snatch strap usage

cptmud

New Member
#1
GUIDELINES FOR SAFE USE OF
VEHICLE RECOVERY STRAPS
(SNATCH STRAPS)
GENERAL INFORMATION
Recovery Straps are usually a nylon strap that can stretch under load and spring back to almost its
original length. The combination of the recovery vehicle pull and the tension in the strap creates a
‘snatching’ effect that can pull a stranded vehicle free from being bogged or unable to move under its
own power. When used in accordance with these guidelines, vehicles may be recovered with minimal
injury risk to people or damage to vehicle equipment.
KEY INFORMATION AND SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
· Check the strap and its packaging for the stated Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) of this Strap.
· It is recommended that the minimum breaking strength of the strap should be between 2 and 3
times the vehicle’s gross vehicle mass (GVM);and
· The strap must be suited to the GVM of the lighter of the two vehicles used in the recovery
process.
· Persons intending to use the strap should consider completing a nationally recognised four
wheel drive training course or contact a four wheel drive club for comprehensive advice on the
proper selection and use of the strap.
· The strap must not be used for lifting or conventional towing.
· Persons intending to use the strap must ensure that the strap is not damaged and is in usable
condition.
· The strap’s strength and stretch are reduced when the strap is saturated.
· Something like a recovery damper, heavy bag or blanket must be draped over the strap during
use to reduce any unintentional rebound of the strap.
· While the strap is being used, persons situated outside the motor vehicles involved in the
recovery process must -
(A) be kept at a safe distance (recommended as at least 1.5 times the length of the unstretched
strap) from either of the vehicles involved in the recovery process; and
(B) never situate themselves within the path of the vehicle performing the recovery.
· ‘WARNING - Always follow product instructions. It is important to correctly attach the motor
vehicle recovery strap to a motor vehicle. A standard tow ball or vehicle tie-down point is not
designed for this purpose and may result in the strap or a vehicle component detaching from a
motor vehicle and striking and seriously injuring or killing a person. Only attach the strap to a
vehicle recovery point or device that is suitably rated for use with the strap. Incorrect use has
previously resulted in serious injury and death.’
IMPORTANT
· Never attempt to recover a vehicle without all the necessary equipment.
· Only use equipment that is properly rated for the particular situation. If in doubt, don’t use it.
· Never exceed the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) of the strap or the Working Load Limit
(WLL) of shackles.
SELECTING THE RIGHT RECOVERY STRAP
It is very important the correctly rated strap is used. A strap with a ‘too light’ breaking strength may
break under load. A strap with ‘too heavy’ a breaking strength may not stretch properly and more stress
will be placed on the recovery points, possibly causing damage or injury. The Minimum Breaking
Strength (MBS) of the strap should be between 2 and 3 times the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of the
‘lighter’ of the two vehicles used in the recovery process. Be aware that the Recovery Strap will be
under greater load if the vehicle is bogged in mud, sand or heavily loaded. If the GVM is not stated on
the identification plate of a vehicle or its registration certificate it could be available from the owner’s
handbook or from the vehicle manufacturer.
KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE
Only the drivers of the stranded and recovery vehicle should be in those vehicles. Nobody else should
be in or on those vehicles. Ensure bystanders stay at least 1.5 times the un-stretched strap length away,
to the side of the line of recovery. NEVER stand between vehicles connected by a Recovery Strap.
Page 2 of 2
SETTING UP THE RECOVERY
Assess the circumstances of the stranded vehicle. If it has bottomed out, clear under the vehicle body
so it rests on its wheels. The recovery vehicle should be placed in line (no more than 10o off the straight
