Wednesday, 2 January 2013

4WD cleaning up tip

It looks like we won't be going 4WDing for the forseeable future, unfortunately.

Whenever we return from a trip, I wash the snatch strap before putting it away. To do this easily and effectively I put it in the washing machine. I wash with a very small amount of detergent (less than a quarter) and with cold water and extra rinse. Line dry it very well before packing it away.

A snatch strap is a critical piece of recovery gear, especially in sand like on Fraser Island. They aren't cheap either, so make sure you look after it. Some snatch strap care tips:

- Wash and dry your strap completely when you return from a trip before packing it away
- Inspect it before and after every trip for signs of damage. Better to discard it and replace when you are at home than to have it snap when you are doing a recovery and leave you stranded or worse, injur someone.
- Keep it in a bag instead of rolling around in the car where sand and dirt can damage it. That's a good place to keep your gloves and shackles too, just make sure that you can get to it.
- Attaching the snatch strap to the car and leaving it there is really only necessary when doing a water crossing. If you get stuck while doing a water crossing, then it may be hard to reach your recovery point, and seconds count. By the time that you have found the recovery point, attached the snatch strap and run it to your recovering vehicle, then both the car and then engine may be flooded. However, in the case of sand or mud it will usually be easy enough to attach the snatch strap if and when needed, rather than leaving it attached and wrapped aroung the bull bar or roof racks. When exposed like this it experiences more wear and tear than necessary and may be more of a hassle. Sometimes it's easier to snatch a car backwards, so if you have attached to the front then moving it will be necessary anyway. So to preserve its life, only attach when and where needed.
- Ensure that shackles are cared for well. Only use rated shackles and don't drop them or bash them about. Again, it's preferable to replace a shackle at home than to have one break and become a missle when doing a recovery.

Have fun four wheel driving, and as always do it safely!



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