Safe Recovery for beginners

1. Make sure you have a properly made recovery rope, should be rated at at least 6 tons, you can use a nylon strap type, but these have no "give" in them and can cause damage to either vehicle, these straps can be used for extending a normal recovery rope though or for a "bridle".

The thin Tow ropes from Halfords etc, bits of bailer twine, washing lines or that piece of anchor chain in the garden will not do the job safely or without causing damage to you, your car or the person recovering you.

2. You will need at least one shackle, these need to be rated at above the breaking strain of your recovery rope, best to have two though so you can either provide a "bridle" between two recovery points on your vehicle, or join two recovery ropes together if you have got stuck in the middle of a bog and don't fancy the swim!

3. Kinetic Energy Recovery Ropes should not be used unless you have been trained how to use them, you are sure the recovery points on both vehicles can take the strain, and that bystanders are kept well back. The stored energy in these ropes when stretched is enough to pull the rear crossmember off a Land Rover if at all corroded, one of those flying through the air on a bungy is a scary site and could easily kill a bystander. If you are being recovered from the front by a KER rope you might want to open the bonnet to protect your windscreen from any breakage.

4. You must have a good solid recovery point on the front and rear of your vehicle, the tie down loops normally there are not enough, Jate Rings or similar on a Land Rover are needed on the front and something as solid as a Tow Hitch is needed on the back. Dont worry most 4X4 have something as standard which is strong enough to recover you from the places you may get stuck on white routes!

Tow Rope laid out and attached to the front recovery point by a 50mm Shackle, all might as well be knitting wool if the front Chassis is corroded! ( by the way it's not! )

Tow Balls make good recovery points, but be careful if the recovery angle is steep, ie out of a hole or gulley the rope can pop off.

By the way, yes that is the same hole that Tigger is in on the first picture!!! The lesson is that you can never tell how deep the water is until you dive in! well you could use a stick, but whats the fun in that!!

Recovering another vehicle

1. Follow the same rules on tow ropes, dont accept someone handing you the end of a rope that looks unsafe, or if there is any chance you may have to "snatch" the vehicle , Nylon straps generally have no elasticity so be careful if you try a snatch with one, the shock load can cause a lot of damage.

2. Make sure that you have enough room to pull the vehicle clear in front of you, especially if the rope breaks you may jump forward.

3. Keep bystanders clear, if the rope breaks or pulls the front or rear recovery points, or a whole crossmember, off either vehicle you don't want to be in its way.

4. Pull gently and get the other vehicle to drive as well even if stuck, if this doesn't work try leaving a bit of slack in the rope and pull away a bit quicker, this is called a snatch recovery, be very careful as the loads on the vehicles, ropes and shackles is extremely high.

5. If in doubt on how to recover a vehicle that is stuck in a weird position, has a possibility of rolling, or looks in any way unsafe, dont try it, ask a Marshall.

By the way the rule is the driver who got it there in the first place has to attach the rope to the vehicle being recovered, even if you cant swim! so you may want to tie the recovery rope on the front and coil it around a Brush Bar or bonnet so if your front end is under water you can stay reasonably dry.