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SNATCH STRAP COMPARISON

Don’t for a second think all snatch straps are created equally.

Which is a shame, as the mighty snatch strap would have to be the most called upon item when it comes to off-road recovery equipment. With so many new players in the Australian four-wheel drive aftermarket industry these days, it is about time we took a closer look at the products entering our shores, and compare them scientifically. Most importantly, we want to see which snatch straps are fit for use by Australian four-wheel drivers and deserve a place in your vehicle. We hit the streets and purchased as many different snatch straps as we could. All that is left to answer now, is which strap will win, and which one will lose. And most importantly which snatch strap should you spend your hard earned money on? Welcome to the first Unsealed 4X4 snatch strap comparison and destruction test!

 

Read the article HERE

 

THE STRAPS

To ensure accuracy, and that no industry bias would creep into this comparison, we decided it was the best practice to not let anyone in the four-wheel drive industry in on what we were up to. If the strap came straight off the showroom floor, it would be a more accurate representation of quality; this is exactly where you would be buying these straps after all. So we donned a cape, silly hat and fake moustache, and went mystery shopping and purchased two of each snatch strap. Okay maybe we didn’t dress up like Russian spies, but let’s just say there were a few suspicious four-wheel drive shops owners wondering why someone would want two snatch straps of a particular brand when they had something ‘better and cheaper on offer’.

Another practise we employed, was using straps sent out to our Print Editor Sam Purcell for his recovery kit comparison. This made up the third strap to be tested. So we now had a mix of straps found in retail outlets sold individually, and those sold in kits. What we have assembled is the most comprehensive and unbiased snatch strap destruction test ever conducted.

 TESTING PROCEDURE

Safe real world testing is simply not an option. So we took the scientific approach and enlisted the help of Noble’s NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) accredited testing facility in Sydney’s Wetherill Park, for what their team gleefully termed as destruction testing. One end of each snatch strap was hooked onto an anchor point, and the other attached to a hydraulic ram mounted along two (really) large pieces of steel tube, which formed the test bed. As the ram extended, the strap was stretched to the point of breaking. The progress of each strap was carefully monitored (from behind a steel safety shield) on a digital monitor, which highlighted weight increases as they happened.

We used three straps from each manufacturer. The first two were hooked up to the test bed and broken. The third was dipped in a bucket of water for ten seconds, and then placed in another bucket to wait for testing. We did this because in many cases a snatch strap will be wet during use. Once the strap had been destroyed, we were provided with an exact reading from the point of failure. One real surprise was how hot the straps became after being destroyed… some even melted. The other surprise was the significance water played in the final results of some straps.

CHOOSING A STRAP

Remember, this isn’t a horsepower shootout. The highest number isn’t as important as how the straps broke, the percentage of stretch and if they met their minimum-breaking limit. To choose the correct strap, it needs a rating of two-to-three times the GVM of your vehicle. So if your vehicle weighs 2500kg, you need a strap with a minimum-breaking limit of 5000kg-7500kg. This is why 8000kg snatch straps are most commonly found in four-wheel drives, as they should cover this amount of load with some margin for error. If you tow a camper trailer or van, don’t forget to include this in your weight calculations as well.

 WHAT MAKES
A GOOD STRAP?

Our test lab technicians explained that a good quality strap should not break at the stitching. If the stitching fails first, especially in the strap eye, not only is the strap constructed poorly but also this flaw will allow the full length and weight of the strap to recoil with the most potential for vehicle damage or worse, death or injury. What you want to see is a clean break near the stitch perforations where the strap eye meets the strap. This means the stitching is stronger than the strap material itself, and has been engineered appropriately.

 MEASURING THEM

This might sound like nitpicking, but if you are paying for a strap that is nine metres long, it should be nine metres long. After measuring each strap individually, some sadly came in well under their advertised length. On the other end of the spectrum, we had some pleasant surprises, and a few straps measured longer than the advertised length. To see how each strap faired when placed along side our tape measure, check out the specs box on each strap with the claimed advertised length and the actual length of the strap. After all, sometimes an extra few centimetres is all you need when it comes to recovery gear.

