Drag Chains have so many uses that they have now become indispensable. The current fad in drag chains appears to be a cheap herc-alloy chain sourced in China. If a drag chain is to be used as part of your recovery kit, I strongly advise you to ensure the chain you use is rated to a SWL of at least 8 tonnes. This also applies to the fittings at each end of the chain.
Australia Day 2001, pouring rain, this tree was across the track and had to be cut up or moved so that the track could be used for a training course. I don't own a chain saw, nor anything else sharp for that matter, so we used chains, and electric winches to move the remnants back into the scrub. If you have got the gear, have your wits about you, and look outside the square. The majority of travellers would be there for hours with either axe or chainsaw, performing manual labour. Not for this large and exercise fearing technocrat. Total time to clear the track 20 minutes and that included a cup of tea.
When you encounter a problem of this nature,( and you will) look for the easiest way out. Simplicity is the way to go and it saves energy. Think for a moment of the problem. For the novice, it can be overwhelming at times, but with a few skills and a little practice confidence returns. I use a drag chain as an extra winch extension. I'd rather rely on a 10 metre, 8 tonne rated chain, than a 4 tonne rated strap. In the scrub, sand or hills the applications for chains are endless and only limited by your imagination.
Unlike the 7.5 metre chains you can buy in a bucket for $85 to $100 I carry an Australian made 10 metre chain and fittings rated at 8 tonnes and supplied with a warranty by Rapley and Sons Blacksmiths, Factory 4/ 3 Enterprise Ave, Berwick, 3806 Tel: 03 9769 9262. At $200 they're not at all cheap but you will find if you buy cheap you get cheap. In some areas where recovery depends on a drag chain I find it better to have a 10 metre chain I can rely on and if you are having trouble visualising that sort of recovery think a winching operation on a steep slope where the winching vehicle has to be secured so it doesn't slide down the hill. A longer chain gives greater flexibility and of course length because, unlike sex, in recovery length does matter.
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