Snatch Straps

Snatch Straps

Snatch StrapsIt sure is fun going through the various terrains in a 4WD vehicle, but unfortunately, they’re not indestructible, nor can they go over every type of terrain with no problems whatsoever. There may come a time when your 4x4 gets stuck in the snow, sand or mud, and you’re going to need a bit of help yanking it out of there. This is where snatch straps come in. Snatch straps come in handy when you’re stuck in a bog and need to get out as quickly as possible.

Snatch straps have special webbing that allow them to be stretched an extra 20%. This additional slack gives you the strength necessary to pull a downed 4x4 out of a sticky situation. The straps are anywhere from 6 meters to 15 meters in length, but 9 meters is one of the most common lengths. The strap itself should be rated 2 to 3 times more than a vehicle’s GVM (gross vehicle mass). Considering the smallest 4x4’s weigh about 2,000 kilograms, a 6,000 kg strap is the best type to use on SUVs of this size. As the 4x4 gets heavier, the strap must be rated higher. An 8,000 kg strap is not uncommon for larger 4x4’s. 

A snatch strap rated higher than the GVM of the vehicle may not stretch enough to allow for recovery; this is why getting the right rating on a strap is so important. The stretching lets snatch straps build the kinetic energy necessary to pull a vehicle (or “snatch” a vehicle, hence the name) from its stuck position. The strap is fastened to the vehicle’s recovery point (please note that this is not the same thing as the tow hitch) and a second vehicle, called the recovery vehicle, drives off to build up the kinetic energy necessary to free the stuck car.

 

 

4x4 owners should know where the recovery points are on their vehicles; preferably, the vehicle should have both front and rear recovery points so the snatch straps can be used there. Recoveries using a snatch strap work best if a heavier vehicle recovers a light vehicle, and vice versa. Snatch straps are generally good for about 10 recoveries before they’ll need to be replaced. Also, having a snatch strap on hand is a good preventive measure for any off-roader to have in the 4x4 just in case something happens.

 

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