Man Allegedly struck by towball.

80lover96gxl

Moderator
This came thru on my news feed this morning and was posted on another site stating the use of a towball in the recovery resulted in the mans injuries.

A good reminder why you NEVER use a towball in a recovery.

Screenshot_2015-07-13-06-37-07.png
 

Aaron Schubert

Moderator
Absolutely terrible. Hopefully he recovers. This has happened far too many times. Even with all the education around, some people still aren't getting it.

You can't blame people either; its easy for someone to not understand the risks if they haven't been told

Aaron
 

Gavo

4x4 Earth Contributer
All seems pretty weird. Why are crime stopper's involved? Why have they made it a crime scene?

Devlin road is known as "the dropzone" to locals. Unsure on legalities of even being in there.
 

chris_stoffa

4x4 Earth Contributer
All reports are saying a strap snapped and he was struck by a shackle. No mention of a tow ball anywhere.
Which would seem to indicate that there was a shackle in the middle somewhere rather than just on either end. Unless the shackle itself failed .

A moment of inattention or maybe just plain lack of knowledge and unfortunately a young guy is in deep trouble, I do hope he recovers and wish him, his family and friends the strength to deal with this very trying time.
 

80lover96gxl

Moderator
All reports are saying a strap snapped and he was struck by a shackle. No mention of a tow ball anywhere.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/flying-tow-strap-hits-teen-on-head-after-4wd-bogged-in-castlereagh-20150712-giaqlc.html

I see reports on facebook that they removed the towball and put a shackle on the tongue. Apparently it was the tongue that let go.
The site I looked at stated towball but that was early this morning so maybe more accurate info has come to light since then, either way a nasty unfortunate situation.
 

steve223

Active Member
seems like many things where done wrong there. vehicles stuck deep in mud should not be snatched kinetic energy required to loose suction often much stronger then recovery gear remove suction with shovel and the winch. Snatch should never be done on towball but rather with pin strap in tow receiver. Two dampeners one on each end, straps should never be joined with a shackle and so on... NSW 4WD Association currently trying to get the facts and then release a statement. Some proper accredited training should be mandatory for new 4wd drivers.

I hope the boy makes it without permanent brain damage, horrible thing.
 

MUX STX

Active Member
I don't understand why there is not some very detailed directions on the strap/recovery packaging, guess there could be legal liabilities.
.
 

steve223

Active Member
I don't understand why there is not some very detailed directions on the strap/recovery packaging, guess there could be legal liabilities.
.
A basic 4wd course takes 3h of theory and a day of training hard to accomplish that on the back of a packaging....
 

Aaron Schubert

Moderator
Unfortunately, it is all too common practise for people to recover 4WD's without much consideration of safety. Whether that is because they just don't know better, or they do and don't care, it can be a seriously dangerous part of 4WDing.

Ideally a winch would have been used, but the fact is, a lot of people don't have them, and then you either wait for someone to come along with a winch, or you use a snatch strap.

I do believe people are put at risk by not having at least a basic understanding of 4WDing and recoveries

Aaron
 

steve223

Active Member
Unfortunately, it is all too common practise for people to recover 4WD's without much consideration of safety. Whether that is because they just don't know better, or they do and don't care, it can be a seriously dangerous part of 4WDing.

Ideally a winch would have been used, but the fact is, a lot of people don't have them, and then you either wait for someone to come along with a winch, or you use a snatch strap.

I do believe people are put at risk by not having at least a basic understanding of 4WDing and recoveries

Aaron
I totally agree and while I also might have tried a snatch if no winch at hand I would have done so with the knowledge of the danger and would have taken the appropriate precautions like two dampeners, try to loose suction with shovel first, correct attachment of snatch, eliminate all unnecessary metal and so on... training should be a important prerequisite before going off-road....
 

Blue_haired_man

Well-Known Member
Apparently three straps were snapped before the final attempt and unfortunately the 17 year old guy is in an induced coma. It took an excavator and big drag chain to recover his car this arvo.
Everyone be safe out there, and have a good long hard think about recoveries before attempting.
Cheers Leo
 

2luxes

Well-Known Member
A basic 4wd course takes 3h of theory and a day of training hard to accomplish that on the back of a packaging....
I started driving 4wds in the 1960s but about 8 years ago I went through a far from basic 4wd driver training course. I was told to attach the strap to the forged hook on the front of my car. They told me that was the rated recovery point.

The owner's hand book for the car lists it as a towing hook while the lighter bracket on the other side is a tie down point.

I have an email from the car manufacturer that says they do not support the use of snatch straps and their cars are not rated for them.

So much for 4wd training courses and their rated snatch strap points.

