RG&B Soft Shackle review

fivespddisco

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The soft shackle is more than just a hunk of rope. There is actually a little bit of science behind what appears to be a simple loop. The shackle is first made by splicing the rope and stitching it so the eye can only open far enough to allow the ball end through. Then it is stretched on a tensile tester to the Working Load Limit. This will set the knot end and prevent it from becoming untied. For added protection the shackle is then re-dipped in a polyurethane coating and a piece of nylon chafe guarding is added.
The 9mm ones that Lucky8 sells have been tested on a 50,000lb tensile tester. This machine is calibrated by a third party every year, in part because the manufacturer must keep its test equipment up to date to comply with their military contracts.

The 9mm soft shackle is rated for a Working Load Limit of 18,000lbs. Today I had a brand new soft shackle tested and it broke at 26,088lbs. That is like hanging more than another Land Rover off the shackle past its Working Load Limit.

One thing to keep in mind with these shackles or any synthetic winch line is that they do have a shelf life. The manufacturer did a simulated long-term test of the shackle and these were the results:
First it was cycled 200 times from 14,000lbs - 20,000lbs. No damage. This should be close to the maximum pulling power of a 9k winch connected to a ****** block.
Then they upped the pulling power and kept on going. It took 73 cycles in the 20,000lb - 25,000lb range for the shackle to finally break at 25,182lbs. Keep in mind that the shackle was not allowed to cool down after each test as it was cycled continuously to test its durability in being loaded and unloaded repeatedly.

Here is some quick math:
If you were to go out twice a month and use the shackle at its maximum rating twice each outing, it would take you just shy of 6 years to mimic our testing. Not bad for a $25 shackle.

video of todays test.
Soft shackle test - YouTube

Todays test
shack.png


I hope this helps put to rest some of the concerns that some people have had.
 

antichrist

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There are two important considerations with rope shackles that I think a lot of people don't realize:
  • Their load capacity is, in large part, dependent on what they are attached to which isn't the case when the same material is used as a well designed winch line in a straight line pull.
  • Their capacity is reduced even further if subjected to shock loading such as during a dynamic recovery.
Two things that don't affect steel shackles that should be taken in to consideration when choosing which kind to buy and/or the intended use.
 

fivespddisco

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Tom,
After reading your replies on all the boards you felt compelled to post on after me, it sounded like you have two issues with these shackles and I will address them.

Issue one
You disagree with the industry standard of synthetic winch line.

I understand your concern about the rating but you are comparing apples to oranges or more like apples to bananas.
You are comparing one industry standard to another. The standard for hoisting is different than the standard on synthetic winch line. These shackles are made of synthetic rope and the manufacturer that produces these shackles uses the same standard as synthetic winch line. The standard is to rate the rope at its breaking point.
There is no fluff. If you have a synthetic winch line and the rating is 16,000lbs, that rope, in perfect condition, will break at 16,000lbs. I asked the manufacturer to derate the shackle so that when used properly, it will break at 26,000lbs as shown in the video.
Quick math, these shackles are derated 8k less than the industry standard would allow.
Keep in mind a manufacturer is in control of rating their own products. The reason I used this manufacturer is because they test the parts we buy from them and do not just use the number given to them from the rope vendor.

But if you are on a crusade to change industry standards, then please, by all means, help me out with this.
I disagree with the tire manufacturers rating. When I use my tires off-road I do not get anywhere near the distance stated by the manufacturer. They wear out much faster then the mileage chart says.
Perhaps you can call Nitto and explain to them that they're incorrect with the way they rate their tires. In my opinion they should be rated for no more than 5000 miles. Disregard that I do not maintain my tires, mistreat them constantly, run them low on air, and never balance them. Therefore I've used them in the matter that I like and they don't last as long, so the manufacturer is incorrect with their rating. This is the same logic you are using with these shackles.
And while your at it, please call the FDA and tell them that all the food manufacturers need to adjust the portion chart. 17 Doritos is not a portion for me and Erik drops more then 17 eating his portion.

Side note:
These same shackles are sold at the full 26k rating to a very large consumer and all they wanted was to have the testing done to prove their strength.

Issue 2:
You feel the people using this shackle should be protected against misuse.

Simply put, if you do not know what you are doing in a recovery, then take a class and ask for help or don’t do it! You can get killed or seriously hurt.

But for arguments sake, I will go down this road with you.

These shackles are tools, just like a screwdriver. Most people know the proper way to use a screwdriver but I have seen people hit the screwdriver with a hammer. If the screwdriver breaks, it is not a failure of the screwdriver, it is a failure by the user because the tool was used incorrectly. Using your logic related to the soft shackles, the screwdriver should be rated or designed for misuse.

I can go down this road of misuse forever with examples but I think you get my point. If you misuse the tool, it can brake and you can get hurt.


