Bow Shackles and 4WD Hitches

Whenever you need to tow something, you need to ensure that you have the right kind of load bearing shackles. A shackle is a U-shaped piece of metal that is secured with a pin or bolt – or in some cases with a quick-release locking mechanism.

Shackles are the primary method of connecting rigging systems, and when you are talking about a D shackle or a bow shackle, you’re talking about the connecting piece that is required for connecting snatch straps to other recovery points.

What Kinds of Shackles Are There?

We stock two kinds of shackles which are useful for a range of applications from 4X4 shackles to safety bow shackles.

D shackles

Without a D shackle as your 4WD hitch, you are going to have a tough time connecting your recovery gear. You need a D shackle to hook your snatch straps on, and depending on the type of recovery that you are going to use, you can implement up to four D shackles at a time. But – be aware that you should use the minimum number of shackles at a time in order to reduce the potential for shackles flying around in the event of something breaking.

When you’re using your D shackles, you need to tighten them all the way up by hand, but then loosen them by half a rotation to avoid them seizing shut when pressure is applied.

As for which D shackle to choose, you just need to buy the biggest ones you can afford so that attaching safety gear is simple and so you’re not limited by size.

Bow Shackles

When we’re talking about bow shackles, we’re referring to the shackles with a slightly larger, rounded ‘O’ look to them. The main difference in them is that due to their rounded shape, they are capable of taking a load from many different directions without developing significant side load.

The Different Uses of D Shackles and Bow Shackles

When you are hitching a trailer, a load or any other kind of attachment to your car, you need to use a safety bow shackle. When you are using a shackle as a safety shackle, they need to be strong enough to keep the trailer or load connected up to your vehicle and have to be able to stop the drawbar from touching the ground if the coupling breaks.

While there aren’t currently any regulations about current standards for shackles in Australia, there are some recommendations from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia and the AS 2741-2002 states that shackles should be able to secure chains of a load up to 3,500kg.

In addition to this, you need to ensure that the shackle diameter is at least 10mm.

What Kind of Shackle Should You Choose as Your 4WD Shackles?

You want to trust the gear you have as your shackles. So, it’s always in your best interest to have a range of shackles handy that can take the appropriate loads in rescue and towing situations. We stock a range that is suited to your next four wheel driving adventure and hope you can find exactly what you’re looking for here.