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Tips on Snatch Straps and Winching

How to use a snatch strap

  • Line the towing vehicle up as straight as possible with the bogged vehicle
  • Uncoil the strap completely (remove twists or knots in strap) and connect the ends securely to each vehicle
  • Use the 'D' shackles only if necessary. Screw them up properly by doing them up finger tight and then backing them off slightly
  • Avoid any sharp objects that may damage the strap
  • Don't join straps with a 'D' shackle. It's liable to become a dangerous missile! Loop the straps together and place a piece of wood, or rolled up newspaper in the knot so it can be unfastened later.
  • Keep around two to three metres of strap looped slackly between the vehicles

When all spectators are out of the way, on a given signal -

  • The towing vehicle gently accelerates to take up the slack to 'snatch' the bogged vehicle out
  • The bogged vehicle assists using its own power in an effort to drive out
  • If the first attempt is not successful, try again with a little more acceleration and a little more slack.

    When using a winch

    Winches can be the hand powered 'Tirfor' type, electric or power takeoff.

    • Always use gloves to control the cable
    • Keep hands well away from the winch drum
    • Make sure there are at least four coils of wire rope on the drum before load is applied to the winch
    • Re-check all connections and 'D' shackles before starting to winch
    • Use an old blanket, or bag, draped over the cable to act as a damper in case the rope breaks
    • Keep all spectators away
    • Take up the slack carefully. Avoid shock loading the winch and cable
    • Once the bogged vehicle begins to move, don't accelerate hard. You could damage the cable or lose traction again, shock loading the winch and cable, possibly breaking something. Take it easy
    • Use a snatch block to halve the work load on the winch
    • Use a tree trunk protector when using a tree as a winch point.

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