Towbar as a recovery point

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 13:53
ThreadID: 19296 Views:5259 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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The latest issue of 4WD Monthly has an article on recovery points. Whilst generally a pretty poor article, it does explain how you can use your towbar receiver & pin as a recovery point. Also shows a few recovery hooks/eyes that you can buy to put into the receiver so you have an 'easier' hook/eye to work with.

However, nothing said about just removing your towball from the existing towbar tongue and using the tongue bolt hole as your recovery 'eye'. Can't see any difference between that and these aftermarket things - what am I missing?
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Reply By: Member - bushfix - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:08

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:08
G'day DrewT,

"Can't see any difference between that and these aftermarket things - what am I missing?"
If I read you correctly, it sounds like they may be referring to hitch receivers which can be a hollow or solid billet of steel inserted into the bar (in place of the tow hitch) and they have an eye through which a suitable shackle is passed. One difference between using this and just putting a shackle in the threaded hole you have removed the towball from, I believe, is that you run the risk of elongating the hole and damaging the thread. After recovery using the hitch receiver you just remove it and reinstall the tow tongue. Anyway, one day you might not have a choice. Using the pin also risks bending it and then you possibly will not be able to get it out, leaving you with a bit of difficulty hitching your ct etc up again.

what springs to my mind anyway.
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:09

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:09
whoops, delete the bit about the threaded hole, thinking of something else.
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Reply By: Well 55 - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:09

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:09
Nothing just saving a few dollars. I would and do carry a spare hardened pin to replace the tow hitch one though, and put this through the eye of the strap.
AnswerID: 92638

Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:09

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:09
probably not much. With all that duty of care I guess you have to be pretty carefull with what you print. They also claim that the loops that are bolted to the chasis welded with reinforcing metal and welded some more on cruisers are only tie down points and not suitable for recovery - be alot of cruisers left out in the bush if that was the case. Guess it takes a bit of comon sense as to how much force will be needed to free tyhe vehicle as to how robust the recovery point needs to be. I have used a snatch strap on a comodore using the steering rods(seriosly it had absalutly nothing else) coz it wasnt vey bogged and I took it real easy (no snatching)
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Reply By: DrewT - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:21

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:21
thanks for the replies. i also noted in a previous post last year (13477) that there was discussion on this. seems that the only negative given for using the hole in the towbar tongue was that some tongues were made up of right-angle welded pieces and therefore perhaps not as strong as simply putting the strap directly into the towbar hitch & using the pin (which by the way doesn't give you a great recovery point for directly attaching a winch cable with shackle)

anyway my Prado towbar tongue is a single piece of metal (no welds) & i reckon thats what i'll use!!
AnswerID: 92644

Reply By: flappan - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:31

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:31
Its also probably to do with the fact not a lot of people either carry a big enough shifter, or spanner to undo the towball. It then also requires a shackle to be used , which is something everyone tries to avoid.

I have used the pin a number of times with no problems , and will continue to do so.
AnswerID: 92647

Reply By: bundyman - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:35

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:35
Come on Drew - your problem is that your using your logic and common sense to save money - which is not what the 4x4 accessory mobs want you doing. Better off heading staright to TJM or the like and buying some overpriced thingymajig that they will say is the only safe or legal way to do it - BULLSH*T. Save the dollars champ.

Cheers,
Hughesy
AnswerID: 92648

Reply By: muzzimbidgie - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:59

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 14:59
A lot of older forby's have old style tow bars that are not the "reece" type receiver,(the tongue is bolted to the towbar, which is round tube steel) and snatching from these is not advisable, I think this is why 4WD Monthly aren't giving people the wrong idea to remove the tow ball and use a shackle in the hole.

If you did a snatch recovery using the pin from the hitch receiver, and you bend the pin, you have done something very wrong!!! Apart from not being able to hook up a trailer again, you have probably subjected every item used in the recovery to far more stress and strain than they were designed for. I would say it would take an awesome amount of force to bend the pin. (IMHO)

Cheers,

Muzz
AnswerID: 92650

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 15:12

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 15:12
I've done heaps of recoverys using my pin. I have two pins one is just your standard clip type and one is a key lockable one that I leave in with the tounge on round town and when I go bush I take the tounge out and put the cheapie pin in (in case it bends, how the hell I'd do that who knows).

