About the Study Guide

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If you must use a strap instead of a winch, follow these guidelines.

  • NEVER use a strap that is frayed or worn. This increases the likelihood that the strap will break.
  • NEVER use a strap that is rated for less than five times the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of the stuck vehicle. A vehicle with a GVW of 4,000 pounds needs a strap with a minimum capacity of 20,000 pounds.
  • NEVER tug another vehicle with a chain, cable, or winch. Tugging a stuck vehicle can increase the shock load significantly, resulting in an extremely dangerous situation.
  • NEVER use tow ropes, tow straps, emergency tow ropes, etc. These are designed for flat-road towing, not for the rigors of pulling out a stuck vehicle.
  • Use only recovery straps that have sewn loop ends. NEVER use straps with metal fittings.
  • NEVER use recovery straps in combination with cables, chains, or other devices.
  • NEVER wrap a strap around any sharp objects that can damage or cut a strap.
  • Do not use a strap that has been exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light unless it has been inspected by a qualified person. Loss of color in the strap may indicate a loss of strength.
  • Place a heavy blanket over the strap to absorb energy if the strap breaks.