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Thread: Ultimate Tow Ropes Discussion

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    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    Default Ultimate Tow Ropes Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by korisu56 View Post
    WHOOOOOOAAAAAH there. Let me quote from the ad:

    "You will be amazed at the STRETCH"..."Unlike a chain our ropes stretch up to 40% of their length"

    OK a 100 ft rope stretches to 140 feet with a 4000 lb rig on one end. The attachment point breaks or suddenly comes loose. The 1 lb clevis or ? returns at near the speed of sound or more with a new weight of 4000 lbs.

    YOU CRAZY...this stuff is OUTLAWED by all the legit off road racing bodies. This stuff is a KILLER!!!!!! ASK ME HOW I KNOW:

    Lake Dallas, just below the dam, jeep is stuck axle deep in the mud, truck hooks up with his 'rubber-band' rope, gets a running start, the 10,000 rated ball it was hooked to snaps off, rubber band heads back to truck and strikes GF in forehead as she sat in the cab next to him.

    She was pronounced 'Dead at scene'.

    You do not wheel anymore there. Feds close it the next day, this was about 1980 IIRC and it has not been opened since.

    Not a pretty scene, I was there.

    These were COMMON back in those days and in fact guys were buying these for their winches.


    These are loaded guns and you do not know when they will go off or where the killing end is pointed.


    That said do they have a legit use, yes, but rarely and only by EXPERIENCED personnel in extractions. This is NOT for weekend trail runs with 35 folks all standing around watching.

    You run with me and pull this out to do an extract, I am driving me and Jeep outta there!!!!!!!!
    Don

    '15 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock...OLD SCHOOL 6 Spd Manual Trans
    17 Oaks Ranch Companies LLC

    www.savagesun4x4.com

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    im not a big fan of nylon being used for recovery as well. i have a few 25-75' crystal polymer ropes i use for recovery straps. if its comes down to having to "snatch" or repeated yanks to pull out a vehicle you're doing something wrong. i've never had a vehicle i couldnt winch out or hook a couple trucks together for anchors and pull out. most trails i run i dont think i could even use this. a winch most times is the only option, must be for wierdo's that like to play in mud...

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    Senior Member jackhammer's Avatar
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    It all boils down to education and awareness. I have seen video of giant tow hooks being used and chain. Problem is in our hobby is a lack of education and proper technique. Then to have them come on the forum just to try and justify that if it can do this and that in a certain application it should be fine....wrong. http://www.gljt.org/modules.php?name...=11305&start=0 . The internet is a great tool to get the word out on proper recovery technique .... I like to see more threads like this

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    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    Jack, you asked for it:

    USA FM 4-30 veh recovcery.pdf

    USAF FM-21-305 veh recovery.pdf

    Warn winch recovery.pdf

    Download here: https://public.me.com/donpryor Go to 'All Jeep Info', Go To 'Winching: Recovery Tech'
    Don

    '15 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock...OLD SCHOOL 6 Spd Manual Trans
    17 Oaks Ranch Companies LLC

