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Potentially dangerous recovery practice again!


Diff
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I was at the AWDC driveround day at Bordon on Sunday and watched two recoveries where ropes or strops were joined together using shackles to gain extra length. One recovery was relatively straightforward with two large strops joined by a shackle, the other was potentially much more dangerous. A very heavy modified vehicle was bellied out in a mud hole with all four wheels spinning. Two ropes were then joined together using a large shackle. At least one of the ropes was a KERR (kinetic energy recovery rope). Once I realised what they were rigging, I notified a Marshal, who went to have a word before they started pulling. I didn't hear what the Marshal said, but they carried on the recovery anyway.

Several very hard charges at the end of the ropes were required and the vehicle was extracted without mishap.

BUT this is a potentially dangerous practice. There were spectators everywhere and in close proximity. I have seen several incidences over the years were people have had extremely lucky escapes from large chunks of flying metal as a result of this type of recovery. I have read on Pirate4x4 of two deaths in the last couple of years as a result of joining Kinetic straps/ropes with shackles.

None of the people carrying out the recoveries on Sunday were novice offroaders.

Ideally, recovery ropes should only be joined by either passing one rope through the loop of another and then through its own loop, or one end of each rope should be passed through the opposite end loop of the other rope to form an 'overlap'. I carry a small piece of old carpet which can be rolled into a short tube. This or something similar is slid between the two ropes at the loop join to prevent the ropes overtightening.

It is difficult to explain this in words, but if anyone doesn't know how to do it, ask someone who does, to show you.

I have seen ropes/straps/strops being joined with shackles at many different club and commercial play days, and I would agree that most of the time nothing breaks and nothing goes wrong BUT if something does break, serious injury or death is much more likely. Why use a shackle when you don't need to?

Since it is such a wide spread practice, should every body who signs on for a days play be given a sheet of guidelines on what the main dos and don'ts are for safe recovery?

I have to point out that I have no wish to see a 'nanny state' imposed on anyone! :) Not everyone has seen what happens when things go wrong, and I am quite sure that many people have no idea that it is a dangerous practice. I am quite sure there are many offroaders who have been joining recovery ropes with shackes without problems for decades, but that isn't the point.

Recovery using two ropes joined together WITHOUT a shackle is safer than recovery using two ropes joined together WITH a shackle.

Edited to add: My intention was to point out that ANY recovery ropes/straps/strops (which have varying degrees of elasticity) should not be joined together with a shackle. Joining a KERR to another rope or whatever with a shackle is the most dangerous of all due to the VERY high elasticity.

Be safe - have fun :D

Regards,

Diff

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although i agree with what you are sayin, i dont like kinetic ropes for recovery and prefer to use a winch, unfortuneatly there are unsafe recoveries when winching by some too.

when i see something i dont like and they're still carrying on with it when advised then i stand well back.

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I can add to this as it happened to me 2years ago

a Keer-shackle-strop joined

my 90 bogged the TC pulling me out shot off at a rate the strop snapped and the flying shackle hit the spare wheel on my 90

tearing a lump from a new tyre and bending the wheel rim in over 20mm or more the noise was similar to someone smashing a spade on the roof whilst I was inside.

Val and I were lucky to get away with this.

Never again if I see it I'll do my best to make them stop and try an alternate.

Well pointed out Diff even if like me 2years ago the fools didn't listen

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Since it is such a wide spread practice, should every body who signs on for a days play be given a sheet of guidelines on what the main dos and don'ts are for safe recovery?

That would rely on them being able to read. I rather suspect that some of the worst offenders may not have that advantage.

Totally agree though, I too have seen too many accidents.

Chris

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Guest dew110CSW

I once saw an Incident where a KERR managed to rip the rear cross member clean off a Hybrid while trying to recover, sending a large chunk of metal flying at the recoveree. Dangerous things, would much rarther use a kinetic rope anyday.

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The AWDC does have a policy of no KERR at driverounds to prevent this type of thing happening.

Unfortunately, as GBMud points out this does rely on people reading things and owning up to having the offending kit on them.

Thanks for pointing this out, I will ensure we try and tighten up for the next event at Bordon in Dec

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I once saw an Incident where a KERR managed to rip the rear cross member clean off a Hybrid while trying to recover, sending a large chunk of metal flying at the recoveree. Dangerous things, would much rarther use a kinetic rope anyday.