You said you want to know the weakest link in your set up.

Here are some things to look for before the shackle.
What is the winch mounted with? The grad 3 or 5 bolts it comes with?
Will the winch handle the load you intend to put on it?
What did you mount the winch to? And how is that attached?
Did you reuse the stock butter bolts that came from the factory? You may laugh but D90s came with a winch bumper and they used the same cheap butter bolts to hold that bumper to the frame. And lets not even bring up that abortion that came on the front of D2s and Lr3’s
Next is the frame. It will twist and bend under load from winching.
You said the frame is rated for 30,000 lbs . Do you have any data on this ? I will disagree because I have bent a disco frame winching to the side.
From the winch out
What is the line rated for?
What is hook on the end of the line rated for?
Don't forget that cheap bolt they use to hold the hook to the line
And finally that Injustice of epic plague proportions that I have brought upon the land rover community the “ soft shackle” Derated to 18k when used properly

Here is another video of one breaking using a smaller radius. It broke at 26,058 just a few pounds less then the other test on the larger radius.

AND for everyone else that dose not care about this we have a few special features added to video that will make it worth watching. Enjoy :)

Soft Shackle Test, Take 2 - YouTube
 

antichrist

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FIVESPDDISCO said:
Issue one
You disagree with the industry standard of synthetic winch line.
Issue 2:
You feel the people using this shackle should be protected against misuse.
I have no idea how you reached these two conclusions because I never said, nor implied, either one.

The standard for hoisting is different than the standard on synthetic winch line.
It's not about winch line vs. hoisting standards. Rope, no matter what it's made of, is covered by different standards than tools you make from the same rope. Shackles are covered by yet a different standard.

I was trying to figure out how to reply to the tires, screwdrivers and other stuff, but the analogies and conclusions are so nonsensical I won't bother.
 

fivespddisco

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antichrist said:
I have no idea how you reached these two conclusions because I never said, nor implied, either one.

These quotes of yours bellow is how I arrived at that conclusion.

antichrist said:
I also was concerned about the 18,000lb WLL. Even cheap **** screw pin shackles have a 3:1 design factor and most people strongly suggest 5:1 for recovery use. I'm somewhat perplexed why all of a sudden a significantly less than 2:1 ratio is suddenly cool.
******** post 59

antichrist said:
I went back and read what I posted before and I'm pretty sure it's capacity will only be reduced by the weakest link, not the cumulative effect I described. But it will still be significantly less than the rating of the rope it's made from.
******** post 31

antichrist said:
It looks like in the video that the test machine's fixed point the rope is attached to meets rope fixed point attachment guidelines, about 3 times the diameter of the rope (one of the reasons thimbles are used on winch lines, to maintain a correct minimum bend radius). Most recovery points won't meet that requirement and so the load capacity of the rope will be reduced.
******** post 52

antichrist said:
Established minimum rigging guidelines specify a 3:1 safety margin (design factor) for the WLL, so breaking at 26,000lb would actually mean a WLL significantly below 18,000lb.
******** post 52

antichrist said:
The problem is that, based on personal observation, the majority of people off-roading don't understand safe rigging and how the load capacity would be affected by fitting one of these to a 2" pin vs. as illustrated in the OP photo.
******** post 54

antichrist said:
For ****'s sake, do you think you're the only person who might attach one in such a place, for whatever reason? I took you at what you later said about you not actually using it there.
I was only referencing your photo as an example of where someone might attach one in a way to significantly reduce it's capacity.
******** post 59


After reading your recent post on Expo Portal it seems your major issue with the product is the name.

antichrist said:
My concern is that people are used to the word "shackle" meaning a chunk of steel with a 3:1 or 5:1 design factor and that people may decide to use the soft shackle thinking it has the same rating, when in fact it's design factor is less than 1.5:1.
Expeditionportal post 13


I posted a video of the "Sha..." Product being tested. You said it would fail much faster if we used a smaller radius. So I put up another video of it being tested on a smaller radius and it failed with in a few pounds of the original. I have one more video of the product. This time it is being used on a very tight bend and according to you it should fail well below it rating.

9MMSS1512_1.jpg


It did not.


On D-90 I posted that you were busting by balls and that offended you. I am sorry for that. I was only trying to make light of you following behind my posts on many of the Land Rover sites question this product.

Again I am sorry you do not like the name, how the manufacture rates them or how people may misuse them. But in my book those are opinions and do not fact.
 

fivespddisco

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9MM Soft Shackle: 24,343 LBS
Connected to Tensile Tester with 3/8" Dyneema line one side and a industry standard (Superwinch) ****** block on the other side.

