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  1. #1
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    Kioti DK35

    Default tow strap or chain?

    I'm still new to tractoring, and have another question.

    One of the things I'll be doing a lot of is pulling trees around. Fallen logs mostly, but I'm also thinking about trying to pull some old dead trees out of my pond.

    I'm trying to weigh the relative merits of chain vs. nylon strap. It seems to be a slam dunk for strap - a 3" one can pull unbelievable weight and is cheaper than heavy chain.

    Also, I've seen what happens when a chain breaks under stress, and would prefer to not be around when that happens. Of course, I'm sure strap could do damage also...

    Comments?

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: tow strap or chain?

    The straps are definitely good for a lot of things, but for the work you're talking about, I much prefer chains or cables, primarily because I would expect the straps to get wet, dirty, frayed, torn, etc. Having a chain break can certainly do some damage, but for the size tractor you have, you shouldn't have a hard time finding chains that will hold more than you pull.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member mikim's Avatar
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    Default Re: tow strap or chain?

    I agree with Bird on this one - the straps are cheaper & lighter - but once they fray or get torn, you have a severe weak spot. I've snapped a strap before (it had a little tear where it snapped) but I've never broken a chain. I still have a couple of straps though and prefer them for towing vehicles - they're a little more forgiving for that - but for downed trees - I want chain. .... and if you work with a 50 foot heavy duty chain all day - you can skip your upper body workout that night [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Platinum Member dourobob's Avatar
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    Wheel Horse 522xi

    Default Re: tow strap or chain?

    Yep - what Bird and Mikim said

    My understanding is, unless you are taking up the slack in a chain with a "running start" from your tractor, a break is more likely to leave the chain laying on the ground with a LOT less backlash than could be created by the "forgiveness" quality of a nylon strap.

    Each have their place but for trees and the like, I say chain is the way to go. .. and there is something to be said for the workout benefit [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Bob

  5. #5
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: tow strap or chain?

    My machine might be a touch bigger than yours, but I got this Square Link Chain from Labonville as suggested by Mark Chalkley.

    I got the top one, the square link. I have a choker on one end and slip hook on the other end. I got a 25 foot length.

    Might be over kill, but it's my neck. Furthermore... it was suggested by Mr. Chalkey that the square links really grab into the tree, rather than slip... I can vouch for that. I now know that once I get that choker end around something that the chain is essentially going to stay put and SOMETHING is going to give... either the chain [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img], Brutus [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] or [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] the tree I'm yanking around [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]. So far, the tree/stump/log/other has lost the battle every time.

    My vote is get some of this. It's fairly strong, and seems to grab better than a cat on carpet [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] (my Mothers cat anyway... but then... it's an indoor cat and has been declawed.... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] )

    Richard

  6. #6
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    Default Re: tow strap or chain?

    I suspected you guys were gonna say this, so I'm giving myself some credit [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Ok, now that we are on the chain page, how strong should it be (and no, I won't *intentionally* be taking any running starts [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img])

  7. #7
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
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    Fort Wayne, IN
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    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Re: tow strap or chain?

    Sendero.

    I'm a fan of straps over chains for a lot of things. I like them because they're lighter, cleaner, easier to tighten down, etc. For what you're going to be doing, however, I agree with Bird. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    For working and doing what you're talking about, I always use a chain. I can wrap it around rough, sharp edged bark, drag it through the mud and crud, across sharp rocks and through stones and not hurt it at all. Straps just aren't made for that kind of abuse.

    Make sure you get a heavier chain than you think you ought to need. Something too heavy to break under the most strain your tractor can put on it is ideal. That way when you do something you shouldn't (like trying to 'jerk' something free), it'll still hold up for you. If you're still concerned about the whip effect of one breaking, hang a heavy coat or blanket over it near the middle.

    Besides all of the obvious, logical reasons there's something just a lot more macho about using a chain. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] Make sure you get yourself some good work gloves to wear when you're using it. You'll really appreciate them the first time a bit of glove gets pinched in the chain and you realize that could have been part of your hand. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]

    Good luck with your project. It sounds like fun. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Platinum Member dourobob's Avatar
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    Default Re: tow strap or chain?

    I am not sure of the rating on mine 'cause I bought at an auction but I knew the farmer and he used it behind a 120 HP tractor to pull, trees, rocks and anything else he could get it around.

    It shows virtually no wear after 20+years and I have dug in all 4 wheels in my 52 HP tractor without moving a few of the bigger rocks in some of my fence rows.

    I tend to err on the side of "so it should never break" when it comes to these things and I believe mine qualifies. A neighbour said he thought it was a 5/8" Grade 80 or Grade 100 which should be somewhere in the 18,000 lbs + area for capacity. It is a bit of a workout as mentioned by Mikim if you are using it all day but I feel confident when using it so I think the trade off is worth it.

    FWIW
    Bob

  9. #9
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
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    Default Re: tow strap or chain?

    I've got probably a dozen or more chains of various configurations and not a one of them I bought new. Most of them either came from farm auctions or with tow/recovery vehicles. I'd think something like grade 70 transport chain would offer you a great combination of strength and light weight. I made up some short lengths of that with clevis hooks on either end to use as 'chain shorteners' for my longer chains and have never, ever had a failure.

    It's the same chain I've used to pull a rolled truck up a steep riverbank so I don't think dragging logs around will be too much for it. Good luck with whatever you decide. I hope this helps. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Veteran Member mikim's Avatar
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    Default Re: tow strap or chain?

    <font color="blue">Make sure you get yourself some good work gloves to wear when you're using it </font>
    GOOD POINT ! But even more 'cause he's in Texas like me and when you grab that chain after it's been in the sun for just a short while -- YEOW -- sure don't take long to look at a chain when it's that hot ! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

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