Snatch Strap

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  • First clear the front of all the wheels and reduce weight of stuck vehicle as much as possible.
  • Lay out a snatch strap that is sufficiently rated for the weight of the stuck vehicle in a zig-zag pattern between the two vehicles.
  • Attach the weighted recovery blanket at centre over the snatch strap.
  • Attach safety lanyards at both ends to different points than the shackles.
  • Attach snatch strap to approved recovery points with rated shackles.
  • Use a recovery bridle to spread the resultant force if needed.
  • Pace out the full length of the snatch strap +- 9m, from the attachment point of the stuck vehicle, or bridle, and mark the ground.
  • Pace out the distance from the snatch strap attachment of the recovery vehicle, to the “B” post (driver shoulder position) of the recovery vehicle, and add to previous mark.
  • Calculate the stretch of the snatch strap, (+- 20%). 20% of 9m = 1.8m. add 1.8m to the previous mark. This now is the final mark and must be marked clearly to be seen at speed. (Snatch ropes stretch +- 30 %).
  • Both drivers to check all attachments, and let bystanders disperse to at least double the distance of the full length of the recovery equipment.
  • The recovery vehicle must signal when recovery starts, and must accelerate hard up to the final mark while the stuck vehicle attempts to drive off as the snatch strap straightens. This assists in the recovery.
  • When the recovery vehicle’s “B” post reaches the mark, the driver must lift off the accelerator. This prevents potentially violent damage should the stuck vehicle not have been extracted successfully.

Snatching is a potentially dangerous form of recovery due to the forces exerted and should only be attempted as a last resort to extract a stuck vehicle.

Always first try to dig away the obstruction or pack rocks or use sand tracks and attempt to drive the vehicle out. Try to tow the vehicle out with tow rope or pull strap, or if available, use a winch.

Get trained by an approved instructor or 4x4 club.



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