vehicle Recovery

TheGambler

Original poster
Member
Sep 12, 2012
39
I am a a young dumb new driver and who has a slight obsession with hitches and I have a recovery question.

Now I got stuck in the ditch and since my hitch was so full of rust they couldn't put a hitch in so they pulled me out using just he pin so I bought a 2" hitch with 2" drop and was alway told if you get stuck just wrap the chain (or strap) around the ball and get out.

Now I'm starting to think thats not the best idea seeing I have a Envoy. I was wondering what would be a better option

I currently have a tri-ball with tow hook in my car but I was thinking about getting a pintle hitch instead. the hook is rated for 10,000 pounds but I have heard of people breaking chains and stuff that are way to big to be broken from being stuck snapping and breaking.

ANYWAY I was wondering if a pintle hitch with a ball would be better or just a plan pintle hitch would be better
(Tractor Supply Company - Generic Error)

or just a hitch clevis?

How big of Tow Strap should I have. I currently have a 3" x 20' 13,+++ wll stap I carry but I was figuring I would get a 8" x 20' some time ( I want to be a trucker so why not use it in the truck latter on in life)?
 

Denali n DOO

Member
May 22, 2012
5,596
TheGambler said:
I am a a young dumb new driver and who has a slight obsession with hitches and I have a recovery question.

Now I got stuck in the ditch and since my hitch was so full of rust they couldn't put a hitch in so they pulled me out using just he pin so I bought a 2" hitch with 2" drop and was alway told if you get stuck just wrap the chain (or strap) around the ball and get out.

Now I'm starting to think thats not the best idea seeing I have a Envoy. I was wondering what would be a better option

I currently have a tri-ball with tow hook in my car but I was thinking about getting a pintle hitch instead. the hook is rated for 10,000 pounds but I have heard of people breaking chains and stuff that are way to big to be broken from being stuck snapping and breaking.

ANYWAY I was wondering if a pintle hitch with a ball would be better or just a plan pintle hitch would be better
(Tractor Supply Company - Generic Error)

or just a hitch clevis?

How big of Tow Strap should I have. I currently have a 3" x 20' 13,+++ wll stap I carry but I was figuring I would get a 8" x 20' some time ( I want to be a trucker so why not use it in the truck latter on in life)?

I'd use the 10,000 lb hook you have but be sure to use a recovery strap and not a tow strap or chains. The "D" ring reciever looks cool. Here's some info for you.

Recovery Straps - Tow Straps - Proper Usage
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
TheGambler said:
...was alway told if you get stuck just wrap the chain (or strap) around the ball ...
NEVER EVER DO THIS.

Go back and tell the people who told you that, that they have it exactly backwards. Ball shanks aren't designed for as much stress as that could apply. Every instruction sheet and web site I've seen about recovery tactics specifically say to never use the ball. Remove the hitch totally, and put the recovery strap loop into the receiver, and retain it using the pin. If all you have is a tow strap with metal hooks at the end, or chain, that's totally unsafe to use and has no stretch and you need to carry a proper recovery strap with looped ends and some stretch. People have died from broken chain or tow straps that launch the hook through the rear window of the pulling vehicle, or the windshield of the pulled vehicle in case of a front attachment.

This is the gadget I carry. (Your link didn't work)

View attachment 25368
 

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Bartonmd

Member
Nov 20, 2011
545
Also, don't go with more than a 3" strap for this vehicle! A 2" or 3" stretchy extraction strap is good for this size of vehicle. The more oversized the strap is, the less your vehicle weight will be able to stretch it, the more it effectively becomes a non-stretchy strap, the more stress it puts on the attachment points at both ends.