line) with the stranded vehicle, for either a forward or reverse recovery operation. Distance between
vehicles should be 2-3 metres less than the unstretched length of the Recovery Strap. Establish agreed
signals between the vehicle drivers, by radio (preferably), hand signals or vehicle horn.
CONNECTING THE RECOVERY STRAP
Carefully inspect the Recovery Strap to determine that it is in good condition. If the strap is wet, dirty,
cut or chaffed, it will not perform properly. A wet strap may be 20% under strength, a damaged strap
may break. Do not allow the strap to contact hot surfaces or sharp edges.
Roll the strap out between the vehicles, and make sure there are no twists and leave about 2-3 metres
slack between the vehicles. The joining of straps should be avoided wherever possible (Retailers carry
varying lengths of strap). NEVER USE A METAL OBJECT to join straps – if the strap breaks it can
become a missile and cause damage or injury.
Check your vehicle hand book for recovery point locations, or use correctly rated and fitted aftermarket
recovery points. DO NOT CONNECT TO A TOW BALL OR TIE DOWN POINT. Connect Recovery
Strap to recovery point, for any recovery point requiring the use of a shackle to attach the strap, use
only load rated shackles. Only connect to correctly rated recovery points on the vehicles, with only
‘Load Rated’ shackles. Load ratings are marked on shackles as WLL (Working Load Limit). Bow
Shackles are suitable for this purpose and should be rated at least 3.25t. To correctly tighten shackle
pins, screw the pin until it seats then back off about ½ to 1 turn. Over tightening may lead to seized
pins, due to the force exerted during recovery operations. To reduce the risk of vehicle damage and
personal injury, hang a suitable recovery damper blanket, over the Recovery Strap, approximately
midway to restrict the whipping action of a strap should it break.
Last thing – Check all connections and clear bystanders to a safe distance (1.5 times the un-stretched
Recovery Strap length) to the side of the recovery operation and NEVER in the line of recovery.
MAKING THE RECOVERY
1. Before the recovery operation drivers must agree on the point to which the stranded vehicle is to be
recovered and the signal (radio, hand signal or horn blast) when that point is reached.
2. With communications maintained between both vehicles, and Recovery Strap secure, the recovery
vehicle should gently accelerate, taking up the slack and proceeding at no faster than 10-12kph. For
best results the stranded vehicle should be in 1st gear (or 2nd Low), and the driver should assist the
recovery by trying to drive out approximately 3 seconds from when the recovery vehicle moves off.
3. If the vehicle is not recovered on the first attempt, check under the stranded vehicle, again, for
obstacles, reset the slack in the Recovery Strap and try a little more speed by the recovery vehicle.
NOTE: Excessive speed or continual jerking action whilst using a Recovery Strap may result in
damage to the recovery point, chassis and drive line of both vehicles.
4. When the stranded vehicle reaches the agreed point the driver should advise and the recovery
vehicle should stop, then the stranded vehicle should stop.
5. Where proper use of a Recovery Strap is unsuccessful, use an appropriate sized recovery winch.
6. Do not attempt to remove the strap until both vehicles are stationary and secured.
7. NOTE: Recovery Straps require rest periods between use to return to their original length and
capacity. Excessive pulls over a short period of time can cause heat build up and possible failure.
GENERAL CARE AND MAINTENANCE
· Never allow your strap to rub against sharp or hot surfaces.
· Avoid twists & kinks, after washing, and when dry; always coil your strap for storage.
· Clean your strap with warm water and a mild detergent, allowing thorough drying before storage.
Foreign material such as sand and grit can permanently damage the strap fibres.
· Check full length of straps for nicks and cuts before and after use. If damaged, replace it.
· Never use the strap as a lifting sling.
· Inspect shackles for damage; if pins are hard to turn, shackle has been overstressed. Replace it.
 
