snatch strap vs tow strap

snatch strap vs tow strap

A snatch strap and a tow strap are both items of recovery gear used to assist vehicles that are stuck, bogged, or otherwise immobile due to challenging terrain or other hazardous conditions. While they share many similar qualities, they have important design differences that make them best suited to different purposes.

The snatch strap is typically made of nylon webbing and has looped ends. It is designed to be placed around the towing points of both vehicles involved in a recovery and then stretched or ‘snatched’ tight to link them for the purposes of towing. The elasticity of the snatch strap is meant to absorb the shock and energy of starting the stuck vehicle moving, reducing the possibility of damaging either vehicle in the process. It is also designed to ‘give and take’ as needed in order to cushion the shocks, which might be caused by ruts and rocks to either vehicle.

The tow strap, on the other hand, is made of either polyester or nylon strap and has metal hooks on either end. It is typically used to connect a dead vehicle to a live vehicle, though it can also be connected around a suitable fixed object such as a tree. This type of strap is suited to towing a dead vehicle at highway speeds, as the metal hooks are less elastic than the looped ends of a snatch strap and therefore better suited to the more consistent towing that would occur at higher speeds.

In off-roading situations, the snatch strap is the most popular choice for recovering disabled vehicles. However, there are some important safety considerations to take into account when using a snatch strap. These straps should never be used for winching as the energy and forces involved can cause them to snap with devastating results. They should also only be used with two vehicles of a similar size and weight and should never be used to tow people or animals.

When using a tow strap for highway towing, there are also some safety considerations to take into account such as ensuring that the strap is properly connected, avoiding sharp turns and sudden stops and making sure that the towed vehicle is likely to remain stable at higher speeds. For this type of towing, it is also important to ensure that adequate safety equipment is on hand such as safety chains and eakaways.

Overall, when it comes to vehicle recovery, a snatch strap and a tow strap are essential items of gear. When used correctly they are both effective ways of getting a stuck vehicle moving once more. To reduce the risk of damage to either vehicle or to those involved in the recovery process, it is important to ensure the right strap is used for the right application.

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