Recovery of 4WD's without recovery points

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 09:57
ThreadID: 34723 Views:3781 Replies:9 FollowUps:13
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Morning folks,

I was reading through the thread below about the X-trail, and got to thinking what the best thing to do would be if I came across a bogged/ stuck 4WD/softroader/car with no recovery points?

I am not a snatch-strap kinda guy, i prefer slow and steady recoveries (a 12,000lb winch on the front, with a second going on the rear soon helps that a little...).

What would other people do? I mean, I wouldn't leave anyone once I found them, but I wouldn't want to risk damage or injury to anyone.

I spose the answer is "It all depends.....".

BUT are there acceptable alternative winching points? I'm thinking axles, chasis rails, or I don't know what else..... or is it just better to offer tham a shovel, and brew a pot of coffee.....

Sorry - kinda an open ended question, but pretty relevant I think....

Cheers,

Chump
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Reply By: Rosco - Qld - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:13

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:13
I have a shortish length of chain which comes in handy in those situations. I'm not about to damage my strap on some goose's vehicle. If they want a hand and accept the consequences I wrap it around anything convenient ... axle, ifs, spring hanger or whatever and attach a strap to that. Only go slowly though, imagine the consequences of a sharp tug !!!

Cheers
AnswerID: 177408

Reply By: cuffs - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:16

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:16
The X- Trail has factory fitted tow bar rated 2000kg for rear recovery, the front tie down holes fixed with stainless steel bolts & using an equaliser strap provides appropriate kg for recovery using appropriate rated shackles (3.5 tonnes).
AnswerID: 177409

Follow Up By: HJ60-2H - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:22

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:22
You want high tensile bolts not just stainless. I have seen a recovery hook let go during a recovery becasue the non high tensile bolts broke. Spectacular and exciting for all concerned. Safe because we set it up properly.
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Follow Up By: cuffs - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:39

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 10:39
Sorry they are high tensile bolts fitted by ABR, I don't believe most other soft roaders have any recovery bolts. with a soft roader you have an excuse not to snatch the big boys.
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Reply By: RupertDog - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 11:15

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 11:15
Chump boy

Went thru this exercise with my RAV. No recovery points, and none can be fitted (nothing to bolt them on to). ARB had a look, and short of disassembling half the car to find somethingn to bolt on to, there was no point they were happy to use as a recovery point.

Obvious Q was what to do if needed to be recovered. ARB advised two answers :

1. Don't go were you may need recovery (other than a push from a few mates) - makes sense, but how do you know when you will need recovery ie unexpected soft sand, mud etc.

2. Tie / loop a rope / tow strap whatever (but not a snatch strap) over both front tie down points, with the rope centred under the car, and then attached to the towing vehicle. That is the rope is coming out exactly in the middle of the two tie down points. Then slowly proceed to tow the car out (too quick and it may fail). ARB advised this would be a last resort as the tie down may well fail. Only other option to recovery was attached to axle or something similar and hope all stays straight.

One of the downsides of a softroader

RD
AnswerID: 177421

Reply By: Member - bushfix - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 11:58

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 11:58
G'day Chump,

"is it just better to offer tham a shovel, and brew a pot of coffee..... "

i tell you mate, that is a pretty good place to start. i would suggest that in many situations, people rush in with the snatch strap, tie it on somewhere and yeehaa! A bit of manual grunt to help the vehicle release and perhaps tyre pressure adjustment etc. may be all that is needed. Vehicle recovery usually involves a significant amount of potential danger. For this reason alone, having a spell and thinking through it properly is not a bad idea.

But yeah, as with any vehicle, "man's got to know his/it's limitations." Prolly end up using a chain around the chassis or axles if a monocoque?

cheers.
AnswerID: 177429

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:14

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:14
One of the issues with a chain around the axles is the transferred strees back thru the chassis or monocoque body to the other end of the stuck vehicle. If you pull on the chassis the wheels and axles etc lift out directly via transfer of momentum cahssis to wheels, if you pull on the font end the momentum is transferred via the body to the other end.

I have seen the damage a flying shackle does, and also seen bits of vehicle pulled off or broken during recovery. I believe the slow (winching) method to be the safest for a softy.
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:39

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:39
G'day Bonz,

yep the energy is transferred, agreed. that's where i recommend the manual grunt combined with tyre pressure attention to assist release, avoid the suction or load transfer so to speak, and a chain if necessary which would be a gentler recovery as opposed to a snatch. good point you make anyway.

wrt your second paragraph, we agree in a slow method, for various reasons, but getting back to what the op asked, "what the best thing to do would be if I came across a bogged/ stuck 4WD/softroader/car with no recovery points?"
where are you thinking of securing a winching point?

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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 16:21

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 16:21
Yep I would look for somewhere to attach the winch cable via a chain I have, after clearing everything with the shovel.
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:05

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:05
You could always use the recovery in stages method.

Attach and pull, if that bit comes off then that's one bit less to recover.
Repeat above until all bits are out of bog.
Owner to reassemble.

Otherwise I think the shovel should always be your first resort in recovery, not last.

Geoff.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:04

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:04
I love your humour Geoff LOL. Have a good one Regards Steve M
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Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 15:35

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 15:35
ROFL. Good one
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Reply By: BenSpoon - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:47

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:47
Watched a tow truck driver load a mates hilux onto his flat bed truck a while ago- First thing he does is get a steel hook out of the car and hooks it around the front diff, then uses that to winch it up. Apparently they are available from slingrig- To me it just looked like a fishing hook you'd use to catch a small whale, but it did the job real well.
AnswerID: 177461

Reply By: traveller2 - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 15:12

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 15:12
If no recovery points are available or obvious on anything that is stuck I hand the owner the end of a recovery chain and advise him (or her) to attach it to their vehicle.
I then have a look and advise whether or not I feel it is an appropriate spot, if it looks ok and the owner says tow, I tow gently, if something breaks it is their problem not mine.
Above all if I feel the possibility of damage to their vehicle is high or there is a possibility of damage to my gear, vehicle or any personnel I refuse to recover their vehicle.
Better to lose a vehicle than injure someone.
AnswerID: 177472

Follow Up By: Maddmav - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 20:30

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 20:30
My tyhoughts exactly traveller.

