Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Straps or Chains?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Chewy, Oct 24, 2000.

  1. Chewy

    Chewy 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Posts:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Parker, Colorado, USA
    I am looking into buying some type of towing gear for my truck (since I know I will be pulling a lot of Fords out of the snow this winter[​IMG]) So whats better chains or straps? And how long should I get?

    [​IMG] '87 Beast
    Colorado, USA
     
  2. Straps are alot safer,most clubs wont let you use chains for extaction anymore.When they break they can kill people.
    Just my $.02,good luck.

    IF IT AINT BIG IT AINT BAD!!!!!!
     
  3. rich'90

    rich'90 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Posts:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Savannah, GA
    I think that is a matter of opinion. Straps give the ole bungy effect, but chains don't break as easy. The length depends on how far away you want to get from the stuck situation. The closer the safer but closer to the stuckness. I know this doesn't help, maybe someone else has a better idea.
    Good luck.

    Go heavy or Go home[​IMG]
     
  4. Panther

    Panther 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2000
    Posts:
    845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Hey Chewy. You can check out
    http://www.recoverygear.com/
    and
    http://www.warn.com under accessories
    for some good stuff.
    I have heard and seen straps are good for snatching/pulling/towing out, but chains can be good for pulling out with a hi-lift or come-along. Gotta be real careful with the chains though cause they are harder to visually inspect for damage and weak spots.

    <font color=blue>I don't get stuck, I'm just in the mud when I stop for lunch [​IMG]
    - NJFourWheelers</font color=blue>
     
  5. Chewy

    Chewy 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Posts:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Parker, Colorado, USA
    Thanks guys, by the way... is there a certain load rating (on the straps) that would be good for this kind of thing?

    [​IMG] '87 Beast
    Colorado, USA
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2000
    Posts:
    36,180
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    Location:
    E-town baby!
    I like the straps better. I have a 4"x30' yank strap, and a 2"x10' tree saver. Its a lot easier on equipment as well as being safer than using chains. Get some good size clevis shackles too, I've got two 8 ton clevis shackles and two 6 ton clevis shackles, mounted to the front and rear bumpers. You'd be surprised how many times I've had to use the shackles and tree saver because the guy that's stuck had no hooks or anything.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Panther

    Panther 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2000
    Posts:
    845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Hey Rene, how do you have the shackles mounted on the bumpers. I am thinking about attaching some more tow points and need some ideas. I think I wanna bolt, not weld, but I also try to drill as little as possible on the frame.
    Thanks, John.

    <font color=blue>I don't get stuck, I'm just in the mud when I stop for lunch [​IMG]
    - NJFourWheelers</font color=blue>
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2000
    Posts:
    36,180
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    Location:
    E-town baby!
    I built my own bumpers. The mounts for the clevis shackles go right through the bumper, and are welded on the front and rear where they go through. I might re-do them soon as I usually come up with a better idea after I've already done something.
    My frame horns were pretty mangled up front so the bumper is currently welded right to the frame. I know its kind of 'butch' but I've probably yanked 30 trucks out with this set-up and it holds up real well. I also rear ended a Dodge mini-van with it [​IMG] and it never even budged.
    I'm going to use my neighbors scanner this weekend and I'll post some pics.
    The bumpers themselves are built out of 2"x81/2" box tubing, .125" wall and taper up at the corners to about 5"in height. The clevis mounts are exactly the same width as the frame so all the force is on the frame not on the bumper itself.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    7,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta
    STRAP. Chain is good if you need to tie off a vehicle without the rubber band issue but NEVER use a chain to do a jerk recovery, it's just plain dangerous. A good strap rated 20,000 lb weighs about 4 lb, a chain of the same length and capacity would weigh 50lb or more. What one do you want to be dragging through the mud? Now don't get me wrong I carry 20 ft of 3/8's on my rig and 2 straps. The chain is good to have for many things. We have used to to stabalize vehicles when changing winch points and things like that. We have also used it to stap axles to the frame so we only have to jack the truck up 6 inches to get the tire off when changing one. We chained a log under a leaf spring when a bud blew out his ball joints and lost a wheel so we could sled the truck back to a safe area to repair it.
    Now be very carfull when you buy a strap. You want a strap that streches so you get a sling shot effect. Get a good strap like "Keeper" Warn or a ProComp without hooks!. Some places will sell a sling strap that does not give at all and you don't want that. Also for a K5 a 2 inch 20,000 lb is plenty. If you get too big of strap you don't get the strech effect because you can't exert the pressure needed to create it.
    Staps biggest reason for failure is lack of care for them.
    If you leave them dirty the dirt will act like little razor blades and slowly cut the fibers. If it gets muddy hose it off and let it dry fully and store out of sunlight. The UV rays in sunlight will cause it to fail also.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     
  10. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    6,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California (Modesto area)
  11. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    May 9, 2000
    Posts:
    8,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    FL
    Check this site out: http://www.masterpull.com

    They have sweet looking Straps and synthetic winch cable!

    I have also used Superwinch straps(guarauteed for life) Broke a few. ANd also Explorer straps.

    Chains are too harsh and should only be used for Hi-Lift.

