1 ft tow strap
A tow strap, often referred to as a tow rope or recovery rope, is a critical component of any basic roadside emergency kit and essential for any off-roading enthusiast. They’re designed to help car, trucks, and other vehicles pull each other out of tough and often dangerous situations. A tow strap typically consists of nylon webbing with heavy-duty loops sewn in on each end, and many feature sewn-in steel hooks. When purchasing a tow strap, there are several key factors to consider, including size, length, and tensile strength, which is a measure of how much weight the tow strap can support. In addition to these factors, you should also consider the environment in which the strap will be used, the type of vehicle, and type of recovery situation.
History of Tow Straps
Tow straps have been in use for centuries in a basic form. From horses and oxen to steam-powered engines and early cars, the general idea of using rope or strap to pull a vehicle from a ditch or a mud hole has been around for a long time. During the 1950s, tow straps made of nylon webbing began to be used more often, and they soon replaced the more crude rope that was used in previous eras. The durability and strength of these straps, plus the relatively inexpensive cost, led to tow straps becoming the go-to solution when it came to vehicle recoveries.
Functionality and Benefits
Typically, a tow strap is used to assist in a vehicle recovery situation, pulling a disable vehicle from a tight spot such as a ditch, ravine, mud hole, or even from flip-over. Tow straps, which come in a variety of sizes and strengths, are a versatile and key component of any and all off-roaders survival gear. When used correctly, tow straps will reduce the risk and discomforts associated with vehicle recovery. Their lightweight construction, durability and affordability make tow straps a great option for both daily drivers and off-roaders alike.
How to Use a Tow Strap
It’s important to use caution when using tow straps and to make sure that the strap is used correctly in order to prevent potential injury or damage to the vehicle. Before attempting a vehicle recovery, follow the steps below to ensure that the tow strap is used safely and correctly.
1. Inspect the tow strap. Carefully inspect the tow strap before use to check for any damage. Look for rips, tears, loose threads, or any other signs of damage. If any of these are present, do not use the strap and replace it with a new one.
2. Position the vehicles. Place the two vehicles to be pulled side-by-side with the nose of one vehicle facing the tail of the other. This should be done in a safe and flat location that is free from any obstructions.
3. Secure the ends. Secure the tow strap so that the hooked ends of each loop are attached to the bumpers or tow hooks of each vehicle. Secure the ends of the strap by making sure that the loop is not twisted or dangling, and attached it as close to the bumper as possible without scraping the paint.
4. Reduce the slack. Slowly reduce the slack in the strap by having one driver drive forward until the slack in the strap is taken up. This should not be done too quickly, as sudden jerks can cause damage to both vehicles.
5. Pull free. Once the slack is taken out of the strap, give the go-ahead to the driver in front to continue pulling until the disabled vehicle is free. Once the vehicle is recovered, make sure to park both vehicles off to the side and inspect the tow strap.
A tow strap is an essential part of any roadside emergency kit and is an invaluable asset for off-roaders. They’re relatively inexpensive, and when used correctly, they can help to reduce the risk and stress associated with vehicle recovery. When using a tow strap, it’s important to follow the steps listed above to ensure that the strap is being used safely and correctly, and to ensure that the vehicles are being pulled in a controlled and safe manner.
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