The tie-down loops in my truck are inconveniently located way down inside the bed at the four corners. Plus, two of them are blocked by my truck box. Every time I have to tie something down, I think to myself that I will buy some of those stake pocket tie-downs the next time I see them… but I never do.
I have found something else that’s potentially more useful: Lee Valley has started selling tie-down anchors that clamp onto the bed rail of your truck. With these anchors you aren’t limited to the corners of the bed, you can locate them exactly where you need them anywhere along the bed rail.
These tie-down anchors have jaws that open up to 1-3/4″ wide with a 1″ deep throat, so it should fit over most pickup bed rails. The hook will hold up to 3/4″ diameter ropes and the rated maximum load capacity is 600 lbs (presumably per anchor.)
The body of these tie-downs is made from steel plate and is coated in PVC, while the clamp screw is zinc-plated steel. The foot of the clamp pivots so that it can handle uneven surfaces.
For now you can buy a set of 4 anchor tie-downs for $15, but this is a limited time offer. After May 4th, 2016, the regular price will be ~$10 per pair.
Free shipping reminder: Lee Valley is running a free shipping promo on $40+ orders, thru April 18th, 2016.
Price: $15 for 4 tie-downs
Do you ever see something new and it breaks down a barrier in your mind? I never would have though about clamping a tie-down to my bed rail.
So this anchor tie-down got me thinking: I don’t need to buy any special truck tie downs, I have C-clamps in my shop that seem like they would work perfectly for the same purpose. I could stow them with my rope and ratchet straps and clamp them to the bed rail any time I needed a convenient tie point. Failing that, an F-style clamp would probably work in a pinch too.
Sure these special purpose tie-downs from Lee Valley look like they’d do the job nicely, and I wouldn’t begrudge anybody purchasing them, but this just seems like one more use for the versatile C-Clamp!
Do you have any better suggestions about how to create additional tie-down anchor points? Is there any reason not to use C-clamps in the manner shown?