Woman killed by a TOW BALL!!! - Page 5





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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boyscout View Post
    While looking at the youtube clip on how to do it properly, I came across this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8lMxYnGIrw&NR=1

    An excellent example of how not to do a recovery. Look at the gooseneck at the end of the clip.
    The funniest part is how amused the camera man sounded when he remarked that it could have killed somebody when the strap broke.

    And then they just kept on going...
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  2. #82
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    Exclamation Towball disaster

    Many simple rules were broken during this recovery.
    NEVER attach any strap to a tow ball.
    ALWAYS have a restriction device on the rope you are using. This could be as simple as a couple of beach towels wrapped around the cable.
    ALWAYS have the bonnet of the towing vehicle open if you are doing a reverse pull.
    NEVER have passengers in the tow vehicle.
    NEVER have anybody in the pulling vehicle if you are using a winch.
    Any one of these could have saved a life that sad day.

  3. #83
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    Something I have not seen in the posts (maybe I have miss read it)...
    EDIT: Missed the last commend from "offroader" - good summary of points

    When ever doing a recovery, always but a towel or other material with little bit weight, relative strength and a lot of air resistance on the rope being recovered. Normally recommended in the middle of the rope, but I would go further and say two locations, 1/3 and 2/3 along the way. When the rope let goes it takes a lot of the energy out of the rope to prevent it snapping pack through either windows. Even more so with cable ropes. Also, everyone should always clear the area apart from the two drivers in the case rope gives in.

    But I am not sure how much this would have helped in this case, but I believe in it as a golden rule.

    Condolences to the family.
    Last edited by jmak; 2011/08/29 at 07:40 AM.

  4. #84
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    By absorbing the energy, the "recovery blanket" would have restricted the energy passed on the the flying towball. Furthermore, the woman should not have been in the vehicle and lastly, if the bonnet was open it could have stopped (or at least slowed down) the ball.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by slodj View Post
    This is worth discussing further. A friend maintains that it is impossible to break the neck of a towball doing a recovery. Is he talking nonsense? When a towball comes off a vehicle during a recovery, is it the neck that has broken off? Or is it something else that broke - like the bolts holding it on or the backing plate etc?
    I'm of the opinion (and stand to be corrected) that all the tow balls in question were the ball that bolts on with a single bolt through a plate as per attached pic?

    Not that I would attempt a recovery on the ball anyway, just a comment
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  6. #86
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    This is a terrible incident. It has me thinking, how safe is a conventional towball on towing an overland trailer in offroad conditions. The swing action and forces must surely not fall within the general road towing specifications. I would like to consider changing mine -any suggestions and where to look in Somerset West /Cape Town. Is the 'pintle' the only option - looking at it sitting in the back of the cruiser kind of gives me dough's as to its durability.

  7. #87
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    Only have recovery points fitted by knowledgeable people. Mate of mine had a recovery bar with spots fitted on his Cherokee by some paluka. The recovery point was 12mm thk so I assumed the thing would be strong enough (see the bracket on the ground). What I couldn't see was the whole bar was bolted to 0.8 plate with 4 x M6 bolts. Very nice surprise in the middle of the Kgalagadi.
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  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertvl View Post
    I have never attempted a recovery but looking at all the horrific footage being posted on the forum over the past month or two I would like to enquire about a few things, should I ever find myself in the situation where I need the knowledge:
    • Are the standard egg-shaped recovery points on my Landy ok?
    • If not one alone, will it be ok if I attach a bridle to both recovery points and then tow or snatch? My understanding of a bridle is that it is a strap that attaches to both recovery points to distribute the force, please correct me if I am wrong.
    • My next point of understanding is that you need to attach a rope or strap to the main towing/snatching strap, that will not carry any weight - this is for incase the main strap breaks the additional line will prevent it from becoming a catapult - hurling the shackle or, god forbid, the towball towards the other vehicle. Is my understanding here correct? If so, how tough does this secondary rope have to be, will normal nylon ski-rope be sufficient?
    • I also gather that one throws a blanket over the towing line at the centre, no need to explain it for me.
    • One final question - the rear recovery points (egg-shaped) on my Landy are bolted to the side of the chassis so the it can not be used as recovery points (holes are covered by the cassis). Is it worth it to bolt them to a different location or can I simply wind a snatch strap around and behind the frame that exends to the towball and then shackle it in place? (I know not to attach it to the towball itsself).
    Thank you all for contributing to our safety, a few weeks ago I would never have thought twice before attaching anything to anything with any lump of whatever that could go anywhere. Now I am glad that I didn't have the opportunity to do so...
    My respect,
    Albert
    Those egg shaped recovery points are NOT recovery points... they are lashing points, for transporters to use.Don't recover on them.
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  9. #89
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    Default Recovery mishap

