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Beach Recovery Equipment

Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:33 am
by gneissdiscosport
I've recently bought a Disco Sport and will want to do a bit of beach driving for camping near Brisbane and I want to be prepared for the inevitable sand bogging.

I want to see how I go with the standard tyres, after dropping the pressure, and will have maxtrax and shovels ready but i have read that the recovery eyes are not rated for snatch recovery and only single use for towing.

Has anyone successfully added rated recovery points to their DS? or have much experience of recovery with the available recovery eyes?

I want to be completely prepared for any recovery assistance that I might need if I can't dig/drive out as the ground clearance will be thoroughly tested at some point.

Re: Beach Recovery Equipment

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:22 am
by carwhiz
Vehicle Recovery.pdf
(139.27 KiB) Downloaded 44 times
Hi gneissdiscosport ,
The manual says that the front recovery point is not for off road recovery, but I have had it confirmed by Landrover that this is basically a disclaimer. It is quite solid and strong enough for snatch recovery.

Regarding my MY2017 DS HSE, Landrover Customer Relations advised me as follows in quotes:

"The on road recovery loads run to a maximum of 0.5x GVM.
. The excess capacity in hand up to 2x GVM is to support off road recovery. It must however be noted that this recovery is to be conducted by a trained and experienced operator using suitable equipment.
. Off road recovery by an inexperienced operator can produce extremely high loads, leading to vehicle damage and potentially very serious injury

This explanation supports the information in the owner's handbook:
Warning: If the towing eyes are to be used for off-road recovery, it is essential that off-road driver training, covering recovery techniques, is undertaken.
So in summary:
. The Recovery Points can be used for off-road recovery
. Provided the recovery is performed by a trained and experienced operator using suitable equipment
. Failure to perform the off-road recovery correctly may result in vehicle damage and/or serious injury".

Undoubtedly recovery with a snatch strap can be extremely hazardous and needs to be done in the correct manner (and used as a last resort http://www.landroverclub.za.org/snatch_straps.htm) . A lot of energy builds up in the strap and if it is not attached to something very strong, that something (e.g. a tow ball or a broken shackle) can become a missile capable of penetrating multiple layers of sheet metal, seats etc. You can find plenty of examples on youtube. Nowadays you can buy rope shackles which are much lighter than metal ones and not such a hazard if they break.

Most snatch straps come with little cloth parachutes to limit speed through the air. Note that tow ball bolts are not strong enough for the sideways forces involved in snatching and are highly likely to break converting the tow ball into a deadly missile. It is advisable for all personnel except the drivers to keep at least 1.5 snatchstrap lengths away from both vehicles while snatching. The other important rule is to go slowly in order to keep forces low, and avoid over stressing either vehicle. For the first try, travel slowly. The strap will extend, the moving vehicle will come to rest, and the energy in the strap will exert a pull on the bogged vehicle. If the first attempt does not succeed, try again with a bit more speed, and repeat.
Having said all that I have not done it myself so am sorry to say that all my knowledge is theoretical! The above is the result of research for an upcoming organised sand driving trip. I have been bogged in sand though, It happened the first time I took my DS on the sand to Stockton Beach near Newcastle (NSW). That was my error- going uphill without enough momentum. My Maxtrax got me out of that - highly recommend them. They will get you out of most situations, especially if you stop spinning the wheels as soon as you feel the vehicle digging in.

Its a very good idea to remove the cover on the front recovery point before you head out on your trip. See attachment.

I hope this helps and you have fun with your Disco up there in beautiful southern Queensland where I was born and raised. Would be interested how your Disco goes.

Re: Beach Recovery Equipment

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:44 am
by Mamil
A few things I would add to Carwhiz's reply...

1. Make sure you get the correct rating of snatch strap. It's tempting to think heavier is better, but you actually need to match the rating of the strap to the LIGHTEST of the two vehicles (the one being recovered and the one doing the recovering) so that it will stretch, as it's the stretch and rebound that pulls the bogged vehicle out. If the strap is too heavy duty it won't stretch as much and the full force of the pulling vehicle will be exerted on your recovery point, with bad results. The DS has a GVM of about two and a half tonnes, and the rule of thumb with snatch straps is to go for one rated at 2-3 times the vehicle GVM, so that's between five and seven and a half tonnes. Mine is a five tonne one which is about the lightest duty one you can buy in the 4WD shops. Note, if you're being pulled out by a larger vehicle (and it's very likely you will) make sure you use YOUR strap rather than theirs for this reason.

2. Definitely remove the front valence as Carwhiz says before going onto sand, as it's nearly impossible to get it off once you're bogged. I also suggest removing the small plastic 'spoiler' things infront of the wheels, as they will get ripped off if you get bogged. Also, the front recovery point on the DS will only take a very small shackle - check your shackle will fit before you need to use it in anger! Also carry a proper towhitch mounted recovery point (not a tow ball) for the rear of the vehicle, assuming you have a tow hitch fitted, as this is much easier to access and takes a larger shackle.