#4
GUIDELINES FOR SAFE USE OF
VEHICLE RECOVERY STRAPS
(SNATCH STRAPS)
GENERAL INFORMATION
Recovery Straps are usually a nylon strap that can stretch under load and spring back to almost its
original length. The combination of the recovery vehicle pull and the tension in the strap creates a
‘snatching’ effect that can pull a stranded vehicle free from being bogged or unable to move under its
own power. When used in accordance with these guidelines, vehicles may be recovered with minimal
injury risk to people or damage to vehicle equipment.
KEY INFORMATION AND SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
· Check the strap and its packaging for the stated Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) of this Strap.
· It is recommended that the minimum breaking strength of the strap should be between 2 and 3
times the vehicle’s gross vehicle mass (GVM);and
· The strap must be suited to the GVM of the lighter of the two vehicles used in the recovery
process.
· Persons intending to use the strap should consider completing a nationally recognised four
wheel drive training course or contact a four wheel drive club for comprehensive advice on the
proper selection and use of the strap.
· The strap must not be used for lifting or conventional towing.
· Persons intending to use the strap must ensure that the strap is not damaged and is in usable
condition.
· The strap’s strength and stretch are reduced when the strap is saturated.
· Something like a recovery damper, heavy bag or blanket must be draped over the strap during
use to reduce any unintentional rebound of the strap.
· While the strap is being used, persons situated outside the motor vehicles involved in the
recovery process must -
(A) be kept at a safe distance (recommended as at least 1.5 times the length of the unstretched
strap) from either of the vehicles involved in the recovery process; and
(B) never situate themselves within the path of the vehicle performing the recovery.
· ‘WARNING - Always follow product instructions. It is important to correctly attach the motor
vehicle recovery strap to a motor vehicle. A standard tow ball or vehicle tie-down point is not
designed for this purpose and may result in the strap or a vehicle component detaching from a
motor vehicle and striking and seriously injuring or killing a person. Only attach the strap to a
vehicle recovery point or device that is suitably rated for use with the strap. Incorrect use has
previously resulted in serious injury and death.’
IMPORTANT
· Never attempt to recover a vehicle without all the necessary equipment.
· Only use equipment that is properly rated for the particular situation. If in doubt, don’t use it.
· Never exceed the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) of the strap or the Working Load Limit
(WLL) of shackles.
SELECTING THE RIGHT RECOVERY STRAP
It is very important the correctly rated strap is used. A strap with a ‘too light’ breaking strength may
break under load. A strap with ‘too heavy’ a breaking strength may not stretch properly and more stress
will be placed on the recovery points, possibly causing damage or injury. The Minimum Breaking
Strength (MBS) of the strap should be between 2 and 3 times the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of the
‘lighter’ of the two vehicles used in the recovery process. Be aware that the Recovery Strap will be
under greater load if the vehicle is bogged in mud, sand or heavily loaded. If the GVM is not stated on
the identification plate of a vehicle or its registration certificate it could be available from the owner’s
handbook or from the vehicle manufacturer.
KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE
Only the drivers of the stranded and recovery vehicle should be in those vehicles. Nobody else should
be in or on those vehicles. Ensure bystanders stay at least 1.5 times the un-stretched strap length away,
to the side of the line of recovery. NEVER stand between vehicles connected by a Recovery Strap.
Page 2 of 2
SETTING UP THE RECOVERY
Assess the circumstances of the stranded vehicle. If it has bottomed out, clear under the vehicle body
so it rests on its wheels. The recovery vehicle should be placed in line (no more than 10o off the straight
line) with the stranded vehicle, for either a forward or reverse recovery operation. Distance between
vehicles should be 2-3 metres less than the unstretched length of the Recovery Strap. Establish agreed
signals between the vehicle drivers, by radio (preferably), hand signals or vehicle horn.
CONNECTING THE RECOVERY STRAP
Carefully inspect the Recovery Strap to determine that it is in good condition. If the strap is wet, dirty,
cut or chaffed, it will not perform properly. A wet strap may be 20% under strength, a damaged strap
may break. Do not allow the strap to contact hot surfaces or sharp edges.
Roll the strap out between the vehicles, and make sure there are no twists and leave about 2-3 metres
slack between the vehicles. The joining of straps should be avoided wherever possible (Retailers carry
varying lengths of strap). NEVER USE A METAL OBJECT to join straps – if the strap breaks it can
become a missile and cause damage or injury.
Check your vehicle hand book for recovery point locations, or use correctly rated and fitted aftermarket
recovery points. DO NOT CONNECT TO A TOW BALL OR TIE DOWN POINT. Connect Recovery
Strap to recovery point, for any recovery point requiring the use of a shackle to attach the strap, use
only load rated shackles. Only connect to correctly rated recovery points on the vehicles, with only
‘Load Rated’ shackles. Load ratings are marked on shackles as WLL (Working Load Limit). Bow
Shackles are suitable for this purpose and should be rated at least 3.25t. To correctly tighten shackle
pins, screw the pin until it seats then back off about ½ to 1 turn. Over tightening may lead to seized
pins, due to the force exerted during recovery operations. To reduce the risk of vehicle damage and
personal injury, hang a suitable recovery damper blanket, over the Recovery Strap, approximately
midway to restrict the whipping action of a strap should it break.
Last thing – Check all connections and clear bystanders to a safe distance (1.5 times the un-stretched
Recovery Strap length) to the side of the recovery operation and NEVER in the line of recovery.
MAKING THE RECOVERY
1. Before the recovery operation drivers must agree on the point to which the stranded vehicle is to be
recovered and the signal (radio, hand signal or horn blast) when that point is reached.
2. With communications maintained between both vehicles, and Recovery Strap secure, the recovery
vehicle should gently accelerate, taking up the slack and proceeding at no faster than 10-12kph. For
best results the stranded vehicle should be in 1st gear (or 2nd Low), and the driver should assist the
recovery by trying to drive out approximately 3 seconds from when the recovery vehicle moves off.
3. If the vehicle is not recovered on the first attempt, check under the stranded vehicle, again, for
obstacles, reset the slack in the Recovery Strap and try a little more speed by the recovery vehicle.
NOTE: Excessive speed or continual jerking action whilst using a Recovery Strap may result in
damage to the recovery point, chassis and drive line of both vehicles.
4. When the stranded vehicle reaches the agreed point the driver should advise and the recovery
vehicle should stop, then the stranded vehicle should stop.
5. Where proper use of a Recovery Strap is unsuccessful, use an appropriate sized recovery winch.
6. Do not attempt to remove the strap until both vehicles are stationary and secured.
7. NOTE: Recovery Straps require rest periods between use to return to their original length and
capacity. Excessive pulls over a short period of time can cause heat build up and possible failure.
GENERAL CARE AND MAINTENANCE
· Never allow your strap to rub against sharp or hot surfaces.
· Avoid twists & kinks, after washing, and when dry; always coil your strap for storage.
· Clean your strap with warm water and a mild detergent, allowing thorough drying before storage.
Foreign material such as sand and grit can permanently damage the strap fibres.
· Check full length of straps for nicks and cuts before and after use. If damaged, replace it.
· Never use the strap as a lifting sling.
· Inspect shackles for damage; if pins are hard to turn, shackle has been overstressed. Replace it.
Yeah thanks for that!
 
