Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

So this last weekend, I had some heavy duty yardwork to accomplish. I had some old hedges that I wanted to remove.
So, I embraced my inner hillbilly..and took my tow straps....and went to town.
I hooked up the tow strap to the shrub, and connected it to the front tow hoops.

All went well for the first couple of shrubs..yanked em clean out.

But then, on one of the bigger bushes, I actually broke/snapped the tow strap!
Now, stupid me...instead of thinking to myself...hey, I broke a tow strap with a breaking force rated at 12,000-15,000 lbs... I probably should not be doing this... what did I do?
I of course went out and bought another tow strap (the same one).
And...proceeded to snap that one immediately.

After that, I gave up...and decided it probably was not a smart move to begin with.. but now I find myself wondering.. did I, or could I have possibly done any damage to the FJ? It doesn't seem any worse for wear after the fact..but I guess the point of this post is to see if anyone out there could give me possible things to check , to make sure I didnt F anything up?

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 12:25 PM
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Re: Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

Jeez ... broke TWO 12-15,000 lb breaking strength tow straps?

Post a photo of those "shrubs" ... not sure what they look like in OH, but on the west coast I think they're called "redwoods".

Or were those Harbor Freight straps, rated in "Chinese lbs"?

As long as your tow points are not deformed or cracked, you are OK.

However, not sure why you'd pull from the front ... a shrub that suddenly broke free while your strap was under tension (or even the strap itself) could have ended up launched through your windshield. Better to pull from the rear tow hitch, and place a small piece of plywood above the spare tire to protect the much smaller rear door glass.

Last edited by FJtest; 08-21-2017 at 12:38 PM.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 12:27 PM
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Re: Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

Well hopefully the straps were sacrificed to save your FJ, if you'd done some damage you'd probably have heard it.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

As requested, here is a picture of the shrubs I pulled... they are about 5 feet high and about 4 feet wide.
https://goo.gl/photos/6QduiKzDDQXVVy4a9

And here is the tow straps that I broke..not once, but twice!
20' Tow Strap, Loop End; 17,000 lbs - SmartStraps
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

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As long as your tow points are not deformed or cracked, you are OK.

However, not sure why you'd pull from the front ... a shrub that suddenly broke free while your strap was under tension (or even the strap itself) could have ended up launched through your windshield. Better to pull from the rear tow hitch, and place a small piece of plywood above the spare tire to protect the much smaller rear door glass.
Luckily, the tow points don't look any worse for wear. I pulled from the front so that I could better see what I was doing....I wasn't too concerned with the bushes flying towards me..those things are super heavy and rooted deep....in retrospect, I should have likely never done this in the first place. Lessons learned.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 01:34 PM
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Re: Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

A few final questions:

1. How/where did the tow straps fail? The strap material itself failed, in the body of the strap; the stitching failed at the end loops; she strap material failed in the end loop; or something else?

2. Did both straps fail in the identical way? (Photos would be informative)

3. What was the Country of Origin?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 01:39 PM
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Re: Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

You should back up to the bush, give it some gas, throw it into neutral and let the weight of the FJ pull up the shrub. (kind of a sling shot effect) It may take a few tries, but they will come up. If it's really tough, dig on the back side and cut a few roots then tug at them. I've done this many, many times. Hope this helps. (still hard to believe the straps broke... strange)
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

Quote:
FJtest previously said: View Post
A few final questions:

1. How/where did the tow straps fail? The strap material itself failed, in the body of the strap; the stitching failed at the end loops; she strap material failed in the end loop; or something else?
The strap broke actually in the body of the strap..I'd say right at the front of the "noose" that was wrapped around the base of the bush. After the straps broke, the noose still remained firmly stuck around the trunk of the bush.

Quote:
FJtest previously said: View Post
2. Did both straps fail in the identical way? (Photos would be informative)
Unfortunately, I returned one of the straps (that I still had packaging for), and pitched the other one. But yes, they both did fail in the exact same way..and left me with almost identically the same amount of leftover strap post-breakage.

Quote:
FJtest previously said: View Post
3. What was the Country of Origin?
Not sure, I don't have any of the packaging material anymore, and I cant find much info on SmartStraps website.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 02:38 PM
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Re: Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

Did you put a shock load on the straps, or did you gradually apply pressure to them as they were put under load. Tow straps are durable, but can snap at a lower pull weight than advertised if the conditions are right.

Chains up next?

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pulled Some Shrubs, Now I'm Concerned

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UTEFJ previously said: View Post
Did you put a shock load on the straps, or did you gradually apply pressure to them as they were put under load. Tow straps are durable, but can snap at a lower pull weight than advertised if the conditions are right.

Chains up next?
Ha...no chains...I learned my lesson and just chainsawed them down to stumps...now I just await the stump grinding guy.

As far as my technique was concerned..it was pretty awful I'm sure. I started being all casual..and going slow and just trying to pull them out. But then I got tired of turfing my lawn and not accomplishing much... So I would just take the slack outta the strap by pulling forward, and then hammering it into reverse to give a solid yank. This would stop the FJ dead in its tracks...well..until the straps broke.
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