Recovery Hierarchy - Using the lowest risk method to recover a vehicle

John U

Well-Known Member
I wanted to get a couple of recovery hierarchy stickers to put on my vehicle to remind me of the steps I should follow/safest method to use when doing a vehicle recovery. In the heat of the moment solid risk management thinking can go out the window. I think it would also be a good educational tool for people new to 4wding, a good conversation starter for more experienced 4wders, and a good everyday reminder for all drivers when we're not not up to our necks in a recovery.

This website has the only one I could find online (image from website below). It looks to be pretty spot on. Would the Earth brains trust agree?



Glad the snatching is in RED , But it’s very popular,I think people have the belief that it’s going to be a BIG Rubberband sling ride when actually it can be quite violent in your vehicle causing whiplash and stuff to fly around everywhere,you cannot control the idiot driving the other vehicle. So if there unsure how to snatch or tell you yeah no worries mate i know what to do and he walks to his vehicle It’s out of your control. You have to trust they do and a lot think speed is the only way to go. :oops:
I try and avoid it at all costs because of this. So will winch instead, Winched off other vehicles if needed including in sand. It’s slower and controlled and suits me and my vehicle.

When winching on a steep hill just get your vehicle tied off to a tree or anything that will support it, Have a cuppa or drink and sit there and nut it out, The vehicle isn’t going anywhere if done correctly. Don’t let anyone RUSH YOU. It’s your vehicle. If your family is in it get them out and away from any harm. If anything goes to crap your the only one in it.

A couple of basic thoughts i use.


Active Member
I realise there are dangers to winching but if done properly it’s probably the safest, most controlled option. If you’re on a steep hill you’re not going to want people underneath or even behind your vehicle track building or placing recovery boards unless you’ve got the vehicle secured somehow (winch to tree or another vehicle). Other than that unless you’re on the beach and the tides coming in I never see a need to rush a recovery. Normally people try and avoid winching only to get themselves stuck more and eventually have to winch anyway. First step should probably be identify the hazards, eg tide or vehicle rolling over/ back down hill, followed by making the situation safe for the people involved to carry out the recovery.