Snatch Strap and Shackles

Submitted: Friday, May 05, 2006 at 11:39
ThreadID: 33567 Views:5265 Replies:8 FollowUps:17
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Hi All,
Need some advice.
I recently watched a pathfinder snatch a brumby out of some sand. Method used was the hook of the strap was placed on the towbar of the pathfinder and a small galv shackle was put into some small holes on the chassis of the brumby. All I coud envisage was the broken shackle either in the back of someones head or in the rear window of the nissan.
This brings me to my question. I have searched the threads and some are saying not to use shackles with snatch straps and some are saying its ok.
So...What is the best way and where should I place a strap on a vehicle and where should I put it on my Series 80. I know there would be exceptional circumstances but generally.
Cheers
Howard.
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Reply By: Brian B (QLD) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:02

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:02
Hi Howard,

If the Pathfinder hooked his strap over a towball then that is a no no as these can shear off. Vehicles should have proper recovery points fitted front and rear and these are the best places to secure to. I know not everyone agrees with this next bit but as an additional anchor point I have a Hayman Reese towbar on my Hilux and I pass one end of my strap into the box sextion and secure it with the locking pin that comes with these type bars.

All shackles that are used should be rated to be up to the job and generally these will either be a D or a bow shackle.

If your vehicle doesn't have recovery points do not fall into the trap of using factory fitted tie down points which a lot of cars have for restraining them while they are being freighted around the place. These are not strong enough for snatching. Most reputable 4x4 places can advise and fit recovery points if your car doesn't have them.

As far as technique goes we attach the strap to both vehicles and allow for approximately one metre in a half loop to be the slack between the two cars. Remove all twists out of the strap and keep all bystanders out of harms way. Establish signals between both drivers for what and when you are going to do it and select the correct four wheel drive gear for the situation. If you have radio comms then that is even better. Get both cars running and at the agreed signal the towing car drives off at a comfortable rate while the bogged car also tries to drive out. Hopefully if the snatch is a good one then you should be out around now. For the towing vehicle it is important not to drive off like a bull at a gate as this can put a lot of undue stress on cars and snatching components and is generally not necesary.

Once out and on firm ground unhook everything, clean it up and pack it away properly. If your strap got wet it needs to be fully dried ASAP so it doesn't deteriorate. While being snatched try not to drive over the strap if possible.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide on snatching but just some bits of information from my experience and courses I have done. Others here may add to this but it is a bit of a guide for you.

Have a good one.
AnswerID: 170899

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:16

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:16
Brian,

That is almost work perfect to what we teach in our driver training course.

Well said.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 18:21

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 18:21
Handy advice brian. My only query- you (and so many others) say "a towball ... can shear off" so you to attach your strap, you instead "secure it with the locking pin that comes with these type bars".
Ever noticed the differences in diameter between a towball's threaded section and the hitch pin?

The only reason I mention it is that I had a hitch pin bend on me when I was extracting my car from a puddle and it was a prick to get out of the hitch.

As an aside, I recall hearing about a test done on the strength of the tie-down eyes on 80's, and I am told the back welds broke before the bolts did. I use a 3m sling attached with shackles to my front tie down points and it works a treat.
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 20:11

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 20:11
If you want to risk using the pin and having bend...... the secure the strap to the towbar with a RATED D shackle, shckle through the hole that the towball goes....

Remember to have a DAMPENER on each strap to load it down if something goes wrong......

If at first you don't succeed....... Try ONCE more, and if you still are not successful... start digging!
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 20:12

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 20:12
Dang.... for got to proof read it
"If you DON'T want to risk using the pin and having IT bend...... theN secure the strap to the towbar with a RATED D shackle, shAckle through the hole that the towball goes....

Remember to have a DAMPENER on each strap to load it down if something goes wrong......

If at first you don't succeed....... Try ONCE more, and if you still are not successful... start digging!
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:46

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:46
you cant get the pin of a 4.2 or 3.5 t bow shackle thru the pin hole
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Follow Up By: Brian B (QLD) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 23:03

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 23:03
Hi,

Point taken on the hitch pin.

