How to Attach a Vehicle Recovery Strap

It is essential to learn how to attach a vehicle recovery strap to avoid several catastrophic effects of wrong connectivity.

In addition to these, researchers have shown that numerous issues come up with vehicle recovery straps; Choosing a cheaper polyester strap material, for instance, is not elastic and can be dangerous.

Strap hooks made from cheaper carbon steel can break and cause serious accidents. Strap hooks can slip off the mount points easily due to wrong strap attachment and cause potential hazards.

Using hooks that are too small for their recovery loads can also cause potential risks.

Learning to attach a vehicle recovery strap should begin with choosing the suitable strap materials.

It would be best to be wary of marketing content that promotes certain materials and makes you think you are selecting authentic hook-up vehicle recovery straps.

How to Attach a Vehicle Recovery Strap:

Before you purchase a connecting vehicle strap, you should know that tow straps are not recovery straps.

A tow strap is used for the movement of the disabled vehicle that can move freely from one point to the other. For this reason, a tow strap cannot be used for moving a stuck vehicle.

Instead, a recovery strap is used for moving stuck cars, for instance, in the recovery of a truck from a mudhole or pulling a car out of a rocky hole on a trail.

Step 1: Choose the Right Recovery Strap

Your first step is to choose a recovery strap with good elasticity, that is, one that stretches very well. When you attach car pulling straps, you should notice a slack and must pull taut.

The strap must be highly rated for consistent force application.

Nylon recovery strap is better than Polyester strap even though Nylon is more expensive. Check that the hooks of the strap are made of good quality steel. Pay attention to the D-ring shackles.

However, the commonest is the ¾” that can handle a maximum of 4.5 tons and has a safety factor of 6.

This means the minimum breaking strength of the recovery strap is about 57,000 lbs.

Similarly, you must ensure that the strap and your car have a reliable recovery point to recover forces, especially if the strap slips.

Make sure there are no frays, cuts, or broken stitches on the recovery strap.

Step 2: Lay your Recovery Strap Flat

The first step you should take in connecting your recovery strap is to lay it flat on the ground.

Make sure the strap is not twisted or folded to ensure that it can maintain its full elasticity when it is attached.

Folded or twisted recovery straps will reduce the pull strength of the strap.

Step 3: Attach One Hook End of the Strap

Just before using a recovery strap, you must release the hooks, with one located at each end of the strap.

Attach a hook at one end to amount below the rear bumper of the vehicle that is stuck.

Please don’t attach the hook to the bumper itself because it may not handle the pressure and eventually damage it.

Locate the ideal mount on your bumper, but if you can’t locate the perfect amount, you should check the user manual.

Most trailer hitches will always have a spot where you can place the strap hook.

Step 4: Attach the Other Hook

Now that the other end of the hook is attached and secured, you can attach the hook to the other end.

Attach the hook to the amount underneath the front bumper of the pulling vehicle.

Ensure the hook’s curvy end is completely attached, and the bumper is secured to handle the pull pressure from the recovered vehicle. 

When pulling the car out of snow, for instance, you want to ensure a balance in the pressure of the two bumpers to handle the pressure stretching your elastic strap.

Step 5: Slowly Pull the Recovered Vehicle Forward

Now that both hooks at each end of the straps are secured on both vehicles, the drivers of both vehicles can mount the wheels.

Move the towing or pulling vehicle slowly forward to straighten your strap fully and ensure that the dragging of the recovered vehicle is smooth.

Be patient with the slow speed of the recovered vehicle until you can pull it out completely.

Also, check our complete guide:

Why do you need to use recovery straps?

It would be best to have a recovery strap because pulling a car with a rope is bound to fail. A regular rope will snap and break because of the pull pressure from the recovery vehicle.

Similarly, you need a recovery rope because driving conditions can be unpredictable.

For instance, accidents may happen at any time, whether they are your fault or not. Bad roads may cause your vehicle to break down at any time and render you immobile.

Unpredictable mechanical faults may happen, and you will need to tow your car for repairs.

Even if your vehicle doesn’t break down, your friend or family may need your assistance to get their vehicle recovered from a bad situation.

Difference Between a Tow Strap and Recovery Strap

The elasticity of the strap fabric is the significant difference between a tow and recovery strap.

A tow strap is made of polyester fabric with little or no elasticity or stretch, while the recovery strap is made of a stretchy fabric such as Nylon.

Another significant difference here is the applications or use. A tow strap is usually used in towing a freely moving vehicle and usually behind the tow vehicle.

You cannot use a tow strap for a recovery vehicle because a recovery vehicle is not a moving one. Tow straps can easily break under pressure.

Recovery straps come with loops on each end to “snatch” a car out of a sticky situation. They also come with anchor shackles.

To straps, on the other hand, comes with hooks. Recovery straps respond to drag pressure better and are much safer than tow straps.

How to Pull a Car out of Snow Using a Recovery Strap

To pull your car out of snow, follow these simple steps

Step1: Position Your Recovering Vehicle

For better results, you must position the recovering vehicle on firm and more solid ground before you flatten your recovery strap to the car being recovered from snow.

This will give you some edge in maintaining the right pressure on recovery pull.

Step 2: Attach the Hooks Appropriately

Attach one end of the strap with a hook to the mount on the rear bumper of the recovered vehicle, then attach the other end to the mount on the front bumper of the recovery vehicle.

Step 3: Drive and Apply Speed Slowly

Once the hooks are secured, you can start driving slowly by applying a little speed at a time until you can drag the recovered vehicle out of the snow.


Recovery straps are stretchy while towing straps are not. Due to their heavy-duty composition, recovery straps often cost much more than towing straps.

Today, many tow straps are being advertised as recovery straps because the manufacturers want to paint an impression on the minds of the people they offer the same services.

Though, it is better to purchase the two different straps in case you will need them in different situations but they must never be substituted for each other under any circumstances.

Recovery straps are built to pull heavier loads, since most times they are used for pulling out stationery or immobile vehicles.

With the tips contained above, you should know how to attach a vehicle recovery strap by now.