The right recovery straps and how to use them can make the difference if you can pull your vehicle out safely or if you have to wait on a tow truck. In this blog, we’ll be going over how you can find the right recovery straps for off-road recoveries. You know, just in case.
What Are Recovery Straps?
Recovery straps are flat with sewn loops and no hooks. Straps with hooks, also called tow straps, are extremely dangerous in recovery situations because of their metal hooks. Should your recovery strap or hardware break, you don’t want a metal hook flying through the air at 100 mph. Also, a good recovery strap is nylon, not polypropylene, Dacron or chain (Yes, you want them to stretch). Also, nylon straps are safer than chains, easier to use, and not nearly as heavy.
How Do Recovery Straps Work?
Recovery straps work by transferring energy through the use of a stretchable material. To pull a vehicle out of a bad situation, you would attach a recovery strap to the back of your vehicle and then to the front of the stuck vehicle. As you drive away from the other vehicle, the recovery strap will stretch just like a rubber band. Much like rubber bands do, the strap will want to return to its normal size, so it will transfer the energy to the stuck vehicle, making it un-stuck. Science.
Recovery straps range in length and can be 20-40 feet and 2-6 inches wide. Generally, each inch of width will allow you to pull about 10,000 lbs. So if you have a 4 inch wide strap, you could pull up to 40,000 lbs. BUT, the strap becomes less elastic the wider it gets, which means it will not work properly if you go all out with a 6-inch wide strap to pull 10,000 lbs of weight. Typically, a 2″ or 3″ wide recovery strap will suit all of your needs.
Tips for Recovery Strap Use
- Never attach a recovery strap to bumpers, axles, suspension, steering rods, or a trailer hitch ball. Straps must always be attached to a secure place on the vehicles frame.
- Never attach a recovery strap to another vehicle with a knot. Instead, pass one end of the strap through the loop at the other end of the strap to secure it.
- When pulling the vehicle out, drive very slowly. No sudden tugs.
In our very own Unimproved/Off Road Driving Course, students will learn how to employ all the necessary pieces of equipment to recover a downed or stuck vehicle. This task is learned in a single and multi-vehicle fashion. Some of the items used consist of recovery straps, tow straps, shackles, chains and high-lift jacks.
Upcoming UORDC Classes
- Jul 18, 2016
- Aug 8, 2016
- Sep 12, 2016
- Oct 10, 2016
- Nov 7, 2016
- Dec 5, 2016
For more information on our UORDC Class, visit our UORDC training course page.