    It's a pity people do not learn from mistakes others make. One should ALWAYS use a blanket or even an old jacket draped over the tow rope (the rope can be threaded through the arms of the jacket - this makes sure the jacket will not slip off!!). This prevents the rope to snatch back and destroy a wind screen or back of a vehicle (or kill people for that matter!).

  10. #90
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    Default Land Rover - Recovery Points

    I was reading the thread with interest and just last year I was trying to read up on this topic and found the following on this forum.
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...t=61161&page=2
    This link shows the failure of Series II recovery point entry #25.
    Hopefully we can all learn and are not too scared to ask questions as most of us think our recovery points are fine until proven otherwise. Ask questions and post pictures if you are unsure as there are many experts who will gladly help you.
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    Last edited by vanasp; 2011/08/29 at 07:23 PM. Reason: changed picture

  11. #91
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    Just a tip for the FORD owners. The manual says max towing weight of 1 000 kg's. That is not a RECOVERY POINT. Bolt it to the chassy no other place.

    By the way with the dif between the bumper and frame, recovery point for the Rangers is not easy to install at the back - front end no problem.

    Any suggestions on the rear end - my designs is normally strong and add 50% to required.

  12. #92
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    Right, so for us uneducated folk, how do we go about fitting recovery points? Will the chassis have obvious points to fix them? I assume you want the actual recovery point to be the last thing to break, rope or strap must go first to make a lighter missile? So how strong must the recovery point be? What bolts do you use, and is there a danger in damaging the chassis??
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  13. #93
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    Peter,

    Very valid and important questions. There are unfortunately no hard and fast rules, and the answers are vehicle specific. You will have to consult the manufacturer in this regard. The chassis type, cross-bracing and tensile capacity will be the determining factor. What I have found to date (absolute minimum design specs):

    1. Design recovery points for between 4 and 5 ton safe loading load capacity per chassis rail (left and right, front and back).
    2. Use at least 5mm thick steel for the construction of the brackets. Brackets should preferably be made from a single piece of steel plate (avoid welding, unless it is done by a qualified welder). If the plate is to be used as a shackle eye it should be a minimum of 10mm thick.
    3. Do not weld onto the chassis, use high tensile steel bolts of grade 8.8 or higher, and at least 16mm diameter, and at least three bolts per recovery point.
    4. Avoid recoveries requiring in excess of 8 ton equivelant loading requirements. Reduce and unbogg first.
    5. Always use a bridle to spread the loading between recovery points and chassis rails.

    PS. Safe load includes a safety factor of 3.
    Last edited by Jean Kotze; 2011/08/30 at 12:01 AM.
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  14. #94
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    I guess the problem I have with things like 'at least 5mm' what would happen if you used 4mm? Or 8? And what about the recovery force? How do you know if it's close to 8 tons?

    If you have a 12ton strap, and bridal is perfectly distributing the force and you're putting the strap under max load, then you're applying a 6 ton force to each recovery point? And if they're rated for 4 tons? But could the chassis handle, say 6 tons per point without stretching or tearing? This would be the equivalent of hanging at least two big 4x4's from each point??

