Snatch straps are a very useful recovery tool but very dangerous if not used correctly.
The straps use kinetic energy to move a bogged/stuck 4x4, this greatly reduces shock loads on recovery points as it pulls gradually like a rubber band stretching and then retracting.
The action is quite fast compared to winching, if stuck in water a snatch-strap would be the preferred option.
A regular strap would put massive shock loads on recovery points as when the strap reaches its full length it would violently pull, this action would snap most straps/ropes the first time. For this reason we have snatch-straps.
The straps only have a life span of about 10 fully loaded snatches, after than they start to lose their kinetic ability and will snap possible injuring someone or damaging a vehicle.
Snatching A 4WD Up Hill.
Extension straps look the same as Snatch-Straps but are in fact very different.
An extension strap is used with Winches and snatch straps when they just don’t have the required reach or it’s safer to be further away.
Never use an extension strap as a snatch strap as it will cause whiplash and vehicle damage!
Take a hill for instance, a 4x4 is at the bottom of a 30m hill, the recovery (winching vehicle) is at the top and needs to winch the 4x4 from the bottom to the top 30m, the winch rope is 35m which puts the winching vehicle too close to the peak of the hill.
This poses two problems, 1 sliding down the hill and 2 once winching the 4x4 up it won’t be at the top as the recovery vehicle is in the way. An extension strap here will help you gain 9-12m (9-12m is the general length available) depending on the length of strap.
Other uses are:
Replacement for a drag chain (this will wear and damage the strap).
Strapping a vehicle to a tree during a dangerous situation while rigging up a recovery. Perhaps the vehicle is in danger or rolling before a recovery can take place. Or preventing the vehicle from moving in a specific direction whilst recovering.
Aiding a recovery by using it to attach to the rear of a winching vehicle (vehicle A) and attaching the other end to another vehicle (vehicle B) to help anchor the winching vehicle (vehicle A) while it recovers the bogged 4x4 (vehicle C). This is a good way to pull vehicles up hills or out of super stick mud.
Towing a vehicle on firm ground.