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Recovery process. A good recovery is slow and thought through completely. Never panic while recovering a stuck vehicle. Only self-recover if you can safely extract your vehicle. Use a trusted service, we are seeing more Offroad specific recovery services (ex. Arizona and Colorado.)
Recovery points. A good recovery point on a vehicle is a must! We suggest you make sure your vehicle has front and rear recovery points before you go out on an adventure. A good recovery point will be attached to the frame of the vehicle. The tow ball on your bummper is NOT a recovery point! Do not rely on the manufacturers anchoring points alone, do some research and find out what options are available for your vehicle.
Tow straps, snatch straps and screw pin bow shackles. Understand that there are no safety standards on 4×4 recovery equipment. When using straps and screw pin bow shackles, make sure that they have identifying marks stating the breaking strength (Working Load Limits) and that it has been made from a well-known company. Avoid cheap recovery gear, don’t trust it!
Hi-Lift Jack. Purchase a Hi-Lift brand jack and stay away from cheaper no-name jacks. The jack is an essential tool for offroaders, it can be used for winching, lifting, spreading and clamping. This tool can be dangerous if improperly used! Read the manual, watch videos and get some proper training to use one safely and effectively.
Tires. Sometimes all you need is a little more traction to get yourself out of a pickle. A good set of tires and “Airing down” will help most situations. “Airing down” is a term offroaders use when they release air from the tires allowing for a smoother ride on the trail and better traction. It allows the tire to have more contact with the terrain. IMPORTANT! When airing down make sure that you can air up before driving highway speeds. Never drive on a tire with low-pressure while on a paved road at high -speeds. A typical SUV can usually be aired down to 18 to 20 lbs on the trail. The tire should bulge slightly.
Winching Winches are helpful but very dangerous if used incorrectly. Read the owners manual of your winch before using it! Carry work gloves, a tree strap, and a snatch block.
• Your winch cable should be lined up straight with the pulling vehicle. If you can’t pull straight, attach a snatch block to a tree to form an angle.
• Unwind your winch line to the drum leaving 7 wraps still on the drum for steel cable and 11 wraps for synthetic line. The pulling power zone of the winch is on the first 2 layers of line, after that, you will lose 19% of the pulling power per layer. Click here for more info on winch use.
• Attach your winch line to the largest tree/rock possible using a tree strap. If no tree is large enough, wrap several smaller trees. The strap should be as low as possible. You may also use a land anchor like the Pull-Pal and Deadman Offroad.
• Keep your engine running while winching to maximize electrical power.
• Help the winch by driving the stuck vehicle slowly in low gear. Don’t ever allow slack in the winch cable while winching.
• Apply the brakes on the recovery vehicle while in neutral when winching. Don’t rely on “P” (park) to hold the recovery vehicle. You may have to strap to another vehicle or tree for an anchor. If another anchor is required, make sure the winching vehicle is attached to a good recovery point attached to the frame.
• Throw a blanket or heavy coat over the winch cable while pulling. If the cable breaks, it will dampen the line if it breaks under tension. CAUTION! The amount of tension on a winch line makes the cable/rope a danger even with a line dampener, move people out of the danger zone.
• Never hook the winch cable to itself or allow kinks in the cable.
• Never straddle or stand close to the winch cable while it is under stress. Always step on the line when it is on the ground.
• If tow points are not available on the stuck vehicle, attach the winch cable to the frame, not the bumper. If you are helping a stranger, make sure he understands that you are not responsible for damage to his vehicle.
• When finished winching, dress the line neatly for the next time you use it.
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