Trucks get stuck. And if you work in the dirt, the woods or wetlands it’s bound to happen.
Recovery is a simple matter of hooking a functioning truck to the stuck truck and pulling it out. But broken chains, ropes or flying shackles can add a dangerous element to this procedure. Trailer balls and pintle hitches are sometimes used but these are made for towing, not recovery efforts.
Enter the Ditch Hitch, shown at SEMA 2018, a vehicle recovery system designed to absorb the shock loading that causes other types of recovery devices to break or come apart.
The system contains two solid aluminum bars that slide into the trucks’ receivers and two solid U-bars to capture the loop ends of fuse-link recovery strap. The two-inch by 25-foot nylon fuse link strap is engineered for shock loading and rated up to 19,000 pounds. The system comes in a carrying bag and also includes a safety reflector sleeve and a pre-job checklist.
To use, you simply slide the looped ends of the fuse link recovery strap into the U-bars and the U-bars to the receiverbars. Locking rings pin the assemblies into place. Then you just pull. If steady pulling does not free the stuck truck, the Ditch Hitch can be used to tug four to six feet at a time to break the stuck truck free.
An optional Snap Trap kinetic energy diffuser can also be used in the system to capture a failed vehicle recovery strap, rope or winch line. It attaches over the pulling line and prevents it from becoming a flying projectile if it snaps. Also available is a Son of a Hitch Ditch Hitch system designed for lighter loads and the recovery of UTVs, ATVs and smaller SUVs using 1-1/4 inch receivers.
The basic Ditch Hitch system retails for $425.