Maintaining Recovery Gear
Easter Holidays are fast approaching and if you’re planning to get off road, checking your recover gear is probably very low on the list of things to do before departure. We recommend you take the time to check over your recovery gear for your trip, we know it’s something most people put off, or perhaps planning to do last minute if you get a chance. This preparation could be the difference between a memorable trip and miserable trip.
Snatch Straps, Winch Extension Straps, Tree Trunk Protectors and Synthetic Winch Rope
All these items are prone to wear when used. Depending on how and where they are used depends on how long they can safely be used for. Think of them as a good pair of shoes, if they are worn regularly and in the mud they won’t last as long as a pair of shoes that are worn occasionally walking on carpet.
When inspecting your recovery straps look for the following:
- Nicks in the webbing
- Pulled fibres, or stitching
- Dirt and debris in the fibres
- Damaged threads around the eye of the webbing/rope
- Fused or melted portions
If your strap’s looking worse for wear, we recommend an upgrade. Even if it’s a small imperfection. Add a little strain and you could be set for disaster. Weigh up the price of a new strap verse the cost of a new car? Or is it worth causing an injury or worse, death?
To maintain your recovery straps ensure you follow the below guide:
- Foreign materials such as sand, dirt etc. Clean your strap to rid it of small particles which may have wedged themselves into the webbing of your strap. We don’t recommend using a pressure hose. It can penetrate the dirt further into the webbing/rope causing undue wear and tear. Best practice is to hand wash in a bucket of water and a gentle soap. Rinse with clean water until it runs clear.
- Make sure the strap is dried thoroughly before storage. Once you get home give it a good clean and lengthy drying period out of direct sunlight.
- Make sure your strap is stored out of direct sunlight as this can damage the fibres and reduce the strap strength
Shackles, Chains, Recovery Hitches and Snatch Blocks
Similar to straps these items should always be used to the safe working load, printed on the product. Like the straps and ropes they also need to be inspected regularly and cleaned after use.
Check for the following:
- Inspect condition: distortion, imperfections, dents, fractures, wear and tear.
- Bent hooks or shackles could indicate excess side-loading
- Stretched/Distorted usually means it has been used outside the safe workload.
- Pins, screws and nuts should be completely seated. If removable pins are hard to turn or remove it may be a sign of distortion and item needs to be replaced.
As a guide if you are experiencing more than a 10% variation in the size and dimensions it’s probably best to upgrade. If you have stretching perhaps look to upgrade to heavier safe working load, see Bushranger for further options.
To maintain your shackles, chains and blocks ensure you follow the below guide:
- Snatch blocks require attention to the central shaft, lubricate frequently to ensure longevity.
- Wash in clean water using a brush, to ensure you remove all mud, dust and debris.
- Air dry in the sun and ensure 100% dry prior to putting away.
Jacks shouldn’t be forgotten either.
Inflatable Exhaust Jacks – here is what to look for:
- Evidence of heavy impacts and deformities
- Cuts and abrasions
- Badly worn areas
- Seam weld damage
Again, any issues, you should discard and avoid serious damage or injury.
To Maintain your Exhaust Jack using the following as a guide:
- Clean with warm soapy water, in allow to fully dry in a shaded area.
- Do not store in direct sunlight or wet or humid environments.
- Frequently inflate and delate the inflatable Jack to ensure longevity (recommended every 3 months)
They are quite hardy but do require lubrication after to use to ensure it keeps on working for years to come.
To Maintain your Hi Lift Jack using the following as a guide:
- Clean it with any of the following or a combination: water pressure, air pressure, and/or brush.
- Lubricate, use a penetrating oil or silicon spray on the bar, climbing pins, shear bolt, springs and pitman pin. Do not use motor oil or grease as it will collect dust and bind components, including the climbing pins, in the holes of the bar.
- When not in use, store it with the handle in the upright position with the reversing latch locked in the up position. Store in a dry place, preferably indoors, with a protective cover.
Looking after your vehicle recovery equipment can be a chore, but a necessity if you want your gear to be safe and reliable.
Be safe, and enjoy your trip.
Be a Bushranger!