how to undo tow straps

how to undo tow straps


Using tow straps can be a great way to get a vehicle out of a tight spot or when a car needs to be towed from one place to another. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to undo tow straps once they have been tightened. This can be very frustrating; fortunately, there are several helpful techniques that can be used to unloop tow straps quickly and without a struggle. With these methods, you can easily undo any tow strap in just a few minutes.

Definition of a Tow Strap

A tow strap is a length of webbing or rope with a loop or hooks at either end. It is used for towing vehicles that can’t be driven anymore, like if a car has a oken axle or if it slid in a ditch. The strap's size and thickness depend on the type of vehicle it is used for and how far it will be towed. Most motor vehicles require a 2-inch wide, 30-foot long strap, while light trucks, SUVs, and trailers may need larger straps.

General Tips for Undoing Tow Straps

Before attempting to undo a tow strap, it is important to make sure that both cars are in parked and in neutral gear to prevent any added strain on the tow strap. Make sure that no one is standing close to either car so they don’t get caught in the strap if it snaps. Keep all loose clothing and jewelry away from the strap while it is being undone.

1. Squeezing Method

This is one of the most common methods used to undo a tow strap. This method requires two people to be effective. Any extra slack in the strap should be taken up before starting. Position one person at the side of the car where the strap is attached and one at the opposite end. The person at the connected end should grab the strap and begin to squeeze it with both hands, forcing the slack out of the strap and toward the other person.

The person at the other end will then take the newly created slack and begin to pull it through the loop. Apply a little force to help the slack move through the loop until it is completely reversed. This method is effective for loosening both Standard Duty and Heavy Duty tow straps.

2. Lever Method

This method may also require two people as it can be difficult to lever a tow strap with one hand. It is slightly different than the squeezing method as it requires a tool, such as a crowbar or pipe wrench, to lever the loop open. Position the tool in the middle of the loop so it creates some room to separate the two sides of the strap. Make sure you don’t lever the strap too far as this could weaken it.

Once the loop has been partially opened, a person at each side can use their hands to pull the slack out of the loop. Like the squeezing method, once the slack is clear, you can then pull the strap through the loop until it is completely reversed.

3. Pull Method

This method is the simplest one and only requires one person to complete. You need to begin by securing any extra slack in the strap before proceeding. Place both hands near the endpoint where you want to reverse the loop. Using both hands, pull with a steady and even force; if there is only a little room in the loop, you may need to pull and twist the strap at the same time.

Keep applying force until the loop is reversed. If the strap is too large for this method, it may be too heavy or too small for one person to pull it. In this case, it is better to use a lever or a squeezing method.


Undoing tow straps can be a tricky process, but it doesn’t have to be. With this guide, you can easily and quickly undo any tow strap without a struggle. Make sure to keep safety in mind when attempting to unpick a strap as it is important that all parts of the strap remain undamaged. With these helpful methods, you can unloop tow straps in just a few simple steps.

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