off road tow straps

off road tow straps

In a world of ever-changing trends, it’s interesting to see that off-road tow straps have been popular among those with 4x4 vehicles for decades. In fact, they have been around since the early days of automobile technology and are still regarded as one of the most invaluable tools for off-roaders today.

Let’s take a look at what exactly a tow strap is and how it can be used in an off-road environment. It’s an essential piece of equipment for any driver looking to make the most of their 4x4.

What is an Off-Road Tow Strap?

In general, an off-road tow strap is a robust, high-strength strap (normally made of nylon) with metal hooks attached at each end. This strap is designed to allow a vehicle to be transported, recovered, towed or dragged.

Using a tow strap means that the two vehicles involved can transmit load, torque and momentum to each other, without the need for a towing ball or hitch. This is why people tend to use them for off-road recovery as it bypasses any obstacles presented by the environment such as mud, sand, steep inclines or trailers filled with gear or heavy objects.

Using an Off-Road Tow Strap

Although tow straps are vital for off-roading and sometimes the only viable solution for a tricky recovery, they can be dangerous if used incorrectly. If a driver tries to recover a vehicle without following the correct procedures it can cause serious damage to both vehicles involved, so it’s important for everyone to be aware of the potential risks.

1. Choose a Suitable Vehicle

If you are attempting a recovery, it’s vital that you choose a suitable vehicle. When assessing the vehicle you plan to use as the intervener, you will need to consider its weight, power, torque and traction. Drivers should bear in mind that the intervener is more likely to take damage during a recovery, so it’s important to use a robust vehicle that is fit for the job.

2. Connect the Tow Straps

Next, you will need to connect the tow straps to both vehicles, ensuring the hooks are firmly clipped into the rigging points. You’ll need to make sure the hooks are facing away from each other, as this will help prevent them from slipping out of place.

3. Securely Attach the Tow Straps

Once the hooks are secured, you will need to tension the straps to create a strong connection between the vehicles. It’s important to make sure the tension is even at all times, so for the optimal outcome the driver of the intervener should enter into the vehicle and pull the straps tight using the weight of the vehicle.

4. Reduce the Slack and Slow Down

Once the slack has been taken out of the strap, you will need to be careful and considerate of the speed and acceleration you use. It’s dangerous to both vehicles to spin off with an off-road tow strap as it can cause a sudden accident. The best approach is to slow down and maintain a steady, slow pace.

5. Monitor Tension

Monitoring the tension of the strap whilst in motion is essential for a safe and successful recovery. If the tension is too tight, this could lead to excessive force and cause damage to both vehicles, whereas if the tension is too slack, it could lead to the vehicles separating and causing an even larger problem.

6. Careful Disconnection

When you arrive to your chosen destination, you should take your time in carefully disconnecting the tow strap. Make sure both vehicles are close together, then unhook the straps one-by-one, ensuring you’re keeping the force of gravity at a minimum, as this will increase the likelihood of slipping.

Safety with Off-Road Tow Straps

Although they may seem simple, tow straps are an essential tool for off-roaders, and as with any off-roading activity it’s important to be aware of the risks. If used correctly and in the correct environment, there is no doubt that a tow strap can help to support a safe and successful recovery. However, drivers should always be mindful of the force, torque and safety of both the intervener and the vehicle being towed, as any misuse of the strap could lead to a dangerous accident.

Overall, a tow strap is an important piece of equipment for off-roaders and it’s a must-have for anyone planning a 4x4 journey. Make sure you understand the safety implications and take the time to select and prepare your vehicle properly in order to make the most of your off-road experience.

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