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Reader question: kinetic recoveries, LC200, 4WD Handbook, Patreon, winch extension ropes

Hi Robert,
Love your work – always straightforward, very informative and without fluff.

You have covered some of this in your videos, but I’m curious about kinetic recovery ropes. I’ve owned the traditional gear (flat snatch straps, steel shackles and snatch blocks for many years, but have mostly only used them on 4WD Club training days.

I see you (as do others, but Mad Matt is commercially involved with them) favour Factor 55 pulleys and soft shackles, but they only produce a 7/8″ kinetic recovery rope. From what I can see online, this may be near the upper load limit of a 7/8″ rope for my 200 series Land Cruiser (4015 kg GVM upgrade from ARB).

Are you able to suggest a suitable brand(s) if you agree this may be too small? For example, Yankum ropes sell a 1″ rope that is comfortably rated for this vehicle weight (their 7/8″ rope is rated @ 9,500 pounds) . Also, what length of synthetic winch extension rope do you find the most useful and can you suggest a brand?

If you’ve covered this info already, could you please direct me to the resource? If not, maybe a video on choosing a suitable size/rating? I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts and would be happy to join your band of Patreon supporters 🙂

Also, are you in the process of updating your 4WD Handbook? I see the 2nd edition seems to be out of stock (I bought the 1st edition years ago). I’ve just ordered the 3rd edition glovebox guide..

Thanks for the note, always encouraged to read emails like this! Answers:

  1. I don’t particularly favour Factor 55 gear. I think it’s good quality and would recommend it but not over any other quality manufacturer. Some of their gear is a bit pointless. I would also recommend other manufacturers such as Saber, ARB, Ironman, George 4×4 and more.
  2. Sizing – for horizontal recovery a good safety factor to work on is 2:1, so you work on a WLL (working load limit) of half that of the MBS (minimum breaking strength). Now the definition of MBS is somewhat variable, as I explain here, but it’s a start. So for a vehicle with GVM 4000kg I’d look at a rope around 8000kg, and there’s quite a few KERRs on the market which fit the bill.
  3. Synthetic rope extension – I carry two, one 20m, one 30m, spliced both ends, and there’s 20m on my winch drum. I prefer to have the length on the extension rope not the drum so the winch doesn’t work too hard and the rope can go on at high fleet angles (not straight on). I also often carry a 50m extension but rarely use it. Brands – well, the retail people are just reselling Dyneema rope with their own colours/lengths/splices, so long as it’s Dyneema it’s all more or less the same – I often use smaller suppliers who will cut/splice to my specific needs.
  4. Patreon – yes I need more supporters so I can fund testing of gear! https://www.patreon.com/L2SFBC and I have just arranged 10% off training courses with Getabout/Tow-Ed.
  5. 4WD Handbook – won’t be another print edition, but am considering an e-book. Thanks for ordering the Glovebox Guide!
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