tow strap or chain
Introduction From the dark days of no recovery tools in a car to the modern age of complementary recovery gear, the tow strap or chain has become an essential item for anyone on the road. Depending on the severity of the eakdown, the tow strap or chain can be the difference between putting in a tow truck bill and leaving in your own vehicle.
History The use of a tow strap or chain to recover a car has a long history, with a number of documented uses of this tool stretching back to the 1940s. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that modern tow strap technology really started to take off. These straps were highly durable and versatile pieces of technology, allowing drivers to get out of sticky situations without having to call a tow truck or mechanic.
Construction A tow strap or chain consists of two metal hooks held together by a piece of heavy-duty nylon or polyester webbing. The strength and durability of the webbing are critical, as it has to be able to resist the substantial forces exerted by road conditions, vehicle movements and the tow vehicle. In addition to strength and durability, the webbing should also be designed for maximum flexibility to allow for easy storage and transport.
Uses Today, tow straps or chains are used to haul vehicles of all sizes, from lighter sedans to heavier trucks and SUVs. Their primary purpose is to offer the ability to perform a “pull and drive” maneuver in the event of an accident or eakdown. In addition, the towing and recovery system can be used to move stalled vehicles from one location to another, as well as for off-road recovery and even winching operations.
Safety All tow straps and chains should be inspected before each use and should also be replaced at the first sign of wear or damage. Additionally, the person performing the pull should be aware of the restrictions of the strap or chain and never exceed that capacity. Proper anchoring of the tow vehicle and vehicle being moved is also essential to ensure the safety of all involved.
Conclusion From its beginnings as a simple road-side mechanic’s tool to its modern adaptation as a recovery and towing solution, the tow strap or chain has come a long way. And while they may not appear glamorous or exciting, they are an essential part of any road warrior’s arsenal. So, next time you’re out on the road, don’t forget to keep a tow strap or chain in your car ‒ you never know when you might need it.
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