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.
These two points are designed for lifting the front of the vehicle up with a high lift jack and adaptor, not for recovering off, and we’ve had enough 4WD recovery deaths in Australia.
I’m writing this post because a huge number of people that I bump into are under the impression they are suited for 4WD recoveries. If you take a close look, these are 3mm plate, with a 3mm washer tacked in place. It might look strong, but they most certainly are not. They are not ARB Bull Bar Recovery Points!
Do a bit of reading online and you will find plenty of people who have used them for snatch and winch recoveries, and who have bent or broken them. It’s always worth taking the time before doing a 4WD recovery to work out what the weakest link is, and to make sure its safe!
Given the risks involved with 4WD recoveries, please do not use these two points. Recovering from non-rated points is one of the 20 things you should never do in a 4WD Recovery.
There’s lots of things you should look for when Buying a 4WD Bull Bar, and the recovery points side of things is a critical one.
So what can you use?
ARB Recovery Points are available for a huge range of different model 4WD’s. These are additional to the Bull Bar, and bolt onto the chassis below the bull bar. They are stamped with their WLL (working load limit) and are designed to take high stress recoveries in different directions. Alternatively, there are a wide range of recovery points on the market sold by other 4WD accessory companies.
Some are laser cut plate that bolt onto the side of the chassis, some are angle and you can get a variety of hooks and loops too. Many today are chamfered so you can use soft shackles in place without damaging them.
Regardless of what you get, make sure its rated, bolted on using the correct bolts and that your chassis is in good condition. If you are looking for more information, have a read of 4WD Recovery Points.
Some Bull Bars come with incorporated recovery points
There are a couple of Brands (TJM, AFN) that come with rated recovery points as part of the Bull Bar, but unless its specified as rated for recoveries (and not just towing) you shouldn’t be using it. Bull Bar Recovery Points are in general fairly rare, so you have to pay extra for proper points located underneath.
Stay safe out there!