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Snatch Straps

Discussion in 'General 4x4 Discussion' started by 4X4, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. 4X4

    4X4 Moderator

    Snatch Straps are expendable items; as they have a limited working life. A safety feature of good straps is an overload indicator (usually brightly coloured cotton thread) that is sewn into the straps weave. If you can see this after use it is time to throw your strap away, it has been over stretched. Snatch Straps are specifically designed to stretch under load and provide a natural kinetic stretch of around 20%. They are woven from 100% Nylon and are available in various widths, ratings, lengths and should have reinforced eyes and be rot & mildew resistant.

    Contrary to popular believe Snatch Straps require regular maintenance. Use in a muddy environment traps dirt or sand between the weave and doesn’t allow the strap to recoil properly. When this happens you don’t get the full kinetic stretch. Dirty straps should be washed in cold, clean water (don’t be tempted to use detergent). Ensure you dry out them of the sun as they are not U.V. stabilised. Avoid rolling up a wet strap, as this can cause mildew, if left for a prolonged periods of time. Before use, all snatch straps should be inspected for cuts and abrasions. If suspect, discard it and use another strap, when a strap breaks it lets go with a huge amount of force. Incidentally, a strap usually breaks at the start of the stitching. If it breaks anywhere along the strap, it has had too much load placed on it. Never use a strap with a twist in it, as this concentrates the load on a narrow area of the strap.

    Consideration should be given to the increased load that rolling resistance places on the strap. Rolling resistance = Mass x Factor. A smooth hard road has a factor of 0.04 Heavy mud (600mm deep) has a factor of 2.00 It doesn’t take much for a cruiser or patrol, when fully loaded to exceed 3000kg. Combine that with an incline, heavy mud or sand, the gross vehicle mass of the towing vehicle and all of a sudden your snatch strap is over its nominated rating. A word of caution. Snatch straps have a rating that might state “Tested to 8000kg” but no safety margin is included in that statement, hence its breaking load could be 8001kg. Straps also lose 10% of their capacity when they are wet.
    Winch Extension Straps
    Winch Extension Straps and Tree Trunk Protectors are made from Polyester Webbing (low stretch). They stretch approximately 3% when under load. They should not under any circumstances be used as a snatch strap. They are designed to have a static load not a shock load.
    Michael S-B and Charlie Sapienza like this.
  2. frosty

    frosty Well-Known Member

    You never cease to amaze me , Rossco! You are a fountain of information!
  3. remus

    remus New Member

    Thats great information 4X4
  4. grit

    grit New Member

    Mine is still new & I'm aiming to keep it that way - prevention is better than cure & the guy stuck should use his gear before you offer up yours.
    Frogga_Hilux and Peter15 like this.
  5. lr98

    lr98 Member

    Hmmm I wrote my snatch strap off last weekend...

    My mate thought it would be a good idea to take on a very steep sandy slope along a river bed. He is fairly new to four wheeling and without much knowledge; so i try to share my knowledge and help him out when ever we are 4wding. With our tyre pressures lowered a touch, we were progressing along a sandy river bank where the river rounded a corner. I lost sight of him, only to come around the bend and see him hung up on a sandy bank! Great. Obviously when I said try to keep momentum at all times he thought that when he started to bog down, floor his Patrol! So with his truck bogged down to the door sills i weighed up my options and opted to try and gently tug him off the hill he was propped on, hoping gravity would be on my side as I was below him, allowing for the snatch strap to do its job. So I backed the Disco up and hooked on, then gently attempted to pull him off the ledge. No no luck with the first couple of tries so it was time for a bit more momentum and time for the strap to really do what its designed for!
    But the extra momentum meant extra wheel spin in the sand..which meant I was eventually bogged too. To make matters worse I was stuck with my strap under load meaning I had no way to unhook the trucks and begin work on getting mine out! Just what we needed as the sun went down at the wind and rain began... Had no other choice but to lay a few towels and bags over the strap and then cut it; there was just no other way for us to get out! In the end we required a serious tractor to pull both trucks out.

    It just goes to show how quickly people can get stuck and how it is very important to acknowledge the risks of driving in different terrain, if he had not spun his tyres in the sand I'm sure we would have made it home for dinner! Also never assume that a snatch strap can get you out of any situation, the car towing always needs adequate momentum.

