Recovery straps are made from 100% nylon webbing that can stretch under load and recoil back to almost its original length. The combination of the recovery bedliner pull and the tension in the strap creates a ‘snatching’ effect that can pull a stranded vehicle free from being bogged or unable to move under its own power. Always adhere to safe operating procedures and guidelines. When used in accordance with these guidelines, vehicles may be recovered with minimal risk of injury to people or damage to vehicles and equipment.
(A) be kept at a safe distance (recommended as at least 1.5 times the length of the unstretched strap) from either of the vehicles involved in the recovery process; and
(B) never situate themselves within the path of the vehicle performing the recovery.
‘WARNING – Always follow product instructions. It is important to correctly attach the motor vehicle recovery strap to a motor vehicle. A standard tow ball or vehicle tie-down point is not designed for this purpose and may result in the strap or a vehicle component detaching from a motor vehicle and striking and seriously injuring or killing a person. Only attach the strap to a vehicle recovery point or device that is suitably rated for use with the strap. Incorrect use has previously resulted in serious injury and death.’
SELECTING THE RIGHT RECOVERY STRAP
It is very important the correctly rated strap is used. A strap with a ‘too light’ breaking strength may break under load. A strap with ‘too heavy’ a breaking strength may not stretch properly and more stress will be placed on the recovery points, possibly causing damage or injury. The Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) of the strap should be between 2 and 3 times the Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of the lighter of the two vehicles used in the recovery process. Be aware that the recovery strap will be under greater load if the vehicle is bogged in mud, sand or heavily loaded. If the GVM is not stated on the identification plate of a vehicle or its registration certificate it could be available from the owner’s handbook or from the vehicle manufacturer.
KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE
Only the persons involved in the recovery should be in either of the vehicles. Ensure bystanders stay a safe distance away of at least 1.5 times the length of the unstretched strap in the opposite direction. NEVER stand between vehicles connected by a recovery strap.
PREPARING FOR THE RECOVERY
Carefully assess the circumstances of the stranded vehicle. If it has bottomed out, clear under the vehicle body so it rests on its wheels. The recovery vehicle should be placed in line (no more than 10° off the straight line) with the stranded vehicle, for either a forward or reverse recovery operation. Distance between vehicles should be 2-3 metres less than the unstretched length of the recovery strap. Establish agreed signals between the vehicle drivers, by radio (preferably), hand signals or vehicle horn.
CONNECTING THE RECOVERY STRAP
Carefully inspect the recovery strap to determine that it is in good condition. If the strap is wet, dirty, cut or chaffed, it will not perform properly. A wet strap may be 20% under strength, a damaged strap may break. Do not allow the strap to come into with contact hot surfaces or sharp edges. Roll the strap out between the vehicles, making sure there are no twists or knots. Leave about 2-3 metres slack between the vehicles. The joining of straps should be avoided wherever possible (Retailers carry varying lengths of straps). NEVER USE A METAL OBJECT to join two straps together – if the strap breaks it can become a lethal missile and cause damage or injury.