I have been using mine for years and haven't had a drama. When I did a refresher off road/sand driving course with a reputable group in South East QLD a couple of years back they advised this or using proper rear recovery points was the preferred way to go and told the whole group not to snatch using towballs.

I think the reason they gave for the hitch pin being preferable is because the shear forces are spread over the two holes the pin comes in contact with and this is supposedly stronger than the tow ball point. I would be really appreciative if someone with more knowledge on this than me could clarify that for me though.

At the end of the day whatever way you do it safety must be the big ticket item.

Have a good one.
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 08:12

Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 08:12
Bonz,
NOT the pin hole.... the shackle goes through the hole that the towball normally would, ie the shackle replaces the towball.

Brian B,

The only problem I see with using the pin to hold the strap in place is that "sometimes" the strap can bend the pin. This has happened to a friend of mine and he had all sorts of drama's getting the pin out, not to mention a buggered strap 'cos he had to cut it to get it off his car! If we had to do a recovery or be recovered and the pin was the only way we could do it...... then that's the way I would go.
I actually have a second tow tongue that has a rated recovery hook on it, when we're off-roading and we need to recover someone, I just drop the strap over the hook..... simple!
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 09:04

Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 09:04
Yes know the one you mean Brian, After sweating to remove the tow ball concreted in place over the years I found the pin of the bow shackles I had wouldnt fit the hole, the thread would go thru but the rest of the pin wouldnt, I am sure we tried 3.5 and 4.2 ton shackles.
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 10:10

Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 10:10
I would be VERY concerned with the idea of using the large hole that the towball goes through. I have not tried to fit a pin of a shackle through that hole, but I'll take Bonz's word for it that the pin from a 4.7T rated shackle won't fit......but I'd be surprised if a 3.2T shackle's pin would not fit.

However, fit or not, I wouldn't fit a shackle to the tow tongue...............because you're now gunna be relying on the welding skills of some unknown bloke who attached the 90o goose-neck to the 2" box section. If that weld lets go, you're now gunna have a nice shackle PLUS a goose-neck, hurtling towards you (or the bloke you're recovering), at about a squillion miles per hour. NO THANKS!!!!!!

Cheers

Roachie
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 10:10

Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 10:10
Actually now that you mention it, I have heard of that before Geoff, something to do with the model of Haymen Reece I think????????? (Happy to be corrected on that though)

Our tow ball gets regularly taken off and on to switch between the ball for the box trailer & the Treg for the CT..... so it's not too bad these days, but I well remember the first time I had to remove it...... Sweat is THE word!!!!!!!

LOL.....

Cheers mate

Brian
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Reply By: Member - Tony G (ACT) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:06

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:06
Its ok to use a shackle as long as its a rated shackle that will cover the forces generated by the snatch strap. The shackle can be secured to the tow vehicle through the hole where the tow ball goes.

The other and more prefered method is remove the tow hitdh and use the pin to retain the eye of the strap in the receiver hole left by the tow hitch. I have used this method often and never bent a pin.
AnswerID: 170900

Reply By: stevesub - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:15

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:15
Shackles are an accepted method of attaching a snatch strap to a vehicle - so long as the correct shackle is used. The shackle MUST be rated and have a minimum rating of 3 1/2 ton. Such a shackle will not break if a normal 8 ton snatch strap is used (in fact tests have revealed these shackles break at sometimg like 20+ ton). The rating is cast on the side of the shackle.

NEVER join snatch straps with shackles as if the strap breaks, guess where the shackle goes - seen the results of this happening with a shackle. There is a special method for joining straps which means they can be got apart and do not involve a shackle.

NEVER loop a snatch strap over a towball, they break off but it is OK to use a shackle through the tow ball hole - if the towbar is held on with high tensile bolts.

As for your truck, see a 4WD club, 4WD accessory dealer or 4WD trainer and they will see what you have got in the way of recovery hooks on your vehicle, etc and if they are Ok or need to be upgraded.

Tie down points on vehicles are to be treated with care and are really OK only for towing but with an equaliser strap and 2 tie down points used are better than nothing for light snatching in an emergency so long as everyone is aware that things may break and fly through the air so everyone watching is to well out of any potential flight path. This also applies for ALL snatching and winching operations. Remember that winching also places similar strains on recovery points and I have seen a rated hook straightened out during a winching operation - scary.