    Cheers - Panda
  6. LowLux

    LowLux Moderator

    Good info 4X4. Although I haven't needed to use my straps yet, I know I'll have to keep an eye on the conditions of them as they deteriorate even when not used albeit it may take some time.
  7. 4X4

    4X4 Moderator

  8. grit

    grit New Member

    I think too many people expect a bit too much of snatch straps. When someone is down to the sills in sand - the effective pull weight is enormous - shovel is a must, to create an exit for each wheel or you're just trying to plough your way out.
  9. grit

    grit New Member

    I have had to snatch people out at Stockton (sand dunes) - Many believe its the softest sand you will find anywhere. Its all about the momentum.

  10. rustygq

    rustygq New Member

    If that was a patrol grit it may hav made it LOL or a jeep he he
    cheers good pix
    Good ole boy likes this.
  11. grit

    grit New Member

    His wife chickened out as he approached a very steep drop-off and when she yelled at him to stop he did. He would have done a lot better had he simply turned and kept momentum up until he was on firmer sand. Had him out of there in seconds & pleased to say he still has the old rig. He has moved away (Pappinbarra - west of Wauchope), last time he was down he said he wants a new rig for our Cape trip next year.

    I wonder of it will be another Cruiser...
  12. Tats

    Tats New Member

    And what about the freshwater lagoon + a cold beer and shade?

    A lot of stories come out of Stockton. I recall a trip I led up there oh so long ago. We'd entered via Levitt's Lane and then turned left onto a side trail. As we drove along there were several entrances to the dunes, but they were badly corrugated, making it difficult to get up enough speed to make the first ascent. Finally we decided to do it anyway, so turning right onto one of these "tracks" we charged and broached the first dune, only to be met by an hysterical director and his camera crew. They were filming one of the Mad Max movies and didn't need a 16 car convoy messing up the pristine dunes with wheel tracks everywhere, at least until they had finished. We slunk off in a southerly direction trying to be as inconspicuous as was possible for a 16 car convoy to be!:eek::eek::eek:

    Good ole boy likes this.
  13. Offrdn60

    Offrdn60 Member

    Looks like a neat 60
  14. GlennTroopy

    GlennTroopy New Member

    Re Snatch Straps

    Is there anything to the view that after you use one say 10 times you need to get a new one due to it being that many time one guy told me after a few uses its dangous to keep useing it im thinking that Bulls**t as long as it not marked or cut it should be ok

    whats your thinking

  15. 4X4

    4X4 Moderator

    Think of the snatch strap as an elastic band. With repeated use you will stretch it beyond its working limits and it won't have the elastic (Kinetic properties) effect. It would then be like trying to snatch with a tow rope, no give! Used incorrectly, a brand new snatch strap may need replacing after one snatch.
  16. x [Heels] x

    x [Heels] x New Member

    Yeah, agreed. Well put
  17. chopper

    chopper New Member

    That is exactly on the money.

    You have to put more torque into an old strap than you do in a new one. That means more force in the system, which means a bigger bang.

    I sponsored the Toyota Fraser Island Fishing Expo this year and we filmed a recovery tutorial with WIN TV. I have put it on you tube

    but I don't have enough posts to post a link :rolleyes::)

    Snatch straps (in my opinion) are an over used and over rated piece of gear.
  18. cruiserlad

    cruiserlad 4x4 Earth Contributer

    thats why i have more than one piece of recovery gear not only do i have 2 snatch straps but a set of maxtrax hi lift and a winch so i have more options better to be over prepared than underprepared
    happy tezza likes this.
  19. Stevesub

    Stevesub New Member

    You are exactly right. We had this situation a couple of months ago trying to snatch a 4wd stuck in soft sand but due to the nature of the sand, we could not get enough momentum up. Joining a couple of snatch straps and everything else I had, I managed to get to firmer ground so I could get momentum up to get him out. Not the safest but the only way this time.

    We also travel along the inland track on Bribie and at times it is real soft and I do not even want to stop in places, let alone snatch someone out.


  20. chopper

    chopper New Member

    Good ole boy likes this.

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