using a tow strap

using a tow strap

Tow straps can be a lifesaver when you’re stuck in the mud or need a quick and easy way to move something. Whether you’re hauling a trailer or helping a friend in need, investing in quality tow straps is the key to getting the job done safely and quickly.

But before you purchase a tow strap, you need to understand exactly what you’re looking for and what type of tow strap will work best for you. There are several options available, so it’s important to know the different qualities and capabilities of each type of tow strap before investing.

Let’s dive in and take a closer look at the different types of tow straps and how they are used.

Types of Tow Straps

1) Polyester and Nylon Tow Straps

Polyester and nylon tow straps are one of the most popular types of tow straps for light-duty applications. The straps are usually made from nylon webbing and are typically rated for up to 1,000 pounds. Polyester and nylon straps are designed to stretch slightly to provide a smoother and more comfortable ride.

2) Chain Tow Straps

Chain tow straps feature a metal link-style chain that has been designed to withstand heavy loads and provide maximum strength. These straps can typically handle up to 5,000 pounds, but this varies depending on the size of the chain and the strength of the metal.

3) Ratchet Tow Straps

Ratchet tow straps are similar to polyester and nylon tow straps, but they feature a ratchet mechanism in the middle which allows you to easily adjust the tension of the strap. These straps are rated for up to 10,000 pounds, but this varies depending on the size and strength of the ratchet and webbing.

4) Winch Tow Straps

Winch tow straps are designed specifically for vehicle recovery. They feature an integrated winch cable that is designed to attach to your vehicle’s winch mount and provide an adjustable connection to other recovery equipment.

These straps are typically rated for up to 20,000 pounds, but this varies depending on the size and strength of the cable and the metal components.

Now that you know the different types of tow straps let’s look at how to safely and properly use them.

Using a Tow Strap Safely

1) Inspect Your Tow Strap for Damage

Before you use any tow strap, you should always inspect it for any signs of wear or damage. Look for any fraying or weakened portions of the strap, as this will reduce its overall strength and could result in failure.

2) Secure the Tow Strap to Both Vehicles

Once you’ve inspected your tow strap, you’ll need to secure it to both vehicles. This can be done by either attaching it directly to an existing tow hook or towing eyelet, or by running the strap through the vehicle’s bumper or other secure point on the frame.

3) Adjust the Tension of the Strap

Once you’ve secured the strap to both vehicles, you can then adjust the tension. This is important to ensure that the load is evenly distributed, as too tight or too loose of a tow strap can result in damage to the vehicle or the strap.

The tension should be such that the strap is snug, but not so tight that it’s applying excessive force to either vehicle.

4) Check the Strap During the Tow

Once you’ve adjusted the tension, it’s important to periodically check the strap during the tow. Make sure that the tension has stayed consistent and that the strap has not become loose or damaged during transport.

5) Disconnect the Tow Strap

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, be sure to disconnect the tow strap as soon as possible. This will prevent the strap from becoming further damaged or tangled up in the vehicles.


Tow straps are essential for a wide range of vehicle and recovery applications. Understanding the different types of straps available and their strengths and weaknesses will help you select the right ones for the job.

It’s also important to take the necessary precautions when using a tow strap, such as properly inspecting it, securely fastening it to both vehicles and using the correct tension. Following these steps will ensure a safe and successful tow job.

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