Recovery straps for motor vehicles

The mandatory standard prescribes requirements for the information that must be provided on the packaging, on a label on the strap, a warning and instructions for safe use.

About recovery straps

Recovery straps, also called snatch straps, used to connect two vehicles when one is bogged and requires towing.

Exclusions

The mandatory standard does not apply to:

  • vehicle lifting slings
  • tie-down straps
  • wire cable
  • chain
  • rope
  • straps for conventional towing situations.

Mandatory standard

The Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard) (Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps) Regulations 2010 sets out the mandatory requirements for motor vehicle recovery straps.

You must consult the mandatory standard for these details.

Key requirements

These requirements aim to give suppliers a general idea of what is required by the mandatory standard. Suppliers must not rely on this information as a complete guide to compliance.

Packaging marking

The packaging for a motor vehicle recovery strap must display the following information about the strap in English and in a way that is clearly visible and legible. It can be printed on the packaging or on a label attached to the packaging:

  • its brand name or supplier's logo
  • the name and contact details of its Australian manufacturer, importer, distributor or other supplier
  • its minimum breaking strength, expressed in metric units
  • a recommendation that the minimum breaking strength of the strap should be between 2 and 3 times the vehicle's gross vehicle mass (GVM).

Permanently fixed information

The following information about a motor vehicle recovery strap must be in English and be permanently fixed to the strap so that it is clearly visible and legible when the strap is being used:

  • the name or logo of its Australian manufacturer, importer, distributor or other supplier
  • its batch code or serial number
  • its minimum breaking strength, expressed in metric units
  • a recommendation that the minimum breaking strength of the strap should be between 2 and 3 times the vehicle's GVM
  • advice that the strap must be suited to the GVM of the lighter of the 2 vehicles used in the recovery process
  • the warning:

'WARNING – Always follow product instructions. It is important to correctly attach the motor vehicle recovery strap to a motor vehicle. A standard tow ball or vehicle tie down point is not designed for this purpose and may result in the strap or a vehicle component detaching from a motor vehicle and striking and seriously injuring or killing a person. Only attach the strap to a vehicle recovery point or device that is suitably rated for use with the strap. Incorrect use has previously resulted in serious injury and death'.

Accompanying information

A motor vehicle recovery strap must also be accompanied by a document, other than the packaging, stating the following information written in English:

  • a recommendation that the minimum breaking strength of the strap should be between 2 and 3 times the vehicle's GVM
  • advice that the strap must be suited to the GVM of the lighter of the 2 vehicles used in the recovery process
  • how to use and maintain the strap.

The information to accompany a motor vehicle recovery strap must state all of the following:

  • the warning stated above in section: Permanently fixed information
  • persons intending to use the strap should consider completing a nationally recognised four wheel drive training course or contact a four wheel drive club for comprehensive advice on the proper selection and use of the strap
  • the strap must not be used for lifting or conventional towing
  • persons intending to use the strap must ensure that the strap is not damaged and is in usable condition
  • the strap's strength and stretch are reduced when the strap is saturated
  • something like a recovery damper, heavy bag or blanket must be draped over the strap during its use to reduce any unintentional rebound of the strap
  • while the strap is being used, persons situated outside the motor vehicles involved in the recovery process must:
    • be kept at a safe distance (recommended as at least 1.5 times the length of the unstretched strap) from either of the vehicles involved in the recovery process
    • never situate themselves within the path of the vehicle performing the recovery.

Related resources

Motor vehicle recovery straps - Supplier guide