Recovery Points and Why You Them

Recovery Points are one of those pieces of gear that you don’t ever want to have to use, but when you inevitably do, you need to be able to rely on it. Seeing as none of us are perfect (ha!) there’s a good chance at some point off-road, you will need to have someone hitch a strap to your car to snatch you out.

There is so much information out there about the importance of appropriate and rated recovery points and yet, every day you still see videos on social media of people conducting recoveries off tow balls, factory tie down points, suspension arms (they’re the funniest), bumper bars etc. In the process, doing their vehicle and sometimes very sadly, themselves serious harm along the way.

The aim of this article is to provide you with the basic knowledge of what a recovery point is and why you need to have it.  Definitely not a substitute for many of the articles out there in the World Wide Web world or more importantly, nothing like enrolling in a 4X4 Driving Course.


What exactly is a “Rated” Recovery Point?  

It is a purpose-built point that is chassis-mounted and designed for the sole purpose of being used as attachment points in a recovery situation.

Without going into too much physics on an empty stomach, let’s get the basics out of the way.

A “rated” recovery point is a fixture that is mounted to the chassis with bolts, junction welds or both. Its purpose is to be used as an attachment point for recovery with a snatch strap or other similar recovery tool.

They’re built to accommodate a shackle which is then subjected, along with the strap, to physical shock and pulling forces; both longitudinal and latitudinal. If you consider it, the force of using a snatch strap is not a constant, it goes from low to large as the strap extends and then contracts, creating the inertia needed to pull the recovered vehicle out.

This unevenness in exerted force is what causes things like tow-balls to sheer off and cause major damage to vehicles and people.


The difference between a tie-down point and recovery point?

Some people consider the factory tie-down points as reasonable for recovery. A tie-down point is designed to hold a car to the ground for transport – not suited to the forces exerted in the recovery of a vehicle whatsoever and is a recipe for disaster.

If your vehicle is not equipped with purpose-designed recovery points, then it is crucial to invest in an aftermarket set.  One point is good; two points (one of each side) are even better, as it effectively halves the load on each point and reduces the chances of bending your chassis. And don’t forget one for the rear!

We use ARB units on our GU, but there are many different products out there. Remember a strap letting go can be a missile that can kill – don’t skimp and ensure you have them installed before you hit the trails.


Happy Touring



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Comments 11

  1. Do you do a good one for a land cruiser 100 Series as the only thing I have is a hook thing that hangs done on one side or is the hook ok.

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      Its important to make sure you have a rated recovery point – we use an ARB item.

      Sounds like you’re talking about your factory tie down points.


  2. my 100 series landcruiser had a rated recovery point fitted to the right hand side chassis rail straight from the factory. It also has tie down points and they look very different

  3. Apparently there is no where sufficient enough to fix after market recovery points on my 06 ML Triton. Do you know if this is true?

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  4. I have a 2012 dmax and apparently there are no points available for this vehicle. Its to 08 to 12 model.
    I use a rear hitch that fits into the tow bar or only use the winch for forward pulling.
    Do you know if I can get rated points for the front?

  5. I have recently purchased an MQ Triton and have noted that it has what are described as TOW points on the chassis at the front. Now I have seen plenty of tie-down points over the years and certainly have only ever used these for a long dog lead, however these points on the Triton Chassis rails are significantly beefier than any tie down point I have ever seen. They are thick plate steel and fully seam welded to each chassis rail.
    Recently had to be winched up a deeply rutted, very wet and insanely sticky clay track, and used a bridle between these two points. At one point I had another vehicle using my Triton as a winch anchor point behind me. This must have been putting a phenomenal static load on these two points (far in excess of what would be required for towing) and at regular intervals during this recovery, the rig was unloaded of tension and these points checked visually for any sign of twisting or deformation. None detected at any point. In a very difficult situation these were used, and a credit to Mitsubishi for putting such solid anchor points welded into the chassis from factory. I have never seen such solid factory “tow” points on any other vehicle and despite the success of this recovery, always advocate use of recovery points that have a known rating, and are properly mounted.

  6. Hi Ray
    My GU Patrol had a hook in the same position. Think the owner’s manual says it is ok for some recoveries but only in a straight line forward. I have since seen photos of these sheared off and one actually embedded in the vehicle doing the recovery. Got myself a rated recovery fitting now. Big chunk of steel which looks like everything else will break before this does 🙂

  7. Pingback: Club 4X4 Safety Series: Recovery Kits - CLUB 4X4

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