Huh ??

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well , i live and learn , again .

although i'm only just getting into this offraoding lark ,and so i'm still learning , i have to admit that if the need to recover ever came up i would have done just that <_< , joined two strops together with a shackle .

and i would have done it thinking i was doing the right thing . how wrong can you be ??

can any of you tell us why this is wrong , cos the only thing i can think of is the shackle itself .

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A rope hitting you would prove either:

painful

damaging

hospitalistioning

A shackle hitting you:

loss of body part it hits

1/2 a day with the undertaker.

if a smallish shackle easily removed a piece of a tyre side wall and bent the wheel rim over 20mm imagine what that would do to a human body.

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Post up those pics Chris.

I have a big dent in the back of the 90s door, I was recovering a very very tatty Landy, and didn't like the look at all of the recovery points or rear cross member,

Basically I made the owner aware, he agree it was rotton around the recovery eye, so I suggested he wrapped HIS strop around the rear cross member loop through loop.....NO SHACKLES involved.

The crossmember then collapsed as I recovered him, as it was destructing I stopped pulling with "Tug" and connected the front winch to a tree and engaged, it then ripped the rear cross membver in half, and JUST the strop hit the back of the 90.

Had it had a shackle on it, or on the recovery point that extar load of steel would come straight through the ali skin and say "Hi" to me and my body :o

Big Mistake No 1 : NEVER ever underestimate the powers and dangers of recovery, poor equipement or poor technique, and

Big Mistake 2 : DO NOT assume those with tricked up 4x4s know what they are doing........

Join a club and LEARN about recovery from people who actually know and practise safe recovery, it will take an age, and you never ever finish learning BTW :)

Nige

PS he was ok about the cross member too :lol:

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Post up those pics Chris.

I have a big dent in the back of the 90s door, I was recovering a very very tatty Landy, and didn't like the look at all of the recovery points or rear cross member,

Basically I made the owner aware, he agree it was rotton around the recovery eye, so I suggested he wrapped HIS strop around the rear cross member loop through loop.....NO SHACKLES involved.

The crossmember then collapsed as I recovered him, as it was destructing I stopped pulling with "Tug" and connected the front winch to a tree and engaged, it then ripped the rear cross membver in half, and JUST the strop hit the back of the 90.

Had it had a shackle on it, or on the recovery point that extar load of steel would come straight through the ali skin and say "Hi" to me and my body :o

Big Mistake No 1 : NEVER ever underestimate the powers and dangers of recovery, poor equipement or poor technique, and

Big Mistake 2 : DO NOT assume those with tricked up 4x4s know what they are doing........

Join a club and LEARN about recovery from people who actually know and practise safe recovery, it will take an age, and you never ever finish learning BTW :)

Nige

PS he was ok about the cross member too :lol:

check big mistake 2 ,, <_< thats probably me :unsure:

and i'm not joking :blink:

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That would rely on them being able to read. I rather suspect that some of the worst offenders may not have that advantage.

Totally agree though, I too have seen too many accidents.

Chris

On 4 occasions yesterday the rules had to be read to people signing on at Bures as they said they could not read. But they could hear OK still did not stop some of them breaking basic safety rules.

Less metle is best.

Peter

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Dew110CSW - a KERR is a kinetic rope! KERR stands for Kinetic energy recovery rope.

A 'standard' recovery rope will stretch approx 5% to 15% depending on make and type of material. A KERR has about 30% stretch and as such will store a MASSIVE amount of energy. Even rope with 5% Stretch can recoil with enormous force.

Trojan - A shackle could fail, but it isn't necessarily the problem area. ANY failure anywhere between the two vehicles will result in that shackle in the middle being catapulted at high speed.

Regards,

Diff

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i see your point , but in that case how should they " the strops "be attached to the vehicles , or is that unavoidable .

Hi, attaching the strop to the vehicle is another issue, ideally the rope or strop would be connected ony via its loop to a correctly fitted NATO hook or similar. The reality is that this is not possible in all cases. In these other cases, rated shackles are usually used and should be attached to recovery points 'fit for purpose'.

Providing an adequate shackle is used on an adequate recovery point, nothing will break in this area. If a rope snaps due to overload, unnoticed damage, or age related degradation, a shackle used to join ropes will become a missile.

