I’ve had my 2012 Jeep JK for almost 2 yrs now, and one of the first things I did was swap out the front bumper and install the D-ring shackle mounts. These mounts bolt on directly through the bumper. The bolt goes in through the rear of the bumper, forward into the shackle mount. I tossed on a couple of Quadratec D-Rings and rode off into the sunset.
Although I’ve had occasion to use my Olympic bumpers (both front and rear) for recovery, I’d never had to use the D-Rings for anything other than light recovery work one time. During this instance I looped a recovery strap around my bumper and used the D-Ring to fasten the strap by first pulling the strap around my bumper, then using the D-Ring through the end loop of the strap and over the strap running to my Jeep from the Land Rover. Thus creating a larks head of sorts using the D-Ring as the loop the strap ran through. This method doesn’t really put much stress on the D-Ring, certainly not anything close to the 3-1/4 ton working load limit Quadratec claims. Nor does this method put nearly 5x’s that working limit on the D-Ring. This is important to note because Quadratec makes the claim that in their independent testing their brand D-Ring can handle more than 5x’s the load limit of 3-1/4 tons. “Shackle design exceeds 5 times it’s load limit in our independent testing.” – Source
By now you can probably guess where I’m going with this. The D-Rings, can in fact, not handle, in my testing, anywhere near the stated 3-1/4 ton load limit, let alone 5x’s that limit. I’ve been driving around and off-roading for nearly 2 years trusting these D-Rings, and when I actually used them this past weekend… Not only did the D-Ring bend and pull open, but the pin ripped right out of the thread.
On a narrow and very steep trail through the backwoods in Southern Ohio, I came up on a section where a tree had fallen across our path. A good Samaritan had cut out a large section of the tree with a chain saw, but not enough for my JK to squeeze through. So we looped a tow strap around the drivers side section of the tree, and used a Bigfoot Winch Rope soft shackle to connect the tow strap (a High-Lift brand strap, which is working very well) to the D-Ring. Putting my Jeep in reverse I gave the tree a couple tugs and pulled it back enough that we could change our angle and slide through the newly widened space. This should be well within the limits of the D-Ring, tow strap and soft shackle.
When later examining everything, I saw that the D-Ring was pulled out of square and further open, which also yanked the pin right out of the threads. Now this work was no where near in the range of the D-Rings upper limits, if had to guess, we maybe exerted 1500LBs of force on the shackle. That’s a far cry from 3+ tons, and even further away from 5x’s that amount (15 tons for the math challenged among us). So this bent shackle is getting, in our opinion… a failing grade. I have since replaced the Quadratec D-Ring with one from Smittybuilt, and have D-Rings from a couple other companies on the way for further testing. More reports coming!
Verdict: Failing recovery gear is a big deal, it can leave you stranded or injured. A trustworthy D-Ring is a vital and basic component in your recovery gear kit. The Quadratec D-Ring failed well under it’s load limit in a basic operation under minimal stress. Quadratec expands on the stated limit claiming it can actually handle 5x’s the load limit. I feel this is dangerous and irresponsible. I do not recommend this product. FP
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