Receiver hitch shackle mount or just the pin for use with soft shackles?

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Overland Rich

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Hello All,

I am switching to soft shackles and trying to get all the metal out of my recover system. Between myself and my brother who I generally go with we have a bubba rope kinetic recovery rope, 4 gator jaw soft shackles, a tree saver strap, and 2 maxtrax each. I am new to soft shackles and want to know if anyone has experience using them just jammed into the receiver hitch with the pin through them versus using a receiver hitch shackle mount. The factor 55 hitchlink is deburred and smooth for use with soft shackles but if using it directly in the hitch with just the pin through it doesn't cause any sharp edges or fraying that would get one more large chunk of metal out of the recovery system. Let me know your thoughts and experiences!
 

Lindenwood

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I have done this before, but technically the pin is only designed against pure shear loads placed just inside the inner walls of the hitch, as opposed to the bending forces of a soft loop placed in the center of the pin between a 2" gap.

I'd probably do it again, to be honest, but just be aware that even though a 5/8" pin could be rated for huge towing numbers, it is experiencing markedly different stresses from just a loop or strap around it.

Realistically, however, even if it does completely fail, it shouldnt actually come flying out of the receiver--it would likely just bend in the middle until it failed and allowed the loop to slip out. However unlikely a complete failure may be, it is probably not unlikely to have it bend just enough to get stuck in the hitch!
 

Graeman

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I have done this before, but technically the pin is only designed against pure shear loads placed just inside the inner walls of the hitch, as opposed to the bending forces of a soft loop placed in the center of the pin between a 2" gap.
Could not have said it any better.
 
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RainGoat

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Excellent commentary. Just curious, Do you think this applies to a 2” strap. In that case the force would generally be distributed over the 2” length instead of just the center. I know that’s not the same as a hitch receiver, but it’s close. Your comment about bending just enough to have the pin stuck is an excellent point and one not readily thought about. PersonallyI have a receiver but I’ve always considered a 2” strap & pin to be fine, might have to rethink that one.
 

RainGoat

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Yeah, I wouldn’t use a soft shackle for that. I was talking about a flat 2” strap. I’ve always used a receiver bow shackle but considered the pin an alternative. Never thought it would bend with a flat strap but I can see how that would be a mess.
 
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Lindenwood

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Excellent commentary. Just curious, Do you think this applies to a 2” strap. In that case the force would generally be distributed over the 2” length instead of just the center. I know that’s not the same as a hitch receiver, but it’s close. Your comment about bending just enough to have the pin stuck is an excellent point and one not readily thought about. PersonallyI have a receiver but I’ve always considered a 2” strap & pin to be fine, might have to rethink that one.
It would be better than a soft shackle, but still far from ideal. Even if the force was perfectly distributed along the pin, a 20,000lb snatch would put 1000lb on every .2" of the pin between the receiver walls. Thus, in just the middle 1" you have 10,000lb of bending force.

Again, back in the day I have personally done a mild snatch using this method, and it worked with no issues, but that was before I really understood everything Ive now posted.

So again, would I use this in an emergency? Absolutely--realistic worst case, you'll be grinding out a bent hitch pin when you get home, or at worst cut or lose the end of the strap. However, ideally, I also wouldnt plan on this being my primary rear hookup method.
 
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JCWages

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Using a soft shackle on just a pin creates a pivot point closer to the receiver hitch which could potentially rub on the receiver lip itself. Using a shackle pushes that point farther out so you could also pull more vertical without rubbing.
That is my main concern. Even if the 2 vehicles are on a level plane the odds of 1 of those vehicles shifting enough to allow the strap to rub on the inside of the receiver lip is high.
 
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smlobx

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I’m replying to this thread because it was mentioned in another one...

While the above comments are interesting I have yet to ever hear of anyone bending their pin...I have used this method on several occasions attaching a 3” strap that had 2” loops sewn into each end without any pin deformity.

Granted this provides a more even distribution of the load over using a soft shackle but this has been my experience.