I got caught aiding a Hyundai 4by on Stockton beach and a bit of body damage occured, not doing it a hundred knots, just taking our time. Very poor set up on the Hyundai for tow points. (Long Story)

When we got the vehicle un-stuck the owner was up me and ranting on about me paying for the damage. (Long Argument) I won

Now it's, here's the rope you attach it, if you don't want to......see ya later.

Vinnie

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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 12:00

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 12:00
That's what I do also. I towed an itchymickey mirage out of the murray sunset sand some time ago, he flagged me down for assistance. I gave him one end of the strap and told him to attach it to somewhere strong after explaining a few facts about recoverys. I then gently towed him out.
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Reply By: atoyot - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 22:15

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 22:15
One thing that often worries me about recoveries is that the first rule is often forgotton. One person should be in charge of the recovery. How many recoveries have you seen go wrong or almost go wrong when there are too many people involved?

If I found a soft roader stuck, then I would insist that I was the one calling the shots. If that wasn't acceptable, see ya later. Brewing a coffee is probably a good thing too as you'd need time to assess the situation. Doing nothing to start with is a good option for lots of problems; gives you time to think and consider the consequences of just jumping in and reaching for the snatch strap.

Have a good look at all of the options, especially the low impact ones, including digging, pushing, road building, letting tyres down etc. So often is the snatch strap or winch bought into play when there may be a simpler solution thats not even considered.

If recovery points come into the picture, then assess them and check again. If it's too dangerous, don't do it. There is no way I'd just let someone attach a chain/shackle etc to their vehicle just because something might break and they'd blame me. I'd tell them that damage could be caused to their vehicle, and then it's up to them to accept that responsibility, but really, you've got to look after yourself first.

Personally, I reckon that all factory hooks on 4WD's that aren't designed for recovery should either be removed after transporting, or marked so bleedingly obvious that they are not to be used for recovery, that no-one in their right mind would.

Just one other thing about snatch straps; I don't mind seeing a snatch recovery taking a few goes, that way, it's more likely that just enough energy is being used as after each un-successful attempt, you know the next try you need a bit more momentum. Much safer than a huge run-up and way too much force; that's when things break. That's my experience anyway, and probably more than my 2c worth,

regards

Andrew
AnswerID: 177551

Follow Up By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 00:23

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 00:23
All very good points, atoyot. While reading your reply a curious thought occured; if we are to try all manual and basic efforts for recovery ie spade, tyre pressures due to the higher risk involved with snatch-straps and winches, we therefore relegate the use of snatch-straps and winches to worse-case scenarios. But if we try not to use snatch-straps and winches in easy situations because of the risk factor then there is a real dilemma in using them in extreme situations if we are worried about there use in mild situations! Yet people are spending thousands of dollars on this type of equipment. Bit of a catch 22.
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Follow Up By: D-Jack - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 01:53

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 01:53
...and a snatch is a hell of a lot easier than digging for 1/2 hour to find that you get bogged after driving 1 metre furter!
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Follow Up By: atoyot - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 09:56

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 09:56
D-Jack, yep, I agree that quick snatch is a lot easier than half an hour of digging (although I'd be supplying the long handles shovel and the other bloke would be doing the digging!), but the context I was talking about was a soft-roader with questionable or no recovery points. You wouldn't catch me advocating digging out a 3 tonne Cruiser out of a bogging when there is a suitable recovery vehicle and suitable recovery gear. We just need to make a judgement call when it comes to safety and consider all valid options.

BWare, you're right as well, but in context, I'm talking about soft roaders and an element of risk. I wouldn't like to relegate winches and snatch straps to extreme recovery situations only; hell I'd have dug holes as big as open cut mines by now. But it's really a risk assessment that needs to be done. Every recovery situation has an element of risk, even with properly rated hooks and recovery equipment. We can have an edumacated guess when we might be overloading that snatch strap, but we don't know for sure until something goes wrong (usually). But with soft roaders, there is often just a bit more risk with keeping them properly attached.

All I'm really saying is that we just need to spend more time considering all the options when recovering them as their recovery points are going to be the most likely point of failure. Maybe with a full frame heavy 4WD, the most likely point of failure will be a strap, rather than the recovery points. One thing that does concern me is over-stressing recovery gear. Using higher rated quality straps, shackles etc can help limit the risk.

Has anyone had any experience recovering soft roaders? I'd be interested to know.

regards

Andrew
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Reply By: cuffs - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 11:40

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 11:40
I have been snatched numerous times in sand (Robe-Beachport) by mates, in fact I leave the equaliser strap rapped on the nudge bar, because of low clearance and deep ruts left by heavy 4wd. Soft roaders are so light it is more of a quick tow than a real snatch but agree recovery points should be fitted and rated (certificate from ARB is kept in the glove box or my insurance will not cover mine or other vehicle damage). I always go with mates as I don't think it is fair to rely on strangers.
AnswerID: 177640

Follow Up By: atoyot - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 20:08

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 20:08
Cuffs,

Just for interest sake, I found that ECB's bars for XTrails are all designed to provide secure recovery points off their mounting brackets, according to their web site. Interestingly, they make no mention of that for CRV's, Territories, RAVS, Klugers etc.

Andrew
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