#6
Excellant information!

"CPTMUD" Excellent explanation of a proper recovery.

The only thing I teach in my classes that is slightly different is during the recovery pull is; the first pull is with the recovery strap with less slack. I then recommend that increasing the attempts by 1 meter if still stuck. It is using the least amount of pull as necessary for the recovery.

Additionally; Avoid a reverse pull with the recovery vehicle. If there is no option and you have to use a reverse pull. Use the weight of the vehicle to pull and not the force of the drive train. Use extra slack of the recovery strap to build the power for the recovery. When the strap is almost tight back off the throttle and let the weight of the recovery vehicle do the pull. The transmission reverse gear is a weak link.

I would recommend that everyone print all of this and keep it in the vehicle. This is a excellent refresher prior to all recoveries and maybe save a damaged vehicle or more important a hurt person.

Safety dose not just happen, we make it happen!
 
#7
Great advice in all the above posts.. Especially when it coms to recovery points and the dangers of snatching / recovering off tow balls and tie down points which were never enginered for this purpose.. You only have to watch some of the recovery gone wrong type of videos on you tube to see how lucky some have been not to be seriously injured by not being aware of the dangers..
 

03hilux

4x4 Earth Contributer
#8
Check twice for potential knots. Ive just put a knot in a strap thats only been used 4 times. Out goes anothe $70.
 
#11
I have always owned a snatch strap but I have never snatched with one like others do . I am content to go easy and if it takes 3 gentle goes instead of one so be it .
Same here muc, much rather the gentle load the strap up with tension and let it do the work extracting the stuck vehicle rather than try to yank it out like a maniac.
 

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
#14
Comms are vital to allow the vehicle being recovered assisting the process as per Making the Recovery point 2 in the OP.
Dead weight pulls should not be made, stresses are unnecessarily high.

The 2 drivers should be talking, and the person being recovered carefully power to the drive 2nd low as the snatch is about to come on.

Sand is usually almost a simple tow assist, to very light snatch.
For more difficult sand recoveries (wet deep sand, uphill off a bad beach etc), we've sometimes used Maxtrax under the wheels of the vehicle being recovered, even the vehicle doing the snatching once !

Mud, the sucking action of mud can make snatching very dangerous, try and break the grip the mud has first, not an easy or nice job.
Winching is far better for mud recoveries.
 

Batts88

Well-Known Member
#16
I have always owned a snatch strap but I have never snatched with one like others do . I am content to go easy and if it takes 3 gentle goes instead of one so be it .
That does work in most situations but sometimes you may only get one shot at it and hope you get out of the situation and not end up worse off because of the circumstances and it's a hell of a relief when it all works out.
 
#17
That does work in most situations but sometimes you may only get one shot at it and hope you get out of the situation and not end up worse off because of the circumstances and it's a hell of a relief when it all works out.
It's all comes down to the individual recovery; every one is different. I'm with MUC - I'll avoid a heavy yank with a snatch strap at all costs. Too many people use them in the wrong circumstances and risk nasty damage. That said, there are times where you need a decent pull. Unfortunately everyone see's this differently

Aaron
 

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
#20
Shovel work is part of snatching or using Maxtrax, automatic to do a bit of clearing to make recovery easier.
Deflating some more is also an option.
Using an exhaust air bag jack another option.
It's just easier to assume people are first going to move some material from around their tyres / underbody, drop pressures, etc, before doing a snatch or winch.
 
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