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  1. #1

    Default tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    Where we are working at we get stuck a lot. Usually at least a couple times a day. We have been using harbor freight chains and they have been breaking when we are really stuck.

    I did some research and for roughly the same cost per foot I can get the following

    Grade 100 Alloy 3/8" chain working limit 8800 lb, proof test 17,600 lb, min break 35,200lb

    3" nylon recovery strap rated for 30,000lb. Strecthes up to 40% to "yank" you out


    1 5/8" polypropylene rope rated for 37,500 lb. Claims minimal 10-15% stretch.

    I assume with the ratings on these I am not likely to break any of them with 1 ton pickups?


    What are your thoughts on each? This really has nothing to do with tractors as all that is getting stuck is pickups and there are no tractors nearby to pull them out. If there were tractors there I would think a chain is the best as you can slowly drag them out but using just the pickups you sometimes have to jerk them and with a chain it is a bad jolt and can damage stuff.

    The other issue is I have my employees doing this work and I worry about someone getting hurt. Which method do you think is safest? The ropes/straps can snap back violently if they break but as long as the rope itself breaks and not what it is hooked to you don't have to worry about heavy metal parts flying through the air. I have seen several chains break. A lot of times they don't go far but I have seen one come back at the stuck vehicle and bust through the windshield.

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    129
    Location
    Cleveland, Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2660 Ansung B2504 FE loader and Kubota MMM

    Default Re: tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    Quote Originally Posted by tractorman1234 View Post
    Where we are working at we get stuck a lot. Usually at least a couple times a day. We have been using harbor freight chains and they have been breaking when we are really stuck.

    I did some research and for roughly the same cost per foot I can get the following

    Grade 100 Alloy 3/8" chain working limit 8800 lb, proof test 17,600 lb, min break 35,200lb

    3" nylon recovery strap rated for 30,000lb. Strecthes up to 40% to "yank" you out


    1 5/8" polypropylene rope rated for 37,500 lb. Claims minimal 10-15% stretch.

    I assume with the ratings on these I am not likely to break any of them with 1 ton pickups?


    What are your thoughts on each? This really has nothing to do with tractors as all that is getting stuck is pickups and there are no tractors nearby to pull them out. If there were tractors there I would think a chain is the best as you can slowly drag them out but using just the pickups you sometimes have to jerk them and with a chain it is a bad jolt and can damage stuff.

    The other issue is I have my employees doing this work and I worry about someone getting hurt. Which method do you think is safest? The ropes/straps can snap back violently if they break but as long as the rope itself breaks and not what it is hooked to you don't have to worry about heavy metal parts flying through the air. I have seen several chains break. A lot of times they don't go far but I have seen one come back at the stuck vehicle and bust through the windshield.
    I personally like recovery straps better. Used MANY chains in the past and broke several. I've seen a back window busted and another time a guy got hit dead center chin with the end of a chain. Tough boy, all he needed was a Goody's a stitches.

    I try to always put a coat, tarp or something over the chain to absorb if it breaks.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,182

    Default Re: tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    I like the strap or rope, in that order. Chains are a last resort with me. They don't give, I despise the "jerk" a chain gives you when pulling on something.

    Wallymart sells some really nice tow-straps, rated at different strengths. For what I use mine for, farm applications, it works like a champ.

    Podunk

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    274
    Location
    Goodrich IL
    Tractor
    Branson 4720

    Default Re: tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    Recovery strap!!
    Sooner or later someone is going to get hurt or something broke.
    Branson 4720
    1953 Golden Jubilee

  5. #5
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,929

    Default Re: tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    As I understand it the "Right" way to do it is with a chain AND a light rope.
    Thread the rope through a link of the chain at about every foot or so and have about 5 or 6 ft more rope than chain.
    If/when the chain breaks it ain't going anywhere significant, but DO stop pulling at that point.
    "Snatching" is dangerous, will almost certainly lead to damage and/or injury - even if you've "done it a hundred times", eventually a big badness will visit upon you.
    If you have to snatch you have too light of a pull vehicle and/or it isn't getting enough power to the ground.

