Learn about Recovery Strops & why they are one of the best things for extraction

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August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDT August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDTth, August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDT

Recovery strops - save yourself some time and hassles.

Check out the helpful video on recovery strop FAQs hosted by Huntley. Or read our blog below.

There's no shame in getting a vehicle or machinery stuck. It can happen to anyone.

What counts is how you handle the problem.

If you don't get it right, you'll be facing significant lost time and stress. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Always having the correct recovery strop on hand means there's a safe and (relatively) easy solution to most recovery.

What is a recovery strop?

A recovery strop is a purpose-designed strop for rescuing vehicles or equipment when they are stuck, or in a location (e.g. in mud).

Recovery strops are investments in your business

Some major New Zealand companies we know of have at least one recovery strop in every truck in their fleet. That's because it makes sense economically and in terms of protecting staff and gear.

Getting recovery right. Start here.

First up, if you've been using chains, cables, or other straps for recovery - don't.

Collect them up. Chances are you don't know the real state of most of that equipment or its capacity.

Begin afresh.

Purchase what you need - recovery strops (sometimes called recovery straps) correctly rated to take the strain. It'll be much safer for your staff and equipment. And, who knows, you might be able to help someone else out one day.

What's the difference between a recovery strop and a tow strop?

The name is a bit of a giveaway. A recovery strop has to be strong enough to safely recover a vehicle or machinery from being stuck eg from a muddy area on a construction site, or a boggy paddock. (Usually, this will happen in the pouring rain. And when there are plenty of people around to watch and comment. 😉)

A tow strop is still an important bit of kit. But it's purpose-designed for towing. Nothing else. Don't ever be tempted to use one for recovery.

What's the capacity of a recovery strop?

Recovery strop capacity starts with the 3.5t and 7.5t options. But then you get 15t, 25t, 35t, and right up to the 48t and 72t. (72t might sound like a lot but when you have a large truck with a load of shingle it adds up pretty quickly.) These sizes are the most common but there are other options as well.

How long are recovery strops?

The most common lengths are 6 metres and 9 metres. But other lengths are also available. Ask the TransQuip team about other options, they'll be happy to help.

Are they all rated and tagged?

Yes, they all are rated and tagged. On the tag, it shows the rating, capacity and length. There's also a serial number, the date of manufacture, and the manufacturer's name.

Never use recovery strops if you can't determine their rating. It is dangerous to use a strop that has a missing or unreadable tag. Without knowing the rated strength of the strop, you'd be guessing what it can safely pull. If the numbers on the strop label are fading or wearing, write or relabel the numbers on the strap so its rating is never in doubt.

TRANSQUIP TIP: Remember, the recovery strop needed may have to be rated 1.5 times the weight of the stuck equipment, depending on the resistance factors.

Do recovery strops stretch?

Yes, they do. Recovery strops are made of nylon so they stretch. (Not like other strops which are commonly made from polyester or polypropylene.) Recovery strops are made to stretch to around 30% of their length without being compromised or damaged. But, like everything, they have a breaking point. (See the questions and 'TransQuip Tip' on the rating above.)

How does stretching help recovery of a vehicle?

It helps by reducing the shock load of the vehicle or equipment.

Something that won't stretch (like a metal chain) will jerk or jolt the gear being recovered which can cause damage. Worse still, they can suddenly snap - becoming a potentially lethal projectile.

So, why is stretching important? Basically, it's physics. Once the potential energy stored in the strop reaches maximum stretch the energy is transferred, pulling the vehicle or equipment free. Kind of like a rubber band.

How do you use a recovery strop?

Recovery strops have eyelets on each end. That's to enable them to be attached to the vehicle or machinery being recovered safely and securely. On the larger recovery strops there are eyelet protectors to further strengthen the pulling point.

TRANSQUIP TIP: Knots significantly reduce the strength of recovery strops. (And tow strops, for that matter.) Strops are designed to be used flat, as knots reduce the strength of the web by bunching up and twisting it. That means all the tension is concentrated on a smaller area.

Storing recovery strops correctly

If strops get oil or fuel on them, wash it off as soon as practical. Also, make sure the strops are dry when you store them and never coil up a wet strop. Mould and mildew can destroy the material.

If you find serious defects, don't stick the equipment back in the truck or shed. If it's not up to scratch, make sure to discard or repair it so others won't be tempted to use it.

Never leave any damaged equipment lying around to be used again - the next time it may be used could be someone's last. The best practice is to keep your recovery strops in a container to protect it against damage from contamination and sunlight.

Cleaning your recovery strops

If you do need to clean the strops, never use a high-pressure air hose or power washer. They will only drive the grit deeper into the material where it can abrade the inside of the webbing. Use a brush to knock off mud and dirt, and always brush the length of the strop, not width-wise. Rinse off strops with a gentle stream of water, then let them air dry thoroughly before storing.

When should I toss out a recovery strop?

Inspect recovery strops and other gear regularly, and throw away strops if you find:

  • Burned or melted nylon
  • Cuts, tears, or holes
  • Torn or broken stitching
  • Significant abrasion

TransQuip recovery strops are quick and easy to order online here.

Or just give one of our helpful team a call to discuss your needs.