One of the most important rules of off-roading that every vehicle owner of off-roading heavy-duty trucks needs to remember is that safety comes first. The second rule is to always be prepared for trouble. Sooner or later, you or someone in your party is going to get stuck. By carrying the right recovery gear, you cover both of these rules.
Before heading out for a crazy day on the trails, make sure your truck already has a good suspension system, the right wheels, and a good steel bumper with the proper recovery gear to un-do stuck vehicles easily and safely - and continue your day.
A Good Winch
A winch is the best recovery tool to have with you since it can be used in nearly any recovery circumstance. Used correctly, a properly installed winch on a truck bumper can be used to pull a vehicle out of the mud or over an obstacle, pull heavy debris off the trail, and even get yourself unstuck without the help of another vehicle.
A High-Quality Snatch Strap
The alternative to a winch is a snatch strap, which should never be used as a replacement for a winch cable properly attached to a truck bumper. When correctly used, snatch straps allow one vehicle to safely pull a second one out of mud or sand.
Anchored to both vehicles at the front or rear recovery points, snatch straps stretch as the recovering truck moves forward, pulling the truck that is stuck forward as it tightens up again.
Winch Extender and Tree Protector Straps
To get broader use of a winch, carry an extender strap and a tree trunk protector strap with your recovery gear. Unlike snatch straps which should never be used with a winch, extender straps do not stretch at all; they just extend the length of your winch cable or rope. Tree trunk protectors allow for safely using a tree as an anchor point without damaging the tree like a winch cable would.
A Snatch Block and Shackles
A high-quality snatch block is another important piece of recovery gear that can make using a winch safe and easy. Snatch blocks with the addition of a shackle let you safely connect a tree trunk protector to the winch cable. They also provide the ability to winch from an angle or pull your own vehicle out of trouble by doubling back the winch cable.
Shackles are used in a variety of ways to safely connect snatch blocks, tree protectors, and cables as well as bolt to the off-roader you want to recover.
The last essential item to always have with you for safe truck recovery and other uses is a pair of durable leather gloves to protect your hands from being pinched, cut, or scraped while using recovery gear. Never try to use any of the above items without first protecting your hands.
Because riding on the trails often involves pushing boundaries, it’s important to be prepared for unplanned events. Safety equipment such as recovery gear can be essential to salvage both the day and your truck. Whether you have a winch on a steel bumper or rely on the careful use of a snatch strap, always have some basic recovery gear with you when heading out to blaze some trails in that great off-roading truck!