Looking for more vehicle hauler supplies? For car hauler straps, wheel nets, axle straps, tow dolly straps and other car tie downs, check out our page of Wheel nets, Auto & Car Tie Downs and Tow Dolly Straps
. We also carry a full line of Recovery Straps and Tow Straps
The most important aspect of towing or recovering a vehicle is knowing where to place tow hooks and recovery straps. The only spot on a car, truck or SUV that can handle the weight of pulling another vehicle is the frame. Bumpers are not designed to withstand the pressure and will be damaged or pulled away completely. You should also not attach a tow rope or recovery strap to an axle. While it may appear to be a secure part of a vehicle, it can also be bent or torn off under pulling pressure.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that American made vehicles have four attachment points on the frame where straps can be attached if needed. If you have a vehicle without tow hooks, you can have a professional weld them onto the frame.
Types of hooks
Different makes of cars are equipped with different attached tow hooks, therefore a special type of hook may be needed when attaching a tow strap to a vehicle.
- “R” hook can tow Ford vehicles
- “T” hook can tow GM/Chrysler vehicles
- “J” hook can tow foreign-made vehicles
We offer a swivel combination tow hook with a D-ring, J hook and T hook; we also offer a cluster hook assembly that includes a D-Ring, J hook, T hook and R hook. Simply choose the appropriate hook style and place into the factory hole in the vehicle's under carriage to ensure safe towing.
We also offer a durable 14” hook for heavy duty uses when hook strength is important.
Tow strap vs. recovery strap
Although it’s common to think that either of these straps can be used for both towing and recovery, they actually are very different in their design, uses and benefits. Tow straps
are designed for towing and have very little stretch, so they are not recommended for recovery of a vehicle that’s stuck immobilized. They generally come with a hook on the end or are designed to be used with hooks. They work best for a vehicle that can freely move. Recovery straps
have more stretch and have loops on the end instead of hooks. They slip over the towing hook that’s attached to the vehicle and create a gentle stretch to pull a vehicle out. Recovery straps are generally safer because there is no metal hook that can become unattached from the strap and launch through the air during the recovery or “snatch” of a vehicle.
Strengths and limits
Another important aspect of towing is knowing the strengths of your equipment before using. Some common terms you’ll see include: Break strength:
Sometimes also known as Rated Capacity. Breaking strength is the average force when a product has been found to break when conducted under testing by a trained representative. Keep in mind that break strengths are obtained under ideal, controlled conditions when the product is new. Work load limit:
Sometimes also called Safe Working Load, or abbreviated as WLL or SWL, this is the maximum load capacity that should ever be applied in a straight line pull under any condition. These limit guidelines are determined and based on general environmental conditions and may not take into considerations such as extremely high or low temperatures, prolonged immersion in water or chemical solutions, etc. You should never exceed the working load limit of a piece of equipment.