Jump to content

Why you use proper recovery gear when pulling out stuck vehicles


Cougar_ml
 Share

Recommended Posts

I received permission to share these pictures in hopes to spread the message we have been saying for years, Trailer Balls are NOT DESIGNED FOR RECOVERY!!!
In this case an 8" Drop Hitch broke during a snatch recovery using all the wrong equipment, when it failed it went through the windshield, unfortunately he did not survive.
Being a father of 2 little girls it breaks my heart to see the car seat in the back....
 
296283482_454691976665416_6049725947016999269_n.thumb.jpg.f122f1fa3b8abed8c69074dea7b91f0a.jpg296211744_454691979998749_2022639470177239592_n.thumb.jpg.e3317acca043fd31a8e094ff125591a6.jpg296262765_454691973332083_7912223127699648463_n.thumb.jpg.cceb598088b263a24ac7ce278f8468c3.jpg
  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those not sure what's going on in the above post, pretty much everything they did to try to get the truck unstuck was wrong.

 

You can see in the 3rd picture there is chain connected to the 2 front recovery points on the truck.

You never want to use chain to recover stuck vehicles, because it can come undone if the hooks slip, and it has no stretch/give to it, so all you can safely do is get it tight then pull.  If you try to jerk on it not only are you risking it coming undone, but if something breaks from the impact of the jerk, you have heavy metal flying around that can kill someone.

 

Second issue is the strap they are using.  That is a non-stretching strap from the look of it.  It's the same as the chain that it isn't designed to have sudden, jerking loads on it.  

This strap is suited for using as an anchor for a winch line or snatch block (pulley for use with cable/rope) but not for a yanking type recovery.

 

3rd issue and where the failure occurred was the hitch they used.  They hooked the non stretching strap over a 2" ball on an 8" drop hitch.

The hitch is designed for a trailer, and the trailer, if over 3k lbs, should have brakes on it.  In other words, it's designed for a couple thousand pounds of possible force on it.  It definitely was NOT designed to have tens of thousands of pounds of force applied in a split second of time.  The welds connecting the drop portion of the hitch to the 2" tube going into the receiver failed, and turned the big chunk of steel into a deadly projectile.  Being it was an 8" drop you are talking about a LOT of leverage being applied to the welds.  You can see the remains of the hitch in the 2nd picture.

 

Lastly, when doing any type of heavy recovery and someone is sitting in the vehicle being recovered, you should raise the hook of the vehicle.
Yes, this makes it harder to see what is going on, but it adds a barrier to slow or deflect anything that gets launched if any part of the recovery equipment fails.

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Gunboat1 said:

Yeow.  That's awful. You may just save a life with this thread.

I hope so.

 

I've seen people argue things like "But I saw Matt hook to a ball hitch on "Matt's Off Road Recovery" youtoob channel..."

Yeah, he's done it.

On a tri ball hitch where they are all welded on, and it's a straight shaft so no drop/no leverage.

And he used a kinetic rope.

On a 4k lb vehicle in loose sand.

NOT on 8k lb trucks stuck in deep mud, with non-stretching straps and 8" drop hitches.

 

I've done a couple of recoveries of stuck vehicles at this point.  None stuck like that one in mud, but also not just in a ditch alongside the road either.

I've also attended several classes on vehicle recovery put on by experts in the industry.

 

It's all basically the same info.  Use proper equipment that is rated for the forces involved.  

Don't try to rush things.

I think my favorite one is "stop and have a cup of tea while figuring out what to do next"

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing like what happened in the original post but me (being lazy) was pulling some cut up (or so I thought) brush with my pickup using some cheap 3/8 inch rope tied to the front hooks. Well,  the brush got caught on some non cut stuff and the rope snapped. Broke through the grill and damaged my ac coils over $400 in repairs.  Lesson learned. Never again will I pull something without  one or several winch blankets on it to dampen the action if the rope or cable snaps. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had many people laugh at me when we were young and going out to the mud hole in our trucks and someone would get stuck and I would tell them put a weighted blanket on that chain or winch cable. I figured they will eventually figure out why i kept telling them that.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, DAKA said:

i HAVE SEEN CABLE BREAK. COME APART AND WHIP AROUND LIKE A KNIFE, CUTTING THROUGH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING..

Same here. In my case it was 1 1/4" diameter mainline on a Skagit yarder logging old growth. It momentarily looks like a snake coming at you, then thousands of pounds of huge cable are wrapped around everything. Saw it happen way too many times.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found a few more pictures of the incident.

