Snatch straps

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 18:40
ThreadID: 29385 Views:2360 Replies:10 FollowUps:23
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There has been some talk that snach should be banned on the grounds of personal safety & the potential to cause damage to vehicles.
What is the major safety problem here ?
Cheers Steve
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Reply By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 18:44

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 18:44
Untrained users doing the wrong thing. ie attaching to wrong points, using wrong shackles or joining with shackles etc etc etc.

These straps in the hands of an untrained user are LETHAL.

I disagree with banning, but perhaps on the packet should be instructions and a warning.

There is a safer way to use the strap than the traditional "2 metre method" but it can be a bit slower. it is used by some mining comapnies in an effort to meet their duty of care.

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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 18:56

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 18:56
Happy to explain the two methods via private email if you wish.

Dave O
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:06

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:06
David, OK I'll bite :))
jimshire1 at iprimus.com. ey you
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:18

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:18
OK Jim

I'll write to you in 1/2 an hour...busy doing budgets right now
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:40

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:40
Ive heard of this but seeing as it is used at anally retentive minesites suggests that it is desighned to justify some safety squeezers job rather than being safer or more effective - sorry but have spent way too much time dealing with these NFI idiots
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:49

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:49
I agree that it is probably an overreaction.

Aditionally the alternate method is probably next to useless if the towing vehicle is on a soft surface. The best advice is Use a gentle tug and don't be tempted to up the ante. if it doesn't move a bit with a gentle tug, it probably isn't going to move at all.

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Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:18

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:18
I believe that a snatch strap used correctly and within it and the vehicles limitations is probably the most effective and efficient piece of recovery gear available. It is inexpensive to buy and light and easy to pack away. As part of my training course I include snatch stap and winch, either hand or power, demonstrations and recovery of vehicles bogged in sand. I have done litterally 100s of snatch demos without incident of any kind. At all times sand is cleared from in front of every wheel so you are not trying to pull up over the sand initially. I do use the 2 mt method but the speed of the tow vehicle is very low, excessive force is not the answer. The tow vehicle back up and down 3-4 times to compress the sand under its wheels, this is very important. You do not have to free the vehicle in one go, although even to my suprise this does often happen, several small gentle pulls will get the job done SAFELY. I use my vehicle as the tow vehicle with the tongue removed from my towbar and the pin pushed thru the eye of the strap. I have heard of these pins bending but have never seen it myself. Obviously far too much speed and force has been used for this to happen. I am also not in favour of special tounges being used, the less items you can use with the potential to become a missile the better. If you have to use shackles it is imperative that they are rated shackles. Use only recognised recovery points securely bolted to the chassis with high tensile bolts. Any bystanders should be a minmum of 1.5 times the length of the pull away and at 90 degrees. Gentle commonsense approach will get the job done safely every time. If the vehicle has not moved after a couple of these pulls its time to think of an alternative but its quite amazing the difference a bit of spade work does make. Cheers Rob
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:20

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:20
I wanna know WHO and WHERE "THEY" are talking about this..

I'll have a lobby on it being crap!
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:26

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:26
Truckster

I guess you mean the THEY that are BANNING the straps.
I'd bet my leftie that its crap too, just like the rear seat removal issue a while back. TOTAL CRAP.

I don't have a pretty pic in my sig anymore
Don't ask me why.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:33

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:33
David, I KNOW why. Naughty boy ! :))))
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:42

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:42
Is it the thought police?????
The sig police???
LOL

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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:45

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:45
Funny thing is my current pic is this one



Doesn't seem too offensive, and strangely, when I click on post follow up, I can see it in my sigs on every previous post, but when I submit it is gone...wierd stuff this computer world isn't it?
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Follow Up By: P.G. (Tas) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 10:14

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 10:14
David, I'd like to know more. petermg at bigpond dot com.

Cheers,

Peter
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 10:53

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 10:53
David,

Re your Prfile Pic.

Have you got any text in your Signature column?

Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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Reply By: Exploder - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:35

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 19:35
That some people are Compleat Arr Humm’s.. And have no idea about a lot of things.

This is why the helmet was invented, to protect a brain that is functioning that poorly to begin with.

Snatch Straps are a public safety hazard; yeah that’s the biggest risk to the general public right now.