IF the recovery point or the shackle used to connect the rope to it DOES fail, you will have the addition of the towing point AND the rope joining shackle flying through the air! - double the potential for harm.

If a bridle is used, it should be passed through the eye of the tow rope rather than connected using a shackle for the reasons already outlined. A bridle has the advantage of spreading the load on to two points. Failure of both points at exactly the same time is virtually impossible and as a result, the failure of one point will slow/check the 'catapult action'.

Regards,

Diff

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When I am asked to recover somebody, or indeed, I am being recovered, then it is MY safety that is of most importance……………….. :rolleyes:

If I am recovering and see something I don’t like then the recovery is aborted ……….

Or if I am being recovered the same applies …………….. so please don’t be offended if I tell you to F’off and I walk away ……………now you know……… ;)

Ian

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When I am asked to recover somebody, or indeed, I am being recovered, then it is MY safety that is of most importance……………….. :rolleyes:

If I am recovering and see something I don’t like then the recovery is aborted ……….

Or if I am being recovered the same applies …………….. so please don’t be offended if I tell you to F’off and I walk away ……………now you know……… ;)

Ian

Agree with you Ian. Often the rush to get out gets in the way with some people.

I'd much rather use a winch any day.

So much more control. :) and a lot less vehicles flying about.

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Ok

While we are at it one of my top pet subjects :D

PLEASE Everyone who has read this thread....

1 - THINK about your recovery poinmts, are they good, and I mean really good ?

2 - If your are not 1000% Sure "what good looks like" ask and do a search on this site

3 - Bolts - are you using 8.8T or 10.8T Allen bolts - or higher, if 8,8T WHY ?...go for the extar safety esp as :

4 - Bolts holding recovery points on rust, and stretch 8.8T stretch easier than 10.8T do :D

5 - CHECK your bolts on ALL recovery points are dog tight after EVERY event, if they are fine, if not TIGHTEN UP

6 - If you have tightened them up "A Few Times" then REPLACE and do they have spreader plates ????

7- ONLY USE RATED SHACKLES ...period - BIN anything that is not a- rated and B- 4.75 minimum rating

8- I don't acre "How goos its done yer and it aint rated - BIN IT"

9 - Inspect REGUALRLY (thats F OFTEN) your rope (wire and plasma) Ropes, shackles, Snatch Blocks, gloves, strops, if they look "on there way" send them that way NOW

10 - If you haven't got a winch sail and you have a winch GET ONE - ARB ones are V nice

<rant over>

Nige :)

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I did the following, and I fully accept all the criticism I deserve. My only excuse is that I have learnt since!

A few years ago, when I was young and stupider than now and greenlaning on Salisbury Plain, we got a 90 stuck in a water filled dip. My very heavy (Perkins powered) 110 couldn't pull it out. So we put the 110 a bit further away, on fresh ground, joined it to the 90 with 2 ropes shackled together in the middle, and put a 109 on the front of the 110 with another rope. The 109 and the 110 set off in tandem (we thought this was a really clever idea), and, surprise surprise the rope between the 90 and the 110 broke. The shackle flew backwards, dug a groove in the bonnet of the 90, and punched a hole in the bulkhead vent dead in line with the driver. It was a VERY near miss, and I won't forget it. The driver of the 90 is on here too (the bulkhead has stil got gaffer tape over the hole!).

Gus

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10 - If you haven't got a winch sail and you have a winch GET ONE - ARB ones are V nice

Much to the disgust of my learn’ed friend the right honourable gentleman in surrey ……………. :P

I don’t agree with winch sails …period……… complete PITA :ph34r:

They are an accident waiting to happen and TBH perform no real purpose with synthetic ropes, other then showing where the rope is, and that live winching is being carried out.

Too many times I have seen them begin to catch in the fairlead (mainly rollers) and the winch monkey goes diving in to save it. :rolleyes:

The sail (or damper as it should be called) has its uses when steel rope is used. However, the modern damper will not do what it says on the box, mainly because they are too light.

With a steel rope, then a wet (to give it weight) large Hessian sack is most effective…….. when the rope breaks the loose ends get caught in the Hessian, thus taking the sting out of the rope. It is preferable for the sack to be closer to the winch then the anchor as the rope will invariably break at the winch end. ;)

Ian

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