I am going to start this thread, for most if not everyone this is a no brainer, or MAYBE (no way) I'm missing something and wrong.
Chain is for securing a load, a good street fight or maybe some kind of dog collar, but don't use it as a tug strap. OK, so everyone who works in or around the woods has had to use it to pull, lift, yard, or otherwise load it under tension. done slow and controlled, for the most part.........
Worst case scenario played out yesterday in the northern mountains I was working in. Truck stuck in an alder bog. Area had been crossed a few times, but mainly just a hang out for the moose that are in the area. Toyota pick-up was trying to "snatch" the truck out. Good theory, but he had used a piece of chain and a clevis to protect the end of his ARB strap. Now, the ARB will stretch when you hit it, part of what makes them effective ? Point is, the attachment point let go on the truck and the chain/snatch strap combo did a real nice number on the tailgate of a pretty new Tacoma.
From what I have seen, SEEN, not heard, chain is deadly when it used wrong. For a slow tug, maybe it is ok ? So I ponder this question to the forum, is this correct, or is there a way you have found to use it and be safe, slow tugs accepted. Clevis hooks, chain, cable, all of it can and will get you hurt. We all know the rule of a dead man on the cable for a winch and strap, but that showed little effect in this scenario. No one was hurt and the truck was extricated with a 527 CAT.
I am interested in the feedback on this. Yes, EVERYONE should have a winch and know how to get themselves out, but this is not the case in reality.
Location: where I wheel: N 45º 36.663' W 123º 20.935'
Back in 1984, my trusty Toyota 22R 4x4 pickup was stuck in thick cement-like mud. Someone offered to pull me out and I agreed. All they had was a chain and I've never used a chain before so I didn't know what to expect. Well the extraction was so bad that one of my motor mounts sheared off.
25 years have since passed, and I have never again used a chain for extraction. Well that's a fib - I have been known to use a chain for recovery support and anchoring purposes but not as an extraction line.
1998 TJ Moss Green Sahara w/ numerous scratches & dents whose playground is on a tropical island that's 33 miles long and 4-12 miles wide, in year-round 82 degree weather
I use chains at work a lot to haul downed trees out of the woods...number 1 rule when using a chain, if you must tug...don't. We can tug some with our smaller tractors, but if we use our backhoe, usually one good jerk will send that chain flying back like a snapping rubber band. They can kill a person, don't use them if you can avoid it. I have snapped a few chains while tugging with our smaller tractors and it's scary hearing the amount of force they snap back with.
The reason we use chains instead of straps is because straps shred in minutes when being drug underneath a tree across the ground. When you're tugging someone out of a mud pit though, you don't have to worry about that.
Snapping chains have been known to kill people (some have even been decapitated from a snapping chain)...both the idiots who were improperly using them and innocent bystanders who were just within reach of outstretched chain. They do say if you must use a chain to pull someone out, similar to when you're winching a heavy load, take a heavy blanket/jacket and put it on the chain...so if it snaps, the blanket/jacket will absorb some of the recoil, potentially saving someone's life.
I've also seen a video where a guy was tugging someone out of a pit with a chain and it snapped and went straight through his back window. Missed the driver's head by just a few inches.