    www.savagesun4x4.com

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    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Curious thread here...
    The original mentioned that the tow rope was secured to the trailer ball...unless I read that wrong? IMHO that is NEVER to be used as a tow point. PERIOD. It is designed for towing, not recovery. If nothing else the simple possibility of the strap/rope whatever falling off is bad.
    But I have to say that tow straps and ropes of applicaple strength, properly deployed, do have some purpose. I have a synthetic one that is about the size of a grwn man's wrist. I keep it in my Dodge FS just in case. I keep a couple 3" straps in my CJ for emergencies where a little help is needed to aid the stuck vehicle gain traction. I have been doing this a long time and have extracted everything from motorcycles to M1 tanks. Proper use and over kill for the situation is a must. One must have a basic knowledge of both the recovery equipment on hand (and its limitations) as well as the vehicles in the situation. Plus a level headed understanding of the forces and resistance as well as the various causes and effects of any particular recovery effort. For anything more than a marginal stuck I will go to the winch almost exclusively. Its slow, which is good and allows one to "feel" the recovery through as it happens.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepdreamer View Post
    Curious thread here...
    The original mentioned that the tow rope was secured to the trailer ball...unless I read that wrong? IMHO that is NEVER to be used as a tow point. PERIOD. It is designed for towing, not recovery. If nothing else the simple possibility of the strap/rope whatever falling off is bad.
    But I have to say that tow straps and ropes of applicaple strength, properly deployed, do have some purpose. I have a synthetic one that is about the size of a grwn man's wrist. I keep it in my Dodge FS just in case. I keep a couple 3" straps in my CJ for emergencies where a little help is needed to aid the stuck vehicle gain traction. I have been doing this a long time and have extracted everything from motorcycles to M1 tanks. Proper use and over kill for the situation is a must. One must have a basic knowledge of both the recovery equipment on hand (and its limitations) as well as the vehicles in the situation. Plus a level headed understanding of the forces and resistance as well as the various causes and effects of any particular recovery effort. For anything more than a marginal stuck I will go to the winch almost exclusively. Its slow, which is good and allows one to "feel" the recovery through as it happens.
    Yes, it was a trailer ball, it broke and on the snap back it passed thru the windshield and slightly above and between his GF's eyes. There were 3 in the cab of the truck, she was in the middle. Trailer ball embedded itself into her skull, medics said she died INSTANTLY and not likely she even knew what hit her.

    Jeep was at the bottom of mud bog and I assume they hooked on to the trailer ball as that is maybe all they could find or did not want to get muddy. I was NOT involved in the extraction in any way, nor close to the truck or Jeep, I was on the OTHER side of the bog and the Jeep had got stuck as it went thru...we had already passed thru in our truck.

    This was a group of 'mudders' who frequented areas behind lake dams etc. I was in Dallas visiting my sister/brother in law who was a member of the mudding group and had gone out that night with him, he drove a Chev 'pop-a-top' blazer he built for mudding.

    Dreamer, you made a lot of statements in your para so allow me to address each one: YES!

    I sense a lot of folks on here have rolling around in the back of their mind this question: Why can I NOT use my 10,000 lbs rated 2 5/16 in ball to extract my 3,500 lb jeep?????

    The answer is simple, its one of METALLURGY. The 10k ball depends upon the 'shear' of the BOLT where it is clamped between the bolt head (ball) the tongue and the nut that secures it. The bolt will BREAK if it is over stressed.

    Then what about all those 10,000 lb tow HOOKS I have all over my Jeep? Again, simple, metallurgy. I doubt few of you have seen them fail. I have and without exception everytime has been with the Mudders I spoke of. Its HOW they fail. When they do they BEND not break, in fact they just open up as the metal is quite soft...its in the genes or metallurgy if you will. The tow hooks have no nut, tongue or bolt head to share the load its all in the hook itself. To keep that hook from becoming a 'faster than a speeding bullet' and 'more powerful than a locomotive' when the KINETIC rope causes the hook to fail and break, the hook is MALLEABLE steel.

    NOTE when this took place...1980, early days of extreme off roading of any kind. Much to be learned and the lesson of using KINETIC rope did not go unnoticed on me.

    Again, is Kinetic rope worthless and NEVER to be used. As Jack and Dreamer said its education, experience etc. I would add that for most HERE you need this like you need an accordion on your next deer hunting trip.

    I have personally used them and done so often. When? Like Dreamer said, Kinetic ropes are using in towing and this is towing on improved and unimproved ROADS! We used them on the ranch when trucks/tractors broke down. Now before you place your order with said company, let me add: When towing I wanted a rope with enough GIVE or stretch to keep from ripping off bumpers, tow points etc. I will tell you that a "40% stretch" is IMO a recipe for leaving a trail of parts on the road as you travel. In fact a 40% strecth would do nothing but give you a Yo-Yo as you tow the rig.

