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FYI getting yourself towed out of a situation in one thing but I would caution everyone to be careful pulling another persons vehicle - should there be damage you could be sued by either the insurance company or the owner of the towed vehicle.
hmmm.... I wouldn't be so paranoid about it! If and when someone is stuck in the sand (or snow) and needs help, just hook the strap around the same spot, where tow trucks hook up their chains, to secure the car on a flatbed...IMO
 

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Satin White 2015 Outback Limited 2.5i with #23, PP5, Remote start, Body Side Molding, Security Shock Sensor, behind seat cargo net, wheel lock kit.
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For a while I thought this thread had been hijacked into a lights/switches discussion, glad it is back on topic. I carry both a tow and a recovery/snatch strap - they serve different purposes. I am not an expert, but have used both for many years on road, off road and in emergency services. Based on my own experience, what I have been formally taught and what I have learned on my own, I would like to offer some thoughts for consideration.

1. A tow strap/rope/chain has almost no or no stretch. It needs to be tightened carefully to avoid damage to either vehicle. Then once tight, the pull by the assisting vehicle provides the stuck vehicle additional force to be able to move. This tends to work well if the vehicle needing assistance is on a slippery surface so lacks traction, or is heavier than your vehicle (i.e. the Subaru pulling the semi video on Youtube). The primary down side is that if the tension is taken up too quickly, it is easier to cause damage to the vehicles since it goes from loose to tight in basically almost no (rope/strap) or no (chain) distance. Remember, there is no padded bumper to absorb the impact.

2. A recovery/snatch rope/strap is designed to stretch. Master Pull and Bubba Rope are two of several USA companies that manufacture KERR: Kinetic Energy Recovery Rope. This type of rope/strap is designed to stretch 20%-30% to provide a momentary snatch or jerk effect to move the stuck vehicle. While stretching, these lines absorb kinetic energy which is released when it tries to shrink back to it's relaxed size. Some of this energy is then added to the force being applied to the stuck vehicle, momentarily providing a much greater total force being applied as compared to the tow rope/strap/chain method. One advantageous side effect is that since the tension is designed to be taken up while the pulling vehicle is in motion, it increases over distance rather than suddenly. There are consequences to having the additional force. When the snatch effect occurs, the additional force is also being applied to the tow vehicle's connection point which can be excessive and cause damage. If the stuck vehicle is heavier or is stuck beyond the force able to be applied, just like an anchored rubber band, it will want to yank the tow vehicle back toward the stuck vehicle. When using KERR, hooks should NEVER be used. If anything lets loose, the tons of kinetic energy in the stretched rope/strap will launch the end of the rope/strap violently. The weight of the broken remains of the steel hook on the end flying through the air have punched holes in vehicles, gone through vehicle windows and on several several occasions struck and killed people. There are real and serious safety precautions that should always be followed when using KERR, please follow them. When selecting a KERR, it should be rated at 2 - 3 times the vehicle weight, too light it can break, too heavy and there is not enough stretching to maximize the kinetic energy.

One tip I was told a long time ago that I took to heart - if the rope or strap is not marked or tagged with it's weight rating, do not believe the numbers on the wrapping.

These days, liability for any damage or injury is a real concern if you are trying to be helpful, even if you are just being a Good Samaritan. Someone may try to claim the damage done when they got stuck was caused by you when you tried to help them. These days, who knows.

Hope this has been helpful.
 

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hmmm.... I wouldn't be so paranoid about it! If and when someone is stuck in the sand (or snow) and needs help, just hook the strap around the same spot, where tow trucks hook up their chains, to secure the car on a flatbed...IMO
I understand you wanting to assist someone in need. I am cautioning (first hand experience) re potential ligagation whereas damage results to the vehicle being towed/assisted). Tow truck companies carry an insurance ryder to protect them you may not. :grin2:
 

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Favorite U.S. past time: sue each other! ....LOL
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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I understand you wanting to assist someone in need. I am cautioning (first hand experience) re potential ligagation whereas damage results to the vehicle being towed/assisted). Tow truck companies carry an insurance ryder to protect them you may not. :grin2:
In a series of surveys done by Prince & Associates, less than 20% of people with a net-worth of $1 million worry about being sued. However, over 80% of people worth $20 million or more worry about getting sued. Mark Cuban even mentions on Shark Tank how he will turn down deals to invest if there’s even the slightest chance of him potentially getting sued.

I am nowhere near those numbers, so I don't worry about it...LOL!
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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In a series of surveys done by Prince & Associates, less than 20% of people with a net-worth of $1 million worry about being sued. However, over 80% of people worth $20 million or more worry about getting sued. Mark Cuban even mentions on Shark Tank how he will turn down deals to invest if there’s even the slightest chance of him potentially getting sued.

I am nowhere near those numbers, so I don't worry about it...LOL!
maybe he would let you borrow his ugly yacht,...check out the little man by the launch boat at the stern. Fountainhead is the name,...some odd little book by the hottie of all hotties Ayn Rand.

so you might have to do something in exchange for borrowing it,...like trade him it for the import costs on a 1988 ZIL 41047 = 7900 lbs of "prestige"




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZIL-41047

 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Great post, @Kenai,

quite consistent with what I linked from Australia.

The thing is that finding a strap that is only 3 times the 4,700 lb, put it 5,000 if you will, weight of the OB in the US is very tough.

I only found two with ratings in the 14k range, all others go 17,500 and up.

The ropes jump from ATV weights to 19,000.

All those numbers make it quite tough to determine what is best if one is really stuck.

