Care for your kit

14 September 2010

It can be expensive to put a good recovery kit together but it’s absolutely necessary when going off-road, with a little care you can greatly extend the lifespan of your kit if you follow a few simple guidelines;

When joining straps, forget about the old way of looping them together using a newspaper, branch or grass to prevent the fabric binding making it impossible to separate afterwards. New on the market is the recovery link from Secure Tech which also fulfils this function but has a safety loop which stops it from falling out when the ropes are not under tension.

Ideally one should join straps that have the same rating and function, in other words do not join a pull strap to a kinetic or “snatch” strap. Straps should be washed after use to prolong their life and remove sand particles from the weave which could be abrasive, yes you can even do this at home in the washing machine. Dry wet straps in the shade as the fabric is UV sensitive, prolonged exposure to sun will cause them to degrade, so although it may look tough it’s never a good idea to wrap straps around your bull bar! Straps from a reputable supplier such as SecureTech will have a label stitched into the loop detailing, the material, strength, length, application, work load limit (laden vehicle mass) and the safety factor or minimum break strength.

An unlabeled strap or rope should be used with caution or even thrown away, when buying a strap examine the end loops carefully to ensure that the loops have moveable outer sleeves to prevent underbody wear and tear – this allows full protection.

Pundits propagate the myth that a kinetic strap has a limited lifespan yet this is only true if the strap has been abused through multiple snatches, used beyond its capability in terms of vehicle mass or having had to recover a severely bogged down vehicle.

After use the strap will require eight hours for every 10% of stretch used to restore to its original length, thus should one take it that the capability of the kinetic capability of the strap is 30% then a full 24 hours of recovery is required when the strap no longer restores to its stated length after a 24 hour rest period then it has lost its kinetic capability and should be used as a pull strap. SecureTech guarantee their ropes and straps and damaged items can be returned for evaluation and repair!