ARB 8,000KG RRP $95.00

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                         900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                            908cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                              8,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                          9,619kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                     23.5%

 TESTER’S NOTES: The ARB 8,000kg strap broke quite cleanly, and at over the suggested minimum breaking point of 8,000kg. The strap material failed before the stitching did, indicating a thought-out design and construction. The ARB strap was also the second most elastic strap out of the group, and water didn’t seem to affect the operation of the strap nor reduce its breaking point to below the 8,000kg rating.

BUSHRANGER 8,000KG  RRP $65.00

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                        900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                           896cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                             8,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                       9,378KG

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                 22.99%

 TESTER’S NOTES: All Bushranger 8,000kg snatch straps got so hot during testing; they physically melted together in parts post destruction. Each strap broke fairly cleanly though, and the eyelet stitching remained intact. It even came with this kind-of-cool lanyard that allows you to keep the strap neatly rolled up while in transit or storage. Score!

IRONMAN 4X4  8,000KG RRP $59.00

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                               900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                                  902cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                                   8,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                               6,221kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                       20.39%

 TESTER’S NOTES: It was apparent the first strap wasn’t going to perform early on in the piece. The Ironman straps quickly made noises akin to a tree branch slowly cracking, as the stitching snapped ferociously. They are a bit longer than advertised, and had slightly more than 20% stretch which is good, showing that Ironman know what should go into a snatch strap. But with two of the straps breaking under the recommended minimum breaking point, it seems Ironman needs to have a frank conversation with their strap manufacturer.

JUST STRAPS 8,100KG RRP $77.00

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                           900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                              896cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                               8,100kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                           9,241kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                   18.41%

 TESTER’S NOTES: Just Straps 8,100kg snatch straps measured shy of the claimed nine-metre length – only by four centimetres – but it must be mentioned. The straps broke where and how they should essentially, with both strap eyes remaining intact. They weren’t the cleanest breaks though; with signs the stitching was letting go at the same time. Still, you can’t argue with results and the Just Straps 8,100kg (does anyone else think it’s a bit odd it was rated to 8,100kg?) gets the tick of approval even though it was down slightly on stretch.

OPPOSITE LOCK
8,000KG RRP $65.00

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                       800cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                          800cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                            8,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                    10,486kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                15.37%

 TESTER’S NOTES: If the Opposite Lock 8,000kg snatch strap were an engine, it would be a twin turbo V8 monster. Even our head technician in his thick European accent claimed with excitement “good one” after observing the results. The big thing was not only how much weight it took to break the straps, but how consistently clean the breaks were. Oddly, they were also the shortest straps of the lot, measuring in at exactly 8m in length. Also the amount of stretch was disappointing, coming in under the industry standard 20%.

OZTRAIL 8,000KG RRP $129.99

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                        900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                           893cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                             8,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                         9,991kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                 21.94%

 TESTER’S NOTES: To be honest, the Oztrail snatch strap kind of surprised us. Here we were thinking that the bulk of Oztrail products revolve around swags, tents and camp chairs. But they have produced a snatch strap that pulled impressive numbers before being shot into the great four-wheel drive track in the sky. It did measure 7cm shorter than specified and the eyelet stitching failed before the actual strap did which is a downer. It is also the most expensive strap tested. Excellent stretch though!

POWERFUL 4X4 9,000KG RRP $59.00

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                        900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                           875cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                             9,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                         9,839kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                 22.68%

 TESTER’S NOTES: Positive points for the Powerful 4X4 snatch straps are the amount of stretch they had, at an impressive 22.68%. On the negative side, the straps tested were 25cm shorter than advertised which again is a bit of a let down. Wet testing reduced the breaking point to just under the stamped minimum breaking point, and if it weren’t for that fact the Powerful 4X4 snatch strap would have faired far better results wise.

