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Old 03-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #31
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

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Originally Posted by coyotearms
I am quoting myself to get this thread back on track, thanks! So if someone wants a front tow point using a front hitch, or use a front hitch with a winch, where does one go to get a hitch that can take it? Yes, I know in some situations recovery using the axle is preferred. If you have an after market bumper with tow hooks and/or hitch, shouldn't you be rethinking that too? We are planning a trip to Alaska this summer, and I need to be prepared.
Getting stuck isn't something I would worry about on a typical Alaska trip. I'd be far more likely to need winching in the deserts of the Southwest when we go exploring.

There is so much to see and do in Alaska without leaving the road system that getting stuck never entered my mind on any of my trips there.

If you plan on offroading there, I would hope that you also go offroading here and are already prepared.

Mike
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:29 PM   #32
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

It is important to note that ratings are not failure points - nothing is going to "break" when you hit that number. And a total failure is not going to happen before something tweaks or bends, which while not desirable, is far better than being stuck in the wrong place and easily repaired.


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Originally Posted by coyotearms
Curt and Drawtite both make bolt-on front hitches with load ratings of 9000 lbs. for pulling. Curt also clearly states limits on the angle of pull (45 degrees to the side and 15 up/down) in their install manual. This makes me nervous, since that is less than the 1.5 factor one is supposed to use for winches, recovery straps and snatch straps. Now my rear Ford factory Class V hitch is 18,000 lbs, which is the rating for all Class IV/V hitches, so getting pulled out of any trouble from behind is no worry. Would love to find such a hitch for the front, otherwise there could be times when it just might be a guess whether anything is going to break! I even wonder if some or all of the massive front bumpers around for the van come close to a class V hitch (especially aluminum ones) since most of us are in need of 10,000 x 1.5 = 15,000 lbs pulling capacity on either end!
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #33
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

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Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
It is important to note that ratings are not failure points - nothing is going to "break" when you hit that number. And a total failure is not going to happen before something tweaks or bends, which while not desirable, is far better than being stuck in the wrong place and easily repaired.
Still, if you exceed the number repeatedly you'll get fatigue and then things may break under that number.

And it bears mentioning that if using a hitch-receiver for recovery, NEVER use a hitch or ball.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:47 PM   #34
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

Any solutions for a chevy express van? Would like to add 2 D-rings to the front bumper some how.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:41 PM   #35
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Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hitch?

I recently had a thread on pirate4x4 about lifting from a type III hitch, which is rated below 10k. Consensus was it would work, people noted the rating takes into account the dynamic bouncing weight of a trailer.

I'm very confident in my front hitch; I doubt it will be the piece that fails. I see guys winch and tow front aftermarket bumpers that are only held by four bolts, and rarely hear of a failure. Just find a 4x4 fab guy. You're unlikely to find a bolt on that will work and the cost is in the labor anyway. It's just some plate and tube. While you're at it you might think of a winch mount and shackle attachments.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:34 AM   #36
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

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Originally Posted by rob_gendreau
I recently had a thread on pirate4x4 about lifting from a type III hitch, which is rated below 10k. Consensus was it would work, people noted the rating takes into account the dynamic bouncing weight of a trailer.
Actually about a month ago I had a Ford-approved tow (still on warranty) and the van (10k lbs) was lifted that way---I was shocked!

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Originally Posted by rob_gendreau
I'm very confident in my front hitch; I doubt it will be the piece that fails. I see guys winch and tow front aftermarket bumpers that are only held by four bolts, and rarely hear of a failure. Just find a 4x4 fab guy. You're unlikely to find a bolt on that will work and the cost is in the labor anyway. It's just some plate and tube. While you're at it you might think of a winch mount and shackle attachments.
Not sure why you say unlikely. My first post on the thread described the Curt class III hitch which seemed about as good as it gets for bolt-on front hitches, or are you implying there is something someone can weld up that will be as stout as the Ford factory class V rear hitch?
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:57 PM   #37
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

So here it is over two years later and I finally decided on what to do for recovery from the front---sure took long enough! The turning point was not getting any strength specs from Aluminess---yep try and see what they say. They are selling 7500 lbs shackles implying their aluminum bumper is good for 15,000 lb, but is just a guess. Buckstop is selling 16,500 lb Warn wenches, and thus claiming a similar thing, but steel should be stronger, and their bumpers do not just install where the stock bumper goes as the Aluminess does; they come with additional attachment brackets. So of the two, I was willing to live with the extra weigh of the Buckstop. However, their lead time did not fit our launch date for a trip to Arizona.

On the way back to Seattle we stopped by Quadvan in Portland, chatted with John a bit, heard what he thought about this issue and bought the 9,000 lb Curt hitch he always keeps in stock. Exactly why? He said if all I want is a reliable recovery point for most situations, a place for a front bike rack and are not really interested in the "look" a bumper gives, get the Curt. He showed me how each of the bumpers and the Curt attach (he sells all three) and gave me some good tips about installing it that were far better than the instruction sheet. He then said something like now I can even start thinking of a wench that can be used front or back! Can you imagine that? A wench front or back at less than the cost of one of those bumpers! And the Curt could be even stronger than the Aluminess! Happy man!
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:27 PM   #38
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

Wish I had front and back wenches to run my winch....

But I agree. I've seen lots of bumpers on trucks that are not nearly as strongs as the shackles on the bumper itself. Not only that, but some are mounted on rubber between the front frame rails and the bumper itself, which gives considerable flex on the bolts holding the bumper on.

The front and back winch thing, though, is kinda tough. A winch powerful enough for a SMB would work okay in a straight pull from a receiver mount, but it gets problematic when the force starts coming at an angle. And running welding wire to the back for power is a PITA too, but I guess doable.
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:20 AM   #39
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Re: Pulling (Recovering) an E-350 by frame, bumper, front hi

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Originally Posted by rob_gendreau
Wish I had front and back wenches to run my winch....
What? None of the side?
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