    Tow TIP: FRONT driver has foot on gas pedal to ACCELERATE the Towed driver has foot on BRAKE pedal and his job is to DECELERATE BOTH vehicles. Do it that way and you could tow a broke rig across the US.
    Don

    '15 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock...OLD SCHOOL 6 Spd Manual Trans
    17 Oaks Ranch Companies LLC

    www.savagesun4x4.com

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    Administrator Fifthpro's Avatar
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    SavageSun4x4,
    The subject line states "discussion" and even against my better judgement I will jump in here with my thoughts (and my opinion) as vehicle recovery is one of my favorite discussion topics.
    That being said, I see that you have a pretty staunch stance against kinetic rope in recovery based on your own personal experience and witnessing a death that resulted from its use. Most things in life that we believe strongly in comes from these life experiences. In this case, from what you described it comes from improper rigging. I would argue that the kinetic rope functioned as advertised, it was the improper use and rigging technique that killed that lady. The same has happened with nylon recover straps, and steel cable winch line when the kinetic energy releases after a portion of the rigging fails.
    It was not so long ago that an argument was made that the High Lift Jack (HLJ) had no place in off road recovery. Just like the notably dangerous HLJ, and rated steel chain (dare I say) I feel that the Kinetic Recovery Rope has a role in off road recovery. So much so, that Master Pull markets a Kinetic Recovery Rope as one of the cornerstones of the company's product line. I own one and in a sandy environment with a marred down vehicle, it will be the first thing I grab. These ropes are prevalent in the off road community as well as with the US Military.
    None of this will change your opinion nor will I stop using my Kinetic Yanker, just my thoughts on the discussion topic.

    Austere Mobility in a '99 TJ Sport with a few bells and whistles

    The bravest of all Spartans was Dienekes. It is said that on the eve of battle, he was told by a native of Trachis that “the Persian archers were so numerous that, when they fire their volleys, the mass of arrows will block out the sun.”

    Dienekes, however, quite undaunted by this prospect, remarked with a laugh, “Good. Then we’ll fight in the shade!”

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    Senior Member jackhammer's Avatar
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    Whenever i see smeone with a hook or dring that slides in there hitch i always have them pull it and run just the pin through the loop in tow strap. Rather just have pin snap then have a 10lb chunk of steal fly. I havnt seen one pin even bend yet. But better safe than sorry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fifthpro View Post
    ... I feel that the Kinetic Recovery Rope has a role in off road recovery. So much so, that Master Pull markets a Kinetic Recovery Rope as one of the cornerstones of the company's product line. I own one and in a sandy environment with a marred down vehicle, it will be the first thing I grab...
    Fifthpro, with proper rigging, what technique of pulling actually works with this type of rope?

    I have to imagine that proper use does not really involve a “moving start” or “running start if necessary” as stated in the advertisement. I envision a more proper use would be slowly pulling the rope out to full stretch, stop and recheck, then pull slow and allow the stored energy in the rope assist with continued forward progress through the sand after initially breaking free…

    Since departing the Army side of things, I’ve used only static tow straps with slow methodical pulls, looking at getting a winch when $$ allows; therefore I have no clue what I’m talking about… Just wondering…
    Minnesota National Guard
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    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fifthpro View Post
    SavageSun4x4,
    The subject line states "discussion" and even against my better judgement I will jump in here with my thoughts (and my opinion) as vehicle recovery is one of my favorite discussion topics.
    That being said, I see that you have a pretty staunch stance against kinetic rope in recovery based on your own personal experience and witnessing a death that resulted from its use. Most things in life that we believe strongly in comes from these life experiences. In this case, from what you described it comes from improper rigging. I would argue that the kinetic rope functioned as advertised, it was the improper use and rigging technique that killed that lady. The same has happened with nylon recover straps, and steel cable winch line when the kinetic energy releases after a portion of the rigging fails.
    It was not so long ago that an argument was made that the High Lift Jack (HLJ) had no place in off road recovery. Just like the notably dangerous HLJ, and rated steel chain (dare I say) I feel that the Kinetic Recovery Rope has a role in off road recovery. So much so, that Master Pull markets a Kinetic Recovery Rope as one of the cornerstones of the company's product line. I own one and in a sandy environment with a marred down vehicle, it will be the first thing I grab. These ropes are prevalent in the off road community as well as with the US Military.
    None of this will change your opinion nor will I stop using my Kinetic Yanker, just my thoughts on the discussion topic.
    Fifth. Yes, yes I do have a stand against it. NOT solely due to my exper in fact far from it, but rather from the knowledge that the improper tool, misapplied by the un-knowledgeable is at best an experience remembered and learned from and at its worst a lifelong injury or death.