 

296567939_5244560785599840_621837779645559610_n.jpg.f2570a2cf480690c3fca4a79de6f1b6d.jpg

296292904_5244560918933160_1963509759783503483_n.thumb.jpg.17837f83b5f262d71eeb2ebbfdbf5e9e.jpg

296171960_5244560725599846_6064905352019028968_n.thumb.jpg.74c5309e32ced995592766a7b32c49cf.jpg

296488942_5244560788933173_3020714456788099328_n.thumb.jpg.d6f0d1fbd64cc44464d5b807e4c359e2.jpg

 

On one of the pages someone is arguing that the strap is a recovery strap so the only wrong equipment is the drop hitch.
even if the strap is rated for pulling, it doesn't look like the stretching recovery type strap, so they used it incorrectly, therefore it is not the correct equipment for what they were trying to do.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Cougar_ml said:

Found a few more pictures of the incident.

 

296567939_5244560785599840_621837779645559610_n.jpg.f2570a2cf480690c3fca4a79de6f1b6d.jpg

296292904_5244560918933160_1963509759783503483_n.thumb.jpg.17837f83b5f262d71eeb2ebbfdbf5e9e.jpg

296171960_5244560725599846_6064905352019028968_n.thumb.jpg.74c5309e32ced995592766a7b32c49cf.jpg

296488942_5244560788933173_3020714456788099328_n.thumb.jpg.d6f0d1fbd64cc44464d5b807e4c359e2.jpg

 

On one of the pages someone is arguing that the strap is a recovery strap so the only wrong equipment is the drop hitch.
even if the strap is rated for pulling, it doesn't look like the stretching recovery type strap, so they used it incorrectly, therefore it is not the correct equipment for what they were trying to do.

that hitch looks to have shattered , probably cheap cast iron instead of steel

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, geeorge said:

I just call AAA I carry in case one of my vintage cars break and pay extra for the 100 tow option. Have gone and bought cars and had them bring them home for me too

only works if the wrecker can get to you.

AAA and most tow companies won't recover vehicles broken down or stuck off of a paved road.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, geeorge said:

that hitch looks to have shattered , probably cheap cast iron instead of steel

My guess is it's rated no more than 5k lbs looking at the design.

 

I have an 11 inch adjustable drop hitch rated for 10k lbs.  It's solid all the way through, not hollow like that one.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Justin Pendley  · 
 
Attention!! Please Read! Never use a Tow Ball to Recover someone! It’s not worth someones Life!!
Tuesday July 26th 2022,
It was a typical Monsoon day in Small town Kingman, AZ. The undeveloped Baron wasteland where developers have dumped their excess dirt has created obstacles for the community to enjoy year round, anytime it rains the fields turn into a mud infested swampy play ground for all the locals to flock to in their 4x4’s quads and side by sides. But nobody could’ve seen what Tragedy would happen on that Cloudy wet afternoon in the high desert.
The Woods family Jennifer and Ryan were out in their Ford Super Duty with their kids in the back seat playing in the mud, enjoying the thrill of sliding sideways spinning the tires, splashing through puddles, all while navigating through years of man made tracks filled with deep mud holes that would challenge the most capable of vehicles. Well soon into the adventure Ryan came across a mudhole that sunk his 4 ton beast. Even with a rear locker and 4x4 he was swamped, unable to budge the truck with all 4 tires spinning he was stuck with no way of getting out without a tow, so like every other time he’s gotten stuck he called upon a good friend he’s known for 20 years. This friend a known off roader, racer, and mechanic came out in his 4x4 hoping for just a quick pull out of the mud so he could get back to his Jacuzzi waiting for him at home.
With minimal recovery gear with him and years of off roading experience he like many other people across the world, worked with what he had on hand. A chain stretched across both factory front recovery points a 3” static HD tow strap and a drop down hitch with a 2” ball connected to the rear of his 4WD truck. The first few attempts failed with one of the chains failing to be strong enough and broke after the second pull. After that the strap was connected directly to one front tow point. After a few light tugs the truck wasn’t budging. Knowing more force was needed to pluck this 9,000lb truck out of the mud he backed up a few feet to get a better start. That turned out to be too much stress for the ball hitch when the extra tension was created by the force of the pull it ripped the drop down portion of the hitch off of the truck, sending it and the strap directly towards Ryans truck smashing through the windshield, directly where Ryan was in the Driver seat. The force was so great it ripped through the windshield and bent the steering wheel before ultimately striking Ryan in the face, ending his life. With his family in the car, an afternoon full of fun and excitement turned into a traumatizing experience, this family will never be the same. Ryan was a loving Husband of 23 years with his wife Jennifer and he leaves behind 3 kids Darren Woods 27, Madison Woods 13, and Londyn Woods 10. And also friendship of 20 years now with the reality he lost his friend from the this freak accident. Ryan served everyone he came in to contact with, even strangers, he loved deeply and forgave quickly his Legacy will not be forgotten and live on with his children.
RIP Ryan Robert Woods 7-7-1979 7-26-2022
Whenever going out off roading it’s inevitable that someone can get stuck. Use the PROPER recovery gear and NEVER USE A TOW BALL! Also do not use chains or straps that are not designed to be yanked. Soft shackles, KINETIC recovery ropes, Synthetic winch lines, and Safety blankets help minimize risk and when rigged properly prevent damage or injury with the correct safety precautions in place. Proper recovery gear has weight ratings listed on the tags. Do not exceed those weight ratings. I hope this post can educate the public that Tow balls are not for recoveries and people can seriously get hurt and even Killed!
Would also like to thank our first responders for the quick response Mohave County Sheriff's Office Northern Arizona Fire District Adan Towing
Please Share!!!!!!!!!! RIP Ryan
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/28/2022 at 3:19 PM, DAKA said:

