Getting stuck is just one of those things that happen when you go off touring in your 4WD. It’s not the best feeling but let’s face it, it certainly makes for some great memories.
It’s common to get bogged or stuck and even if it's not you that's in a tight spot but you might need to help someone out. But, that’s why we have recovery gear, however too often incorrect use of recovery gear can cause more damage and harm. Its important to remember that not all recoveries are the same. Here’s a few tips for when doing a recovery.
Don’t stand too close to the action!
While often a recovery can be an exciting part of the trip, it’s also potentially the most dangerous part. Any number of things can go wrong, and in an instant, you could become a casualty. Make sure you stand well clear of the recovery as a snapped snatch strap could hit you. Be sure to keep a distance of at least 1.5 times the length of the snatch strap away. Enjoy the action, but from a distance.
Never Join Snatch Straps with D Shackles
While a D Shackle is a handy little accessory, it should never, ever under any circumstances be used to join two snatch straps together. The potential for it to become a projectile should a break occur is extremely high. This practice has been responsible for fatalities in the past.
The correct way to join two snatch straps together is by feeding one end of snatch strap A through the eye of snatch strap B. Then, feed the same eye of snatch strap A over the other end of snatch strap B and pull it tight. This only takes a few seconds and ensures that both snatch straps are holding together firmly. Roll a newspaper or magazine up and stick it between the 2 straps to stop them from squeezing tight. (If you don’t do this, you have little chance of getting the straps apart after the recovery)
Dig out what you can.
When bogged or stuck, assess if you can quickly shovel out any sand or dirty that maybe hindering a quick recovery. The less obstacles you have in front of your tyres, the less stress you are going to place on your recovery gear when pulling your 4WD out.
Before your trip
Make sure to check your recovery gear before your trip, just like any other equipment and supplies, your recovery gear can get damaged, be a bit old or worn or in some cases, electric motors on compressors may have given up the ghost. Sometimes we even "borrow" things from the 4x4 kit to pump up the push-bike tyres and forget to put it back (whoops!), so when you are packing for 4wd adventure or camping next trip, make sure to check your recovery gear is in good working order and that everything is actually there.