PSA - Towing Fatality

Stepmurr

Lookin' fer the end of that old white line
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Saw this on the news last night - the drop-down style ball mount broke apart with a fatal result.


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This happens way more often than people think. I have seen it a few times, but never more than property damage. Anymore I leave when big diesel trucks get the chain out...
 
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And every recovery person that has a YouTube or Instagram is jumping on it. I hope that it helps the next time. Other than wanting more likes and views.
 

Azca

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@Stepmurr, you should post this on the main forum as well. This is another reason that when recovering a vehicle, you should but a heavy blanket or drape something heavy over the line and, more importantly, raise your hood. Don't know if it would have helped much though, I think the ford hoods are now aluminum.
 
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A blanket or jacket should be draped over steel winch cable (or chain, if you roll that way), to slow the cable if it breaks. A blanket isn't needed on synthetic winch rope or straps, and won't help much if there's a chunk of metal attached to the end no matter if it's strap, rope, chain, or steel cable. Above all, make sure any metal you attach to or with will not break loose- whether it be a D-ring (shackle), attachment point, receiver or bumper, or whatever random car part you think you want to attach to if there's no recovery point. (I prefer axles or suspension arms- never a factory tie-down, sway bar, or anything else that's not meant to take a lot of stress.)
 

LXPlode

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And every recovery person that has a YouTube or Instagram is jumping on it. I hope that it helps the next time. Other than wanting more likes and views.
Truly tragic, I doubt The MORR team will talk about this. I’m still skeptical of the pintle hitch recoveries he does
 

LXPlode

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He has actually, and his reasons seem perfectly sound
I’m actually a huge fan; I meant that specific incident not the fact that balls aren’t for tugging.

I’ve been wanting to bolt a pintle to my bumper for a while but I’m not sold yet.
 
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Sorry buddy, I should been more specific.

I don't think Matt's has talked about this tragedy, but the few vids he teamed up with MadMatt about this topic have some sound logic.
 

LXPlode

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Sorry buddy, I should been more specific.

I don't think Matt's has talked about this tragedy, but the few vids he teamed up with MadMatt about this topic have some sound logic.
I agree and have seen the yankum episode, great stuff. My comment was meant to point to the fact that I don’t think Matt would exploit this incident for views. My wife and 4 kids are mega MORR fans, it’s one of the few “shows” I let the kids watch.
 
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After researching this a bit over the years, I've switched to synthetic soft shackles and an aluminum synthetic line roller instead of my steel D-rings and steel snatch block. These pair well with the synthetic line that came with my winch, and give me a lot more confidence for safety, since I'm usually out by myself.

Years ago at Overland Expo, the Range Rover team specified that any recovery should have a safety observer that has full authority over the situation, and should be the person with the most experience. When out with a group, that makes perfect sense, but by yourself, in the dark, and in a rush, I'd like as much margin for error as I can afford.
 

LXPlode

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After researching this a bit over the years, I've switched to synthetic soft shackles and an aluminum synthetic line roller instead of my steel D-rings and steel snatch block. These pair well with the synthetic line that came with my winch, and give me a lot more confidence for safety, since I'm usually out by myself.

Years ago at Overland Expo, the Range Rover team specified that any recovery should have a safety observer that has full authority over the situation, and should be the person with the most experience. When out with a group, that makes perfect sense, but by yourself, in the dark, and in a rush, I'd like as much margin for error as I can afford.
I just bought 2 soft shackles from harbor freight last week. Less than $35 a pop!!! Great peace of mind at an unnervingly low price. Badlands aka China makes some great stuff - just look at their ever popular GY6 motor knockoffs!

When I do find a cheap enough used bumper for my LX, I’ll be buying a badlands winch with synth line.
 
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I finally watched the video and see the length of the drop hitch that snapped. Between that and size of truck and how deep it was in the mud leverage played a big part is why it broke. Have have no plans on switching to synthetic line. My issue with that is it's life span. Had a government job and was OHSA trained to death. Anything from hard hats to safety harnesses had a five year life and were suppose to be replaced. Very sad what happened but even synthetic rope would have not prevented the hitch from breaking. This was a job for a heavy duty tow truck. At the very least a effect should have been made to dig the truck out of that mud or waited for the ground to dry out. Using a spring shackle and synthetic rope would not have gotten the job done.
 
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I finally watched the video and see the length of the drop hitch that snapped. Between that and size of truck and how deep it was in the mud leverage played a big part is why it broke. Have have no plans on switching to synthetic line. My issue with that is it's life span. Had a government job and was OHSA trained to death. Anything from hard hats to safety harnesses had a five year life and were suppose to be replaced. Very sad what happened but even synthetic rope would have not prevented the hitch from breaking. This was a job for a heavy duty tow truck. At the very least a effect should have been made to dig the truck out of that mud or waited for the ground to dry out. Using a spring shackle and synthetic rope would not have gotten the job done.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that synthetic rope would have averted catastrophe in this example- it's very clear that the drop hitch was the failure point, and why. We're just expanding the discussion to include 'best practices' for recovery. You can certainly use steel winch cable, but you should know how to mitigate the risks if it fails. Personally, synthetic line offers so many advantages over steel cable that it's worth ~$100 to replace it as needed, and there are ways to prolong its useful life quite a bit, such as not leaving it exposed to sunlight when it's not in use.
 

LXPlode

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I finally watched the video and see the length of the drop hitch that snapped. Between that and size of truck and how deep it was in the mud leverage played a big part is why it broke. Have have no plans on switching to synthetic line. My issue with that is it's life span. Had a government job and was OHSA trained to death. Anything from hard hats to safety harnesses had a five year life and were suppose to be replaced. Very sad what happened but even synthetic rope would have not prevented the hitch from breaking. This was a job for a heavy duty tow truck. At the very least a effect should have been made to dig the truck out of that mud or waited for the ground to dry out. Using a spring shackle and synthetic rope would not have gotten the job done.
A stretchy rope like the yankum could have helped but the main issue is that drop hitch like @-Spike- and everyone else mentioned.

Glad the government can afford to replace everything every five years! I wish I had that kind of budget 🤑
 

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