Tow strap vs lift strap/sling

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San Angelo, TX, USA
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Hey guys, my first time posting on here. I was wondering if these straps I have are adequate for vehicle recovery. While doing some research I found that picture that said lifting straps are for vehicle recovery but people on other forums say tow straps are better for recovery. Am I missing something? Sorry if this is a dumb question. Screenshot_20190514-214018.pngIMG_20190515_193404.jpgIMG_20190515_193323.jpgIMG_20190515_193435.jpgIMG_20190515_193422.jpg

The other Sean

Rank VI

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Those should be fine. They are actually rated. Some of the no name off sore straps are not. Keep in mind, those ratings are the "working load limit" so, for the use of pulling a vehicle off an obstacle, they are good.

I have one of those endless loops. it's a great unit, lots of options. It can double as a tree saver, loop it around a tube bumper or slider or, My favorite is you can loop it around a tire to secure a vehicle from sliding sideways, or use it to pull as a last resort if there isn't an anchor point where you need.

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Rank I

Contributor II

Spring Hill, KS, USA
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Tow straps DO work when in a situation and you need to get someone out of something. Just please keep in mind they are stiff with no stretch as madcratebuilder mentioned. This could potentially cause unwanted jerking during the recovery and cause damage to parts if not done properly. The ones you have are slings (recovery straps) so they work great and are recommended for pulling people out.


Rank VI

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Ft Walton Beach, Fl
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To be clear, just because a strap is advertised as a "recovery" strap, does not inherently mean it will stretch. In fact, google "recovery strap," and most products will not advertise any stretch at all, even they are indeed a properly-rated strap. However, what they all have in common is a very high working load / breaking strength, which is necessary even for carefully-executed recoveries because vehicles can shift and bind. They can still double as tow straps in that they enable you to apply smooth, even pressure to pull a vehicle without it trying to "bungee" or, just as importantly, without damaging the strap by keep it stretched out for an extended period. One examples would be pulling a broken-down rig several miles out of a trail; you wouldn't want an elastic strap because it would have a tendency to "slinky" the towed vehicle, and you'd potentially damage the strap.

Still, they are not meant for deliberately jerking the strap with the recovering vehicle!!!! For those, you'd want a kinetic recovery strap, also called a "snatch atrap." A snatch strap allows you to use the vehicle's momentum to generate extra force to recover the vehicle, without generating the tens of thousands of extra pounds of force created by jerking a stiff strap or chain.

So, sometimes a non-elastic recovery strap and a kinetic recovery strap can perform the same duties. If slowly pulling a sedan out of a ditch, either would work. On the other hand, a non-kinetic strap should be used for lighter-load, extended pulls, while a kinetic recovery strap should be used for hard recoveries requiring dynamic movement to "snatch" the stuck vehicle out.

Hope this helps!


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Contributor III

Loveland, Colorado
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With most neophytes, their first inclination is to get a run at it and do a big yank. That is actually the last thing you want to do. More bumpers are damaged (torn off of vehicles) that way. Unless the bumper is specifically designed as a tow point or it was made before 1950, never use the bumper. Only a half step better are the factory hold down points they use to secure your vehicle to a transport truck getting to the dealer. They are flimsy and if stressed too much either break or rip a big hole in the undercarriage. They are known for causing lots of injuries and even death to bystanders.

If you aren't going to add tow points, at least get a short tree saver type strap and crawl under and find something substantial it can be looped around such as a front K member.

The real key is to never get stuck by looking at an obstacle and determining the best method. If you aren't sure you can make it and have no one else along, turn around. As you gain experience, you can get a bit more aggressive, but take your time to get some experience and get comfortable with the limits of your vehicle.

Happy Trails.
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