  6. #6
    Elite Member czechsonofagun's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    3,240
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    Old Dominion
    Tractor
    Kubota B1750

    Default Re: tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    I use poly rope in my jeep stuck situation. Don't like steel line too much and chain is too heavy and bulky to carry around.
    Regards,

    Prokop


    I was put on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Now I'm so far behind, I'll never die!

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    154
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Tractor
    Kioti CK25

    Default Re: tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    I use 2 in. poly rope,spliced an eye in each end,slip over the trailor hitch ball,or tow hook and go, works for me. I also have 25 feet of 2and1/2 inch rope, no eyes,we just tie a bowline knot,no matter how much strain on knot we can always untie. All our rope comes from a commercial fishing supply business,have learnt the hard way that the rope sold at Hardware stores is total crap.

  8. #8
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    5,539
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    Ontario, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    Hmm - when you were using harbor fright chains - did you use the grade 50 the silver ones or grade 70 gold colored chains? I am curious since I have the gold colored chains for tiedown my tractor on the trailer. God forbid - but if I ever am in a pinch and need to borrow one of my tiedown chains, I want to know the breaking strength of those cheap chains.

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    8,288
    Location
    VA
    Tractor
    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    Quote Originally Posted by tractorman1234 View Post
    Where we are working at we get stuck a lot. Usually at least a couple times a day. We have been using harbor freight chains and they have been breaking when we are really stuck.

    I did some research and for roughly the same cost per foot I can get the following

    Grade 100 Alloy 3/8" chain working limit 8800 lb, proof test 17,600 lb, min break 35,200lb

    3" nylon recovery strap rated for 30,000lb. Strecthes up to 40% to "yank" you out


    1 5/8" polypropylene rope rated for 37,500 lb. Claims minimal 10-15% stretch.

    I assume with the ratings on these I am not likely to break any of them with 1 ton pickups?


    What are your thoughts on each? This really has nothing to do with tractors as all that is getting stuck is pickups and there are no tractors nearby to pull them out. If there were tractors there I would think a chain is the best as you can slowly drag them out but using just the pickups you sometimes have to jerk them and with a chain it is a bad jolt and can damage stuff.

    The other issue is I have my employees doing this work and I worry about someone getting hurt. Which method do you think is safest? The ropes/straps can snap back violently if they break but as long as the rope itself breaks and not what it is hooked to you don't have to worry about heavy metal parts flying through the air. I have seen several chains break. A lot of times they don't go far but I have seen one come back at the stuck vehicle and bust through the windshield.
    Those numbers youve given are mixed between actual strength and rating, and the allusion to breaking chains with pickups has me wondering about how you are working. Straps absorb energy and moderate impact loading better than chain, but are sensitive to the slightest abusive work condition - dirt, water, sharp edges, heat caused by quick loading, etc. A chain often undergoes much higher forces than are immediately obvious because it has very little stretch - it transmits impact loading directly, to the detriment of attachment points and itself. Accelerative loading is an issue as well and is why the work load rating of chains is so far below their minimum breaking strength. However, a chain is impervious to work conditions and concealed damage/aging.

    If you pull without jerking there is no way you will break even a GR70 5/16 chain with a pickup as tow vehicle. A hi grade 3/8 chain on a stronger tow vehicle would allow extraction of a stuck pickup a piece at a time.
    larry
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
    IH37 Baler, CCM165 Drum Mower, JD Rake
    JD 127 bushog, Flail, SK Tilt Tatch , KK tiller, Rhino rear blade, Post driver, post auger, chipper, pallet fork, Grapple/Loader Buddy, Homemade Splitter/DC Welder

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Eastern Ontario
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    Jinma 284(Spirit fel), MF 135 (MF200 fel)

    Default Re: tow rope, recovery strap or chain?

    Another way to do it is to put an old tire in the middle of two chains to act as a bit of a "shock absorber".

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