The Danger of using the wrong recovery equipment


Well-known member
Although I would never use a tow ball for recovery, that video showed very hard abuse that only a total idiot would try.
yeah? well, … well,... he did have a helment! (sic)

besides, after a few brewskis, who wouldn't have the courage to jump into a performance like that? "I didn't pay $49.99 for this chain just to ride it around y'know"


I actually enjoyed it. You hear all the time to not use a hitch ball for a recovery point, but to see one break and see what happens in a some-what controlled environment... enlightening.

A couple beater 4x4s, a backstop built into the vehicle... what could go wrong?


It would break over time,but how many time would it take? I think he had to hammer it to get it to break,otherwise he would have had to repeat it until it broke.Hopefully is saves a life.

Idiocy exists.



I once had my Tahoe stuck while plowing snow. We where pulling it out with a 3" tow strap hooked to a factory tow hook. Snapped the tow hook off and it came right through the sheet metal on my barn door and was laying 4 feet inside my Tahoe. I was sure thankful it didn't come through 2 feet higher


Although I would never use a tow ball for recovery, that video showed very hard abuse that only a total idiot would try.
Think about how much abuse the average tow ball takes from towing, over time it will weaken the ball and the mount. Start trying to do recovery with it, and who knows when it will go. Or, think of all the people we've seen on trails using a tow ball as a recovery point, maybe they've done it 15 or 20 times. The first ball in the video, it took 8 tries and it wasn't even loose in the mount. I tow a few times a year, every time before I do, I check to see if the ball is tight, and I never leave my ball receiver in, I normally have my tow point installed.


Expedition Leader
This is a repeat of what has been said on many threads "Get a certified instructor/teacher and take the classes". Many people are lucky when learning through the school of hard knocks others not so much. Forget the cost of the hospital and new must have accessory. The money spent on a good education is much cheaper. If you have to give up buying a add-on accessory for a while they will have it later for you to buy. If you decide to buy it you may not live to enjoy it!

Note; I am a Retired I4WDTA Certified Instructor, so I do believe in the education. I also have 47 year of 4X4 driving experience. I have not counted the injuries and deaths I have seen while 4-wheeling. It is not something I am proud of seeing, it is very sad! Maybe not all could have been prevented with education, but most of them.

Life is choices; You make the decision and live or die with the decision you make!


New member
I learned (re-learned) this lesson doing yardwork.. had a bush/shrub thing to remove in my front yard. Wrapped one of my old tow straps (with loop ends because I'm no dummy) and thinking it's just a little bush I hooked the strap to my suburban on the tow hitch (like a dummy) I didn't grab the ball, I went past it and got it so it would pull right where the rise/drop is welded to the square tube.. I gave it a few tugs with the burb and it started to budge I thought, so I went with a little more force to finish it off and I ended up throwing the hitch at my house.. it failed at the welds for the rise/drop to the main square tube... never again will I make that mistake.. it could have ended much worse...

Grump E-Vet

Active member
How many recovery points do you think are rated for real abuse?
You can have the best recovery points in the world and if you don’t rig it right or use the correct equipment in the first place then the point will be fine and other items will fail. I have pictures somewhere of this concept involving an At,y ASV in Bosnia that troops were trying to recover using a winch. Long story short winch was borderline at best as far as recovery capacity and soldiers failed to observe safety setbacks, this resulted in one soldier losing an arm and another losing his eye.