Tow Ball is NOT an option in a 4×4 Snatch Strap Recovery

In a snatch strap recovery DO NOT use a tow ball. Find out why here!
Below are links to 4×4 Snatch Strap Recovery Series:-

4×4 Snatch Strap Recovery in action!

4×4 Snatch Strap What capacity do you need?

Tow Ball is NOT an option in a 4×4 Snatch Strap Recovery

4×4 Air Damper What is its purpose?

4×4 Snatch Strap How to join two snatch straps together

4×4 Snatch Strap – One reason to replace it

4×4 Snatch Strap a couple of reason when to chuck it

Does an Air Damper make a 4×4 Snatch Recovery safer?

DEADLY MISSILE from a 4×4 snatch strap *
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34 thoughts on “Tow Ball is NOT an option in a 4×4 Snatch Strap Recovery”

  1. I’ve done hundred of recoveries using the tow ball, and never once had or ever seen or even personally know anybody who has had one fail in a recovery. But I don’t try to get a running start, it’s tighten the strap and gently pull.

    But I think it’s possible, because people do what… they shock load them and they simply are not made for that being that they are a single shear set up, and most people who buy them to use for recoveries are using the cheapest and lowest weight rated one they can find, also is this an Aussie thing? I’ve never herd of it actually happening here in the states where we usually have larger hitch balls like 2” and 2-5/16” as well as some hitch balls that are not bolt on to the hitch. All that said, I do now carry a shackle hitch for recoveries.

  2. Always done fine with a tow ball but the hitch I use is also one of the tri ball hitches with all 3 different common sizes and then a hook on the bottom I always just loop it around all of them

  3. If those tow balls broke at the shank, they were never fit for hooking a trailer too. I would like to know exactly how that would happen. I would assume it was negligence, ball was probably loose flopping around in the hole, wore the shank thin then broke, or perhaps they got a 10' running start and floored it, but at that point the ball is not the only thing breaking and flying off somewhere, maybe in that specific story, but there's alot more failure points that can break.

  4. Another thing is … if the tow ball doesn't actually BREAK it IS weakened, and the next time you are towing up hill? … Well let's just hope the safety chains are hooked up properly 🙁

  5. You're better off hooking your strap directly to the receiver on your rig than using a hitch, even with a clevis like what was shown here. I've seen the pin break and a hitch fly out of a receiver like a cannon ball.

  6. Interesting. I'm looking at replacing my old tow strap that just broke on me Friday with a bubba rope. Thing is I have to get something for it. I want to stay away from the D Shackles and Ive been looking at a 2" receiver hook which I don't like too much as in a pulling application id be afraid of it coming undone. I'm also looking at a 2" receiver pintle hook but not too sure if that would be over kill. Trying to find the best of both words for use as a recovery as well as for pulling another vehicle.

    Any recommendations?

  7. what about removing the ball, and hoocking up the shakle where the ball used to be. i would get a proper hitch piece but mine is really seized on there..

  8. Huh, never thought of that before, I frequently use my swan neck style tow bar to recover, however I am really anal about people being in proximity to my strap as I have seen the effects of a snapped strap whipping backwards, luckly in the instance I witnessed it took a gouge out of a truck door rather than anyones face/limbs.

    Although my Jimny is light enough that it can usually be recovered by 3 large guys giving it a push 😀

  9. n
    dont have a shackle but you have a hitch receiver. take to tow ball stinger out of the receiver and put the strap loop inside the receiver and insert the pin you would used for your tow ball stinger through the reciever holes and the loop of your strap. just make sure there are no sharp edges on the receiver

  10. Thank you for the video. I have wondered about this. If you think of it, tow balls are made to hold a load in place with minimal force other than the very small jerk they receive upon moving from a stopped position.

  11. Could I remove the ball and put the shackle where the ball went? I ask cause I have my tow ball receiver locked and Ive lost the keys. The shackle could easily be attached there I thought

  12. An oil and gas company here made it a policy not to recover vehicles with another vehicle after an operator had a ball break and went through the tailgate into the box. The energy is almost beyond belief. That failed recovery was just in snow too

  13. Mate, I'm a convert. I've seen too many videos and reports of deaths and injuries from the tow ball flying through car windows. IMHO why risk your life or others lives, just carry the right kit and stay safe.

  14. Hmmm very interesting as that is common practice here in the states even on trucks so stuck they needed a tractor to pull them out. I guess it's not really a problem until you go jerking the tow strap with momentum. That's where shit breaks and it gets really dangerous.

  15. Interesting video and thanks for the warning, I've never broken my balls but often I'm not doing a recovery but pulling on trees, Indeed a standard ball hitch (1 7/8) is only rated for 2000 pounds towing and even with a 4:1 safety factor you can easily exceed that in a snatch situation. All my balls are rated for 30,000 pounds and I'd fear that the 5/8 pin would be the weak link in the hitch at that point. I'm not sure what the material of the pin is, if it was grade 5 it should be about 44,000 pounds double shear, grade 2 would be 27,000. At some point the whole receiver insert becomes ballistic. Usually for snow I'll chain up and use low range, opting for the 'tank' style recovery. Yes indeed though, anything you lash onto can break, your advice is excellent! Also just saw a video from ditchhitch, 24,500 pounds receiver hitch welds failed on a 1 ton truck.

  16. I agree, although I've never seen one break yet. I have seen hitches ripped in half, though.
    The eye in the 2" inch receiver is a perfect idea, except where I live almost nobody uses a strap small enough to fit in there. Mostly a bunch of rednecks where I live. 6" straps are real common. Usually they just weld huge steel grates on the back of their trucks and call it good, lol.

  17. Interesting. I've pulled a lot of people out with my Jeep. Always put a recovery strap over the towing ball. Never had any issues. I can see it being an issue in extreme cases.

  18. pulled the ball out and put a shackle in its place when ever I needed to pull something or if it was light like say 500lbs or so lopped it over the ball like when pulling a broken 250CC ATV off the sand and I never shock load one. but the ball is also one rated for 7500lbs so its a bit stronger then most lol.

  19. take a two ball hitch. turn it sideways. drill a 5/8's inch hole through both sides. slap the strap over both of the trailer balls. loop it so it isnt loose. works. and you dont have to pay 50 bucks for a shackle hitch.

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