I am willing to bet that most of the people that you see doing the wrong thing with Snatch straps Know it, but just don’t give a stuff, it’s the old male; Yeah that will Hold attitude at play.
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Reply By: parthy - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:35

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:35
Australian 4WD monthly number 87 page 181 Quote( alternative ways to use what could potentially be the most dangerous piece of recovery eqipment ) un quote
check it out .
my thought's .............what ever happend to common sense
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:57

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 20:57
Yep thats the same method

Common sense went out when people started suing for their own stupidity.

it is definitley time the law changed with respect to that.

I for one would vote for any politician brave enough to introduce a similar scheme as the one that operates in NZ.

What ever happened to brave politicians is the real question.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:08

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:08
Snatch straps are a problem on several levels:

Firstly, they are marketed as a cheap recovery aid that will get any fool out of a bog. There are no warnings or instructions on the pack.

Secondly, it is promoted that the stronger the strap, the better it is. I'd suggest that the stronger straps are more lethal.

Thirdly, the technique.
The idea of attaching a strong elastic strap between two vehicles weighing 2-3 tonnes each is very much reliant on the strength of the recovery points. Trouble starts when the recovery points can shear off and become a lethal missile.

Recovery points on vehicles were never designed for snatch recovery. Many are tie downpoints for transport while the stronger ones are described by manufacturers as "tow points" - for towing, not snatching. Ask any manufacturer, and they will tell you their points are not rated for snatch recovery. So when you do a heavy snatch and the recovery point breaks, and recovery point and shackle go flying thru the air at a million kms per hour, they will be aimed directly at the other vehicle or any onlookers.

So how can snatching be made safer?
#1 Don't snatch if a simple tow will suffice.
#2 Clear sand or mud from around the wheels/chassis to make the recovery easier.
#3 Be certain of the strength of the points you are using. Aftermarket hooks are strong and are rated - but they are only as strong as the bolts holding them on, and the metal to which they are bolted to. They need to be chassis mounted for strength. We could have a huge discuss on recovery points and what is suitable.
#4 Don't use bow shackles unless absolutely necessary - it can be a big missile.
#5 Use a bridle for attaching the strap to the front of the vehicle. Its a simple strap that attaches to two recovery points on the front of the vehicle - it halves the load on the front recovery points, distributes the load, and if a recovery point were to break, it would be retained by the other side.
#6 Air brakes are often taught, but are totally useless.

Whenever I write this blurb, I always ask why do I bother. Its a hell of a lot simpler to suggest to people to tow or winch.......but I have to admit, the simplicity of a gentle snatch is often the simplest most effective way to recover - just a pity that it can also be the most dangerous.

Cheers
Phil
2002 HDJ79R
AnswerID: 146662

Follow Up By: Ron173 - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:29

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:29
Phil,

Isnt a snatch strap a thin G string??? LOL!!!!

On the serious side...

Well said, all valid points, and all so true for safety, but how far do we need to go to educate the idiots?

My rifle doesnt have 'use this end' on it!

Are we going to end up a society like America, where we put warnings on everything to prevent law suits?

Arent the supposed users old enough to know that its not good to play with a toaster in the bath?

Ok I joke, but seriously people need to start accepting responsibility for their own actions, without trying to blame manufacturers for not putting idiots guides on everything.

Guess we all need to stock up on snatch straps before they ban them, .. but wait,... they will ban 4x4 aswell if they get their way.

Did you see that accident this afternoon.... MY GOD.... ANOTHER STATION WAGON!!! you dont hear that do you...

nuff said,

Rgds

Ron

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Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 07:51

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 07:51
Good one Phil & Ron. There are two problems as you point out, 1; the tecnique and 2; the attachments.

The first problem should be easy to fix - education.

The second is a hard one because it involves money! It is very strange but a lot of people spend mega bucks on their vehicles tyres, sound systems, lights, fuel tanks, shocks etc. but will not spend any money on getting properly engineered tow hooks fitted! For a couple of hundred dollars MAX! most of the potential danger could be downgraded to almost zilch.

