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Old 04-27-2011, 05:55 PM   #1
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New to winches, got a question

Just put a new winch on my Jeep. Trying to be a good guy and not kill trees, so I went to my local 4x4 store and bought a tree strap. It was a 3" pro comp, about 6' long. I brought it home, and tried 5 different trees in my yard as a test. The darn thing would not fit around 4 of the 5. So, I'm thinking this is too short, and I take it back to the 4x4 store. The salesman there tells me that what I need is this 30' 2" recovery strap by Keeper rated at 20,000 pounds. I figure that's good, I can just wrap it around the tree 3 or 4 times if I ever need to winch, plus can tow with it if I need to, so I swap with him. I just happen to browse around here tonight, and find multiple posts saying not to use a recovery strap in this manner. That sends me back to the too short tree strap . So, what's the answer? And is it really that bad to wrap the recovery strap around the tree and use it?

I appreciate any education you can give me on this!

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Old 04-27-2011, 08:46 PM   #2
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The problem with a recovery strap is that it stretches under load and then retracts, or, it pulls itself back together, you don't want that when winching, you only use them for vehicle to vehicle pulls. I bought an ARB tree saver for $40 or $50, it's 9 1/2 feet long and it fit perfectly around a large oak tree the one time that I've used it ( I was glad I had it!). I don't know what the procomp 6 footer cost but I think ARB has several lengths to choose from and they are very well made.
I should also add, you should always use a 3/4" d-ring to use with the tree saver for all pulls, I wouldn't just hook the winch cable straight to the strap on a single line pull ( single line means from the winch directly to the tree). Another thing you'll want if your really stuck or need max pulling power from the winch is a snatch block (again, ARB around $70) A snatch block acts as a pulley that will allow you to let double the amount of winch cable out increasing it's torque and pulling power. The snatch block would be installed to the tree saver with a d-ring.

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Old 04-27-2011, 08:46 PM   #3
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I think you will find as many opinions on that as there are different people. I have used both in different applications and have had no appreciable degradation of either.

From a rigging standpoint ( I am NOT a rigger, but have taken quite a few classes on it and done a bunch of it), in a basket mode (looped around a tree) your tow strap should be able to pull even more than straight line, so no issue should exist.

I think the concern comes in "design for use" of tow strap. It was not designed for use in "basket" mode. As long as you keep it free from sharp edges and broken limbs/protrusions, should not be an issue.

As with ALL straps/ropes/wire ropes/towing/pulling/lifting devices, thoroughly inspect BEFORE and AFTER use to determine worthiness of use and NEVER EVER be in line with their recoil when using them.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razorcat View Post
That sends me back to the too short tree strap
Buy a longer tree strap. I like this tree strap!

In the recovery game, there are the things you should do and the things you do in an honest emergency because the risk-reward calculation excuses the deviation from the "correct" way of doing things. Can you use a kinetic recovery strap for static recovery duties? Yes, of course you can, and in a pinch you may have to. But should you? No, not if you can easily buy and carry a more appropriate tool for the job.

You can use a non-stretching TOW STRAP for trees, but should not use a stretchy RECOVERY STRAP for trees.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info....One more thing: How about a line dampener? Is it just a weight to make the line drop to the ground in case of something breaking? Does it have to be something special, or can I just hang a big weight on the line when winching? If so, how much weight is needed? Or, is that a bad idea and I need something else instead?
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Razorcat View Post
Thanks for the info....One more thing: How about a line dampener? Is it just a weight to make the line drop to the ground in case of something breaking? Does it have to be something special, or can I just hang a big weight on the line when winching? If so, how much weight is needed? Or, is that a bad idea and I need something else instead?


If you have wire cable on your winch a dampener is designed to make the line drop to the ground instead of flying back at somebody. You can use a heavy coat, lg floor mat or a big towel. Better to do that versus having a snapped line or broken off recovery point come at your windshield or at a bystander. ( Ever see Ghost Ship)
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Razorcat View Post
Thanks for the info....One more thing: How about a line dampener? Is it just a weight to make the line drop to the ground in case of something breaking? Does it have to be something special, or can I just hang a big weight on the line when winching? If so, how much weight is needed? Or, is that a bad idea and I need something else instead?
I'm now picturing you 50' away from a tree with 25' of stretched-to-the-max recovery strap on one side, a winch cable on the other side, and a 50lb dumbbell in the middle...
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by C.L.

I'm now picturing you 50' away from a tree with 25' of stretched-to-the-max recovery strap on one side, a winch cable on the other side, and a 50lb dumbbell in the middle...
I think that exact picture is in the Warn winching guide that came with the winch.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:28 PM   #9
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Go to the Local FD and ask for old fire hose...slide winch line through...tree saved. GO HEMP!
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:35 PM   #10
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How big are the trees in your part of the woods? I have a 6 footer and have never had an issue, wrap it around the tree, attach a clevis or d-ring and winch away.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 4Jeepn
How big are the trees in your part of the woods? I have a 6 footer and have never had an issue, wrap it around the tree, attach a clevis or d-ring and winch away.
Well, I didn't take the strap out for a real world test. I just tried some trees in my front yard. Like I said, it wouldn't go around 4 of the 5. That concerned me that if I was in a real life situation that I could end up SOL. Out in those woods, maybe it's a moot point with the larger sample size of trees.

Do I have to use a D ring on the strap? Can't I just attach to the strap with the hook on the end of the winch cable wire?

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