Admit it.your off-road vehicle isn't invincible. No matter how equipped it is for off-road adventures and how good of an off-roader you are, there will be times when your vehicle will succumb to rain and mud by getting stuck in the most unexpected places. Times like this, you'll find a tow hook very handy as it helps rescue your stranded vehicle. It does this by simply accommodating the heavy-duty cord or chain that serves as a link between the tow vehicle and your stranded ride.
Tow hooks aren't just practical for off-road vehicles; they can also be of great help when someone's car just suddenly breaks down the road. With tow hooks installed in your ride and a strap in your cargo compartment, you can easily help bring that stalled vehicle into a mechanic's shop or in a safer place, at least. But despite its utility, not all vehicles have tow hooks as standard components.
Before you think of adding a tow hook in the front and rear of your ride, there are some things to bear in mind to ensure proper installation and to avoid ending up damaging your ride instead of making it more functional.
Install tow hooks only on the vehicle's frame or the receiver.
The frame or the receiver is actually the only spot in your vehicle where it's safe to fasten tow hooks. While bumpers seem like the perfect mounting spot because they are technically the front-most and rearmost part of the vehicle, they aren't designed to hold up the force of another vehicle that's pulling on them; they can get bent, dented, or severely damaged while doing the task.
As required by U.S. Department of Transportation, the frames of all American-made vehicles come with four attachment forms. So if you own a ride that's proudly American made, then you can connect the tow hook in one of these holes.
Make sure the strap you'll use is appropriate for the task.
There are basically two types of straps than can be used with a tow hook.tow straps and recovery straps. It's necessary that you know the difference between these straps so as not to use them for the wrong task and end up disappointed. As their name implies, tow straps are made for towing while recovery straps are designed to help recover or pull out a vehicle that's stuck in mud.
Towing straps have a hook on each end, and they don't stretch. Recovery straps, on the other hand, don't have hook and are designed to stretch when pulling in such a way that the energy produced when they stretch and attempt to go back to their original form is transmitted to the stuck vehicle to help pull it out. These straps also come lighter than tow straps, so there's a lower chance that they would snap off and hurt a person nearby.
If you're using old tow hooks and recovery straps, it is wise to check them carefully for wear and tear before using them. Do not use a tow hook that's dirty and rusted as well as a strap with dirt, cuts and frays.