No matter how experienced you may become with towing, there will always be some things that can go wrong when off-roading, even when you are trying to maneuver safely and reduce the casualties. For that reason, it’s important to have everything double checked before-hand and make sure you have all the towing accessories you’d need if something goes wrong. Here are some of the basic tools you’ll need for recovery towing when riding off-road.
A winch hook is one of the most important vehicle towing accessories. The basic type of hook has two bolts with lock the nuts that hold a sprung steel keeper and can handle a load of about 10,000 lbs. Heavy-duty hooks can take an 18,000 lbs load and they have an opening that allows you to put a rope or a chain on them. A lot of winches come with hooks already attached to them and that option is usually the best one.
To reduce the load on a winch and avoid damage when the direction of the cable is changed during a recovery, a nifty little tool called “a snatch block” that usually goes on tree trunk protectors or extension straps will do the job. It has two outer steel casings that swivel apart, and it allows the winch cable to be placed on the pulley wheel. This helps in holding the weight upon the whole connection during recovery.
Tree Trunk Saver
A tree saver trap (tree trunk saver) is a padded strap with seam and eye protective sleeves used for safe winching, which you can wrap around a tree or a rock and it won’t ruin your winch point. They are usually made from a non-stretching polyester that doesn’t crush the inner and outer layers of the tree. Some saver straps have reinforced eyes for a better abrasion protection.
Shackles are the glue that brings everything together, and they play an essential part in recovery towing. They can safely and securely connect snatch blocks, winch lines, snatch straps and more, which makes them one of the most important, vehicle towing accessories. The most common use for shackles is connecting the two ends of a tree saver to the winch hook.
Wireless Remote Control
To be safe when you are winching, consider getting a wireless remote control. This way you can control the winch without tripping over wires and you will also be at a safe distance while doing so. A standard wireless remote control can be used as far as 30 meters away from the vehicle, and you’ll only need a VRS 4×4 winch that has 3 pin control plugs.
If you don’t like the hassle of picking out every single tool by yourself but want to have all the necessary ones for a regular tow, get a recovery kit. It contains every essential tool you will need and it is the best choice if you have an electric or a hand winch. The kit typically includes a snatch strap, two heavy-duty bow shackles, an extension strap, and a tree trunk protector.