Correct way to do a Tow Ball recovery...




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  1. #1
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    Default Correct way to do a Tow Ball recovery...

    Yup, you read right...!

    I know full well the dangers associated with a tow ball recovery, BUT, sometimes, in some cases, there is a perfectly safe way to do it......

    I understand that the "safe" option is to condemn it universally, but here goes a way to do it safely..:

    IF you car is equipped with a sturdy, chassis mounted draw bar, then loop the tow rope (loosely) 2x arond the towbar to the left of the tow ball, 2x to the right of the towball, and the the open loop in the strap goes on the tow ball....after the strap is on the tow ball, take up any slack round the tow bar......

    Friction will reduce the force on the tow ball by a factor of maybe 10, and what force there is will be downwards rather than to the rear.

    There. I said it. I dont have recovery points on the rear of my car, but I do have a very, very strong self made towbar attatched with no less than 10 bolts going right through the chassis. I think if you held the loose end (that normally goes round the tow ball) in your hand, you could still pull another car out of a bind. That is how little force is put on the ball....

    PS: This does not apply to the flimsy exhaust shop towbars you get. I'm referring to the kind of towbar where you may also see recovery points on the towbar. Post a picture of a recovery attatched as I just descrbed, and all hell breaks loose. Post a picture where the strap is attatched with shackles to recovery points on the same drawbar, and everybody is happy. Why?

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    I just bit a whole piece of my Ice lolly off in one big chunk, when I read this. Now my nose & my forehead hurts like a bastard.

    ........thanks a lot Gert!
    Neil

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    Can you show us with a photo or 2 what you do.
    I agree with the idea as long as you dont snatch but just pull.

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    @ Neil,

    Wot you doing, eating ice lollies half past eleven in the evening? The only iced product I ever consumed that late in the evening was consumed from the bellybuttonhole of a sweetie called Candy

    I dropped my Mik-en-druk in the sand, now the lens does not come out. I will borrow the workshop camera tomorrow, and post a fine example of what I mean, recovering my daughter's pink push bike from the interlocks into the garage, at a 0 degree gradient...

    Seriously, we used a similar technique when towing motorcycles: One end on the towing bike, the other looped 2 or 3 times around the fork close to the yolk of the towed bike, and the loose end gripped in your left hand on the handle grip. If you see B.S. coming, just release the rope in your left hand..... I was once towed from Okahandja to Windhoek this way, cruising at about 160.... There was almost no force required to hold on to that rope.

    Same applies to the car. I have pulled many cars out of the sand this way, although never with a snatch. Because I dont own a kinetic rope....

    My car is so light, I'm afraid if the stuck Toy..uhm, car, remains stuck, the kinetic rope may wiplash me back, with me sitting car and all on the lap of the very disturbed owner of the stuk vehicle...........

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    I think you need a pofadder as you dont have one. It will be the best tool in your 4x4 guaranteed!
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    Gert, nothing wrong with doing it that way.
    Its called a tensionless hitch. The strongest means of attaching a rope to anything. The knot (end loop in the case of a strap) is just there to keep the tail in place (there should be no tension on the tail at all).
    Vic

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    as long as you don't snatch and only pull a towball is fine.

    The contact patch of tyres cannot generate enough grip to overcome the breaking strength of a towball.

    Also when you pull, it is a slow motion and no rubber band effect so when it snaps it won't go flying nearly as far as a snatch rope will make it do.

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    Marius and wdw, the ball is not used to tow/snatch anything in this scenario - the towBAR is taking the strain. The end of the strap/rope is attached to the ball merely to keep the strap in place. Quite safe to snatch this way if the towbar is up to it.

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    Mmmmm, I was under the impression that the biggest risk of using a tow ball for recovery was that the, invariably, two bolts holding the ball onto the tow bar, were the weakest link and that the tow ball itself very seldom breaks. Have I got that right? So the primary reason for not using a tow ball to recover was because if and when the two mounting bolts break, then you have this deadly missile flying about that actually consists of the complete ball. Or have I got the whole thing all ballsed up in my head?

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    this is why.

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...all+recoveries

    see Zantus post 9 and most of the rest of the thread...
    Last edited by Apocalypse; 2012/01/19 at 07:57 AM.

    Alex GP0221-WC
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  11. #11
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    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...7&postcount=76

    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...8&postcount=14

    2 more perfectly good reasons to never ever put a recovery rope of any kind around a hook of any kind...

    Alex GP0221-WC
    "the village scoundrel" - Uys
    nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. there is just too much fraternising with the enemy Henry Kissinger
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
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    I don't understand, why use the ball at all?
    Why not secure the recovery gear to the towbar and just use that?