i HAVE SEEN CABLE BREAK. COME APART AND WHIP AROUND LIKE A KNIFE, CUTTING THROUGH JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING..

My minesweeper was one of a few that broke a sweep cable.  It was an all wooden ship for non-magnetic sweeping.

We had all most 600 feet of sweep cable deployed with floats (called pigs) pulling it sideways and to tighten everything up into a big loop behind the ship.  Sometimes these pigs were deployed one to each side and pulled out sideways independently from the sweep direction of the ship.  We had pulley stands to hold the cable up off the deck at the edge of the fantail of the ship.

When sweeping like this everyone is at station and not allowed on deck except for the sweep crew.

I was the radioman for the ship so I was in the radio shack.

The sweep cable broke and 600 feet of cable came flying back to the fantail of the ship.  The cable was shaped in a horizontal plane and probably 30 feet from side to side, like and S curve straight for the fantail of the ship.

When it broke, everyone on deck hit the deck laying as flat as possible.  The cable swept the deck about 5 feet over the guys, but it hit a 14" diameter wooden hoist and cut about 4 inches into it.

This was my class of ship:

mso-489-dvic095.jpg

One guy had some light scratches on a cheek from the broken end of the cable scratching him as it went by him.  Inches from being decapitated.

Minesweep cables do not break!  They had a propriety classified weave of the strands and were about 1 inch in diameter Stainless Steel alloy.  We had a drum to store and deploy the cable that held around 1,000 feet of cable.

Bureau of Ships had a big investigation to find out why this one broke........  We never found out the reason.

I have considerable respect for anything being stretched, other than a chain.  Chains break.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, janice6 said:

Bureau of Ships had a big investigation to find out why this one broke........  We never found out the reason.

Probably a defective towline. At least you didn't get locked in a turn and steam over it. That would be bad. 'Kay?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Cougar_ml said:

only works if the wrecker can get to you.

AAA and most tow companies won't recover vehicles broken down or stuck off of a paved road.

 

Idiots get stuck by the Great Salt Lake all the time. Parts of the shore are Oolitic sand. Nasty stuff. A few wreckers love pulling them out. They charge for the trip plus they charge for every foot of cable they run out because they need to go back and clean the cable. Salt is bad.

These trucks have some long cables on their recovery winches. If you are stuck in that muck, they will walk a cable out to you but they won’t drive anywhere close to you because they will just sink too.

Idiots out there think everyone else who knew better and didn’t drive into the muck owes them a free tow out. I don’t carry straps out there anymore. The most I will do is give them a ride into town to get a wrecker. The wrecker won’t even show up without running a credit card first  

The fun one is when the wrecker comes out and the idiot says “I’m going to sue you for any damages”. Then the driver just leaves and runs $1000 or so just for the callout. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Maser said:

One of my many favorite things about visiting the South is hearing guys prattle on about their trucks and all the stories they have to tell about them. 

Friend from college lives in mid-Florida. We were swapping stories and he mentioned his adult son with a jacked four wheel drive. Seems the son enjoying roaring up dunes and jumping the truck. One time he landed splat in a pond. No one was hurt. Insurance company totaled the truck because of its failure to swim. Every few months for several years they got a call asking what had happened to the truck. Water in the electrical system was a gift that kept on giving. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I drove wreckers for a number of years and have seen similar things.

People just do not think about the amount of energy stored in that strap, or chain that is about to be released in a millisecond when something gives.

I  saw the hook on a tow chain embed itself in a 3/8 thick steel tail board of a Holmes 750 wrecker bed once. Fortunately the operator was at the side of the truck where the controls are when that hook let loose.

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Please Donate To TBS

    Please donate to TBS.
    Your support is needed and it is greatly appreciated.
×
×
  • Create New...