Skip to content
Free Delivery - For all orders over £100 to mainland UK (*excluding some areas)
Free Delivery - For all orders over £100 to mainland UK (*excluding some areas)
Car Being Towed With Vehicle Recovery Straps

A Beginner's Guide to Using Vehicle Recovery Straps

A Beginner's Guide to Using Vehicle Recovery Straps

Whether you’re looking to get into the vehicle recovery business for the first time, want to transport your own vehicle to track events or are just plain curious about how vehicle recovery straps work, we’re going to answer all your burning questions in this comprehensive ‘how-to’ guide.  

In it, we’ll cover everything from buying your first recovery straps to using them safely and maintaining them. As the UK’s leading manufacturer of ratchet straps, we understand these products inside and out. From our base in Peterborough, we manufacture and extensively test each one we sell, ensuring it meets or exceeds British and European standards. So, if there’s something we’ve missed in this article - perhaps you have a super-specific question that we haven’t covered here - get in touch with our team today. We’re here to help.

Without further ado, let’s get started: which recovery straps should you buy?

Choosing the right straps

If you’re planning to transport a vehicle on a trailer, beavertail recovery truck or low loader, straps are used to secure the vehicle and prevent it from moving around on the open road. 

Ratchet straps are typically the product of choice for vehicle transport. Why?

  • They’re easy to use
  • They’re safe
  • They’re affordable and easy to get hold of

But there are so many different designs of ratchet strap out there - and choosing the right one is important. There are a few things to bear in mind when you’re shopping, the first being the Minimum Break Force. This essentially refers to the minimum weight at which the strap is liable to fall, so this figure should never be exceeded. 

Naturally, the heavier the vehicle you’re planning to transport, the higher this figure will need to be. We would recommend allowing plenty of headroom, just to be extra safe. Plus, if you invest in heavy duty straps, the range of vehicles you can transport will be greater - you never know when you might need to recover a stricken van or pick-up, for instance.

The next key consideration is the hook type. Most recovery trucks and trailers will come with built-in provisions for claw hooks or chassis hooks, making these designs the natural choice for securing each wheel to the vehicle. 

You’ll also need specialised recovery straps in addition to your ratchet straps. These tailor-made items, also known as ‘wheel chokers’ wrap around the vehicle’s wheels and are then linked to the ratchet straps, securing the vehicle without causing any damage to its wheels. 

Using the straps safely

The wheel choker and ratchet strap combo makes vehicle recovery pretty straightforward, although it is of course vital to follow this process carefully - even if you’re in a rush. Take your time and triple-check each strap once you’re done. 

  1. Slot the hook end of your ratchet strap (the section without a handle) into an anchor point.
  2. Take the webbing of the ratchet strap and pass it through either loop on the end of your wheel choker.
  3. Then, loop the webbing around the back of the wheel, before passing it back through the loop on the other end of your wheel choker. Take care to avoid any vulnerable mechanical parts, such as brake lines. 
  4. Next, secure the handle end of your ratchet strap into an anchor point on the trailer or recovery vehicle.
  5. Take the loose webbing of the other strap (the part you looped behind the wheel just a second ago) and wrap it around the wheel of the ratchet handle.
  6. Move the ratchet handle back and forth to apply tension until the wheel choker is flush with the wheel rim and the vehicle is secure. The choker should be horizontal and not at a strange angle. 
  7. Repeat the process on the remaining three wheels!

Key safety precautions

Before you set off with your vehicle in tow, there are a few safety precautions you should take. 

  • Thoroughly check each corner of the vehicle to make sure it’s secure. The hooks should be securely attached to the chassis and should not be able to move - and neither should the wheel choker.
  • After you’ve been driving for 30 minutes or so, pull over and check that the vehicle is still secure.
  • Inspect the webbing on each strap for damage or wear before you set off. If there are any signs of tearing and its strength appears to be compromised in any way, don’t use the strap. 
  • Never use a ratchet strap that has too low a Minimum Break Force, doesn’t meet the required safety standards or is damaged in any way (for example, one that has rusty hooks or a sticking ratcheting mechanism). 

Get started today

Ready to get shopping for your first vehicle recovery straps? We have a wide range of products in stock and ready for immediate dispatch, all of which meet or exceed the required British and European safety standards and have been built to last. Cut out the middleman and buy directly from the UK’s leading manufacturer today, or contact us to get your questions answered. 

Previous article What Can Ratchet Straps Be Used For?
Next article Ratchet Straps Vs Cam Buckle Straps: What's Better?

Leave a comment

* Required fields