If you ask a offroader or overlander, is there a tow strap on your vehicle? I believe most of them will say yes! Tow rope for rescue is the simplest and the best direct method while 4WD off-road and overland.Compared with other rescue equipment, it is cheap, lightweight and easy to carry with, and the most important thing is that it is very simple and direct for towing and pulling rescue. also the most cost-effective rescue option.
First you have to sort out what is vehicle tow rope, lifting sling and recovery tow strap is.
1.many people who are not similar with 4 wheel drive will show you the vehicle tow rope like below
Non-professional tow rope have metal hooks at both ends, making it very dangerous during emergency towing. The collapse of the tow rope creats a strong rebounce. A fractured metal joint in the tow rope is likely to cause injury or death.
2. Or like this kind of lifting sling
Perhaps it’s the appearance that really doesn’t make much difference. the big lifting sling might be 1 cm thick and 10 cm wide. It looks very heavy and sturdy. But actually, it is not the same.there is an essential difference tow strap used in off-road recovery and lifting sling or ordinary vehicle tow rope.
In the four-wheel drive rescue, the vehicle is generally stuck in sand or mud. Take mud, for example, which has a certain amount of adsorptive properties. If you’ve ever had the experience of accidentally stepping into mud, I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling that your feet are out of the mud, but your shoes are still in it.
If we use a lifting sling, because it is inelastic, the vehicle has a certain initial speed when pulling, the rope is instantly taut, and because there is no cushion, the vehicle will not necessarily be pulled out before the rope breaks, and may even pull the rear vehicle beam out.
According to the lifting industry standard, an ordinary 5 ton sling must withstand 4-6 times of its own pulling force in operation, which means it can withstand 30 tons without breaking. But this figure refers to the maximum breaking force it can withstand at rest, not the instantaneous huge impact, so it’s not that the sling isn’t of good enough quality, it’s just not suitable for this kind of impact work.
The Advantages of Tow Strap
The best tow strap must not only be strong enough, but also simple enough so that it will work well in the towing process. It should be designed scientifically and with good elongation. The length under load can be up to 20% (nylon fiber). Such resilient ductility is very practical in the rescue process.
- when the rescue vehicle sprints forward, the tow strap is sufficiently elongated to provide some cushioning to protect the undercarriage of the rescue vehicle and the rescued vehicle from the powerful instantaneous impact forces.
- During the towing process, the tow strap is extended to its maximum stroke, and the elastic potential energy is fully gathered, bringing about a short and strong rebound effect. This elastic potential energy works together with the pull of the vehicle to make rescue easier and more effective for the stuck vehicle.
I guess judging by the change in the two photos above- the tight tow strap almost bounced the line dampener off, it’s not hard for you guys to experience the instant impact, is it?
What is the best tow strap?
Question: since industrial lifting strap and cheap ordinary tow ropes are not suitable for offroad and overland rescue, are the tow straps also similarly suitable for off road recovery and rescue?
How to choose the model of tow strap?
For safety resaons, the tow strap should be made of sturdy nylon fiber, 20-30 feet long and 2-3 inches wide, with sturdy loop stitching at both ends. 8-ton tow straps is recommended for vehicles under 1.6 tons, an 11-ton towing belt for vehicles 1.6-2.2 tons, and a large off-road vehicle or jeep is recommended for 15-ton to ensure rescue safety.
Warning: tow strap with metal hooks are not suitable for use. Once snapped or slipped, the hook would shoot into the body like shrapnel from a shotgun, easily piercing the windshield (and the driver’s head).
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