Mike
 

NewfieEnvoy

Member
Jan 25, 2012
525
My friends father was using his old full size Bronco to pull up a tree stump after we cut down a large tree in their back yard. I was young and naive at the time but still didn't like the looks of his setup, a very large chain wrapped under the root and attached to the hitch somehow, can't quite remember. Pull...yank...pull...yank. Moral of the story, when he shock loaded the chain it snapped, flew threw the back window broke the passenger seat and went out the front window. Quick lesson that chains are not a good idea. If the angles were a little different it would have hit him and god knows what would have happened.

Roadie, I have an extra receiver. How would you feel about removing the ball and replacing with a large shackle like your setup?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
NewfieEnvoy said:
Roadie, I have an extra receiver. How would you feel about removing the ball and replacing with a large shackle like your setup?
I'd think you were just being cheap. :raspberry:

Depends on the drop, but the ball mounting plate might not be welded on in a safe way for pulling loads through the ball shank hole. And how the shackle pin goes into the hole may increase the stress on the shackle. Basically I think - if this setup breaks, and somebody gets hurt or killed, is the rigging going to figure prominently in the resulting lawsuit? I'm all about risk reduction, even as I'm doing risky things.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
This thread shows me just how little I know. I figured you didn't want stuff to stretch as that could be bad if it broke and was stretched out (turn it into a big spring).

I'll keep this in mind to not use a tow strap to pull someone out of a ditch if I ever have a need to :lipsrsealed:
 

Denali n DOO

Member
May 22, 2012
5,596
Sparky said:
This thread shows me just how little I know. I figured you didn't want stuff to stretch as that could be bad if it broke and was stretched out (turn it into a big spring).

I'll keep this in mind to not use a tow strap to pull someone out of a ditch if I ever have a need to :lipsrsealed:

Here's an example of what can happen (sorry bout the music they added)

[video=youtube;hAY0oVwuzNY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAY0oVwuzNY[/video]
 
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TheGambler

Original poster
Member
Sep 12, 2012
39
the roadie said:
NEVER EVER DO THIS.

Go back and tell the people who told you that, that they have it exactly backwards. Ball shanks aren't designed for as much stress as that could apply. Every instruction sheet and web site I've seen about recovery tactics specifically say to never use the ball. Remove the hitch totally, and put the recovery strap loop into the receiver, and retain it using the pin. If all you have is a tow strap with metal hooks at the end, or chain, that's totally unsafe to use and has no stretch and you need to carry a proper recovery strap with looped ends and some stretch. People have died from broken chain or tow straps that launch the hook through the rear window of the pulling vehicle, or the windshield of the pulled vehicle in case of a front attachment.

This is the gadget I carry. (Your link didn't work)

View attachment 11122


What about a pintle hitch. I have a hitch like yours but I gave it to my mother. I figured a pintle hitch would work too?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
TheGambler said:
What about a pintle hitch.
Could work a bit more safely than the ball type. But why bother? It's a HITCH, not a proper clevis mount. Can you get one for free and not the other? Do you have a trailer with a loop you need to tow also? The clevis mount weighs less to carry around, and mostly costs less as well.
 

TheGambler

Original poster
Member
Sep 12, 2012
39
Denali n DOO said:
Here's an example of what can happen (sorry bout the music they added)

[video=youtube;hAY0oVwuzNY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAY0oVwuzNY[/video]

that s why you should get the proper sized recovery strap thats working load limit is more than your vehicle weighs but how much bigger is too big??
 

BO TIE SS

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
TheGambler said:
that s why you should get the proper sized recovery strap thats working load limit is more than your vehicle weighs but how much bigger is too big??
It doesn't look like the size of the strap was the issue in this video. If you look at time index 2:27 to 2:31, you can see that the strap and end are intact. It must have let go of the towing truck for some reason. :confused:

Edit - after looking again, I think that the first strap just had a hook that was hooked on to the bottom of the bumper of the blazer. :duh:
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Better off to use just the hitch pin than a pintle and that is really cheap.
 

TheGambler

Original poster
Member
Sep 12, 2012
39
HARDTRAILZ said:
Better off to use just the hitch pin than a pintle and that is really cheap.