Your best bet if you have not had much recovery experience is join a club or get some 4WD training with an accredited instructor.

Stevesub
AnswerID: 170901

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 10:14

Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 10:14
G'day Steve,

You're very correct about rated shackles being unlikley to break..............However, when everything goes wrong and people are killed/mamed by shackles, it's not because the shackle has let go; it's because the attachment point has let go, sending the shackle hurtling away. We all seem to be concentrating on using rated shackles, but far too little emphasis is being placed on the part of the truck that the shackle is attached to.

Cheers

Roachie
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Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 13:35

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 13:35
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Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 14:22

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 14:22
Howard, You have been given the absolute right advice above. If anyone trys to convince you that they have always used some loop under their truck for years and it's ok - don't listen to them. They are tie down points for trucking or shipping a vehicle and must not be used for recovery.

It is ok to use a shackle if it is rated and attached to a secure point on a vehicle but never use it in for joining straps.

I would be very wary of Izuzu recovery hooks as I have seen them tear their welds.

Never weld a recovery hook onto a vehicle, always use the correct bolts and torque ratings.

Always used forged, not cast recovery hooks. Forged hooks when overloaded will straighten out. Cast hooks will snap and a dangerous missile will fly perhaps in your direction.
AnswerID: 170936

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:02

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:02
My ute has a forged recovery hook as well as the tiedown points. Not all vehicle manufacturers fail to provide a point you can snatch off.

I assume you are refering to Isuzu "tie down" points not "recovery points".

Dave
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Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:16

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:16
Hi Geocaher, No I do mean the front recovery point. Have a look at them and you will see that they are welded on to the chassis down one side. If a recovery pull is not directly in front then there is a twisting load put on the hook and they tear down the weld. We keep one of these to show people why they should change to bolt on forged and rated hooks.
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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:32

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:32
Must be different to mine. It's a big issue.

There's some really good aftermarket stuff now that's specific to models. A mate of mine just fitted two to his new Prado & they definately look the goods.

They only fit that model of Prado though.

Dave
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Reply By: Kiwi Ray - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 15:25

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 15:25
Howard. It is alwas better to uuse bow shackles as size for size bow shackles have a higher rating than D shackles.
Ray
AnswerID: 170952

Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:26

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 22:26
The only difference between 'D' and 'Bow' shackles is the shape.

'D' shackles are designed for straight pull with one strap.

'Bow' shackles will allow two straps side by side but pulling at about 60 degrees to each other and were designed for use with lifting slings. Think of a crane with two slings hanging down and outwards in an inverted 'V' shape. The two straps will sit nicely almost side by side on a bow shackle but not on a 'D' shackle.

I am not saying don't use bow shackles, they both work well when required in 4wd situations.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 15:51

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 15:51
If you need to join 2 straps together I use a rolled up news paper,pass one end of the strap through the joining strap,then with the end you just put through push the same strap through that loop and put your rolled up news paper between the two, that way you will not have a flying missile ready to kill some one if one of the straps happen to break and also once your out of the bog you will be able to easily get the two straps apart, when I use a strap I always stick a dampner over the strap (about mid way) same as they do (or you should do) over the cable of a winch this way if one of the shackles let go it will also keep the strap down wards even an old jumper will do the same thing takes 10 seconds extra but could save yourself or any body from injury or even death, I have seen a cargo barrier with the metal, like concrete reo with a hole in it from a shackle letting go if not for that barrier the bloke would be dead as it came through directly behind his head. Just how I do things, hope I'm myself doing it right so I dont mislead you but I'm sure some one will correct me if Im wrong. Have fun and play it safe Regards Steve M
AnswerID: 170960

Reply By: Craigww2 - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 15:51

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 15:51
I have two hefty looking loops under my LC100 at the front. Are these tie down points or recovery points. Sorry for the thread hi-jack.
AnswerID: 170961

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 23:30

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 23:30
Tie Down points.
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Follow Up By: ev700 - Friday, May 05, 2006 at 23:49

Friday, May 05, 2006 at 23:49
What about the 100mm tall post with the squared off hook found on the front of LC100s?
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