Also, unfortunately you also see people making coments on this forum like ;

"I have done hundreds of snatch recoveries useing shackles attached to those little welded tie down points on my vehicle for years and have never had a problem, so there - you don't know what you are talking about"

As soon as you see coments like the above - run a mile from any other pearls of wisdom from that person !

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 12:56

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 12:56
Ron,
I like your posts - good stuff.

Kiwi,
The fix on both counts is Education.
But when you consider how many snatch straps are sold, and at the club we spend a few hours in the sand teaching people how to use them, and what to use and what not to use for recovery points, it strikes me that Education is the big expense.

I reckon it won't be long before a coroner gets hold of this stuff, and maybe some warnings will get put on the straps.

Cheers
phil
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Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 22:13

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 22:13
Ron, the rot has set in I'm afraid. Ruger have a paragraph long, stamped warning on the barrel of their handguns these days with words to that effect. (they're still good though:-))

Perhaps common sense should be renamed 'rare and unusual sense'?
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:41

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 21:41
Sounds like our nanny again.

Next it will be powered winches,,,,, then hand winches. Mud tyres too.

Did you know you can get dermatitis from diesel? Be diesel banned too after that gets to nanny. Just tell her we can wear gloves.
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:27

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:27
I've seen the ladies put gloves on to pump diesel...I thought they just didn't want smelly hands ! Crikey, dermatitus eh ?
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 08:57

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 08:57
....... more too than the derm loosie, but I didn't want Nanny to understand. It is supposed to be car........ic. Hope Nanny can't spell that one. I keep gloves beside me for all sorts of reasons, prevention of smelly hands being the operative one. Good at camp fires too.
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:29

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:29
My favourite is the instructions on the peanuts on airlines

"Open sachel and eat contents"

cracks me up every time

Duh what was that again? Open peanuts and eat sachel or pee in the sachel and open your nuts? Doh!!! I can never get it right.
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Follow Up By: Fusion - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 14:28

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 14:28
Hey Footloose,

I'm one of those 'ladies' who uses gloves to fill up :) Well 1 glove anyway.

Saves having to wash the slime and dirt off my hands before hopping back in the car and smearing it all over the steering wheel.

Although if I did that, and had a crash because the steering wheel was so slick I should be able to sue the fuel company for making diesel in the first place ;) Hmmm... ideas for making money on the cheap...

Thanks,

Aaron.
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Reply By: ev700 - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 22:55

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 22:55
It is a problem when you're confronted by (say) a sand bogged AWD and neither you nor the owner knows if it has satisfactory tow point.

Manufacturers market these vehicles to go where they will almost certainly become bogged, why can't they be required to fit and colour code tow points? Same should apply to 4WDs.

I will tow but not snatch, some vehicles. But then that is still subject to my being able to get traction and to their willingness to use my shovel as required.

I think there is always the prospect of being sued where you take the responsibility for snatching out another vehicle. Who wants to be the first to get clobbered by a lawsuit?
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:08

Thursday, Jan 05, 2006 at 23:08
Where was this talk?

sounds like Mule Faeces to me.
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Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 19:24

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 19:24
From the same goose that wants Computer Stability control mandatory in all cars I reckon.
Add this to the "ban bullbars" and "ban 4wds from cities" pranks the city clowns pull to get their names in the paper.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 11:59

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 11:59
Been quite a few references to "Common Sense".

While I'm a user and a fan of snatch straps, I know a lot of people with a heap of common sense who could easily kill themselves with a strap. Unfortunately common sense doesn't turn you into an engineer to tell you how much force you can or can't put in a recovery point.

Cheers
phil
AnswerID: 146965

Reply By: Hairy - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 14:07

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 14:07
What a croc,
Never had or have seen any acident or near miss with a snatch strap!
Its about time people started taking a bit of responsibility for their own actions, if you act like a moron you can hurt yourself with anything!
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Reply By: TOOLEY - Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 22:27

Monday, Jan 09, 2006 at 22:27
Well there has been some discussion here, good coments about common sense.
What about reducing the risk, like not speeding to reduce the risk of being caught by the police or reducing the risk of an accident. Or not driving over the 0.05 limit. What about in the 70's when the seat belts were introduced, to reduce the risk of serious injury in a vehicle accident.
What was the method of recovery before snatch straps were on the market ?
Cheers Tooley
AnswerID: 147508

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