As for the design of the hook, there is no reason to doubt the manual when it is permissive as Subaru is responsible for what it allows to be done.
 

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This is an extremely detailed and helpful post:

Pirate4x4.Com - Extreme Four Wheel Drive

It is about winching but it contains a section based on military manuals that explains how particular conditions affect vehicle recovery loads.

Thus, in his example, a 5,000 lb loaded vehicle stuck in mud to the frame that needs to be pulled up 45 deg requires 18,350 lb capacity (3xloaded weight for the mud + 75% for the uphill).

Per these guidelines, the ARB 17,500 lb 20% stretch strap looks like the closest to what my OB might need.
 

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Thank you MiddleAgeSubie.

It appears I might have not been clear on one point. I have no doubt that Subaru's eye bolt will handle most appropriate towing/pulling needs. I was referring to the hooks, with or without safety gates, found on many badly designed snatch lines. They seem to be a carry over from the tow ropes and chains which have relatively little kinetic energy if they fail. Hooks often are too large to fit properly through the eyebolt on the Outback and even if they did, when a snatch rope/strap or the hook fails there can be a lot of steel attached to the end of the slingshot which can do massive damage.

It seems the recommendations for using snatch ropes/straps is fairly consistent in the information available to use a D shackle to secure the loop at the end of the line to the eye bolt. That is what I use if I have to use the front eye bolt. I try to only use my 2" receiver which has a solid 2" hitch drilled for the receiver bolt and a 3/4" shackle bolt. the steel plate the Subaru's rear eye bolt goes into is the same plate my hitch is attached to and the hitch has 8 bolts across the entire length of the plate to distribute the force being applied. Unless a life was at risk, I would not even consider attempting to use an Outback to help move any vehicle stuck up to it's frame in mud on a steep grade. It's low towing capacity reflects that it is not designed to tow or pull heavy loads (for an Outback 9+ tons is an extremely heavy load, though for other vehicles, it may not be considered heavy).

Remember, whatever force you have to put on the stuck vehicle to move it you are also putting on your Outback. The 9+ tons of force being required in your example would very likely damage an Outback, though the eye bolt may stay attached. I doubt that even using a snatch type arrangement, an Outback could successfully move that truck. If nothing broke off, most likely the Outback would be jerked back at the stuck vehicle like a toy on the end of a bungee cord.

I've seen a few cases where a vehicle with overly exuberant drivers unsuccessfully tried snatching another vehicle that was well stuck while off-roading. I'll never forget the driver's expression when at the end of the snatch attempt he was jerked back - right into the front of the 4X4 he was trying to help - taking out it's radiator and making a mess, with a lot of upset parties.
 

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Thank you MiddleAgeSubie.

It appears I might have not been clear on one point. I have no doubt that Subaru's eye bolt will handle most appropriate towing/pulling needs. I was referring to the hooks, with or without safety gates, found on many badly designed snatch lines. They seem to be a carry over from the tow ropes and chains which have relatively little kinetic energy if they fail. Hooks often are too large to fit properly through the eyebolt on the Outback and even if they did, when a snatch rope/strap or the hook fails there can be a lot of steel attached to the end of the slingshot which can do massive damage.

It seems the recommendations for using snatch ropes/straps is fairly consistent in the information available to use a D shackle to secure the loop at the end of the line to the eye bolt. That is what I use if I have to use the front eye bolt. I try to only use my 2" receiver which has a solid 2" hitch drilled for the receiver bolt and a 3/4" shackle bolt. the steel plate the Subaru's rear eye bolt goes into is the same plate my hitch is attached to and the hitch has 8 bolts across the entire length of the plate to distribute the force being applied. Unless a life was at risk, I would not even consider attempting to use an Outback to help move any vehicle stuck up to it's frame in mud on a steep grade. It's low towing capacity reflects that it is not designed to tow or pull heavy loads (for an Outback 9+ tons is an extremely heavy load, though for other vehicles, it may not be considered heavy).

Remember, whatever force you have to put on the stuck vehicle to move it you are also putting on your Outback. The 9+ tons of force being required in your example would very likely damage an Outback, though the eye bolt may stay attached. I doubt that even using a snatch type arrangement, an Outback could successfully move that truck. If nothing broke off, most likely the Outback would be jerked back at the stuck vehicle like a toy on the end of a bungee cord.

I've seen a few cases where a vehicle with overly exuberant drivers unsuccessfully tried snatching another vehicle that was well stuck while off-roading. I'll never forget the driver's expression when at the end of the snatch attempt he was jerked back - right into the front of the 4X4 he was trying to help - taking out it's radiator and making a mess, with a lot of upset parties.
That is another very useful post, @Kenai,

My bad, what I meant about the tow hook (as it is called by Subaru) was not aimed at your post actually, but at an earlier one.

As for the extreme example, I was thinking of a scenario in which a Subie is the vehicle to be pulled out :grin2:.
 

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I would think that Subie is a vehicle that most likely will not have to be pulled out; I am thinking most in a scenario where Subie would pull another stranded vehicle...as I have done so a few times already, using my aircraft cargo strap, wrapped around my trailer hitch...

:|
 

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If we assume that the eye of the tow hook is the weakest link in the whole recovery setup, then there is danger of a heavy metal shackle sent flying through air in some recovery scenarios.

This is pricey, but US-made and should alleviate any such concerns:

Soft Shackle Stronger than Steel - 32,000 lb Breaking Strength!
 

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To bump an old thread has anyone got any of the disscused straps and gotten a chance to use them? Would love to hear some of your experiences with different straps, recovery points, techniques, etc...
DKG
 
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