UFWDA Programs > Awareness (Safety Awareness) & Education

Connecting 2 straps

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Pat Brower:

* GLFWDA has been invited to have safety information in the MDNRE's Safety Training Program.
We have been discussing proper placement of the dowel.

I think we've pretty well settled on which method to use, but I did see a comment made that concerns me:

Interesting..... The method he describes as a "never use" is the method I was taught in my off-road driving course for the Red Cross. He is correct that it puts shearing forces on the piece of wood, but that is the point. As a block of wood crushes and breaks due to excessive shear energy, it absorbs and consumes much of the energy. By converting energy into the crushing and shearing of the block of wood, less energy remains in the strap, reducing its danger as a tethered missile.

The choice and design of the block of wood is also important. The block should be "turned" in the middle to create a groove to hold the loop. While you don't want to choose wood that is too soft, you also want to avoid wood that is too hard and likely to splinter when it breaks. The whole idea is to create a place where you can have a controlled break.

I've NEVER heard that shearing the block is "desirable", and that's what the Red Cross is teaching?


I don't have much experience but I thought the wood was to keep the two straps from "welding" together when tention is applied if you loop one strap through the other. Its difficult to undo the straps afterward. The groove in the wood sounds like a good idea, better than a 3/4 dring projectile..... thanks for the info

Pat Brower:
Question answered . . .
This is not what they're teaching.

Thanks Jarhead!

Todd Ockert:
I have never heard of using a piece of wood to attach two straps.

I am about to put synthetic rope on the jeep, and will also buy a syntetic extension rope.  I am not sure what they recommend for attaching it, other than the safety thimble on the rope on the winch, and have a safety thimble installed on the extension also.


Peter Vahry:
Hi Pat, down here in NZ we have used a piece of wood for many years as the 'joiner' for two 'stretchy' straps and it is the recommended technique, if that must be done. The reason for the wood is simply to keep the straps from tightening into each other. In fact it is remarkable what can be used and several times I've seen the use of a 4x4 magazine rolled up and used instead of wood! If the 'eyes' of the strops are looped through each other then they can't part but do need to be kept from tightening into a knot.

The winch ropes are quite different material and they hardly stretch but of course an extension will need it's own hook unless the original set-up uses a hook with a pin that can be easily moved to a loop on the extension. In that case the extension is likely to have a loop at both ends and can then be connected like two straps with something to keep them apart. The 'shock' load should not exist with a winch as the tightening is quite gradual.

Stretch straps are inherently dangerous because of the immense kinetic energy that they can store.  There should be very clear warnings to anyone who contemplates using one. It is easy to find plenty of examples of the consequences of the effects of a loaded stretch strap breaking free. The compounded energy from the length of two straps is vast, especially if the vehicles have a big mass and the pulling speed is much more than a few mph.



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