If you need to get tow ropes for a new vehicle, be it a car, truck, or even a tractor, don't assume that you can waltz into a store and grab any old rope off the shelf. Towing vehicles by using a rope is possible but risky. Yet sometimes it's the only way you're going to be able to get a vehicle to move out of the spot that it's been sitting in if you can't call a tow truck. In order to keep yourself and your vehicles safe, remember these three things as you choose a towing rope.
Ensure It's Not a Recovery Rope
You'll see two main categories of rope when you look for towing ropes. One is an actual rope meant to tow vehicles. Another is meant to help tow vehicles out of a tight spot, also known as recovering the vehicle. Towing and recovery ropes are different, and you should not use them interchangeably. Towing ropes are meant solely to pull another vehicle that can move freely. The ropes are stiff and won't stretch because they're meant to keep the towed vehicle on the move. Recovery ropes do stretch because that extra stretch helps add pulling force onto the vehicle that needs to be moved. Ensure you get a rope that's meant specifically for towing to avoid frustration and wasted time.
Get a Recovery Rope Anyway
That being said, if you can, pick up a second rope meant specifically for recovery. The warning to not use towing ropes for recovery is not a joke. Towing ropes usually have metal hooks at the ropes' ends, and if these break off as you're trying to pull a stuck vehicle out of that tight spot, the hooks can fly and injure people severely. Yet you never know when you'll have to recover a vehicle instead of merely towing it, especially if you take vehicles off-road onto muddy paths.
Storage Can Be Destructive
You'll also have to take into account how much you'll be using the towing rope. If you plan to use it often, that's one thing, but if the rope will sit idle for most of the year, you may have to get another rope. Storing towing ropes can destroy them because light, moisture, and exposure to chemicals (if the rope is stored in an industrial building, for example) can make the rope weak and brittle. That's an unsafe rope to use. If you're planning to store the rope for long periods of time, you might want to look into getting a metal towing chain instead.
If you're still not sure how to choose a good towing rope, talk to sellers to see which ropes have the most reported problems and which brands tend to sell out. Let the stores know what you plan to tow and where you plan to be when towing so the staff can help you find the exact type that you need.
For tow ropes, contact a company such as Omaha Slings Inc.