Anyone ever bend a hitch pin on recovery?

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Aug 9, 2003
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I've been on a SAR mission trying to find the missing Idaho kids all week, and yesterday yanked a media satellite truck out of the mud. I normally use a Warn stinger with shackle to pull with, but somehow the shackle had gotten bent and would not go on the stinger. With cameras rolling, I elected to instead use the pin that holds the stinger in place, figuring I'd use a hammer to pound it out at home if it bent. I wasn't worried about it failing, but heard they can bend.

Anyhow, it was a big truck and under the circumstances I wanted to make it happen on the first try so I hit the strap pretty stoutly. When I disconnected the strap, I was pleasantly surprised that the pin had not bent at all and the yank was in the top 20% of my hardest - plus a 15,000# truck.

Anyone ever actually bend a hitch pin, or actually witness one bent? I'm thinking this is recovery lore - which I've preached as well.

DougM
 
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Witnessed one here. Ramcharger on 35s(approximately 7000lbs if I had to guess) getting running starts at pulling out a YJ that was buried up to its fenders in mud and ice(stalled a 8000lbs winch using a snatch block). Bent the pin. Pin still came out, but was unuseable after that.

I don't think you would be able to straighten the pin with a hammer, and don't know that you'd want to after it had been under enough stress to bend it in the first place.

Ary
 
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Junk said:
Sorry Doug - but I tend to use proper recovery points.

What's not proper about a frame mounted reciever hitch?

If the warn stinger was there all the load would still have been born by the hitch pin, although the load better distributed across the pin.
 
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I always use a NATO pintle hitch, which is bolted to the 4 holes on the rear cross member for recovery and have done some very heavy extractions using this hitch with various vehicles with no problems at all they are very well made. They do need servicing every now and then, as the joints can seize up with disuse so can be a bit stiff to open up and there for need greasing occasionally. Thy are easy to use with large shackles or by just pulling the loop of a KERR or recovery strap over the hook.
 
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Yeah, I think the hitch is stronger than any recovery hook considering it is held on with not only the bolts that hold the rear hook on, but also two more for the other hook and a huge pair forward on the frame. No worries there, and the pin is also thicker than the factory recovery hooks.

Also forgot to praise the 7 pin mod / center difflock switch mod. I had to do some tight backing and filling in low range to avoid the possibility of ramming a CNN truck if I broke something and it was nice not to fight that locked center diff. Really a nice mod.

So Ary, what was being used to yank - rope, chain, or strap? This was a big strap designed for a 27,000lb yank. Not the heaviest, but wondering how those guys bent their pin.

DougM
 
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IIRC a 3" snatch strap, but I could be wrong. This happened 3 years ago. All I remember are the vehicles, the situation and the bent pin. The specifics on the size/type of strap are fuzzy.
 
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