3. When driving in sand SWITCH OF DSC!! Even if you are in sand mode the DSC will stay enabled unless you manually turn it off, and it will be trying to stop the wheels from spinning by automatically applying the brakes, which is the last thing you want if you're trying to ride over deep soft sand or climb a dune. Unfortunately I learnt this the hard way :oops:

4. Finally, the key to driving on sand is tyre pressures. I've been down to 15psi to get over some really soft stuff! So, don't be afraid to let your tyres down, but carry a compressor so you can return them to highway pressures on your way out as you risk a roll-off at road speeds. If you do a lot of playing in the sand it's worth investing in a set of all terrain tyres and smaller diameter wheels (17 inch is the smallest the DS will take) so that you have higher sidewall height, tougher carcass, and chunkier tread.

In case all the advice is starting to worry you, here's a pic of me playing at the beach with the big boys to reassure you that the DS can do it!

Beach Trip (1024x768).jpg


Re: Beach Recovery Equipment

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:03 am
by gneissdiscosport
Thank you both for those helpful replies!

I've had plenty of training and practice in snatch recovery for work over the years but it's pretty much always been one mine spec ute to another (similar weights and with permanent recovery points). It's a bit different when it's your own vehicle and probably being pulled out by someone else's personal vehicle. Also, in this setting I expect to be the recoveree not the recoverer so i want to make sure I have everything in order.

I'll try a few shackles until i get a set that will fit. I currently don't have a tow-bar but I'm going to look into options as they're handy for bike racks and tow-hitch recovery attachments as you said. Also, i'll have a go at removing those panels.

The DSC tip will hopefully save me some embarrassment, i'm not really used to that level of electronic assistance off-road. Because of the ground clearance I am pretty keen on changing the tyres at least. The missus has already kerbed the buttery soft LR alloys so I have multiple reasons to look at a set of 17" concave alloys with fatter AT tyres on. I won't mind a bit of extra road rumble but i'm hoping it won't affect the damping too much on the highway, I'll see i guess. I already have a compressor and deflators.

Hopefully a few mods and I'll be able to access the beach camping spots that I'm keen on without being a liability.

Thanks again for the tips!

Re: Beach Recovery Equipment

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:09 am
by Mamil
gneissdiscosport wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:03 am
The missus has already kerbed the buttery soft LR alloys so I have multiple reasons to look at a set of 17" concave alloys with fatter AT tyres on. I won't mind a bit of extra road rumble but i'm hoping it won't affect the damping too much on the highway, I'll see i guess. I already have a compressor and deflators.
Unfortunately there's not a lot of options for offroad wheels on a DS, but let me know if you find anything suitable. I wanted a set of no-nonsense steel rims that I could beat up and not worry about, but couldn't find any to fit - although one supplier offered to make some for me but I didn't want to go there.

Surprisingly given their heritage, LR don't offer anything off-roady for the DS, although there are a couple of designs of 17" rims but they are the usual sports alloys. Aftermarket rims are similarly geared towards the sporty on-road designs, and the larger wheel sizes.

Eventually I found a set of genuine LR 17" rims on Gumtree so at least I won't have any warranty issues, and they were real cheap so I don't mind if they get a little scratched up, I'll just paint them!

BFG2.jpg

PS: I notice from your picture that you've got the dynamic styling. Removing the front valance on yours to access the front tow point may be a little different. Also, watch out for those shiny body coloured side skirts on the Dynamic, as my bog standard black plastic ones have taken a bit of a battering from sand being sprayed up from the wheels, even though I already have mudflaps. So, you might want to consider something like the 3M protective film to stop yours getting sand blasted!

Re: Beach Recovery Equipment

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:03 am
by gneissdiscosport
I know what you mean about wheel options. I have found some that will do through Ozzy Tyres so i'll give them a go. Unfortunately the dynamic pack is standard on this motor, I've already had a go at the access panels and it's pretty similar. The 3M film is a great shout so i'll definitely give that a go, thanks for the tips!!! Great to see those chunky AT's on yours don't look out of place too!
I'll post a couple pics when I've got them sorted!

Re: Beach Recovery Equipment

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:19 am
by Mamil
carwhiz wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:22 am
The manual says that the front recovery point is not for off road recovery, but I have had it confirmed by Landrover that this is basically a disclaimer. It is quite solid and strong enough for snatch recovery.

Regarding my MY2017 DS HSE, Landrover Customer Relations advised me as follows in quotes:

"The on road recovery loads run to a maximum of 0.5x GVM.
. The excess capacity in hand up to 2x GVM is to support off road recovery. It must however be noted that this recovery is to be conducted by a trained and experienced operator using suitable equipment.
. Off road recovery by an inexperienced operator can produce extremely high loads, leading to vehicle damage and potentially very serious injury
Hi Carwhiz,
I've booked a sand driving course and they want to know the 'official' rating of my front recovery point before they'll allow me to do snatch recoveries. Your post above is the only place I've seen a figure quoted from LR, so I'd much appreciate it if you could please send me anything official LR you have stating the recovery rating, by PM. I have asked CRC myself but I'm getting the usual run-around asking for more info and passing me between departments so I don't know if I'll get what I need direct from them in time, or at all!
Thanks.

Re: Beach Recovery Equipment

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:35 am
by Mamil
Never mind, have got a reply from CRC now. Two times GVM which means 5 tonnes. Cheers.