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Jerry Bransford 03-02-2010 03:58 PM

Finally, a new safer standardized approach for tow and snatch straps
And it's about time someone came up with the below described safety enhancement for vehicle recoveries too!

First, the problem... I have three basic strap types in my recovery tool box: 1) A kinetic "snatch" strap, 2) a hookless static (non-stretch) strap, and 3) a static tree saver strap. All three are yellow, that's the problem.

Because most straps we buy seem to always be yellow, we can get into trouble by accidentally using the wrong type of strap that isn't suitable for the need. Like using a static (non-stretch) strap for vehicle recovery can rip vehicles apart or worse, cause injuries. Make no mistake about it, a mistake during a vehicle recovery or tow operation can have serious injury or even deadly results.

There are two basic strap characteristics.

A "static" strap with minimal stretch is used as an anchor, perhaps wrapped around a tree or a rock or used as a winch extension.

A "kinetic" strap that stretches slightly to help reduce shock during vehicle recovery, which also aids in recovery as the strap rebounds. This type of strap should not be used as a winch extension.

The problem is that these two strap materials often get mixed up by both well intentioned and clueless offroaders alike. And why not? After all, both types of straps are usually yellow and they look alike. Until now.

We're now seeing a color coding standard evolving and being pioneered by Viking Offroad and where Kinetic (snatch/recovery) straps are now bright orange and Static (tow/winch) straps are now bright green.

Here are the new Viking kinetic recovery straps:

Tow Strap ORANGE (kinetic)
- Vehicle to Vehicle recovery
- Best in sand, mud and snow
- Vehicle towing

Tree Strap GREEN (static)
- Tree or Rock anchor tool: sling around base of trees or around rocks
- Minimizes damage to tree bark by spreading the load
- May be used as a Winchline Extension

Other tow strap manufacturers are coming on board too, ARB will be supporting this new color standard that promises safer uses of these straps as well.

I just happened to be talking with Thor Jonsson at Viking when he & I started talking about straps when he told me about this new color standard. I immediately offered to mention it here since it has obvious safety benefits. No, I was not given any tow straps or other compensation, I just thought it was a VERY cool development & worthy of a short writeup. :punk:

Check out their U.S. made straps (winch lines too) out at Viking Offroad and 4X4 Winch Lines at Winch Line,Winch Ropes, Recovery Gear, Tow Rope, Synthetic Winch Line

By the way, Thor is the brother of Jon whose very cool Jeep TJ was featured on the cover of Crawl Magazine last month. Jeeping & offroading runs in this Viking family and they live & breathe what we love doing. Here's that cover.


Dare2BSquare 03-02-2010 04:39 PM

Thanks Jer, You da man!!!

FlG8R01TJ 03-02-2010 05:49 PM

awesome Jerry..

Elwood 03-03-2010 05:35 PM

My snatch strap (can't remember what brand) is yellow and my tree strap (ARB) is green.

Jerry Bransford 03-03-2010 05:43 PM

ARB has adopted the standard, that is why your tree strap is green.

Bobthegod 03-03-2010 06:08 PM

Glad you posted this's appreciated. Thanks

rrich 03-03-2010 06:30 PM

I guess these mfgrs think Jeepers are really stupid. They think we don't have enough sense to tell between a short tree saver and a longer tow strap?

Jerry Bransford 03-03-2010 06:39 PM

The issue isn't between a short tree saver and a tow strap which is obvious, the issue is between a kinetic strap and a static strap. Use a static strap to snatch a stuck vehicle out & it could do some damage. Or use a stretchy kinetic strap as a winch extension and that can be unsafe too.

balzer 03-03-2010 06:56 PM


Originally Posted by rrich (Post 560781)
I guess these mfgrs think Jeepers are really stupid. They think we don't have enough sense to tell between a short tree saver and a longer tow strap?

Maybe they know that both can be had in many various lengths. I'm sure they don't think people are stupid. I personally had both types of strap and both where 25ft both yellow and the only difference was the kinetic yank strap(stretchy) had a leather like wrapping in the eye of the strap, whereas the static(not stretchy) strap had canvas around the eye . This was years ago and both have been discarded now due to wear and tear. But I remember having to specifically look to see what one I was getting.

I personally think its an awesome idea. It will make for quick and easy identification when the time comes to use them. This color code is for different types of strap, NOT different lengths.

Glenn54 03-03-2010 09:02 PM

Very good information and at a great time. I'm getting ready to buy at least one strap. Being new to Jeeping, I had no clue about the information you gave us. Thanks!!

BeepBeepImaJeep 03-03-2010 09:37 PM

Great Info to have, i currently have a cheaper recovery strap, not a static atm all i have is a kinetic or tow strap to recover friends, so who you guys say its worth all that money to buy this straps, i know there fantastic and everything, but 100 $ seems like alot.

AzTJ 03-03-2010 09:42 PM

This is good info Jerry. Any way to tell if our generic straps are kinetic or static? I have a yellow strap in my TJ that I've used as a tow strap for years. It's always stretched a bit under use. Kinetic right?

birdhunter 03-03-2010 09:57 PM

Sounds like a paid ad jer

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