RIDGE RYDER
8,000KG RRP $79.99

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                       900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                          930cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                            8,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                        7,596kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                20.96%

 TESTER’S NOTES: On face value, the Ridge Ryder snatch straps looked to be well made and neatly packaged. They were even a full 30cm longer than advertised, which is a good thing. But with such inconsistent results, that all seems like a moot point. Wet testing took nearly two tonne off the minimum breaking point! Stretch was good at 20.96%, but failure to exceed the minimum breaking point on two occasions means the Ridge Ryder strap is one that cannot be recommended.

TERRAIN TAMER 8,000KG RRP $79.00

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                       900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                          875cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                            8,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                        8,921kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                18.80%

 TESTER’S NOTES: Two separate companies manufacture the Terrain Tamer snatch strap in Australia. One does the webbing and another (a parachute belt manufacturer) the stitching. Again, our European engineer had the call of the day, “let’s see if they should stick to making umbrellas instead of parachutes”. The answer: these snatch straps performed very well, except when it came to wet testing where they came in just shy of their claimed rating. Also, they measured up 25cm short (are we the only ones with a tape measure?)

TIGERZ11 HERCULES 8,000KG RRP $35.00

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                       900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                          909cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                            8,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                        5,081kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                   9.57%

TESTER’S NOTES: The best way to describe the Hercules 8,000kg strap after testing is a dog’s breakfast. Literally falling to pieces is an understatement; the stitching unravelled from the strap once tension was applied like water flowing from a tap. The only thing going in its favour is the fact the strap is 9cm longer than advertised. Stretch was almost non-existent with a total of just 9.57%. Tigerz11 Hercules snatch straps get the wooden spoon here, and we hope for safety’s sake Tigerz11 spends some time and effort on product testing and development.

TIGERZ11 HERCULES 11,000KG RRP $42.00

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                       900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                          894cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                        11,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                                     NA

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                             NA

 TESTER’S NOTES: We were given this additional strap as part of a buy-one-get-one-free deal. But they were out of stock, so gave me an 11,000kg strap instead. We are not officially including this strap, but it seemed silly to not test it since we already had it. Not only did this strap break at nearly half its advertised minimum breaking limit, but it is shorter than advertised, too! A manufacturing flaw (burn mark) was also found in the centre of the strap. Amazingly, it still broke at the eyelet stitching not at the manufacturing flaw, highlighting just how poor the construction methods employed are.

TJM 8,000KG RRP $98.57

CLAIMED LENGTH:                                                       900cm

ACTUAL LENGTH:                                                          905cm

CLAIMED BREAKING POINT:                            8,000kg

AVERAGE BREAKING POINT:                        8,429kg

AVERAGE STRETCH:                                                24.08%

TESTER’S NOTES: Not only did TJM snatch straps appear to be well constructed, they also had so much elasticity we ran out of test bed on one occasion, even after physically hand-winching the test bed back as far as it could go! Another interesting point was how both the second test and the wet test had exactly the same results. So while two straps didn’t meet minimum breaking ratings (which is extremely disappointing) the amount of stretch was a good and the strap measured more than advertised. TJM wins the close but no cigar award, and with some refinement this could be a very good product.

