Mac's Tie Downs - Beware of Non-Functional Safety Latch - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mac's Tie Downs - Beware of Non-Functional Safety Latch

Just a heads up. Take this with a grain of salt, but it's concerning to me so I figured I'd make everyone aware... You can come to your own conclusions. After all, lots of $ being hauled around. Just bought a new set of Mac's with the direct hooks (ie: no strap between the hook and ratchet. Nice quality stuff... Until it came to the first time using them. They've apparently gone to a lower profile design on the ratchet handle which makes it impossible to lockout. I've talked to them 3 times over the past week and ultimately had to point out what induced the issue. Today I received a call back which in no uncertain terms was explained to me that after going over it with "The Engineer"...

1.) Yes. The handle interferes with the hook which disables the lockout. I explained this to them with the following photographs on the first day.

2.) Despite this, "It should be OK. We haven't had anyone of the thousands sold complain."

3.) They understand the safety concern and they'd be happy to work with me on a product return, but again they haven't had any complaints.

Talk about a poor response to a design problem involving a SAFETY mechanism that's important enough to stamp on the side of your own product. Mine are going back.

Old design from one of their videos -


New design -

Last edited by crashinaz; 02-13-2017 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pics are a bit hard to.decipher...
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Old 02-13-2017, 05:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would not use them if the safety lock doesn't work. We use ratchet straps to help tie vehicles on chassis dynos and we have found that the safety lock is extremely important.
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Exactly. They don't seem to think it's a big deal though.

Rockota - Notice the notch right below the stamping that says "CLOSE FULLY TO ENGAGE SAFETY LOCK". It can't drop down into position because the handle hits the hook. It's designed to do 3 things...

Keep the spring loaded tab that engages teeth from backing out.

Let you know that the tab isn't fully engaged with the teeth by not seating fully.

Lock the handle down.


None of which are important according to Mac's. LOL. A simple, "Wow. Glad you noticed. That's a problem. We'll fix that and send you out the revised ratchets, hooks, whatever." Nope. So that means there's "thousands" of these out on the roads unlocked.

Last edited by crashinaz; 02-13-2017 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Still dont have any clue what your talking about with out photos
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Direct Hook Ratchet w/ Mac's Logo (Ratchet Only)
Tow Package with Direct Hook Ratchets

I'll bet it's those gizmos. I can see OP's concern, I think I wouldn't be using them either. The handle should always be latched in transport. I'll stick with the Mac's straps I've already got.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Are the pics in my original post not showing? Lol.
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I can't get the pictures in the op to show.
I see your issue!
Seemed to sorta work in the video, but can see if the hook isn't positioned perfectly, it will not go to safety latch. Looks like if they just make the attachment weldment an inch or so longer, problem fixed.
Thanks for the vid Chixjeff!
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Are the pics in my original post not showing? Lol.
Nope
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Lol. I was wondering what the disconnect was.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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mine do the same thing and ive used them for 5+ years without any issue
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I see the pics and totally understand the issue. I HATE those style hooks and am curious why you chose them over the more common style which would probably not have that issue.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:46 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Having the hook attached to the ratchet it dumb.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I see the pics and totally understand the issue. I HATE those style hooks and am curious why you chose them over the more common style which would probably not have that issue.
He's not having an issue with the hook. Edit- I see what yer saying now.



I wouldn't use those without the safety latch being in the position like the first picture. I have a few ratchets that do that and they have been relieved to being used to tie branches/brush down.


It being stamped "close fully to engage safety lock" is my favorite part. haha
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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mine do the same thing and ive used them for 5+ years without any issue
Wow, that's a really risky setup.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashinaz View Post
Exactly. They don't seem to think it's a big deal though.

Rockota - Notice the notch right below the stamping that says "CLOSE FULLY TO ENGAGE SAFETY LOCK". It can't drop down into position because the handle hits the hook. It's designed to do 3 things...

d.
Pics weren't showing when I posted my attempt at sarcasm
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Can you unbolt the hook and flip it to gain more clearance?
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Having the hook attached to the ratchet it dumb.
It can be very useful at times. I more often find myself wanting the hook at the end of the ratchet than looking for a more conventional arrangment
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:06 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Can you unbolt the hook and flip it to gain more clearance?
It looks like you could, but then the handle might be pushing down on the spring loaded tab that keeps the hook secured to the d-ring.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
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It looks like you could, but then the handle might be pushing down on the spring loaded tab that keeps the hook secured to the d-ring.
Would also make it a pita to open. Regardless he shouldn't have to modify a product to work as intended. Coming from a company who is so hellbent on pushing safely securing cargo, this is rediculous. I looked into those straps, but the more i thought about them the more I saw them as a solution to a problem i don't have.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:55 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Having the hook attached to the ratchet it dumb.
Why and as opposed to what else? I use them all the time hauling cars. It's a lot quicker to use the ones with the hooks and wheel straps than really any other setup.

I have a few that won't stay down anymore but I've never had one loosen up. Most of my stuff is short haul but if I have a long one I'll zip tie the handle down. Even that wouldn't help those Mac's though.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:11 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Well it's not what all the cool kids have, but I get all my stuff from US Cargo Control. You don't get velcro straps or a bag, but they do have a locking position in the bottom.

They also make some with integral axle straps and will make anything custom that you want.

Axle Straps - Set of 4 Axle Straps (2" x 8')

Axle Straps & Tie Downs | Auto & Axle Tie Down Straps

Here's a bag!
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:29 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Situational points deserved for being a smart ass rockota . I could see the pics for some reason.

It was time for new tie downs, so I went with something US made and top tier. Just thought the brand was a bit more quality/detail oriented. So much for upgrading from 15 year old depot straps... That lock.

I like the hook attached to the ratchet concept. D-rings are at the corners of the trailer, so the ratchet is right there when you're cinching it down. They also wrap up and stow away neatly. It's such a simple fix for them to make. If that hook was extended out a half inch, the handle would fall lower on the slope of the hook.

Oh well. I've actually had and seen others with tie down loosen up because the handle wasn't locked down... That being said, I've also missed getting a handle all the way down and made it 50 or so miles without an issue.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:37 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Can you unbolt the hook and flip it to gain more clearance?
You could. The meat of the hook is on the top side though, so flipping it hits the trailer deck and it goes wonky.
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:34 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Well it's not what all the cool kids have, but I get all my stuff from US Cargo Control. You don't get velcro straps or a bag, but they do have a locking position in the bottom.

They also make some with integral axle straps and will make anything custom that you want.

Axle Straps - Set of 4 Axle Straps (2" x 8')

Axle Straps & Tie Downs | Auto & Axle Tie Down Straps

Here's a bag!
I just got those a couple months ago. Cheaper on amazon though. I had an awesome problem, they shipped me plain 24in axle straps. They apologized and set out the ratheting set with integrated axle straps i ordered and no return box or mention the extra straps, score! They are quality, and i almost went with macs, after this thread, very glad they didnt get my money

Last edited by gunsworth; 02-14-2017 at 12:35 PM.
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