The Subtle Difference Between Towing and Recovery Straps

Here at Mytee Products, we sell an extensive list of equipment and supplies used by tow truck operators. Among them are both towing and recovery straps. These straps may look similar in terms of size, color, etc., but they have very different properties. They are designed for different jobs as well.

The average tow operator has both kinds of straps on board. They are used to recover cars from ditches, secure cars to the backs of flatbed trucks, and even tow them with a cradle or tow bar. Straps are incredibly versatile tools that make the job of tow operators easier.

Towing Strap Basics

The first thing to note about towing straps is that they are typically made with polypropylene or Dacron so that they do not stretch. They are also fitted with hooks designed to be attached to predefined towing spots on the vehicle being transported. When used properly, towing straps will keep the vehicle secure during transport.

Tow operators will not use towing straps as their only means of securing a vehicle during transport unless the vehicle is being carried on the back of a flatbed. Otherwise, a cradle or tow bar carries most of the load while towing straps simply secure the vehicle in place. Towing straps can be used to pull a vehicle short distances so that it can be safely mounted on the tow truck.

Recovery Strap Basics

The main difference with recovery straps is the material used to make them. Rather than polypropylene or Dacron, nylon is the preferred material for recovery straps. Why? Because nylon has a bit of elasticity. This property is ideal for vehicle recovery.

Imagine a car that has gone off the interstate and now rests in a low spot in the center median. Using a towing strap to drag that car out of the ditch may work, but there is a real risk of the strap breaking. A recovery strap is what the tow operator needs.

A recovery strap’s nylon material will stretch until it reaches its limit of elasticity. At that point, the natural tendency of the material to want to return to its original, compressed state generates force that, combined with the force being exerted by the winch, helps to drag the vehicle from the ditch. It all happens with minimal risk of breakage.

Recovery efforts tend to put more stress on straps and winches than straight towing. That’s why manufacturers make the two different kinds of straps.

Using Chains for Recovery

Every experienced tow truck operator is fully aware that there are times when the stress of recovery is too great even for nylon recovery straps. The solution is either chain or winch cable. Both offer the superior tensile strength necessary for difficult recovery. The only caveat here is that chains and cables are in no way elastic. Operators have to be very careful about any shock or stress that could cause a chain or cable to snap.

This is where chain grades and working load limits come into play. Tow truck operators should never use anything less than a G70 chain for vehicle recovery. A G80 or G100 would be even better.

We Have Everything You Need

Mytee Products is happy to supply tow truck operators with everything they need for safe vehicle recovery and towing. We have a complete selection of recovery and towing straps, chains of multiple grades, hooks, and other components. If there is something you need that we don’t have, feel free to contact us anyway. We might still be able to get it for you.

Electrified Fencing Tips for Cattle Farmers

Mytee Products sells a variety of products for agricultural operations including fence energizers and fence wire, tape, and braid. Though we are not experts in agriculture, we do know that choosing the right components for an electric fence ultimately determines its effectiveness. We also know there are both right and wrong ways to use the fencing materials we sell.

Experienced cattle farmers already know how to use electrified fencing properly. Anyone new to the cattle game will have to learn on the job. Thankfully, there is no shortage of online resources that farmers can use to figure out what they are doing with their fencing. We can offer a few tips as well.


Plan All Your Fencing

The first step in constructing effective fencing is to plan everything. Do not make the mistake of buying your fencing supplies first, then trying to plan around what you purchased. Creating a plan first allows you to come to Mytee Products knowing exactly what you need to make your plan a reality.

Your plan should account for where your fencing will be built, whether it will be permanent or temporary, whether it will be electrified or not, and the total amount of square footage fencing will entail. The total length of any given fence influences electrification.

Choose the Right Voltage

Electrified fences with inadequate voltage will not do much to deter cattle from grazing too closely. Furthermore, the length of the fence will affect voltage. That’s why Mytee Products sells a variety of energizers. The farmer needs energizers that will provide adequate voltage for the entire length of the fence in question. In some cases, multiple energizers are necessary.

Learn Proper Installation Techniques

It is all well and good to properly plan and purchase the right supplies for electrified fencing. Where most cattle farmers fall down is in installation. For example, proper grounding is critical to both fence operation and safety. The farmer should fully understand the fundamentals of fence construction before the project begins.

The farmer who is uncomfortable about attempting a DIY fencing project should not take any chances. A better option is to work with a colleague who already has experience with electrified fences. Where that is impossible, paying for professional installation is worth the cost.

Carry out Routine Maintenance

Last but not least is carrying out routine maintenance on electrified fences. Like anything else, fences are subject to all sorts of harmful things including bad weather, farming equipment, and even large animals that might not be bothered by the fencing.

Energizers should be inspected and tested on a regular basis. After exceptionally bad weather, energizers might even have to be looked at for possible repair. You do not know if you don’t check. We recommend patrolling fence lines and testing energizers at least every few weeks.