THE NITTY GRITTY

BRAND STRETCH BROKE
ARB 8,000kg (Dry)NA85.50kn (8,718kg)
ARB 8,000kg (Dry)210cm100.00Kn (10,197kg)
ARB 8,000kg (Wet)217cm97.50Kn (9,942kg)
Average Stretch: 23.5%Average Break: 9,619kg
Bushranger 8,000kg (Dry)NA98.50Kn (10,044kg)
Bushranger 8,000kg (Dry)196cm94.00Kn (9,580kg)
Bushranger 8,000kg (Wet)216cm83.50Kn (8,510kg)
Average Stretch: 22.99%Average Break: 9,378kg
Ironman 8,000kg (Dry)NA39.75Kn (4,053kg)
Ironman 8,000kg (Dry)174cm86.50kn (8,820kg)
Ironman 8,000kg (Wet)194cm57.00kn (5,810kg)
Average Stretch: 20.39%Average Break: 6,221kg
Just Straps 8,100kg (Dry)NA83.00Kn (8,463kg)
Just Straps 8,100kg (Dry)160cm101.0Kn (10,290kg)
Just Straps 8,100kg (Wet)170cm88.00Kn (8,970kg)
Average Stretch: 18.41%Average Break: 9,241kg
Opposite Lock 8,000kg (Dry)NA103.50Kn (10,554kg)
Opposite Lock 8,000kg (Dry)120cm103.00Kn (10,503kg)
Opposite Lock 8,000kg (Wet)126cm102.00Kn (10,401kg)
Average Stretch: 15.37%Average Break: 10,486kg
Oztrail 8,000kg (Dry)NA94.00Kn (9,585kg)
Oztrail 8,000kg (Dry)193cm108.50Kn (11,060kg)
Oztrail 8,000kg (Wet)199cm91.50Kn (9,330kg)
Average Stretch: 21.94%Average Break: 9,991kg
Powerful 4×4 9,000(Dry)NA113.50Kn (11,573kg)
Powerful 4×4 9,000kg (Dry)195cm88.50Kn (9,024kg)
Powerful 4×4 9,000kg (Wet)202cm87.50Kn (8,922kg)
Average Stretch: 22.68%Average Break: 9,839kg
Ridge Ryder 8,000kg (Dry)NA70.00Kn (7,138kg)
Ridge Ryder 8,000kg (Dry)192cm88.50Kn (9,024kg)
Ridge Ryder 8,000kg (Wet)198cm65.00Kn (6,628kg)
Average Stretch: 20.96%Average Break: 7,596kg
Terrain Tamer 8,000kg (Dry)NA92.50Kn (9,432kg)
Terrain Tamer 8,000kg (Dry)155cm92.00Kn (9,381kg)
Terrain Tamer 8,000kg (Wet)174cm77.00Kn (7,951kg)
Average Stretch: 18.8%Average Break: 8,921kg
Tigerz 11 8,000kg (Dry)NA53.50Kn (5,455kg)
Tigerz 11 8,000kg (Dry)90cm49.00Kn (4,996kg)
Tigerz 11 8,000kg (Wet)84cm47.00Kn (4,792kg)
Average Stretch: 9.57%Average Break: 5,081kg
TJM 8,000kg (Dry)NA95.00Kn (9,687kg)
TJM 8,000kg(Dry)213cm76.5Kn (7,800kg)
TJM 8,000kg (Wet)223cm76.50Kn (7,800kg)
Average Stretch: 24.08%Average Break: 8,429kg

WINNERS

OVERALL WINNER:
ARB 8,000kg

They all broke over their recommended breaking point on each occasion, are slightly longer than advertised and had the second most stretch out of all the straps.

RUNNER UP:
BUSHRANGER 8,000kg

Affordably priced, consistent results, and 22.99% stretch…
You could do much worse than parking the Bushranger
8,000kg strap in the back of your four-wheel drive!

STRONGEST STRAP TESTED:
OPPOSITE LOCK 8,000kg

Broke at an average of 10,486kg, which is nearly 2,500kg
over its recommended breaking point. It was also
affordably priced, but lost points with its lack of stretch.

NOTABLE MENTION:
OZTRAIL 8,000kg

The Oztrail was the biggest surprise of the group.
If it weren’t so expensive and it had been as long
as they claimed it to be, it damn near would have won!

Editor’s note: We were concerned with Ironman 4X4’s snatch strap failures, so we contacted them to let them know our results. They have since pulled their 8,000kg snatch straps from the market. You can read their full response here

 

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