    Mike [​IMG]
    See <font color=green>EMMETT</font color=green> -&gt; http://emmett.coloradok5.com
     
  12. tom

    tom 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 20, 2000
    Posts:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Somebody please explain to me because I don't get it. I always thought chains were a lot safer. They don't stretch, so when they break they don't snap back. I've broken chains with big tractors, steady pull, and the chain hardlly snaps back at all. Just falls to the ground. With a strap, all that energy stored in the stretch of the strap is like a sling shot. I know of a guy that put a trailer ball through his tailgate and side body when it broke off and the strap catapulted it (bad practice, never hook a strap over a hitch ball). Bottom line - I always thought chains were safer because they don't stretch very much and therefore don't snap back very much. Cables and straps that stretch are deadly if the attachment hook breaks off and gets slung. Please set me straight if I am wrong on this.
     
  13. Derf00

    Derf00 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Posts:
    1,683
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Abilene, TX
    Grim, you said it all. The only thing that I would like to add is the when you get a strap without hooks, which are the safest kind, they are hard to hook-up. I have seen a lot of good straps cut by bumpers. When I had the privledge to live in Colorado, I always carried short pieces of chain that could be wraped around the frame and provide a good attachment point without cutting the strap. Another thing, don't tie knots in straps, they may become permanent. I always thought that straps were a lot more forgiving(idiot proof) when the puller gets on the gas with a little to much slack.
     
  14. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Posts:
    3,719
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    If you have a strap with hooks on the end, just hang a coat, floormats or something on the middle of it so instead of snapping back, the weight of the stuff on it will make it fall. Might work for chains, but they can still come back and hit stuff. I saved my back window more than once by doing this.

    90K5
     
  15. jcg

    jcg 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2000
    Posts:
    660
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Chains do work great for steady pulls but in most cases that doesn't work with off-road vehicles. The slingshot effect of a strap creates far more pulling force than the vehicle can do by it's self in a steady pull. For example, this weekend I pulled a Hummer out of a pond and up a 4 foot bank with one pull. He tried to cross the pond and sank into more than 3 feet of muck, it was up to his headlights! We thought he was going to have to go home and get another Hummer to pull that one out (he has 3, no I don't know why) but I gave it about 5-7 feet of slack and floored it... 10 seconds later he was sitting on dry ground. There's no way that would have happened if I tried to do a steady pull. Straps are designed for this type of recovery and it takes a LOT to break one if it's kept in good condition, the ones I use are rated for 30,000 lbs. Chains aren't meant to take an impulse force like that, their strength actually decreases significantly when they're subjected to sudden high stresses rather than a slow steady stress. If a chain is used for a jerk recovery and it breaks, it won't just fall to the ground, it goes in two different directions really, really fast. A strap will do the same thing but since it's much lighter and has less inertia, it does much less damage when it hits something.

    Did this make any sense? It's a bit late and I've had a long day so I hope I wrote this right.

    Joe
    RIT Mini-Baja http://www.rit.edu/~bajawww
    Team Mudnuts http://www.mudnuts.org
     
  16. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    7,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta
    You put a chain under tension to the point it fails it will get airborn just like a cable will and what would you rather be hit with, a chain or a fabric strap?
    The strech is what your looking for. It means that when your bud punches it he doesn't rip the front of your truck off when that chain goes tight and doesn't give. Also that strech means that as it loads it doesn't unload instantly when the stuck truck moves. There is still about 4 ft- 6ft of give with tension still between the two vehicles while the second vehicle builds speed so all of a suden the front truck isn't launching into a tree.
    As for the comments of bumpers cutting straps...let the owner ruin their strap not yours if they don't have proper tow points. Major deal with my club is tow points so that we don't tear up trucks and equipment. You don't have hooks where they won't destroy a strap you don't go on a trail ride with us. My club is 62 families (so atleast 62 trucks) and I have as yet to see a strap that was taken care of fail. I have seen people pull out damaged straps they we refused to use because of cuts from bumpers.
    Been on event rides where some fool pulls out a chain in a situation where it is going to require a jerk pull and I'm gone. All them bumpers you see along the trail with the mounting holes ripped out are from chains most of the time (saw 3 last weekend).
    Now if your bud just has lost traction and only needs a gentle pull than a chain is fine but 30 ft of chain is still about 40lb heavier than 30ft of strap. I'm lazy and I sure don't want to be dragging 45lb up some muddy, slick a$$ hill when I could be pulling 5lb of strap.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     
  17. Panther

    Panther 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2000
    Posts:
    845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Hey guys, here is a good web site I (re)found. It has a lotta info on towing and snatching and other links to get info.
    http://www.4x4now.com/sf0300.htm

    <font color=blue>I don't get stuck, I'm just in the mud when I stop for lunch [​IMG]
    - NJFourWheelers</font color=blue>
     
  18. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oregon
    One more point to add to the plethora of good answers........it's a good idea to carry a heavy wool blanket or sleeping bag with you to throw on the strap to deaden the snap IF it comes loose and/or breaks. You just lay it on the midpoint of the strap or wrap it around it. That said, straps are the best and safest way to pull people out of stucks. Chains have their place too, but not in yanking trucks out of mudholes.

    <font color=black>'79 - 406 TPI -<font color=orange> K5#5 - <font color=blue>See it at---&gt;http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com
     

Share This Page