Wheel Drive Recoveries

Snatch straps and winch cables hold a significant amount of energy, and if they break all of that energy is released at once. A snatch strap will easily fly from one vehicle to the next in under a second, and there is no way you can get out of the way. As a general rule, everyone except both drivers in a recovery needs to be at least 20 metres away. This ensures that even if the strap or cable does break, no one is in range of the deadly missile. Secondly, make sure that dampeners are used. Two are ideal, and make sure that they aren’t very heavy. A towel works extremely well. These are designed to stop the cable or strap from flying in the event that they snap.

Thirdly, make sure that you remove any dirt possible before trying to recover another four wheel drive. By spending 5 minutes on the shovel you can reduce a massive amount of stress put on the recovery. I suggest that no shackles are used in a recovery (where possible) as they are heavy weights that cause a lot of damage when something goes wrong. Don’t ever use a tow ball to recover off. Tow balls are designed for towing trailers, and they are not designed for shock force, which is exactly what you do when you pull hard on it. There have been a number of tow balls snap in recent years resulting in serious injuries. I have seen them literally go through a tire; what do you think they are going to do if you are standing in the way?

The last piece of advice I can give is to take your time, think about the risks and consequences and make decisions that are going to get you unstuck, without injuring anyone or doing damage to your vehicles!