Better brands and places to get recovery equipment (shackles, etc.)?

Sid Post

I need to get some better recovery gear. I have heard hoisting or lifting shackles are best. I also need some really solid D-rings and things like recovery lines where I think a soft "springy" line is best. I am concerned with both Dynamic and Static loads.

Where should I be looking to buy this type of recovery gear? What should I look to get? I have two primary needs, one is to recover a vehicle stuck in mud or snow primarily (no rock crawlers or mud bogging) and possibly sand and, the second is related to winching support.

A Harbor Freight - Atwood - Tractor Supply 'type' clevis might be fine for pulling a drag harrow down a driveway with a small tractor but, is problematic with a heavy or dynamic load like you would see loaded up on roadside vehicle to vehicle pull.

I also tend to think I should I should get a soft shackle or two and a soft line to pull with. Is a 5/16ths proof 70 (gold) chain worthwhile inclusion too?

Any recommendations for anchor points to pull with from the vehicle doing the pulling (i.e. not on a trailer ball receiver hitch)? I don't want to create a recoil hazard with either chain or a broken receiver hitch or receiver ball for either towing or towed vehicles.



Expedition Leader
There is a lot to unpack in there....

For a general use kinetic recovery rope, I would recommend something from Yankum Rope. They have recently moved to bring even their rope manufacturing in house....the actual braiding of the base rope from raw fibers....not just the assembly of the rope ( eyes, coloring, etc )

I have yet to see any screw pin bow shackle fail directly in vehicle recovery. The worst I have seen is a bent pin. What I have seen happen is whatever the shackle is attached to on the vehicle fail. There are a LOT of very questionable 'recovery' points on vehicles that are nothing more than decorative in my opinion. When in doubt, always distribute the load to multiple points. As far as good quality hard shackles, Van Beest 'Green Pin' or Crosby, are the most trusted in industry.

Personally, I have been using soft shackles whenever I can properly for years. Do not use soft shackles in hard edged holes however, it will greatly decrease their life and strength.

As far as 'anchor points', the receiver hitch of most vehicles is going to be one of the most well engineered points to recover from. It comes with a very conservative 'rating' from the factory that will last for decades doing that work. Generally speaking, we want to eliminate mass past the pin in the hitch as much as practical. This is what I finally came up with after trying most of the other options on the market. It is fundamentally the safest possible way to recover from a receiver hitch.


This device allows using a soft shackle to directly load the hitch pin, while providing a proper working diameter and safe radii for pulling up to 90 degrees in any direction without the need to re-rig. I call it the SSRA ( Soft Shackle Receiver Adapter ), or 'SaRAh' device. I offer this with a very high quality soft shackle made from 7/16" Sampson Rope Amsteel-Blue with a 5:1 WLL of 4.5 tons or 3:1 WLL of 7.5tons and a tagged, batch tested MBS of 45500lbs. I have both 2.0" and 2.5" versions currently in stock.

I hope that helps get you started. Please let me know if you have any other questions.


Bubba rope, ARB, Factor 55, yankum off the top of my head.

I'd suggest no D rings and only soft shackles. Synthetic winch line is also safer. As for recovery points, it depends on your vehicle. There are aftermarket options of recovery points for many.

Most importantly understand the use case for each piece of equipment, and know how to use them.
First, listen and learn from @Metcalf
He knows what he’s doing and his stuff is top quality.
Second, regardless of how many soft shackles you ultimately obtain, it’s prudent to have at least 1 quality bow shackle (“D” ring). You never know if the OTHER guy has recovery points that will be kind to your expensive soft shackles. A bow shackle can serve as a good transition between his sharp-edged point, and your $80 easily-damaged fiber shackle.
Don’t skimp on the following…buy once, cry once:
-Kinetic rope 7/8”x30’ is a very handy and capable size
-soft shackles…7/8” unless your rig is tremendously heavy
-tree saver…4” wide by 8 or 10’ long. Can double as a towing bridle.
-bow Shackle…Crosby or equivalent…3/4” (7/8” pin diameter).
-some way to turn your hitch into a RATED recovery point (such as Metcalf’s solution in his post above)

Make sure your rig has proper recovery points (not just the tie-down points found on some trucks).
Traction boards are useful but require creative storage solutions.
A tow strap is a good idea…kinetic ropes should not be used for towing.

Anyway, just some random thoughts. Good luck, have fun.

Sid Post

I'm shopping hard shackles at the moment. The Crosby's are pretty expensive compared to the Dutch Green Pin which seem to be the same quality. $30 for shipping though is pretty tough on the wallet.

E-Rigging out of New Orleans has some hard shackles that spec the same and are pretty close to me so, possibly no shipping charges or, ~$10 on top of a lot cheaper shackle pricing.

For my near term needs, soft shackles won't work well for my near term farm usage. I will be using my soft tow straps mostly for stuck vehicles on the farm.

The cheap bow shackles from the local farm supply store work well on a 26HP~46HP tractor but, I'm getting a larger tractor so, high-quality shackles are the first thing to buy since I have high-quality chains and soft tow straps to work with right now. I'm also looking at the screw pin shackles exclusively since I have had some issues with the hardware store cotter pin shackles.

I'm getting ready to add a 12K# Warn winch to pull with as well. Kinetic rope and soft shackles will follow at some point but not in the near term as I don't have a "pull" vehicle worthy of them at the moment. Kinetic rope and soft shackles will probably follow around Labor Day.

On my vehicle, solid recovery points are a requirement. What I can't control is what someone else has on their vehicle.

COVID and inflation have put a real crimp in my plans for building my Overland vehicle. I had hopes of an Ex-German military Unimog but, these days that isn't a viable option with my budget. I will probably wait to buy Kinetic rope and soft shackles until then.

I'm not a fan of the bumper hitch receiver hitch tow points unless it is a really light load. Pulling a stuck vehicle with a tow ball is a recipe for disaster, or at a minimum big expense with whatever gets broken or smashed.


Expedition Leader
It's a wonder I'm still alive from using D shackles for the better part of last 30 years :oops:

Hard shackles don't typically's what they are attached to, then they turn into nice 2lb+ missiles.

Don't mistake being lucky for being good, there is no harm in taking a critical look at systems to see where they can be made safer IF something was to fail.

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