How to Operate a Snatch Block

How to Operate a Snatch Block
The snatch block was originally conceived and invented by the Greek philosopher and mathematician Archimedes. Since then, the snatch block has continued to evolve using modern materials but is still based on the same essential design as the original. Off-road enthusiasts can appreciate the advantage of a properly rigged snatch block. A snatch block can be rigged to help in a self-rescue situation when a vehicle has become stuck in mud, sand or gravel.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Find a large stationary object, such as a tree, that is in a fairly straight line with the front of the vehicle that is stuck.
Step 2
Wrap a nylon tree strap around the trunk of the tree. Secure the hooks on the ends of the tree strap to the loop formed at the top of the snatch block.
Step 3
Release the winch cable from the winch mounted on the front of the vehicle. Pull the cable toward the snatch block.
Step 4
Unscrew or release the pin holding the swing-away side plate in place on the snatch block. Swing the plate to the side and place the winch cable in the upper part of the snatch block between the grooved wheel and the top of the snatch-block casing. Swing the side plate back into place and secure with the pin or screw.
Step 5
Pull the winch cable back to the stuck vehicle and attach the tow hook to a D ring or hook mounted to the bumper. Start the winch to take up the slack in the cable as it moves through the snatch block. Allow the winch to slowly wind cable as the vehicle is pulled free.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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