Tech Review—MAC’s Custom Tie-Downs
Written by Steve Turner
Photography by the author
Those who race or attend events on the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals and Red Line Oil NMCA Muscle Car Nationals schedule know these automotive extravaganzas bring a lot of action and excitement to the racetrack. However, behind the scenes, there are numerous working parts — from staff to equipment — that must be organized to keep these events running like a sharply tuned race car.
Among those facets is the Power Mall, which is a traveling merchandise trailer that offers a wide range of swag bearing NMRA, NMCA, and other licensed logos. For those who love muscle cars, this trailer is a must-visit spot during an event weekend. However, getting all the shirts, hats, jackets, and other swag along with the tables, registers, racks, and other gear needed to set up the shop requires stowing a lot of gear.
Said gear is transported in one of two United Trailers that is hauled by a 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD dually pick-up truck. However, making sure the gear inside is safely stowed away for transport means strapping it down to keep things neatly stowed until arrival at the next racetrack. Having snapped a few cheap straps before, it was time to upgrade the Power Mall trailer in the manner that the registration trailer was previously upgraded.
“Mac’s reputation is one of high quality and we needed their help after several broken strap incidents. The quality of the webbing prevents stretching, also the mandrel, ratchet, and hooks are stronger than other brands that we’ve tried in the past,” Rollie Miller, General Manager and National Event Director of NMRA and NMCA said.
Preventing such a mess meant turning to Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs for eight Combination Axle Straps with Direct Hooks and 40 Ratchet Tie-Down Straps with S-Hooks.
“We rely on high-quality straps to keep our merch bins secure and in place. The road can bounce the contents of a trailer pretty well. Without these straps, we’d have a mess in there!” Jim McConnell, ProMedia’s Power Mall Manager, said.
Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs launched back in 1993 after its founder Colin McLemore became frustrated with the available tie-down options. He set out to create a product line focused on quality by utilizing CNC machining, high-quality materials, and double-stitching on the straps. The company even created patented VersaTie Tracks and Connectors to ensure a fully integrated system.
“The unparalleled quality of our products, world-class customer service, and diverse offerings are what sets us apart from our competition. All products are made to the highest quality and strength standards as well as tested to extremes beyond everyday use. Mac’s straps are trusted by top drivers and racers,” Phil Samph, Senior Lead Sales Representative at Mac's Custom Tie-Downs, said. “We offer diversity in track, connectors, deck, and specialty hardware and a complete line of tie-down straps. We never stop innovating, whether it’s our patented easy-release ratchet or our direct-hook design…”
“…We take extra care when crafting each strap in our facility in Idaho to ensure only the highest quality straps. As a result of this quality, our straps tend to wear better, the ratchets remain operational for a longer period and we stand behind any defects in workmanship and materials,” Samph added. “Mac’s charges a little more for our superior quality straps, but the investment is worth it as they won’t need to be replaced nearly as often as budget straps.”
While tie-down straps might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are running a racing program (or a racing-series merch tent), having quality support gear is essential to ensuring your valuable tools, gear, scooters, carts, and race cars remain securely stored while you are traveling to and from the track.
“Longevity, security, size, safety, weight, and end use are all important things to consider. Many factors determine the best tie-down option: trailer type, vehicle, wheel size, and anchor point locations to name a few,” Samph explained. “While you can choose the strap length, end fitting style, and color, selecting a completely custom piece might be the best solution.”
Whether you are hauling a race car or transporting the NMRA/NMCA Power Mall, the job of the tied-down straps is similar. Ensuring all the merch and support equipment remains where it should be is just as important as getting everything to the track. Not only does keeping the gear secure eliminate clean-up time upon arriving, but it ensures that nothing is damaged so it is ready to run as soon as the Power Mall is set up.
Keeping a race trailer in order is much the same. No one wants a toolbox falling on their race car or the car itself rolling and damaging the trailer or worse. As such, having quality straps for specific duties throughout a support trailer of any kind delivers peace of mind and allows you to focus on the job at hand upon arrival at the racetrack.
“If you are hauling the same race car to every race, our Custom Automotive Wheel Nets might be a great fit for you. These nets are built to spec based on your precise tire size and the location of your tie-down points. Using our custom nets allows the suspension to ride freely,” Samph said. “Mac’s also carries a wide variety of products designed specifically for drag racing. Because using a single strap on a rear oversized, soft dragster tire can damage the tire in transit, Mac's Rear Spreader Bar Nets are built with two billet aluminum spreader bars that disperse the load and eliminate a center groove left on the tire by a standard single strap. To provide added support for your vehicle during trailering, add our Chassis Stabilizer. You'll keep damage and wear at bay for the chassis, suspension components, electronics, struts, springs, torsion bars, and onboard computers.”
To that end, Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs offers a full line of accessories, anchor points, straps, tools, and tracks to secure whatever you need, including the entire merchandise operation for two national event series.
No less than 40 of MAC’s Ratchet Tie-Down Strap with S-Hooks are in use holding the bins full of NMRA and NMCA merch in place while the trailer is on the road. Measuring 1 inch wide by 12 feet long, these straps carry a workload rating of 933 pounds and a break strength of 2,800 pounds. “Keeping your tie-downs fresh and free from abrasion, tears, and wear is an important step in safe hauling,” Phil Samph, Senior Lead Sales Representative at Mac's Custom Tie-Downs, said. “Our canvas bags and fleece covers offer additional support and protection from the elements. We also offer an exclusive rewebbing service that allows you to send back your worn straps and have them remade, using the original hardware.”
“The Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs are super smooth, with easy ratchet action and a snug secure feel…” Jim McConnell, ProMedia’s Power Mall Manager, said. “They offered quality from the start and they look great too!”
In addition to the straps holding the merch bins in place, eight Combination Axle Straps with Direct Hooks measuring 2 inches by 6 feet are tasked with holding two Promedia golf carts safely in place. These straps are rated with a workload of 3,335 pounds and a break strength of 10,000 pounds.
Keeping NMRA/NMCA’s rolling shopping experience on the road requires a lot of care, organization, and planning. However, thanks in part to the proper straps from Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs, the show stays on the road in an orderly fashion
Mac's Custom Tie-Downs