how to recover a car with a tow strap

how to recover a car with a tow strap

Step 1: Attach the Tow Strap

When you need to recover a car with a tow strap, the first step is to safely and securely attach the strap to the tow vehicle and the disabled car. It is essential that the tow strap is fitted correctly, or you are in danger of damaging the cars, the strap, or worse, hurting yourself or another person. The most secure way to attach a tow strap is by using a tow hook, such as a winch hook or clevis hook. Fit the hook to the hitch of the tow vehicle, and the loop of the strap to the frame of the disabled car if possible. Make sure that the strap is fastened with no slack; once the tow vehicle begins to pull away the tension will tighten the strap and secure it further. If a tow hook is not available, the strap can be secured to the bumper, but be aware that the bumper can take significant strain and damage when towing a heavy load.

Step 2: Release the Brake

Conventional wisdom would suggest that you should always use the parking ake when towing a vehicle, but this is often not the case. The parking ake can cause the car to drag while towing, damaging the transmission, so it’s best to leave the parking ake off when towing a car. Instead, block the wheels of the car with chocks or other secure blocking devices. This will ensure that the car stays in place when being towed, without any additional strain on the transmission or other components.

Step 3: Set Out the Tow Line

Once the strap is securely attached and the parking ake and wheels are blocked, set out the tow line. When towing with a tow strap, it is important to leave some slack in the strap. This is to avoid sudden tension when the tow vehicle begins to move, as well as to ensure that the weight of the car is eased and distributed to avoid straining the strap. Make sure that the strap is taut, as a slack tow line can be dangerous and unpredictable if the disabled car suddenly gains momentum.

Step 4: Drive the Tow Vehicle

The vehicle towing the car should stay in second gear when towing, as this will elevate the speed of the tow vehicle and allow for the easier disengagement of the strap once the disabled car is in the desired location. Drive the tow vehicle at a slow, steady speed, and never exceed 10-15mph. Pulling a disabled car can be difficult, so it’s important to take your time and be patient. If you feel the disabled car has too much momentum while towing, you can apply the akes on the tow vehicle to slow it down.

Step 5: Unhook the Tow Strap

When you’ve reached the desired destination, the tow vehicle should pull over and signal the driver of the disabled car over the walkie-talkie. Once the disabled car is in the desired location, you can release the tow strap by taking off the hook of the tow vehicle and using it to disengage the loop of the strap from the disabled car. Once the tow hook has been removed, the tow strap should be loosened and slid away from the disabled car to keep it clear of the vehicle and the operator.

Towing a vehicle with a tow strap requires some preparation and thought, but it is something you can learn to do with relative ease. With the correct preparation, and the safe and secure attachment of the tow strap, towing a car using a tow strap is a successful and straightforward process, and one which is invaluable in times of mechanical distress.

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