Why you never use a towball as an anchor point when towing out of a bog

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 21:55
ThreadID: 88590 Views:4039 Replies:8 FollowUps:15
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Really tragic reminder of why you should never use a tow ball as the anchor point when pulling a vehicle out of a bog.

Sad, really sad news.

http://tinyurl.com/3lwuhmw
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Reply By: Hairs & Fysh - Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 22:03

Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 22:03
I think you've posted the wrong link mate.
:)
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Follow Up By: Member - Derek Jones - Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 22:25

Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 22:25
Ooops - try this one http://tinyurl.com/3lwuhmw
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Follow Up By: Hairs & Fysh - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 07:38

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 07:38
Cheers Derek, that one worked,
Yeah, Not nice, poor buggars.
:(
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Follow Up By: ModSquad - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 10:29

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 10:29
Edited your link in the original post. Very sad and poignant reminder of what not to do.

Regards

The Squad
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Follow Up By: Member - Derek Jones - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 23:10

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 23:10
Note to self - do not post on forums on Saturday Night
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Reply By: lancie49 - Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 22:31

Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 22:31
So sad, and so avoidable.
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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 23:11

Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 23:11
wow that is a cruel way to go, it is not the first time in WA either, i know it is easy to look at it and think it could have been avoided but if you think about it from the "average" persons point of view it is the only point on a vehicle that is used for "towing" and any "normal" person would place a tow rope on the ball as that is exactly what it is used for ............. and how could anyone guess it would hit exactly smack bang in front of the driver.
I dont think i have ever seen any stickers or signage around tow balls stating that it is not to be used for that so in due respect to the people involved i dont think anyone would have ever guessed it could have ended up like this, not everyone who owns a 4x4 reads these kinds of forums or even would have the faintest idea that it could happen ......
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 09:30

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 09:30
I was in our local TJM getting my vehicle serviced on Thursday & browsing around the showroom, I saw rated shackles specifically designed to fit a 50mm tow ball with no attached warning about the perils of snatching with them!
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Follow Up By: On Patrol & TONI - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 10:23

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 10:23
Hi all
it is a tragic reminder to all of the importance of 4wd driver training, they will tell you about the many and varied ways of how not to recover a vehicle & how to correctly recover one.

Training need not be with an expensive private company as some of the best training can be done in a friendly and fun environment with a responsible club achieving accreditation with accredited trainers or with their state 4WD association examiners, this ensures drivers are informed to the dangers of recovery.

While accreditation does not ensure better drivers, it can make for safer drivers.

JMHO, cheers Colin.
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Follow Up By: lancie49 - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 10:38

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 10:38
Shaker, was that shackle intended to fit over the tow ball, or to replace it directly in the hitch ?
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 11:44

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 11:44
It was specifically deigned & had labelled instructions to fit around the tow ball.
As SEEN HERE
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Follow Up By: Hairy (WA) - Monday, Aug 22, 2011 at 10:39

Monday, Aug 22, 2011 at 10:39
Gday
To there defence.......It does clearly say it must be used with a rated tow ball and explains the load ratings.
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Reply By: Road Warrior - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 10:58

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 10:58
This might sound like a dumb question, but could you take the towball out and use a shackle in the towball hole in the towbar to pull a vehicle out?
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Follow Up By: Mudripper - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:03

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:03
Yes you can, of course using a rated shackle.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:26

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:26
The issue is of course that a rated towball is rated at 3500kg and most tow bars are rated at 3500kg or less so if anything the towball is the strongest point of the tow bar system.

I would suggest that a rating of 3500kg makes any towbar (even with block/shackle receiver) too low for snatching anything other than very small vehicles. My snatch strap is rated at 10000kg - 3 times the rating of most tow bars.

There has been a history of snatch failures reported as tow ball failures that were in fact failures of the towbar. Where towballs gave failed they were non rated eariler types.

If this was in fact a failure of a rated towball it will one of the first - bust as I said snatching of a heavy vehicle from any towbar system is dangerous as heavy snatches will easily exceed the 3500kg rating (noting many bars are rated as low as 1600kg).

Garry
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Follow Up By: lancie49 - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:33

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:33
There are lots and lots of towballs out there that are not rated.
Dare I say it, there may even be some of dubious quality ?
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:37

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 12:37
Is the hitch receiver pin rated?

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Follow Up By: Axle - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 13:06

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 13:06
If you stop and think about it, the leverage a strap has on a tow ball when its just drooped over the top is horrific, Where the thread machining starts underneath the ball, is where its going to shear off like a carrot. have often wrapped a tow rope aroud the tow tongue and then onto the ball just to hold it in place, still dangerous but not as bad.


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 07:47

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 07:47
Road Warrior,

No... no such thing as a dumb question, only dumb answers!!! LOL...

But regarding your tow ball question, it seems to me that you might not have a lot of understanding of recovery procedure. Please be assured I mean this in your best interests, and am not trying to belittle you at all, but please consider doing a training course, or join a 4x4 club that has a Driver Awareness Program as part of it's joining criteria.
For example, we are proud members of the Gold Coast Four Wheel Drive Club, our joining fee includes a one day basic Driver Awareness Program at our training facility. New members learn basic 4 wheel driving and snatch-strap recovery techniques. Very handy info for heading out in the bush, and hopefully info that should/could/would prevent horrific accidents like the one in the news article.

The Four Wheel Drive Australia web site has links to state associations, which in turn, link to various clubs within that state.

Regards

Brian

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Reply By: Member - Rocker (NSW) - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 14:48

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 14:48
Sad really, condolences
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Reply By: landseka - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 15:08

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 15:08
Another thing that 4x4 training or just experience will tell you is that you should avoid at all costs, unless unavoidable, snatching with the tow vehicle in reverse gear!

Apart from the safety angle, which this incident shows that in the event of a failure there is just a sheet of glass between the driver/passenger and any projectile that may be dislodged, there is the mechanical risk.

A gear set in a front & rear diff uses Spiral/Helical cut gears, these are designed to increase 'bite' and grab harder the more torque is applied. When driven in reverse the opposite happens....the gears try to wind out of 'mesh' which can destroy a pinion & gear set. This effect is increased hugely when snatching as heaps of torque is applied.

Cheers Neil.
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Reply By: Bigfish - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 17:56

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 17:56
Personally I carry a spare tow hitch with a rated shackle fitted. Cheap insutance. Sad to hear about the poor woman . Hopefully lessons can be learnt.
ANOTHER very important point..ensure you place heavy canvas/cloth bag midway along the tow rope/strap to help eliminate backlash if a breakage should occur.
cheers
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Reply By: BrownyGU - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 00:55

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 00:55
So sad,


What seems an obviouse no no to most of us, just seems a natural tow point for others, disturbingly I just mentioned this story to my wife, she had no idea of the dangers in doing the same thing! She does now, I've explained to never ever let someone try to assist her in that way if I'm not there.

Cheers....Browny
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