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After seeing a very morbid video in the general discussion forum referencing a failed recovery attempt, I have decided to start a discussion on what exactly is the proper user of recovery gear. What is obvious to one person may not be so obvious to someone else.

Hopefully this thread discussion can serve as a more positive influence on proper recovery techniques for all experience levels. I know I will be reviewing it before some of our adventures.

ARB recovery techniques, proper gear use, and general care / maintenance:
Recovery Techniques & Equipment
Gear should be inspected at the beginning of the season and after each use for cleanliness and serviceability.
General Care and Maintenance
  • Never exceed the minimum breaking strength of the strap, snatch block or bow shackles
  • Ensure attachments such as hooks, shackles, chains, cables and clevis pins have a breaking strength equal to or greater than the strap
  • Avoid twists and kinks in the webbing
  • Always coil your straps during storage
  • Never allow your straps to rub against sharp or hot surfaces
  • Clean your straps in warm water with a mild detergent and allow to dry thoroughly before storage. The ingress of foreign material such as sand and grit can permanently damage the fibres of the strap.
  • Inspect the entire length of any strap for nicks and cuts before and after use. If damaged, the strap may fail and should be replaced
  • Never use the strap as a lifting device
  • Be aware that a strap can lose up to 20% strength when wet
  • Keep your standard snatch block lubricated via the grease nipple. 9000 ultra light models do not require greasing as they have a self lubricating polymer pulley. Remove any foreign matter from the working surfaces of the pulley
  • Inspect all bow shackles for damage. Pins that are hard to turn suggest that the shackle has been overstressed and should be replaced
NOTE: Due to the nature of synthetic fibers, recovery straps require rest periods between use to return to their original length and capacity. Be aware that excessive pulls on a recovery strap over a short period of time can cause build up of heat and possible failure.
ARB's discussion regarding Recovery Points vs. Tow Points
ARB Recovery Points | ARB 4x4 Accessories
ARB’s recovery point range seeks to address issues surrounding generic tow points and their unsuitability for a range of recovery situations. These issues include questionable and untested mounting locations, confusion regarding the selection of rated shackles and straps, and the inability of generic tow points to safely handle stresses generated by an angled pull during vehicle recovery.
Shackles: Everything you wanted to know and some stuff you don't.
The meat of this safety webinar runs from the 3min to 30min mark. 3min to 14:30 covers shackle construction materials. 14:30min to 17min covers inspection. 17min to 30min covers proper rigging. This should allow everyone a better way to view the video in pieces as time allows. Everything after the 30min mark is Q&A. Granted the discussion is mostly oriented toward lifting, IMO the information translates well to the winching community.
Safety Webinar: Proper Use of Shackles

Rated Recovery Points:

Snatch strap recovery techniques:

Ask an Expert 031: Attaching a Snatch Strap - YouTube

Snatch Strap Recovery Techniques - YouTube

Mad Matt's Snatch Strap Recovery Tips - YouTube

TJM gives a good example of progressively stronger pulls.

TJM Recovery - YouTube

Winch Techniques:

How to winch a 4X4 - YouTube

Steep Hill recovery

Single line pull / Snatch block / proper hook orientation:


Winching: Single Line and Snatch Block Demonstration - FreaksAndJeeps.com - YouTube

Special Note: A recovery damper (blanket) style device should be used on each section of rope extending from a pulley. In the case of the video below, 4 is appropriate number.
Reverse Winching

Advanced techniques - Using two winches:
4x4 Winching Techniques - Multiple winches

Synthetic vs. Wire winch rope:
Wire Cable vs Synthetic Winch Rope - YouTube

Winching with Synthetic Rope:
Winching with Synthetic winch rope - YouTube

MaxTrax or TRED style devices:
Emphasis: proper placement, should allow an opportunity for the vehicle to idle up and onto the trax. Spinning your tires on the top of the trax risks damaging them.

MAXTRAX Recovery Device Rob Fraser Review - YouTube

About the 100% Australian TRED recovery device - YouTube


Smittybilt Beaver Step - 10,000lb rated
Beaver Step - Smittybilt



Hi - Lift Jack:
Contributed by Forum Member/Moderator Old Cruiser:
http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/4x4-off-road-tech/152153-basic-how-hi-lift-works.html

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/4x4-off-road-tech/167632-how-use-hi-lift-winch-safely.html




Pull Pal.
Pull-Pal winch anchor, foldable land anchors for 4x4, Jeep, ATV, UTV, off-road, all-terrain-vehicles

 

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Good call! I'm sure there's one of these somewehre that was half completed and ignored, but oh well...

Here's My $0.02, regarding my favorite peice of recovery gear.... Instead of a recovery shackle in the 2" receiver, or the 2 on the bumper (If you have them.. I do, have only used them once) I HIGHLY recommend this "piece of kit". It's solid forged steel, and I put grip tape on mine to step up to the bumper/cargo bay in easy steps.

Beaver Step - Smittybilt
 

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Discussion Starter #4
:bigthumb:

I notice that Smittybilt rates this device as a 10,000lb "TOW" strap point. Not sure if their intention qualifies as a "RECOVERY" point. Or even if the semantics makes a difference.

