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Offroaders – Make Sure You Know Snatch Recovery Tactics!

One of the most important techniques all off-roaders need to know if frequenting trails that could leave you stuck is a snatch recovery. Though they may seem simple enough, there are a lot of ways people can get into trouble if they improperly perform this type of recovery or use the wrong equipment. Before assuming these recoveries can be made with truck winch bumpers or that any type of strap will do, read here to learn how to snatch correctly and safely.

What Is A Snatch Recovery?

A snatch recovery is typically made to recover a vehicle that is bogged or stuck in mud, sand, or snow through the use of another vehicle to pull it out. While recoveries can be made in other ways using winches attached to bumpers, snatch recovery is a preferred method because it offers the safest means of getting a vehicle unstuck when performed correctly. As long as there is room to drive another vehicle forward to pull the stuck one out, a snatch recovery is the best option.

Recovery Straps and Ropes

Snatch recoveries work by taking advantage of the give and take that recovery straps and ropes offer during the rescue. These straps and ropes are made from strong nylon with a bit of stretch to it, which actually makes recovery efforts more productive than from using a winch cable. Straps are also safer to use because they can be securely looped onto various recovery points on the two vehicles to eliminate the possibility of winch hooks breaking or coming undone, which could create dangerous projectiles. Straps are ideal for less demanding circumstances; for challenging rescues that require more pulling, ropes are recommended.

Properly Attaching the Strap or Rope

A critical detail in a successful snatch recovery is the correct attachment of the recovery strap or rope to the stuck off road truck. To gain the desired stretch and recuperation effect, the strap must be attached to both vehicles using D-shackles that are mounted to secure tow points on the two vehicles. The shackles prevent damage to the strap or rope, which conveniently loop right into the shackles and provide a secure pulling point.

A rated towbar can be used as a recovery point only when the tow ball is removed and replaced by a shackle. Straps should never be looped around a tow ball, as tow balls are not rated for recoveries. They can break off and seriously injure someone when they do.

Correct Snatch Technique

The second most important detail when attempting a snatch recovery is knowing how to properly do it. Straps and ropes should be attached to the off road truck untensioned, leaving a minimum of 3 yards or so of slack in the strap before beginning the recovery. Once both ends are secured, the recovery vehicle can be slowly advanced until all the slack is taken up and the strap begins to stretch.

As the rescue vehicle continues slowly moving forward, the strap will tighten again and gently pull the stuck vehicle forward. This technique lets stuck vehicles be rescued without the unnecessary and dangerous jerking and jarring that would otherwise occur when using a winch cable.

Snatch recoveries are the preferred method to rescue off road trucks that are stuck whenever there is another truck available to help. Using the right straps, ropes, and shackles combined with the right techniques, anyone can safely recover a stuck Jeep or truck, then get back on the trail!

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