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Towing etc ( Roman & Anthony) CHAT



Roman, I have no problem with your view. My kinetic rope experience is just
that, I am sure if I had a chain to hand I would have used it to pull
stumps. But it was all I had and it worked very well for several of them -
needs must. As for vehicle recovery, I think its the most gentle but only
suits certain situations.
The coat-on-tow link dodge is rightly used on any form of towing including
hawser, but was always a pre-requisite for the kinetic recovery. Thankfully
I have rarely used a winch with hawser, nor a plasma rope. I am not into
winching thankfully. My old bones would think that a day of that was taking
'fun' too far ;-) Out here we usually only see winches on the vehicles used
by mine clearance teams. This is usually cos they have to clear minefields
on near vertical mountainsides and they winch themselves up using trees.
They always have two 4WD ambulances to each team (usually a TLC75 troopie)
and they have to be able to access the scene of an incident to the point of
lowering them down a slope from a roadside tree too. In these cases they
often put 'forest chains' on the tyres to protect them from the
undergrowth. But I digress.
My short cable is not used for 'towing' but more for a short occasional tug
for someone else, though once used it on my 80 when I left my lights on
when parked in a UN meeting all day. An occupational hazard here is the
profusion of tunnels one goes through in daylight. Soon after I fitted an
excellent headlight warning bleeper from the Ilkeston catalogue.
You are absolutely right on shackles and links, but I am coming from the
more practical day-to-day perspective. There are avid off-roaders like you
who appreciate the need and have the funds for the correct gear. But I bet
if you go out with the average 4WD club for a day, most will have
'ordinary' links usually bought from a tractor dealer or industrial tool
supplier. Alloy links are great but can cost more than even stainless from
the likes of say Wichard. I submit that only the enthusiasts buy the best.
Apart from that, the specialist parts are not as easily obtained on short
notice (mostly mail order if you can't drive to their outlets) as those of
average quality from local suppliers.
I am not exactly an avid off-roader, it just happens to be part of my job,
apart from the fact that with the right vehicle I have the opportunity to
go into some great scenic areas in my spare time, and its just down the
road. I think I am well equipped, and most of my equipment is bought
locally where we have a profusion of 4WD's doing the same work. But even
here the supplies for the aid industry are 'industrial' not specialist gear
(alloy, stainless etc.). Interestingly, when I was involved in exporting
good quality 'Black Country' hardware to the marine industries there was a
huge difference in the markets. In Europe the health and safety legislation
is such that correct tested links have to be used - and not everyone
realises that if a link is rated 'SWL XX tonnes' it has been individually
tested on a specialist Salter load meter. For the Chileans the question was
always 'what is the breaking strain?' . Thus they used to buy an 8tonne SWL
shackle to tow a 90 tonne drag trawl net. I can't help thinking that there
must be certain areas of the Pacific sea bed festooned with trawls
deposited as a result of using a shackle rated at 10% of the load imposed
on it.
Anthony - snow chains. Thanks for your kind complimentary words on my
piece. Whenever I post anything I always repeat experience not theory. But
in case you have confused some listers here, you are referring to my
posting on the 80scool list not ELCO. Though I still prefer not to use
chains if I have to, its just that I so often need them to get up my small
suburban street at the end of the day !
'92 HZJ80 ex UN surplus in Bosnia - where an idle early Sunday morning
probably makes me write too much, sorry Julian