I use ratchets as well, I got T-boned a few years ago in a van, the ladders were bungied to the racks, needless to say the ladders were all over the road.ratchet straps are the only way to go. I cringe when I see bungies or anything less than a ratchet strap being used.
I'm not too sure but I believe DOT says they need to be "locked & secured" but does not say how or specify with what size cable....etc.....WRONG...lolceltic; said:....might want to see what the DOT has to say :whistling
I learned the hard way with bungies myself. I had about 10 sheets of smooth board siding on top my ladder racks and had it all quadrupedal bungied in every direction.. the ole' hitting the brakes and they all came off the rack one by one.. it amazed me that people would run over the sheets instead of farking waiting for me to move em.. was on a street too so anyway that was the time I decided the ratchet straps were going to be bought and used from then on. I have probably 10 sets in the back of the truck at all times now.