how to attach a tow strap
Attaching a Tow Strap for Recovering a Vehicle
When off-roading and venturing outside of the pavement, sometimes a tow strap is needed to recover a vehicle that has become stuck, immobilized, or otherwise unable to drive away under its own power. When a towing situation arises, remember the following tips to safely and securely attach a tow strap to the vehicle that needs rescuing.
Choose the Appropriate Tow Strap When you’re ready to use a tow strap, make sure you use the appropriate type according to your towing and vehicle needs. There are multiple types of tow straps available, each with their own strengths and capabilities. Heavy-duty straps, for instance, are best for larger and heavier vehicles, while those with stretch or elasticity might be better suited for lighter-weight cars. There are also single- or double-hook straps, loops and bow shackles, as well as complete tow kits which include a tow rope, gloves, gloves, and a carrying bag. Choose whichever type of tow strap is appropriate for the combined weights, lengths, and towing conditions.
Prep the Vehicle for Towing Before you begin the towing process, be sure to prep the vehicle by checking for any fluid leaks and disconnecting the drive shaft from the transmission to prevent damage during the towing process. Any loose items inside the trunk or cab should also be secured, as these can cause damage from shifting and bouncing as the vehicle is being towed. Inspect the tires and akes, as well, since you will be relying on them for a safe, successful towing recovery.
Attach Tow Strap to Vehicle Properly When it’s time to attach the tow strap to the vehicle, there are two commonly used methods to consider. For most cars, the bumper hitch method is the preferred choice: a shackle or loop on one end of the tow strap should looped around a tow hook or factory-provided hook near the rear bumper. Take great care to ensure that the hook and shackle are tightly secured and that the tow strap is firmly connected.
Alternatively, attaching a tow strap to the frame can provide a more stable connection, especially when vehicle recovery requires a great amount of pull or force. Attaching the tow strap to the frame requires access to the vehicle frame and a large anchor point such as the axle, wheel, or skid plate. When attaching to any of these parts, make sure that the tow strap is firmly and securely connected and that the pulling and tension are directed straight and not at an angle to the part being attached.
Proper Tightening of the Tow Strap Once the tow strap is attached, make sure it goes around the vehicle’s front bumper for protection and to minimize the chances of loose items being snatched up, caught, or snagged by the strap during the towing process. Pull the strap taut and tight and adjust the slack, as needed. Double-check to ensure that the tow strap is securely attached and that all connections are firmly tightened.
Inspect Before Pulling Before any vehicle is pulled, inspect the towing equipment such as the tow strap, shackle, and the hooks to make sure everything is functioning properly. Make sure the tow strap is not frayed or excessively worn, that the connection points are secure, and that everything is connected straight and stays taut while it’s in use. Pay attention to how the vehicle tows behind you and inspect the tow strap periodically to ensure there are no signs of fraying or stress. It’s also a good idea to limit your speed to no more than 15 mph and avoid jerking movements that can cause the tow strap to come loose or snap.
With these helpful tips and tricks, you’ll be able to properly attach a tow strap when you need to rescue a stranded vehicle from off-road adventures. Remember to stay safe and use common sense when towing a vehicle as vehicle recovery kits and towing equipment are only effective when used properly.
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