In either case, this is a good demonstration on multiple approved methods to attach a TOW strap to the Smittybilt Beaver Step. Updated Post 1 accordingly.

 

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:bigthumb:

I notice that Smittybilt rates this device as a 10,000lb "TOW" strap point. Not sure if their intention qualifies as a "RECOVERY" point. Or even if the semantics makes a difference.
Yeah, I trust my eyes over semantics....

The thing weighs durn near 10lb, and it's advertised as forged (rather than cast). The flash line around the edge matches what a forging would come out like, so I trust that statement.
That being said, as a mechanical engineer, my official estimation is you could swing your truck in circles over your head by this thing.....
Assuming you had a stout enough hitch pin.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
.....
That being said, as a mechanical engineer, my official estimation is you could swing your truck in circles over your head by this thing.....
Assuming you had a stout enough hitch pin.
:rofl::rofl: I hear ya!

After seeing a pretty morbid video earlier today I have my geek glasses on. :nerd

:bigthumb:
 

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After seeing a very morbid video in the general discussion forum referencing a failed recovery attempt, I have decided to start a discussion on what exactly is the proper user of recovery gear. What is obvious to one person may not be so obvious to someone else.

Hopefully this thread discussion can serve as a more positive influence on proper recovery techniques for all experience levels. I know I will be reviewing it before some of our adventures.
Great idea sweptwingnut! Everyone can use more training on recovery equipment and techniques, and be reminded of the dangers involved if not done correctly.
 

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From these threads :cheers:

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/4x4-off-road-tech/130618-whats-your-recovery-kit.html

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/4x4-off-road-tech/167632-how-use-hi-lift-winch-safely.html

Everyone's mentioned a lot of great components.

One important thing to keep in mind is proper use and selection of the gear you have or purchase. The offroad industry lacks any form of standards (or verifications) compared to similar industires - hoisting/rigging (vertical lifts). The hoisting industry has an entire body dedicated to the safe practices and governance in lifting objects along with equipment standards. In the offroad industry for recovery equipment you'll often see mfgs making all sorts of claims about their product quality and load ratings based on no established standards (pretty nice for the mfgs isn't it). Understanding the weak links is essential to safe recovery operations.

The reason I bring this up is folks often have little understanding of the true loads involved in a vehicle recovery which often results in improper selection of equipment (with little to no saftey margin), improper use of gear, or simply unsafe work practices.


For example a 12,000lb winch is a great thing, but few folks consider the line rating or how the line is terminated. Let say it has a great 1/2" wire rope with a break strenght around ~17klb, its off little use if that wire rope terminates in an underated hook or has an improperly done end termination. Unfortunatley, I'm guessing only a few folks on this forum even have an understanding of what is a proper end termination vs. improper (and quite a few products have improper). The mfgs of recovery equipment do a poor job of communicating information like this and with no standards there is a significant disregard for safety margins and best practices throughout the community.


Just to give you a high level example of the types of loads you could see when recovering a vehicle. An FJ with its frame caught up on rocks on a 30 degree uphill slope would take about around ~19,000lbs of force to recover the vehicle (refer to hoisting industry standards and army's guide to recovery for calculations). Normally folks carry a 8-9lkb winch and in the best cases a 12klb winch - needless to say you'll need more than the winch alone to enable recovery with a decent safety margin (foreign topic in the offroad industry).


Here are some resources for great info on recovery:
DOE Hoisting & Rigging Manual DOE: HSS - redirect
Army Guide to Vehicle Recovery - http://www.archive.org/download/Fm20-22VehicleRecoveryOperations/Fm20-22VehicleRecoveryOperations.pdf
 

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Thanks for this! I have searched YouTube and online for GOOD and PROPER ways to winch, but all I saw was videos of inbred yahoos tearing up their rigs and the surrounding environment...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for this! I have searched YouTube and online for GOOD and PROPER ways to winch, but all I saw was videos of inbred yahoos tearing up their rigs and the surrounding environment...
Same here! And 9 out of 10 never show a recovery damper (blanket) being used with a snatch strap.

With everyones additions on how to properly use what, I hope this will be a good one stop shop on what to use, how to use it, and how to do it "SAFELY."
 

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Good call! I'm sure there's one of these somewehre that was half completed and ignored, but oh well...

Here's My $0.02, regarding my favorite peice of recovery gear.... Instead of a recovery shackle in the 2" receiver, or the 2 on the bumper (If you have them.. I do, have only used them once) I HIGHLY recommend this "piece of kit". It's solid forged steel, and I put grip tape on mine to step up to the bumper/cargo bay in easy steps.

Beaver Step - Smittybilt
G'day,
Is the oem stock hitch receiver strong enough for this bit of kit ?
I am always concerned the receiver would fail and you would be launching a missile ...
otherwise... this is a cool .... and will add it to my recovery kit...
Cheers
Baz
 

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G'day,

Is the oem stock hitch receiver strong enough for this bit of kit ?

It's stronger than recovery points on the average bumper... I dunno if the OEM hitch is class 2 or 3, but either way, it's got 6 heavy grade 8 bolts into the frame rails.... The pin is the week point....


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free doodoo App
 
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