There’s nothing more important when it comes to 4WDing than knowing how to recover yourself, and others in a way that is safe, efficient and easy. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about 4WD Recoveries, what gear to use and when, and how to avoid getting stuck in the first place.
4WD recoveries are dangerous. The level of risk is so high that it’s killed more than a few Australians in the last two decades, and plenty more overseas. This post highlights some of the deaths in Australia that have taken place around 4WD recoveries, with the relevant news articles/posts to go with it.
Being bogged in your 4WD isn’t the most pleasant feeling, but there are plenty of ways to get yourself moving again. There’s nothing abnormal about being stuck; people recover bogged 4WD’s every day of the year.
Another week, and more video’s on social media of people recovering 4WD’s using their tow balls. It sickens me to think that at any moment, another person could be killed because of a lack of knowledge, care and respect for 4WD recoveries.
Some time ago we had a structural engineer send in a very comprehensive article covering the forces involved in a 4WD recovery, and how you should best size your recovery gear. The information in this post is very detailed, and extremely interesting.
If you’ve got an ARB Bull Bar, you may have noticed the two holes in the plate at the front of the bar. Due to the design, you might easily mistake these as somewhere to put a shackle through for a 4WD recovery.
When was the last time you got stuck? Have you ever had to use your recovery points? There’s a good chance you have (whether its to pull someone out, or get recovered!) at some stage. 4WD recoveries have gone pear shaped many times, and there are a number of things you can do to reduce the chance of something going wrong.
Recovery points on your 4WD need to be rated, and they need to be mounted properly.
Last week, a 17 year old Sydney boy was hit in the back of the head when a 4WD recovery went badly wrong. He was in critical condition, and put in an induced coma. I don’t know exactly what happened, and will not speculate on it. I just wish him and his family all the best, and hope he recovers quickly.
4WD recoveries generally involve a lot of force, and if something breaks it can do a lot of damage. There’s been more than a handful of people killed in Australia over the years when 4WD recoveries have gone wrong. One of the biggest risks in a 4WD recovery is that something metal breaks. If this happens, and its under tension (like a winch rope or snatch strap), its going to take off faster than you’ll be able to see.
4WD recoveries can involve a lot of force, and there’s a few ways you can manage and reduce this. One of the most well known is to use an equaliser strap, and to spread the load over your chassis.
A 4WD Recovery Kit is one of the most important things that you can have in your 4WD. The number of people that I have pulled out from a boggy beach who don’t have any recovery gear is scary.
Before you even take your 4WD off the bitumen, you should have a basic 4WD Recovery Kit. Along with this, you need to know how to use it safely. Even the best recovery gear in the hands of someone with limited experience is going to be dangerous!
What if I told you that a large majority of 4WD recoveries done locally are not safe? Would you believe me? When you do a recovery in your 4WD, it’s good practice to take a second before going through with it to consider what the weakest link is. This way, you know what is most likely to go wrong, and you can act accordingly.
When you get stuck off road, what do you do? Do you reach around for the snatch strap, or tyre gauge, or just plant your foot on the accelerator?
Getting a bogged 4WD moving again is actually really simple, and safe when you take the time to do it correctly. I won’t dwell on safety too much, but there should be a conscious effort put into ensuring what you are doing is safe. There’s been too many people killed in Australia when 4WD recoveries have gone wrong