Every “stuck” situation is different. Sometimes you’ll need to use an ATV winch to get out, and sometimes a snatch strap will do the trick. Both are effective, but sometimes one works better than the other. Here are some tips on figuring out which recovery tool to use.
Can the pulling quad get enough traction?
If the ATV doing the pulling work can get enough traction, then you might be able to use a snatch strap, depending on how bad the ATV is stuck. If it’s mired deep in mud, you might have to use a winch to pull the quad out.
If there’s a chance that the pulling ATV will get stuck during the snatching process, use an ATV winch instead.
Using a snatch strap is quicker than using a winch, but it can be dangerous if done improperly. Make sure you attach the snatch strap to a secure towing point on the vehicle—definitely not the bumper or axle. Also, don’t jerk too hard or fast. That’s usually when things get bent or broken.
Can the pulling quad get close enough to the stuck quad?
Sometimes the stuck ATV is in a place that’s hard to get to. If you can only get within 30 feet of the stuck ATV, that’s when an ATV winch comes in handy. Using a snatch strap requires being able to get within a strap length of the stuck quad.
Do you ride alone?
If you ride alone, you’ll definitely want to install an ATV winch on your quad. Use a tree strap and shackle to rig up to your anchor point. If there’s no trees or rocks in sight (or they’re not big enough), make your own anchor point with a Pull-Pal or other anchoring device. In a pinch, you can make a deadman anchor by burying a log or axle in the ground, but avoid this if possible, since it takes a lot of time and disturbs the natural environment.
More ATV recovery tips
- Never yank with a winch cable or synthetic rope. The winch line is not designed to withstand shock loads.
- If the stuck ATV is mired in mud or sand, secure the pulling ATV to a tree using a tree strap. This will prevent the pulling ATV from getting dragged towards the stuck quad, and it reduces the strain on your clutch.
- When using a snatch strap, don’t jerk excessively hard or fast. It’s dangerous and could lead to breaking or bending something on the ATV.
- No matter which recovery tool you use, make sure you rig up properly. Attach to a secure towing point on the frame. Don’t hook up to the bumper, axle, or any other part that could break.
1500 lb to 4500 lb ATV winches
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