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  1. #1
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    Default Tow Ball Snatch Vehicle Recovery is Dangerous




    Never use the tow ball for recovery. You never know before, how much power will be necessary. In the Article is not just pictures and videos about what can happen... You find links to deadly accidents too.


    Article:
    Don`t use the tow-ball for vehicle recovery


    The article is too available in german language.


    Be always careful with 4x4 recoverys - just use gear who is rated for that purpose.


    trippin
    Last edited by 4x4tripping; 2021/05/24 at 05:25 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    I think the proper title for this thread would be: "Tow Ball Snatch Vehicle Recovery is Dangerous".

    I do not see how a normal pull-type recovery will generate enough force to snap a towball. Likewise, this all tends to depend on the type of tow-ball you're using. A goose-neck towball type thing would potentially be fine for a recovery (snatch too) provided that the rope is attached to the "goose neck" part of the fitment and not the ball itself. The standard types of towballs are no-no though. That said, I have proper recovery points on my truck. On the occasions when I have recovered people I have recovered from the recovery points and not from the towball. Maarnouwat - I make my point merely because this particular type of thread is like 2SO and it has been debated to death on this forum.

    Edit: When I speak goose-neck, I mean goose-neck like so:

    Name:  towbar.jpg
Views: 2759
Size:  39.7 KB
    Last edited by iandvl; 2021/05/24 at 04:45 PM.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Correct, tow ball recoveries are dangerous, I use a rated Ironman tow bar insert with shackle that fits in my Burnco Bumper, nothing wrong with that.

    Think this topic has been well documented and covered.

    There are a few stickys which shows how dangerous tow balls are.
    2008 Ford Ranger 3.0 XLT 4x4

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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Amazing that there are still people who don't know this.
    Beat-up rat rod of a '96 Nissan Patrol that bears the evidence of many wonderful adventures (and a few stupid indiscretions).

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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    There are new people coming into this 4x4 arena every day. How will they just know it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    Amazing that there are still people who don't know this.
    Choose life

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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Coenoes View Post
    There are new people coming into this 4x4 arena every day. How will they just know it?
    They say charity starts at home..
    There should be a rule that 4x4 salesmen should know the rules and brief the buyer.

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Should be a sticker on the towbar or something that says do not use for recovery situations.
    2008 Ford Ranger 3.0 XLT 4x4

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Most vehicles Owners Manual specify where you can attach a tow connection. There are generally straight in line with a chassis member or reinforcing section. But many have never even opened the Owner's manual.

    While there are many high quality towbars and integral bumper replacements that make it quite obvious where one can attach a shackle, I have noticed that most fitment places retain the manufacturers towing bracket(s)-for good reason. The basics should always be to attach a towrope as close as possible to a purpose made bracket attached directly to the chassis with its securing bolts positioned in shear-not in tension, not subject to a huge bending moment. The centre of a transverse beam towbar is not the best place to exert a shock load.

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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Walnut View Post
    Should be a sticker on the towbar or something that says do not use for recovery situations.
    Right next to the sticker that says to not drink the contents of the battery...😂

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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravofox View Post
    Right next to the sticker that says to not drink the contents of the battery...😂
    Hahahahahaha
    2008 Ford Ranger 3.0 XLT 4x4

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  19. #11
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Quote Originally Posted by iandvl View Post
    I think the proper title for this thread would be: "Tow Ball Snatch Vehicle Recovery is Dangerous".

    I do not see how a normal pull-type recovery will generate enough force to snap a towball. Likewise, this all tends to depend on the type of tow-ball you're using. A goose-neck towball type thing would potentially be fine for a recovery (snatch too) provided that the rope is attached to the "goose neck" part of the fitment and not the ball itself. The standard types of towballs are no-no though. That said, I have proper recovery points on my truck. On the occasions when I have recovered people I have recovered from the recovery points and not from the towball. Maarnouwat - I make my point merely because this particular type of thread is like 2SO and it has been debated to death on this forum.

    Edit: When I speak goose-neck, I mean goose-neck like so:

    Name:  towbar.jpg
Views: 2759
Size:  39.7 KB
    Please be careful with correct terminology. The one you have pictured is a drop pin towbar and snatch recoveries can be done using the pin if the correct mounting bolts are used and the system is bolted to the chassis correctly(forces in a straight line, bolts specified correctly etc). One of those on the bumper of a modern 4x4 bakkie will probably have the whole bumper landing in your lap due to the way these are bolted to the modern bakkie.

    A goose neck is the type with the ball and a single support in line as per the one on the right below. the Europeans sometimes call this a swan neck.

    The one on the left is a gooseneck with a flange attachment. In SA we like the flange attachments as it has allowed many a homemade bike rack to work.

