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Atlas Tow Ropes and the Importance of Being Prepared

Posted: 5/5/2021 12:00:00 AM

Towing has been around for as long as there have been large objects or vehicles to haul from place to place. You can tow on land, on water, and did you know that some aircraft even get towed? Though there are a lot of options out there, Atlas Ropes are the #1 product choice for tow ropes across many industries.

History of Atlas Tow Ropes

Atlas Ropes has been providing ropes to the Western Canadian Market since 1975, and they started out with just a few braiding machines. They’ve recently expanded so much that a portion of their braiding operation now takes place within larger rope manufacturers in Canada and the USA.

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The name, Atlas, says a lot about the quality of their ropes. In Greek mythology, Atlas was a divine being, condemned to hold up the sky for all eternity on his back. Most depictions of Atlas show him holding the entire world on his shoulders, and that’s exactly what kind of strength we get from Atlas Easy-Tow™ Ropes.

What’s the Difference Between a Recovery Rope and a Tow Rope?

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Towing refers to pulling one “free-wheeling” vehicle behind another. This means that the vehicle being towed should be able to travel easily across the level ground while either off or in neutral. Tow ropes are generally made of polyester, nylon, or polypropylene and usually have hooks on each end. Meanwhile, recovery refers to retrieving a vehicle from being immobilized. Recovery ropes use the stretch and pull from their nylon material (the rubber band effect) to help get the immobilized vehicle free.

While Atlas Tow Ropes have “tow” right in their name, the nylon structure and the ability to absorb kinetic energy make them ideal for use in not only towing operations but recovery ones too! However, do note that when using a recovery rope for a towing application, the stretch value can sometimes translate into a bit of pull from the vehicle behind to the vehicle in front.

Why Atlas Tow Ropes are Beneficial?

Atlas braided tow ropes have the advantage of two ropes in one. They feature a tightly woven outer jacket surrounded by a loosely braided inner core. This means there are two ropes performing as a single, integrated rope, which provides more strength than a single regular twisted rope. That’s important, especially when you’re trying to get your vehicle, or anything else, out of a sticky situation. Atlas ropes are made of nylon whereas other brands use materials like polyester and polypropylene. Nylon gives their ropes great strength, lots of stretch, and good resistance to abrasion, ultraviolet rays, and common chemicals. However, one of the most attractive benefits of these tow ropes is their excellent shock absorption, which is the amount of kinetic energy the rope will absorb to avoid sharp jolts during your tow.

Here at, we carry a wide variety of Atlas ropes – from the smaller ½ inch by 15-foot, to the 2 ½ inches by 20-foot heavy-duty tow ropes for industrial and farm use. The weight rating on these tow ropes ranges from 6,000 to 190,000lbs! All of these ropes come with a variety of hardware; hooks, looped ends, steel thimble looped ends, webbed ends, and chain/hook combinations. However, whatever you do, make sure that you NEVER use ropes or straps with metal on them in a recovery situation. While they’re fine for towing, the metal becomes a serious hazard when the snatching force is transferred instantaneously from the towing vehicle to the stuck vehicle. This movement of force could result in damage or warping of the metal components, or worse.

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Let’s talk about a situation where an Atlas rope could come in handy. Say you’re out with the boys on the back roads and it's been raining. There’s a whole lot of mud no matter where you turn, and with one wrong move you wind up stuck. To get your vehicle free from the mud just follow these easy steps:

First, connect the recovery rope to both vehicles at their tow points and make sure you are using a proper tow point. Most vehicles are fitted with two tow points on the front end and they usually look like metal hooks that are connected to the vehicle’s frame. If you attach the rope to the wrong point you may not have a bumper afterward. This kinetic Atlas tow rope has 10-15% elasticity, which will give you the extra “bump” that’s needed to free a stuck vehicle. Next, remove the slack from the recovery tow rope. When the line tightens up, the kinetic energy that’s stored in the rope will give you the jolt you need to get loose. Then, the recovery vehicle can start accelerating slowly and gradually. The vehicle being recovered should be in gear and once they’re moving the driver should apply some gas and steer the vehicle out. Once both vehicles are parked safely, inspect your recovery rope and all hardware before heading home. Remember, always use safety precautions when towing or recovering – keep bystanders at a distance greater than the length of your rope and place a blanket or coat over the center of the rope to prevent recoil.

Why Nylon Ropes are Unbeatable?

The three most popular artificial-fiber ropes are polyester, nylon, and polypropylene. While all three are stronger, more durable, and often cheaper than their natural fiber cohorts, the best rope for the job is going to depend on the application needed.

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Nylon is slightly stronger than polyester under steady pressure but is much stronger when the stress is not steady, like in recovery situations. A broken tow rope or strap can cause further damages or injuries to both vehicles and people involved, so it’s best to make sure to have the strongest rope for the job. The reason nylon is so much more effective for jobs with pulses or shocks is that nylon is more flexible than other rope materials. Nylon can stretch, even if a lot of force is applied suddenly, and return to its original length. This “memory” feature of nylon makes it especially useful since stretching doesn’t change the overall strength of the rope. However, nylon ropes are not 100% UV resistant. So, they will become damaged slightly faster than other materials, like polyester, but it will take a long time for this damage to become visible.

When it comes to water, it's sink or swim, and polyester and nylon both sink. That’s where polypropylene shines brightest since it’s the only type of artificial fiber rope that floats, making it perfect for marine applications.

Make sure to keep an eye on your tow ropes for any sign of wear and tear. You’ll know when it’s time to replace your ragged tow rope when you see signs of excessive discoloration, broken filaments, unraveling, or other obvious wear on the rope or hardware. But if you have any questions feel free to contact us here, and make sure to subscribe to our email notifications so you can keep up to date with things going on here at!

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