I've even recovered a V6 Pajero from the bottom of a sand dune when it had no power of it's own (blown clutch) and towed him through sand tracks back to the tar with my pin, there were some pretty bloody heafty snatchs to get him over the first hill and upon inspection after each failed snatch there were no visible signs of any wear or damage
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Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 19:15

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 19:15
The hook on the tongue that is shown in that article has been around for yonks!!! Several people here have them, including me. A great idea, alternative to using bow shackles and no risk of bending the pin. OK to have a spare pin... but how the heck are you going to get the old pin out when it's bent???? And how will you look with 9 metres of snatch strap trailing behind your truck???
The one I don't agree with is the new heavier duty loop for the rear of Patrols.... those loops under the barn doors are not designed for snatching... the only thing holding any of that together is the bolt threads!!!!! I actually removed the loop from my truck so it can't be used.
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Follow Up By: Darylive - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 21:25

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 21:25
And yet NISSAN recomend that as a recovery point. I do use it and have snatched a land rover out of a running wash out on the beach (Fraser Island) . The likelyhood of the four bolts letting go is pretty slim. I would like to think the NISSAN engineers have some idea wht they are on about.

;{
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 21:45

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005 at 21:45
Ring Nissan and ask them if they recommend it for snatch recovery. The last I heard the answer was NO. Nissan engineers designed it for towing.... not snatching.. that is what I have been told anyway... I am no expert on this... just passing on what I have been told and agree with due to it's "logicalness"... (I know..I know.. there ain't no such word as logicalness... but you know what I mean!! )

If that was all I had to save a truck from the surf, I would have a go at it as well! Sometimes ya gotta have a go, yeah???

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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 00:36

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 00:36
Based on the above posts:

The only time you would be using it is to snatch a vehicle bogged behind you.

The flying shackle is only going to damage their vehicle or the driver of it. If you kill them with a shackle you'll feel pretty lousy if you saved their truck only to have it sold to pay for the funeral.

If I had a choice between a snatch from that tow loop and drowning the truck I'd walk away and watch. You are a long time dead, and Murphy seems to follow me at times.

A straight tow on the other hand is an entirely different matter. Judicious use of shovel however might not do much when the waves are trying to fill the holes in.

By the way if I was going to buy one (& I'm not) the one with the hook looks to be a better alternative to those with the shackle. Keep the shackle away from the snatch strap wherever possible....

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 08:08

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 08:08
Dave,

I fully agree with you. I have the spare tongue with the hook mounted to it, quick and simple to fit. It's a great piece of kit! And the shackle stays in the recovery bag! And although I said "If that was all I had to save a truck from the surf, I would have a go at it as well!" inreality I couldn't... as I have removed the loop from my truck after someone shackled a strap to it while I was in the pilots seat. I was told the strap was shackled to my tow bar tongue......( was a fairly tough tow uphill to get a ute with dead batteries into an area where we could turn around and get the jumper leads on him)... when I found it on the loop I was mighty P****d off. So I removed it and set the tongue/hook in when we get off the bitumen. If everyone had one.... and everyone had a hook on the front, there'd be no need to have shackles in a snatch recovery.
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Reply By: marin82 - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 01:25

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 01:25
that hook under the rear door on a patrol is rated only as a flat ground towing point, or something like that which covers nissan in the event of anything going wrong i.e. you were towing up a 1 degree slope hill with the hook, so not nissans fault that something went wrong. i also have removed the hook from my maverick and only snatch from the tow pin at the rear and have installed a proper hook to my bullbar at the front and removed the hook under the drivers side front.
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Reply By: brian - Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 22:31

Thursday, Jan 13, 2005 at 22:31
I am told that this towing point is only rated for 500kg strain by nissan
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