Frequently Asked Questions
In this video we talk about not exceeding 5mph during a recovery, and using the least amount of momentum necessary to free the stuck vehicle. "You can only go too fast once". At 5mph we have see that a vehicle places the around the same amount of pulling force on the stuck vehicle, as the weight of the pulling vehicle. For example, a 10k lb truck will place around 10k lbs of pulling force on the stuck vehicle at 5mph, and around 5k lbs of pulling force at 2.5mph.
We pair the rope to the recovery vehicle. If the stuck vehicle is small, then reduce your momentum. If it is large, then full pulls, but not esceeding 5mph. When pairing the rope to the recovery vehicle, make sure that it fits within the working load limit of the rope.
When connecting to a car, connect to the mfg recommended recovery points. One of those is not a screw in tow hook in the bumper of most cars and SUVs. Those are not meant for being yanked on, they are typically tac welded and can pop out with very minimal effort.
There are many things to note when connecting to a hitch. Casey explains very well many things to consider. Never loop your rope over a ball on the end of the hitch and never do it on a drop hitch either. If you are using a pin, consider the sheer strength of the pin is now less than it would be if there was a square tube slid into the hitch. Also, never try to perform a recovery using the chain hook holes on the side of the hitch. They will damage the rope and are often very thin metal.
Casey walks through important things to note when getting his equipment ready and also the person in the stuck vehicle. Always make sure there are no knots, or damage to the rope. Let the driver know to put it in drive and help a small amount. The recovery vehicle should be doing most of the work. If the driver of the stuck vehicle is spinning the tires, it causes the vehicle to sink, making it hard for the recovery vehicle to pull them up on top of the surface, rather than through it.
The driver of the stuck vehicle should put it in park. Inspect the rope and make sure there is no damage that occured during the recovery.
After 5 immediate pulls, the rope fibers are warm and stretched. The rope becomes more like a strap. It is recommended to wait 5 minutes for the rope to cool down and release the stretch that was in it and then proceed with more pulls. Something to note, if after two full pulls, if the vehicle doesn't move an inch, rethink your strategy or even if using a kinetic rope is the right thing to help the stuck vehicle. You may need to get out your shovel.
When pulling at an angle, both vehicles will want to straighten out. This can force the vehicle to quickly try to slide to one side. If it catches traction, the vehicle can flip on to its side. Also, if the recovery vehicle gets pulled straight, it could then be pointed in a direction the driver is not wanting to go.
You can perform a recovery in reverse. However, you never want to turn your wheels if you are in 4wd. It can be very hard on your ring and pinion and break your 4wd. If possible, always perform a recovery driving forward.
Spreading the load puts less strain on recovery points, as well as helping the vehicle being recovered to drive straight without being pulled to one side or the other.
You can double a rope back but it drastically reduces the stretch in the rope. This means, you most likely will want to act like you have a stiff strap, instead of a rope that stretches. A running start could then break parts if you have doubled it back. If it is a true basket, it will double the breaking strength of the rope, however when it is used as a bridle, the rope is not in a true "basket" and the angle of the rope will effect the breaking strength. Many bridles will list different angles and their mbs depending on the angle. If you use a rope that wasn't tested as a bridle, you may be guessing on the mbs.
MBS is the minimum weight it takes to break a rope, but it isn't that simple. That number is actually calculated by taking a series of ropes and recording how much weight it takes to break each rope. We then throw out the top and bottom outliers, taking the average breaking strength and reducing it by two standard deviations, this gives us a safe and consistent MBS. The WLL is the working load limit. That number is typically chosen using a safety factor. A factor of safety(FOS) is typically 3:1 or 4:1. i.e a rope with a 30,000 lb MBS, has a vehicle limit of 7,500 pounds if you choose to follow a FOS of 4:1.
An abrasion sleeve is best used close to the the stuck vehicle. In case the rope is rubbing on the underside of the vehicle, as well as against a tire when the vehicle is freed. It helps protect a rope, but cannot protect against very sharp edges or if it is smashed under a tire on a hard surface while a tire is spinning.
Frequently Asked Questions
A hard shackle is best used on a recovery point with hard, sharp metal edges. It is not recommended to ever use them to connect two ropes, in case of a failure. Soft shackles are very strong and are more gentle on the recovery points.
Use a soft shackle to connect two ropes. Know that the kinetic energy can increase signifcantly. A double loop soft shackle is the best shackle to use when connecting two kinetic ropes. Never use a hard shackle to connect two kinetic ropes, it can become a projectile if there is a failure.
If you haven't had the chance to check out Casey's channel, head over to @caseyladelle and check out his videos. We love working Casey, he is extremely honest and just a great friend and fun person to be around.