I found the following article on another 4wd site. I think it was written about three years ago from memory. It is not hard to see why there has been so many snatch strap accidents and they are only going to continue. Not only are cars not designed for them but their use involves a person sitting at each end of them and directly in line with the strap. You could not possibly be in a more dangerous place. How can there be any degree of safety in that?

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It is an unfortunate fact that no 4x4 vehicle available in Australia comes with a factory recovery point. There is a good reason for this that all owners should understand. When we talk of 4x4 vehicle recovery, we are referring to the use of either winches or kinetic energy recovery (snatch) straps. Winch recovery using either single or double line pull methods exert significant forces on mounting and recovery points, however the loads exerted by recovery straps are far more significant. If you consider the engineering challenge here, you begin to understand what sort of recovery point we should all be looking for. That challenge is to ensure that the recovery strap is always the weakest link in the ‘recovery train’ as we call it. We definitely do not want anything the strap is attached to (or with) failing and being catapulted about at high speed. Many people have unfortunately been killed around the world from such failures.A recent death in Queensland saw their government legislate a set of standards for recovery straps, and these have now been adopted nationwide and are now a mandatory standard all straps must comply with. All very good, however, there remains no such standard, guidelines or regulations on which manufacturers or users can base an appropriately rated recovery point. Typical of governments who want to be seen to be doing something, they chose the wrong product to regulate. It’s what the strap is attached to that is the issue. Thankfully, there are standards for the shackles we all use to attach straps, however their rating system is based on lifting gear standards, and the safety factors in lifting gear mean that the rating is one fifth of the failure point. If we apply that rule to recovery points for even the lightest snatch strap, we need a recovery point that will survive a load of 40 tonnes. And I can tell you there is no vehicle body or chassis that could ever survive the test load of 40 tonnes. Furthermore, nobody could afford to buy the recovery point even if it was possible. For many years ARB incorporated recovery eyes on our bull bars or their mounts and tested these as part of the winch load test process we go through on every bar. Unfortunately we had to steer away from that concept as we found too many users were buying the larger truck application recovery straps in the mistaken belief that a bigger and harder to break strap was better. This raised the risk of breaking these points in careless recovery operations. Yes, there are small numbers of commercially made rated recovery points, but rated to what? They themselves may be strong enough to pass a load test in a laboratory environment, but what about the structure of the vehicle they are mounted on? The fact is that modern 4x4 vehicles are ever more lightly built and some present real challenges to mount bull bars on, let alone a recovery point that could be subjected to loads over 10 tonnes and an angled direction of pull at that. Some two years ago ARB began a process of examining this perplexing subject with the goal of establishing a new Industry Standard and a range of correctly engineered and tested, correctly rated recovery points. And to make things even harder for ourselves, we set out to test both the recovery points and the chassis section they are mounted to. These will be substantial devices, unique to each model vehicle and no two will look alike. Pricing is likely to be in the $200-$300 range due to the complexity and physical mass of the devices. This program has been a long and gruelling one, with several chassis and prototypes destroyed in the process, but a lot of valuable information has been gathered. Having said all of this, there’s good news and bad news for you, I’m afraid. At the time of writing we are producing the first production run of the range and it is for the Ford Ranger, and following that will be Toyota 70 Series LandCruiser, Nissan GU Patrol and Toyota HiLux. We will launch with this range and gauge reaction before beginning the development of further applications. If it goes as I hope, the product will be well received by the market and we will quickly be under pressure for more applications. The next stage would include the Triton/Challenger. Sorry for the long-winded answer, but I hope you now have a better understanding of the issues surrounding this subject. Greg Milton Manager National Products & Services
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03hilux

Well-Known Member
Going by the 6 oclock news, it was a shackle that gave way. I posted a link on 4x4 earths FB page to see. The report shows how he posted a request for help, and the replies of offer. Its unfortunate that it takes a tragedy for the 4wding fraternity to be displayed in a positive manner on prime time TV.

Gavo, just on the "drop zone". I believe it is land owned by the defense force, and is classified as crown land, and is meant to be off limits to the public. I think now they might fence it off, sign post and possibly patrol the area.
 

steve223

Active Member
I started driving 4wds in the 1960s but about 8 years ago I went through a far from basic 4wd driver training course. I was told to attach the strap to the forged hook on the front of my car. They told me that was the rated recovery point.

The owner's hand book for the car lists it as a towing hook while the lighter bracket on the other side is a tie down point.
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I'm not aware of a single car which comes with a recovery point. As you mentioned they are either tie down or tow points. Yes even with commercial providers you need to look out however I would be very surprised if any course provider of any of the recognized courses like SISODRV302A, SISODRV405A, SISODRV404A , would tell you such a thing. One of the basic things we do in SISODRV302A is going over your vehicle and identify tow and tie down points and possible rated aftermarket recovery points. For most non modified vehicles the only save recovery point is the tow receiver

you must unfortunately have had a not so good provider.
 
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