't be damaged.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I would never think to tie down with bungee cord. Way to many things can and do go wrong. One of the classic bungee dangers is when the other end lets go, I have witnessed this, and can attest that his eyeball could have been lost...

Securing a load with anything other than sturdy rope or a mechanical device like a ratchet is flaunting his insurance.

But, I been brainwashed army style...secure that load...check.

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Just imagine how he'd have felt if that bike had bounced up, struck someone's windshield and hit them in the face sand killed or maimed that person.

It's the law here. You don't lash down your load and it ends up on the highway and they'll nail you to the wall. They've gotten particularly strict about it since an object that wasn't lashed down fell off a truck, went through a lady's windshield and almost decapitated her. She used to be really beautiful, now she's only got one eye and her face and head are held together with metal plates and you'd have never known she was so beautiful before. A damned shame.

There was a young fellow not long before that driving up I-5 on a motorcycle. A blue tarp blew out of the back of someone's truck, wrapped around him and he went right into a wall and was killed.

Drive down the road here with an uncovered load and look around. You'll wonder who all of those folks on their cell phones are talking to and why they are glaring at you and some are giving you the one-fingered salute.

Like Chad, I don't trust ropes or bungees. I've used ratchet straps for years and the only time I've had a problem with them is in the winter when they get wet and freeze and then I have to struggle to get them to release.

I've never had one break - even the ones that are so old you can't tell what their original color was. You just have to remember not to over-tighten them and that they stretch when they are wet. If you strap the load on dry and then it begins to rain, you'll want to pull over and snug them up another notch or two so you won't have a loose load when they stretch. If you strap the load on wet, and you know that they'll dry out between jobs. you'll want to release the ratchet a tooth or two when you park so that as they dry out and begin putting more pressure on the ratchet mechanism the mechanism won't be damaged.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Thread drift continued...

Not to dismiss the lady or the young fellow and their misfortunes but far too many drivers take unreasonable risks when driving. Tailgating any vehicle let alone one that is loaded with materials of some sort is just ignorant.

What ever happened to leaving a few car lengths on the road? I know I leave extra room on the road and when someone fills it I drop back some more. If I see a truck hauling materials, trash, gravel or what have you, I'm moving to a different lane or backing way off.

A a cyclist I have trained myself to be super vigilant of my surroundings and expect EVERY DRIVER to try to hit me. I've taken the same vigilance to my defensive driving. You have to expect that one of those 2x4's are going to fall out of that truck and have a plan to avoid it. That tarp that's swirling around in an eddy in the bed of that truck is going to fly out.

I strap every load down that I transport but I don't expect every yahoo with a pickup truck to do the same. Self preservation and self awareness is my responsibility, not yours.

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I have been using the same pair of standard duty ratchet straps since I bought the mini in 2005. I use them to secure the LG to the two side to side roof rack bars.

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Because I loop the strap under the bars at both sides of the ladder, I modified the straps by prying open and removing the hooks on the long strap part. That way I can just toss the strap over the roof without worrying about damaging the paint. I then go around the car and pass the ends under and back over. The remaining loops in the webbing (from the removed hooks) get connected to the hook on the short strap at the ratchet. Works well for me. Maybe 20 seconds to get the ladder off and about 3 minutes to re-secure it. They are also cut to size so that I only have short ends to tuck away.

With all that, I actually travel without the LG whenever possible, at least half the time. It's a bit quieter and less drag on the MPG. MLS and street view pictures usually will tell me if I can definitely get on a roof using only the telesteps I keep in the "boot".

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Richard, I call that the "Bronzed Baby Shoe Car" :) How is the pickup on that little thing? They look like a blast to drive..

Second childhood! I had one of the original Mini Coopers in England when I was 18. I spent a lot of money on that one, including an enlarged half-race engine fed from a huge Weber carburetor. This one, the S model, is much faster than that one ever was. Of course, the windy English roads, virtually no speed cops in those days and, well, just being 18, probably made that first one more fun. Ahhhh...nostalgia. It ain't what it used to be!

Anyway, yes, while it's no Ferrari (or Corvette for you heathens), it can be a blast to throw around while stirring the gears. Just not enough good, deserted corners where I usually get to drive.

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