Yes that's how I got pulled out before but i figured the locking mech was better
 

TheGambler

Original poster
Member
Sep 12, 2012
39
TheGambler said:
that s why you should get the proper sized recovery strap thats working load limit is more than your vehicle weighs but how much bigger is too big??

How do you chose the right sized recovery strap? I like over doing it

- - - Updated - - -

TheGambler said:
that s why you should get the proper sized recovery strap thats working load limit is more than your vehicle weighs but how much bigger is too big??

How do you chose the right sized recovery strap? I like over doing it
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
TheGambler said:
...I like over doing it...
In the case of recovery strap, you want to have one matched to the truck weight. 3" is typically the right width. As has been said, one for a much heavier truck or tank will not stretch as much, and will act like a non-stretchy strap. And non-stretchy is LESS effective and MORE dangerous than the right size ones. Google and read up on the MANY web sites that discuss the theory behind dynamic recovery straps.
 

TheGambler

Original poster
Member
Sep 12, 2012
39
the roadie said:
In the case of recovery strap, you want to have one matched to the truck weight. 3" is typically the right width. As has been said, one for a much heavier truck or tank will not stretch as much, and will act like a non-stretchy strap. And non-stretchy is LESS effective and MORE dangerous than the right size ones. Google and read up on the MANY web sites that discuss the theory behind dynamic recovery straps.

so how does how stuck you are affect I don't know where you people live but people love Yankee Lake where I am from and begs the question if How does how stuck you are affect you?? should you have 2 different recovery straps? need a little help and one for Oh cr@* I am really stuck??

[video=youtube_share;gzfoLL-AZuk]http://youtu.be/gzfoLL-AZuk[/video]
 

Razorback

Member
Dec 21, 2011
104
Maybe its wrong but i was always told, that you should put a blanket or coat or floormat over the strap too, just in case it breaks.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
That's not wrong at all, but the blanket idea is a lot more critical for metal winch lines than recovery strap use. Winch lines almost always have hooks or clevis attachments on the end that can whip around after a break, and the blanket will at least slow them down and ball them into a larger padded object. The lack of stretch and energy storage in synthetic winch lines, which will just fall to the ground if they break, is their biggest safety advantage. No need for a blanket on them. Recovery straps with fabric loops at the end instead of the hooks that tow straps have, don't tend to launch heavy objects through windows when they break, but the blanket/jacket/duffel bag idea is still valid.
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
I think in most cases a dynamic strap is all you need but some cases a static strap could be needed as well.
I think it was Regulator, possibly on offroadTB slid off a path going up a hill and needed some side anchor points to keep from sliding further down the side of the hill while being winched free. It was a pretty complicated recovery but they were prepared and the outcome was good.
Without a static anchor on the side, a dynamic strap might have stretched too much.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
navigator said:
I think in most cases a dynamic strap is all you need but some cases a static strap could be needed as well.


Interesting advice. I would love to hear why you think this way.
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
HARDTRAILZ said:
Interesting advice. I would love to hear why you think this way.
Where I have needed a tug or given a tug in the past has been in beach sand or mud.
I would expect it is best for the tow vehicle to have a little momentum when trying to give someone a tug than from a dead stop because traction for the tow vehicle is not ideal. There is also some science behind the strap stretching itself aiding in recovery but I don't understand all that as well as some of you other guys. My physics teacher in college had a strong Cuban accent and I didn't get all I could out of those classes :smile:
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Just wondered. I understand the physics but have never in 16 years of wheeling used or needed anything but a static strap.

If i could only have one strap it would be a looped end static. Can help with recovery and tow the busted vehicle out.

I am buying a stretchy strap but will wait to offer advice on it until i use it.
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
HARDTRAILZ said:
Just wondered. I understand the physics but have never in 16 years of wheeling used or needed anything but a static strap.

