tow strap vs tow chain

tow strap vs tow chain

A tow strap and a tow chain are both pieces of equipment used in towing, but they vary greatly in terms of usage, purpose and construction. With the right understanding of the differences between tow straps and tow chains, drivers can make a more informed decision to choose the right tool for the job.

Tow Strap

A tow strap is a long and curved strip of nylon webbing with reinforced loops or hooks at each end. Tow straps can range in size and strength, depending on the specific use. Strap widths typically range from 2” to 4”, while tensile strengths of tow straps can range from 8,000 lbs. to 40,000 lbs. The most common tow straps are 8,000 lbs. to 20,000 lbs. in strength.

Uses of a Tow Strap

Tow straps are generally used to tow lighter items, like a small car or an ATV. It’s important to know the weight of the vehicle or item being towed, as well as the type of roads you’ll be traveling, in order to choose the appropriate tow strap for the job.

Advantages of Tow Straps

One of the biggest advantages of tow straps is that they’re easy to set up and use. They’re also easier to store than tow chains because they’re more flexible and can be quickly coiled up for transport. Additionally, nylon tow straps typically have less risk of “snap-back” or recoil upon eaking under tension.

Tow Chain

Tow chains are comprised of linked metal components, such as hammerlocks, shackles and S-hooks, which provide additional support and strength when towing automobiles and other vehicles. Tow chains are wider and thicker than tow straps, and they come rated according to tensile strength, which is the maximum load that a chain can hold.

Uses of a Tow Chain

Tow chains have much higher tensile strengths than tow straps, and are therefore used to tow heavier objects such as a truck, a trailer, or a piece of heavy machinery. They can also be used in combination with tow straps to achieve higher capacities.

Advantages of a Tow Chain

Tow chains are designed to be much sturdier and resistant to stretching, fraying and eaking, making them ideal for heavier items and trickier towing scenarios. Additionally, tow chains provide a more adjustable tensioning and can be used for off-road towing, or in high wind or icy conditions.

Bottom Line

Tow straps and tow chains are two essential pieces of equipment used for towing. When it comes to choosing the right tool for the job, it’s important to know the weight of the item you’ll be towing and the type of roads you’ll be traveling. Tow straps are best for towing lighter items, while tow chains are better for heavier loads. Both tools have their own distinct advantages and should be chosen with an understanding of their strengths and limitations.

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