    I have been Jeeping since the mid 60's from Va to Hi and Ak to Fl and toss in Europe and Asia along with it. I left the combat arms and we were still riding around in Jeeps. As a Artilleryman, Infantryman, Mechanized Infantry and working with the Armor folks for a good half of my 26 year career, I have yet to see a 'rubber band' being used. If you want to know STUCK, then spend some time at Ft Hood and I have seen a LOT of stuck from M1 tanks down. I have seen Tank Retrievers snap recovery cables like cotton threads barely outside the motorpools. And still no rubber bands.

    As I stated in my post, there is a time and place for them and I have used them..they are TOW ropes designed to absorb the shocks of towing on improved/unimproved roads. I also suspect that there are many other uses in industry where strength + shock absorption is needed and they are employed there.

    In my OR experiences that mostly encompass everything but sand, I have not seen an application for them, which is not to say 'never' nor is it impossible, I just have not see first hand a good fit given alternatives.

    Masterpull. Ahh, GREAT friends of mine. I run their products, ALWAYS have and recommend them over all others...Lets see what they have to say about their rope:

    "Masterpull Kinetic Recovery Ropes:
    The Super-Yanker is the ultimate tow rope, because unlike conventional tow straps and chains, it utilizes the power of kinetic energy. The Super-Yanker stretches up to 30% when in use, which greatly aids in vehicle extraction. This stretch also provides excellent shock absorption which decreases stress on the vehicle chassis."

    http://www.masterpull.com/cpage.cfm?cpid=425

    NOTE: The Super Yanker comes in sizes as small as 3/4 in, 19,000 lbs rated and as large as 1 1/2 in, 74,000 lbs rated.

    While I have to agree with all you said, especially so the working of the kinetic rope working as advertised in the death of the young lady. It did and like a rattlesnakes bite the rattlesnake did what it does, not its fault or the fault of the rope.

    Having said that we don't give a 3 year old or a 23 year a gun and let it go at that. Knowledge and skills being the keywords. No matter, this like a Hi Lift Jack is a loaded gun, subject to go off at any time and the barrel can be pointed in any direction. ONLY a trained user should have it in his hands.

    Maybe the guys that play in sandboxes use them, there I cannot say one way or another. But for rocks and mud, I just have not seen a use and when I have seen them employed they have only resulted in bad things. Yes I have seen them used a lot and while one one death/injury occurred I can tell you that they will put a dent in your rig that is big and ugly. How do I know that tow hooks will bend and straighten out, cause I have seen a kinetic rope do it, then slip off and all but pass thru a radiator on the 'rebop'. This may beg the question of whether or not the kinetic rope would have killed or just injured the girl if it had only slipped off of a bent tow hook???? Dunno but even the rope itself contains a LOT of energy on it own.

    I won't fault you or anyone for adding this to your inventory, in fact it may be worthy albeit I do not have one. However pull one out and I will be the guy who states the dangers of and asks all to remove themselves from the AO.

    MOST injuries in the off road community (4 wheel kind) are the result of extraction buy either winch or vehicle. Granted most accidents could have been prevented thru knowledge and training. And yes here on MJ K&T is in abundance, but its NOT in the rest of the community. Generally every guy who can buy a winch or a rope thinks he is a messiah and savior to all the guys who get stuck in some fashion or another. In reality they are just 'winch-ho's' whose only contribution to the extraction is that by accident they may get you out and not damage you, your rig or themselves.

    I have more stories than the death of the girl, that perhaps is the worst of the worst and the saddest of all. But get out here with these yahoos, good ole boys keyboard-kowboys and the sights you see will span from the sublime to the absolutely ridiculous.

    Take away: Certainly not trying to get or anyone to stop yanking and invest in a hard strap instead, that is your choice. But there are a lot of young Jeepers on here and when I see ads touting yanking your strap on it the best thing there is and I know better from an engineering and experience perspective I OWE them the guidance that my 45 years brings to the table. Last thing I ever want to read is post of prayers and RIP and I set at my keyboard thinking maybe I should have warned of the dangers of ______________ and there are a lot...
    Don

    '15 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock...OLD SCHOOL 6 Spd Manual Trans
    17 Oaks Ranch Companies LLC

    www.savagesun4x4.com

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