9MMSS Vid 1 - YouTube

0-1.jpg


ba3ae602.jpg


9MMSS1512_4.jpg


softblock.jpg
 

antichrist

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These quotes of yours bellow is how I arrived at that conclusion.
Even taking the quotes entirely out of context as you have, I still don't see how you can arrive at the conclusion that I don't like the industry standard for winch line (which isn't the topic) or that I think people should be protected from misuse (which is impossible to do, even assuming someone wanted to).

The discussion is not about winch line or about people misusing shackles.
It's about shackles and about people using them as designed.

Unfortunately two key pieces of data are omitted from your posts which leaves it up to the reader to just guess whether or not the industry standard guidelines regarding effects of rigging on load capacity apply (to this particular rope) or not. Those things are:
- Breaking strength of the line in a straight pull (as when used as a winch line)
- Diameter of pin in the first breaking demonstration video (right now the two breaking loads can't really be compared)

But for the sake of argument I'll accept that there's something special about the material or its treatment that allows a person to ignore standard rope handling guidelines such as D/d ratios or a shock load vs. a slow increase in load.
In other words, I'll assume the breaking strength of the rope when made in to a shackle is exactly the same as when used as a winch line and shock loading has no greater effect on it than when used with a winch.

But that still leaves the poor design factor of <1.5:1. Remember, we're not talking about winch line, we're talking about shackles.
Considering that the soft shackle material is much more susceptible to damage from environmental factors than steel shackles, using such a poor design factor leaves very little room for weakening due to damage that's very likely to occur when it's used as designed.

...it seems your major issue with the product is the name.
No, why would would it be? That's what it is (a shackle).
As you can see above, my main concern is the design factor. The company that makes them seems to have arbitrarily decided that a <1.5:1 design factor is perfectly ok for a shackle used for recovery.
Contrast this to a company like ARB which markets shackles with, at minimum, a 3:1 design factor.

So my major issue with them is the poor design factor combined with the fact that the company makes shackles with a design factor 50% less than the decades old industry standard for recovery shackles (and close to 75% less than what many people prefer), yet that information isn't plainly provided.

Apparently they don't like the industry standard for shackles.
Using their logic, people can just start using $9 Columbus Mckinnon M649AG 7/16” shackles which deform, not break, at 26,000lb.
 

antichrist

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The 9mm ones that Lucky8 sells...is rated for a Working Load Limit of 18,000lbs.
Now this is confusing. Seeing it stated that it's 9mm made it appear that the rope defied standard rope handling guidelines.
But looking here: http://lucky8llc.com/Products.aspx?ProductID=7209 it looks like it's actually 16mm, as seen here:
ProductID7209ImageID6027.JPG


If it's actually 16mm (5/8”) as labeled, and assuming it's only Amsteel-Blue (one of the lower rated synthetic ropes), then that would mean its average breaking strength, 52,800lbs, is pretty much halved when used as a shackle, which one would expect based on the industry standard rope handling guidelines described.

I recognize that at this point the above is conjecture since there is conflicting information as to its size and there is no information (that I've seen) on the material or it's capacity when used in a straight line pull.

Amsteel-Blue capacities:http://www.samsonrope.com/index.cfm?rope=192
 

fivespddisco

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Tom we all understand you have these mac daddy Columbus Mckinnon shackles. Everyone is proud of you.
The L8 soft shackle is made from 9mm rope weaved in a loop and that makes it 16mm. I do not know why it is not 18mm but I think it is the same kind of math that happens at a bar late at night
Example
Erik picks up a 10 at the club after a night of drinking and wakes up with a 5.
You keep insisting on comparing the rating to your industry standards but keep ignoring the difference. You are comparing Metal to a synthetic rope.
You keep talking about WLL and design factors but ignoring the difference, Metal vs. synthetic rope.
You said this
assuming it's only Amsteel-Blue (one of the lower rated synthetic ropes)http://www.samsonrope.com/index.cfm?rope=192
I call Bs! More so you do not know what you’re talking about. We use Dyneema® (SK75) . This is a great rope for winching and recovery because it will withstand to multiple cycling’s with out failure unlike others on the market.
I have gone above and beyond to prove when these shackles "can" break. Backing it up with testing and videos.
You have done nothing but stalk me on the web complaining about the name, how they are rated and how people may misuse them. At this point it is getting a bit creepy. Are you doing it as a favor to one of my competitors?
You told everyone to go to Dweb and read about this but when people did not buy your BS there you ran away. I stand by that recommendation.
http://www.********.org/forums/showthread.php?t=77169
Go over and read the thread because I sent the shackles off to Garret and JB of Overland experts to be tested.
http://www.overlandexperts.com/
They both have replied with positive feedback and excellent suggestion on how and when to best use the new shackles along with excellent upgrade ideas.

Tom I don’t know what you want from me at this point. I have backed up everything with facts and scientific data. You’re acting like a troll at this point.
 

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