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  21. #12
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    Amazing that there are still people who don't know this.
    I went out with some people a while back(before covid) on a 4x4 trip. So during the course of the day, a recovery was needed, and my vehicle was used to do the recovery. Some loaded the rope onto the towball. I said No, thats dangerous etc, then I got the 5th degree as to how often they do this etc. I said thats fine, you guys continue doing that and when something happens remember my warning. I moved the rope and never went out with them again and even lost all contact.

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  23. #13
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    Default Re: Tow Ball Snatch Vehicle Recovery is Dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4tripping View Post


    Never use the tow ball for recovery. You never know before, how much power will be necessary. In the Article is not just pictures and videos about what can happen... You find links to deadly accidents too.


    Article:
    Don`t use the tow-ball for vehicle recovery


    The article is too available in german language.


    Be always careful with 4x4 recoverys - just use gear who is rated for that purpose.


    trippin
    Fascinating video, Thanks for sharing! Really emphasized for me the enormous forces at play and the danger that goes with that.

    i was reading up the other night on an old thread on this forum where Frikkie explained in absolute detail the mechanical characteristics at play with a snatch recovery. I learned a lot about tensile and shear strengths of bolts, how the tow bar should be fitted (drop pin type or the regular ball type as was used in the video) and why one is better than the other. Wealth of info for those interested- just search for it. Made me realise that my 4.4 bolts should be 8.8’s which I will promptly replace

    what Frikkie also explained in detail was how the various bolts holding the towbar attached to the chassis are points of potential failure etc. I found it interesting that despite serious attempts in the OP’s video, no bolts were snapped in the entire time, not even the ones holding the bullbar that got ripped off- seemed the bullbar mounting plate was deformed as it ‘popped’ off the bolts. Why is this? I would have thought with age the bolts would also lose strength?
    Last edited by Boesman88; 2021/06/03 at 09:29 PM.

  24. #14
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    I fully agree with Ian but want to add the following:

    Snatch recoveries, regardless of attachment method give me the heebee jeebies. The forces involved are tremendous. I will always put a lot of distance between myself and such an attempt. My parents were witness to a snatch recovery gone wrong when a rated shackle failed during a dune trip that resulted in a near fatal, definitely life altering facial injury to the guide when said shackle went through the open bonnet and windscreen. The fact there happened to be an experienced trauma sister in the tour group and kick-ass first aid box as part of the guide's kit likely saved his life.

    Personally I think snatch recoveries should be a last resort, after shovels, rock packing, sand ladders and normal non-stretch strap recovery attempts have failed. Dare I say, many snatch recoveries are entirely unnecessary but done because of laziness.
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Koebelwagen View Post
    Personally I think snatch recoveries should be a last resort, after shovels, rock packing, sand ladders and normal non-stretch strap recovery attempts have failed. Dare I say, many snatch recoveries are entirely unnecessary but done because of laziness.

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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravofox View Post
    Right next to the sticker that says to not drink the contents of the battery...😂
    Good advice

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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Name:  towbar.jpg
Views: 2759
Size:  39.7 KB

    I use this type tow ball for a few years now.
    Mostly recoveries are done in a pull not snatch action with a snatch rope.
    If that does not work get the spade out and dig.

    So had a few comments just snatch we have not got the time or it takes to long.
    My answer, OK you guys do it.
    I unhook and drive to a safe distance, open a cooldrink and wait.
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  30. #18
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Quote Originally Posted by Koebelwagen View Post
    My parents were witness to a snatch recovery gone wrong when a rated shackle failed during a dune trip that resulted in a near fatal, definitely life altering facial injury to the guide when said shackle went through the open bonnet and windscreen.
    Was this shackle the point of failure or was it the actual attachment point on the vehicle that failed? With a factor of safety of 5:1 on rated bow shackles I find it hard to believe that the shackle will fail before the kinetic strap or rope. A 3.25ton bow's minimum breaking strength/break force is 16.25ton and a 4.75ton bow's is 23.75ton. I have not seen many properly rated pieces of kinetic recovery gear of 16 ton or more in 4x4 vehicles, be it a strap or a rope. What I have seen is a general lack of knowledge of what equipment is rated for a specific 4x4 vehicle. Far to many larger or kitted 4x4's are travelling where they can get stuck with recovery equipment mostly suited for an empty double or single cab or a Jimny.
    HENK


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  32. #19
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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Why it also helps to use a recovery bag or blanket over the snatch rope or winch line. Just make sure it not empty and has a few things in it to weigh it down.

    Will hopefully bring the rope to the ground in the event of failure.
    2008 Ford Ranger 3.0 XLT 4x4

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    Default Re: Tow Bar vehicle recovery is dangerous!

    Nice onderwerp so leer ons bymekaar

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