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.