If i could only have one strap it would be a looped end static. Can help with recovery and tow the busted vehicle out.

I am buying a stretchy strap but will wait to offer advice on it until i use it.

Kyle, you would never get stuck anywhere I go anyway :smile:

My first experience with a dynamic strap was also my 2nd time out on the beach driving (in our old stock Explorer). There had been a storm so the sand was worse than our previous trip. We were about 100 yards from pavement when the guy in front of us stopped to lock in his hubs. He pulled off, we didn't.

I got out and aired down to about 15lbs but it was too late. Everyone that drove by said "air down and you'll get out". We were already buried.
I jacked all the wheels up and filled in the holes and was about to try to pull off when a guy volunteers to pull us out.
He hooks to my rear hitch and gets a moving start and I am thinking oh no, this is going to hurt..... it doesn't, he drags us all the way back to pavement.
My wife and I had a car load of kids so we decided it was best not to try it again. It was over 10 years before I could get her back out on the beach!
 

TheGambler

Original poster
Member
Sep 12, 2012
39
what about keeping using a sling to put in between tow hooks or using clevis(shackles) along with your recovery strap. I mean for if you need to hook two straps together if it is not long enough or for a recovery point. What about these tree saver straps??

[video=youtube;B1wvalwWPbA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1wvalwWPbA&feature=share&list=PLC45BCA4101232ACD[/video]

I was also wondering if keeping something like this in my car would be a bad idea for self recovery if possible

[video=youtube;L-5kObrSfow]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-5kObrSfow&list=PLC45BCA4101232ACD&index=19[/video]
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Don't have time to watch video now but do not use a shackle or anything metal to connect straps. Loop them and use a magazine or newspaper to allow you to separate them later.

....you should read the info on offroadtb.com. Most of the info you seek is right there for your usage.
 

MoJoRisin'

Member
Jan 11, 2013
22
I pulled out a moron who pulled his frontwheel drive camry into sand on the beach here in West Mich (lake MI). I made it very clear that I had no good pulling points on his frame - only the rear axle to wrap my strap around and any damage would be his $$ not mine. Was in my 2000 K3500 454.

As I was pulling him out his wife's taking pictures - they were from down south somewhere and were not aware that they needed to parallel park on the pavement and not drive straight into the sugar beach sand we have.

All was well and I got them out without much effort.

Are all straps with loops considered recovery straps? (That is what I have and I try to double it up when pulling someone out - always just a quick tug - not a major off road recovery). I need to look at my strap for rating. I am guilty and have used my 2" ball as the pulling point - should I use the front hooks rather than the hitch ball if I do not have a clevis hook as shown above?
 

Einst-Hawk

Member
Jan 31, 2014
105
The_Roadie said:
NEVER EVER DO THIS.

Go back and tell the people who told you that, that they have it exactly backwards. Ball shanks aren't designed for as much stress as that could apply. Every instruction sheet and web site I've seen about recovery tactics specifically say to never use the ball. Remove the hitch totally, and put the recovery strap loop into the receiver, and retain it using the pin. If all you have is a tow strap with metal hooks at the end, or chain, that's totally unsafe to use and has no stretch and you need to carry a proper recovery strap with looped ends and some stretch. People have died from broken chain or tow straps that launch the hook through the rear window of the pulling vehicle, or the windshield of the pulled vehicle in case of a front attachment.

This is the gadget I carry. (Your link didn't work)

attachicon.gif
29312.jpg
Roadie,
Is the shackle you have a Warn 29312? I am thinking about getting one. I did some searching and I found this on Amazon. Looks about the same to me.

http://www.amazon.com/WARN-29312-Receiver-Shackle-Bracket/dp/B000CQFUQ6/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1397958029&sr=1-2&keywords=d+ring+hitch

Also, I think this thread should be mandatory reading for everyone of our members. Not just off-roaders
 

Einst-Hawk

Member
Jan 31, 2014
105
Thanks :smile:
 

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