Choosing the Best 4WD Recovery Gear
Recovery gear has come a long way in the past decade — advances in technology have revolutionised how we recover a bogged vehicle and there are some new tools out there which make the whole process safer and gentler on your vehicle.
As with many other outdoor products, recovery gear has really benefited from advances in technology, notably the move away from heavier/unsafe equipment such as hard shackles and steel cables to lighter/safer equipment such as soft shackles and strong lightweight poly winch rope. So, is your old recovery gear still up to scratch? If you know the answer is no, here are some revolutionary new tools which you should consider adding to your kit.
If you’re an experienced four-wheel driver or caravanner, you’ll know pain of being bogged. Recovery gear like winching was a layover from cranes and heavy rigging, cumbersome and dangerous if used incorrectly. Modern recovery equipment is not without its dangers, but the materials are much softer making them inherently less dangerous.
Fast-forward to 2023, and there is a wide range of equipment available to make recovery a breeze. Some of the big players in this industry are Saber Offroad (Australian) and Factor 55 (USA) — two companies making revolutionary products with safety and ease of use front of mind. Read on to learn about two exciting products from each company.
Homegrown Saber Offroad develops a large range of modern recovery equipment with an overarching aim to eliminate as much weight as possible from the recovery process. Two incredible products from them include the 10,000kg HDX Technora Bound Soft Shackle and the Kinetic Recovery Rope which comes in five different weight ranges to suit any 4WD from the smallest Jimny to the largest Unimog.
The 10,000kg HDX Technora Bound Soft Shackle is a high-capacity 10 tonne rated soft shackle constructed with Saber Offroad’s exclusive SaberPro Fibre and wrapped in cut-resistant Technora binding. This soft shackle is not only used by 4WD experts and enthusiasts worldwide but also in the harshest search and rescue, military and aviation conditions. The Technora binding means this shackle is suitable for use on traditional metal recovery points.
The Kinetic Recovery Rope was developed for a safer and smoother way to assist stranded vehicles out of mud, sand, water, snow and more. As a modern tool, this primarily replaces a snatch strap but is lighter, safer and has a higher rate of expansion — meaning the rope stretches up to 30 per cent (50 per cent more than most snatch straps) reducing the initial shock load on the vehicle significantly and smoothing out kinetic energy transfer. The rope is made from the highest quality Nylon 66 material and the unique outer treatment on the finished rope gives it protection from damaging UV, moisture and abrasives such as dirt and sand.
All Saber Offroad products are real-world tested by the team, and you’ll see batch numbers and contact details on all their products to indicate they’ve been tested beyond their capabilities and limits.
The two products from Factor 55 are both used for winch recoveries. The Factor 55 UltraHook made from billet aluminium features an industry-first closed winching system hook as well as a separate hard shackle hole machined into the body of the thimble. Unlike most winch hooks on the market, the UltraHook incorporates a heavy-duty rubber bumper on each side of the base allowing the hook to be cinched up tight against the fairlead. What this all means is you have a versatile, lightweight, well thought-out winch hook that not only looks fantastic in a plethora of colour options but is also strong, safe and reliable.
The Factor 55 Rope Retention Pulley (RRP), also made from billet aluminium, is an industry-first winch friction pulley with patented rope retention feature. It’s a lightweight alternative to traditional, heavy snatch blocks/pulleys and can be used to increase pulling power or redirect the winch line when used in a double liner pull configuration. The RRP is for use with synthetic rope only and is typically used with other gear such as tree trunk protectors, soft shackles etc. Its unique curvature and Teflon coating mean very little friction and abrasion to your winch rope.
The benefits for using these tools are manifold, chief among them is they make recoveries significantly safer because the companies creating them have taken great care both in design and testing to make certain their products are rated and do the job right. Beware of cheap copies!
When it comes to vehicle recovery while touring, having the right tools made from quality components can make the recovery process much quicker and smoother, and most importantly, much safer. And when you’re with your partner, family or friends, not labouring over a bogged back end gives you all the more time to enjoy the outdoors with your loved ones. All products discussed in this article can be purchased online from Australian speciality retailer A247.
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