    What effect does the cyclic loading of two or three snatch type recoveries have in the steel chassis? Could this cause weakness due to metal fatigue?
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  15. #95
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    I ended up bending my towbar through such a recovery using a pin type towball. Since then I have now attached recovery hooks to the chassis and never looked back.
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  16. #96
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  17. #97
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    I guess the problem I have with things like 'at least 5mm' what would happen if you used 4mm? Or 8?
    - That's not correct, see the link I posted above, 5mm is way too thin.


    And what about the recovery force? How do you know if it's close to 8 tons?
    - Based on my own experience of breaking an 8 ton rated strap and fraying another 8 ton rated strap, a fast run-up of about 8 metres in 2nd low will produce close to 8 tons.


    If you have a 12ton strap, and bridal is perfectly distributing the force and you're putting the strap under max load, then you're applying a 6 ton force to each recovery point? And if they're rated for 4 tons?
    A recovery point rated at 4 tons will be insufficient, I want each of my recovery points to handle the full rating of my strap/rope, I want both to work at half capacity, not push them to their limit.

    But could the chassis handle, say 6 tons per point without stretching or tearing?
    - If the point is correctly attached, it will handle it, otherwise, see the second link in my previous post. The load on the chassis is not only taken by the bolt itself, but also the friction between the chassis and the recovery point. Therefore the points must not only use the correct bolts, but also be properly bolted on. I all my previous threads and posts about recovery points, you'll see I use grade 12.8 hardware.

    This would be the equivalent of hanging at least two big 4x4's from each point??
    - That's only 5 tons....we're talking 8 tons


    What effect does the cyclic loading of two or three snatch type recoveries have in the steel chassis? Could this cause weakness due to metal fatigue?
    - Possibly, but remember, not every recovery is to the max, you just making sure that the day arrives that you go to the max, the recovery points stay intact. Most recoveries with a snatch strap don't exceed 3 tons.

    Have a look at this video to get an idea of the force involved in a normal snatch recovery:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPXixsvjDjY
    Last edited by Barto; 2011/08/29 at 11:26 PM.

  18. #98
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    Zantus,

    I agree with your statements.

    The only other point to bear in mind is the loading capacity of the chassis itself. The weakest or thinest member will dictate the recovery point design.

    For example, mounting a 10mm thick recovery plate to a 5mm thick chassis beam of similar grade - the 10 mm thich plate design may well provide you with an 8 to 10 ton safe load capability, but ... the recovery point may be torn out of the chassis at 4 to 5 ton loading (just as an example, calcs not accurate). It is therefore important to evaluate all components and attachments, and to spread the loading accordingly (larger contact area and more bolts).

    Edit: This is one place where over-design is a good thing.
    Last edited by Jean Kotze; 2011/08/30 at 12:00 AM.
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  19. #99
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    "This is why we keep on saying you should not use a tow ball for a recovery and why you should use safety straps and bridals."

    I think that those tow balls are sub-standard. A few years ago I was towing my race car back from a race meeting in Lichtenburg when an oncoming vehicle hit me on the from wheel of the double axel trailer.
    The front wheel moved, crabbed the rear wheels and removed both axles at 120km/h! The trailer went up into the air to such an extent that I though the race car was going to land on the Pajero's roof, luckily I managed to hold it together. The tow ball back plate was bend about 12mm, but did not break.

  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willy's
    "This is why we keep on saying you should not use a tow ball for a recovery and why you should use safety straps and bridals."

    I think that those tow balls are sub-standard. A few years ago I was towing my race car back from a race meeting in Lichtenburg when an oncoming vehicle hit me on the from wheel of the double axel trailer.
    The front wheel moved, crabbed the rear wheels and removed both axles at 120km/h! The trailer went up into the air to such an extent that I though the race car was going to land on the Pajero's roof, luckily I managed to hold it together. The tow ball back plate was bend about 12mm, but did not break.
    See, to me that's a bad thing. In the event something like this happens, I want the ball to break free from my vehicle!
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