elastic tow strap
Tow straps are essential tools for any vehicle owner. Every driver needs two things to get their car or truck out of a bind: a tow truck and a tow strap.
Tow straps, or tow ropes, are stout bands – typically made from nylon or polyester - that are used to completely attach one vehicle to another for towing. They come in several different lengths, widths and load capacity ratings. The typical length for standard tow straps varies between 8 feet and 30 feet, with a width of 2-6 inches.
When considering which type of tow strap is right for you, the most significant factors to take into account are the tow-rating (the amount of weight the tow strap can carry without eaking) and the weight of the vehicle you’re trying to tow. Most tow straps are rated to carry up to 8,000 pounds, although higher-rated straps can carry up to 15,000 pounds.
In addition to the standard rope-style towsters, more recent advancements in the industry have made “elastic” tow straps increasingly popular. Since traditional tow ropes become stretched out when used, the elastic quality of the strap helps maintain maximum tension for the duration of the tow. Elastic straps also provide a smoother ride and cause less stress on the frame and suspension of the towing vehicle.
When towing with a tow strap, it’s an absolute must to use two safety hooks. Safety hooks are metal connectors that feature a spring-loaded latch at one end, with teeth at the other end to latch onto the tow strap and secure it. Select a hook design that is rated for the weight of the load you’ll be towing, and be sure the hooks are securely attached to the anchor points of both vehicles.
Before connecting the tow strap to the vehicles, take a quick look around each of them for any sharp, exposed edges, or anything else that could damage the straps. Pull the tow strap tight to ensure there is no slack, as any slack could cause it to jerk, leading to even more slack, and eventually causing the rope to eak. When you’re attaching the tow strap, be sure to keep your hands away from any moving mechanical parts, such as pulleys and fans, that could cause injury.
When driving the towing vehicle, be sure to keep the tow strap taut. A loose or slack tow strap could bounce and sway, causing additional jerking when the towing vehicle accelerates or akes, and could place undue strain on both vehicles, potentially leading to an accident.
Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper strap maintenance. Inspect the tow strap for damage before and after each use, and store the strap in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight when not in use. Lastly, always use a safety pin with a towing strap to alert you of any looseness in the strap while in use.
A tow strap is an invaluable tool for any driver, but it’s important to understand the proper application of the strap before attempting a towing job. Taking the time to research the tow ratings and features of various types of tow straps, and following the manufacturer’s directions for proper use and maintenance, can keep you and your vehicles safe, and help ensure an effective tow job every time.
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