What Size Kinetic Recovery Rope Do I Need?
One of the most common questions I hear is, “What size kinetic recovery rope do I need?” I’m not surprised because for some reason companies have decided to advertise kinetic rope by size rather than minimum breaking strength. The good news is there are a couple of charts available which will help you answer the question.
Note: Other companies may have different Minimum Breaking Strengths for their products so one company’s chart does not necessarily transfer to another.
Master Pull uses a safety factor of 5:1 (see my article on Calculating Working Load Level for Recovery Gear for more information) and provides a range for each rope size. The reason for the range, according to Master Pull, is the kinetic rope size requirement varies based on the application. This gets rather complex so I have written a Kinetic Recovery Rope Sizing Guide if you are interested in more information.
The image of the 2dr off-road vehicle, which I presume is a Jeep, shows a vehicle weight of 3,500lb. This is low since the Curb Weight of a 2dr Jeep is 3,955lb and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is 5000lb.
Advanced Synthetic Rigging uses a Safety Factor of 3:1 to prevent oversizing the rope which will cause a reduction of the kinetic force (see Kinetic Recovery Rope Sizing Guide for more information). In fact, they have had ropes returned when sized higher than their recommendations because of this issue.
Note: The number below rope size is the minimum breaking strength of the rope.
Both companies seem to have left some important information out of their charts, so I’ll take care of that.
You would need a 1 1/2″ rope for a triceratops dinosaur. If it was stuck in a tar pit, which is apparently where they like to hang out, a 2″ rope might be a better choice. If you come across an M1 tank you would be shit out of luck since you would need about a 5″ kinetic recovery rope, which would probably weigh more than your Jeep.
Whichever chart you use you will get the same results for a 4dr Jeep Wrangler: 7/8″. For a 2dr Jeep Wrangler, if you adjust the Master Pull chart for the proper vehicle weight, it would fall in the high-end of 3/4″ or low end of 7/8″. On the other hand, ASR recommends 3/4″. If your Jeep runs light you might want to consider the 3/4″ otherwise go with the 7/8″.
ASR also has a size guide for soft shackles which you can find in my blog post ASR Soft Shackle Sizing Guide.