Unfortunate news came out last weekend of a man who tragically died whilst recovering a bogged vehicle in Central Queensland.
The man was snatching a vehicle that was bogged in mud when the strap snapped and smashed through the rear windscreen, connecting with the driver’s head.
This heartbreaking incident should serve as a reminder to not only utilise safe recovery practices, but also to ensure equipment is free from faults and correctly rated for the conditions.
Once a snatch strap has been used in salty conditions such as the beach, it is reasonable to expect that some degree of deterioration will occur. If your straps have been used in the salt or sand and have not been in use for some time, it is crucial to thoroughly inspect all equipment before embarking on an off-road trip.
It is also crucial to ensure that all of your recovery equipment is appropriately rated. Most equipment is suitable for different weight loads and if your gear is rated either too high or low, it can not only be ineffective but dangerous. This is also important to consider when you’re using your equipment to recover other vehicles; is your equipment correctly rated for their vehicle?
Additionally, nothing should be used for recoveries but rated recovery points and the tow ball should never, ever be used. Some points on the vehicle which may appear to be recovery points are likely not built to take the strain of a vehicle recovery.
Finally, a crucial piece of equipment to include in your recovery kit is a damper. This will weigh down your strap or winch rope in the unfortunate event that it may break. This drives the strap or rope towards the ground and prevents it from recoiling at high speed and injuring either drivers or bystanders.
The weekend’s events are a tragic outcome for a generous person who was helping out a fellow 4×4 enthusiast and a great loss to his family. It is important that we use these situations as a learning experience and ensure we have the correct equipment and are familiar with safe recovery procedures to prevent further incidents of this nature.