    On a side not what exactly is the poffadder. Is it a kinetic or a standard rope. And why does it come so highly recommended?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engel View Post
    I think you need a pofadder as you dont have one. It will be the best tool in your 4x4 guaranteed!
    I know...I must maybe drop a few hints for my swambo come birthday time

    I've got enough Jockys and Sokkies by now

    Or maybe I buy HER one for her B-day. The Vitara is registered on her name, after all

  14. #14
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    all the failed points were done with snatches right?

    Anybody every seen a failure from pulling with a non-stretchable rope?

    If pulling on the tow bar isn't allowed, why are we allowed to tow 2.5 ton boats (heavier than a car) on the same towball?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsleyB View Post
    Mmmmm, I was under the impression that the biggest risk of using a tow ball for recovery was that the, invariably, two bolts holding the ball onto the tow bar, were the weakest link and that the tow ball itself very seldom breaks. Have I got that right? So the primary reason for not using a tow ball to recover was because if and when the two mounting bolts break, then you have this deadly missile flying about that actually consists of the complete ball. Or have I got the whole thing all ballsed up in my head?

    Both the ball and the bolts can break. The way I described, puts a very small force DOWNWARDS on the tow ball. The rope is held in place by friction - the harder you pull, the more the friction, the stronger the hold.

    IF the impossible happens, and the ball comes off, it will go down, not backwards. But for that to happen, the ball must be attatched with plastic bolts, sawn halfway through.

  16. #16
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    Schuits - exactly.

    most 4x4's have adequate recovery points from the factory.

    to use them one must bend ones back to get to them...

    As to Pofadder - kinetic rope, I have one, I used to have a 14ton strap.

    I did about 120 recoveries with it over November and December - stood up brilliantly.

    advantages are : it's a very soft snatch by comaprison - deceleartion is less for the same amount of stretch.

    plus if you have to do a few big recoveries in a day you can perform the 'pofadder shuffle' and wriggle the fibres so it recovers more quickly.

    Engel makes and sells them - not a million miles from you - comes in a kit with tethers/bridals and shackles etc. very nice, good value for money...

    Alex GP0221-WC
    "the village scoundrel" - Uys
    nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. there is just too much fraternising with the enemy Henry Kissinger
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MariusFourie View Post
    all the failed points were done with snatches right?
    Anybody every seen a failure from pulling with a non-stretchable rope?
    If pulling on the tow bar isn't allowed, why are we allowed to tow 2.5 ton boats (heavier than a car) on the same towball?
    a Trailer does not snatch.

    even a car on a tow rope will ' snatch' if the rope goes slack then comes tight again - thats what breaks towballs.

    the point is that yes, in many instances where a 'soft' recovery is needed the towball is fine.

    I have taken to never using it as onlookers may not realise that there is a difference between soft recovery and a proper full on snatch recovery.

    I have recovery points, so do you, why not just use them? not much effort for the safety involved.

    as a matter of interest - I am sure you guys saw the Muds incident - that hook came off as a result of a pull, not a snatch.... It took him a year to recvoer properly, he nearly lost his leg...

    safety first. yes, you can argue that in some cases it's fine, but why bother?

    Alex GP0221-WC
    "the village scoundrel" - Uys
    nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. there is just too much fraternising with the enemy Henry Kissinger
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
    Douglas Adams
    those who can, do; those who can't, teach George Bernard Shaw
    A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.
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    it is better to be irresponsible and right than to be responsible and wrong Winston Churchill

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MariusFourie View Post
    If pulling on the tow bar isn't allowed, why are we allowed to tow 2.5 ton boats (heavier than a car) on the same towball?
    You are asking about two completely differnent things in the same sentance (see highlighted). What would you like anwered first?

    Marius, as a long time user of this Forum, you know about the incident with Mudz, this topic was covered to death. I am sure however the scientists are rubbing their hands in glee to explain the stress tolerances etc. of bolts, bars, balls and the rest of it.

    I am off to get my popcorn, give me a couple of minutes
    Rich

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  19. #19
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    This method is a bit unfair to call a "tow-ball recovery" since the tow-ball is actually not even needed at all. You are wrapping the rope around the tow-BAR and could just as easily loop the end back and shackle it to the rope itself if you wanted. There will be almost negligible force on the tow-ball and it would stand up to a snatch just fine as the ropes will tighten around the bar. Also, even if it COULD break, as Gert said, the force is downwards if you loop the rope top to bottom and then up from the bottom onto the ball. so it will fly down into the ground (or around into the back of your own vehicle).

    Its not a tow-ball recovery at all actually.
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    can someone post a pic of how to attach a snatch strap to the back of a fortuner? toyota made a funny by suggesting fortuners only needs recovery points on the front.
    2011 fortuner 4x4

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