Another big part of routine maintenance is fixing breaks. Remember that electrified fencing only works if the circuit that carries power through the fence remains unbroken. Any breaks in a fence line need to be fixed right away. Cattle farmers should also be looking for wear or tear that could lead to a break in the future.

Electrified fencing is a great tool for controlling cattle. When fencing is properly installed and maintained, it actually trains cattle to stay away in much the same way invisible fencing can keep dogs from going outside a specific perimeter. If you are looking to install electrified fencing for your cattle operation, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to answer questions about our energizers and other electrified fencing supplies.

Solar Powered Energizers Might Be Right for Your Fencing

Are you a cattle rancher or dairy farmer with miles of electrified fence? If so, how do you power your fencing? We have a way for you to electrify fences without the need for external power sources. The answer is found in solar powered energizers that use the natural power of nature to keep your cattle in and critters out.

Before you dismiss solar powered energizers as a fanciful idea that does not work, please hear us out. Solar energy has evolved tremendously over the last 5 to 10 years to the point of being a viable solution for electrified fences. Between new solar collectors and long-life batteries, it is now possible to energize your fences via the sun with little to no loss of reliability.

No New Wiring Necessary

The solar powered energizer works just as its name implies. Each energizer has a built-in solar panel that absorbs energy from the sun throughout the day. What is not being used to keep fences electrified is diverted into batteries to keep fences electrified once the sun goes down.

The combination of solar collector panels and batteries makes a solar powered energizer ideal for new fencing without the need to run more wiring out into the field. It is also ideal for situations in which grazing fields change and only the field currently in use needs to be electrified. A solar powered energizer lets you put electrification where you need it, when you need it.

Even When the Power Goes Out

Electric fencing that relies on grid energy is completely dependent on the grid staying up and running. If the power goes out, so does the electrified fencing. That is not a problem when you use a solar powered energizer. The solar unit keeps right on working even when there is no grid power on your property. You will not have to worry about your cattle getting out every time a storm blows through and knocks out the grid.

Cloudy Days Aren’t a Problem

Short stretches of cloudy weather are not a problem because of the storage capacity that solar powered energizers carry on board. Prolonged cloudy weather may be another issue, so it’s wise to have a backup electrification solution ready to go if it’s ever needed. But other than those rare occasions when the weather is persistently cloudy for prolonged periods, you will not ever have to worry about dead fencing.

Friendly to the Environment

Farmers know more than anyone else how important it is to protect the natural environment. When fences are electrified with grid power, they may be powered with electricity produced using fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. Not only does this mean that valuable resources are being consumed to keep fences electrified, it also means emissions escaping into the atmosphere.

Solar powered energizers are environmentally friendly in every way. They are the ideal way to keep fences electrified without contributing to fossil fuel burning and its emissions.

Two Models to Choose From

The Mytee Products inventory currently includes two different solar powered energizers to choose from. The first is a six-volt DC unit offering low impedance technology good for 3 acres of coverage. The second is a 12-volt unit with ultra-low impedance for coverage of up to 100 acres. Ultra-low impedance is offered regardless of ground conditions.

If you are looking for a new way to energize your fences without having to run new power lines, solar powered units may be just what you’re looking for. They are inexpensive, easy to use, portable, and friendly to the environment.

Beef Cows, Hay Moisture, and Winter Feed

We don’t mind admitting that we are not experts in cattle farming and hay growing. Yes, we sell things like hay tarps, moisture testers, and fence energizers. But our knowledge of agricultural practices is limited. So it’s our responsibility to do the research necessary to make sure the products farmers actually need. In light of that, this blog post was prompted by a fascinating article published by Beef Magazine covering beef cows, hay moisture, and winter feed.

The premise of the article was this: beef cows fed high quality feed during the summer and fall months are likely to reject poor quality feed during the winter. That means improper hay storage can cause big problems for cattle ranchers. Even a farmer who simply provides feed without actually having any cattle of his own needs to be concerned.

Beef Magazine’s Joe Roybal wrote in the 2013 article that cattle ranchers devote more than half their annual expenditures to winter feed. He went on to explain that hay stored outdoors tends to have a higher spoilage rate than that kept indoors. One of the things we know, thanks to our knowledge of moisture testers, is that moisture content plays a significant role here.

Moisture Promotes Spoilage

Moisture is both a friend and enemy of hay. You need some moisture in order to keep it from drying out and becoming nutritionally valueless. On the other hand, excess moisture promotes spoilage. It encourages the growth of mold and bacteria as well. And, of course, every hay producer knows that excess moisture can cause spontaneous combustion in stored hay.

Farmers use moisture testers to figure out just how much moisture exists in stored bales. What they do when moisture levels are too high or low is a matter of individual practice, but something has to be done in order to prevent losses. Farmers also have to be careful that the feed they sell to cattle ranchers is of the highest possible quality if they don’t want to risk future sales.

It has been estimated that baled hay stored on the ground with no cover sustains average losses of about 37%. Getting that hay up off the ground can reduce losses to under 30%, even if it is not covered. By far the best strategy for preserving hay stored outdoors is to both cover it and get it off the ground.

Hay stored indoors is subject to average losses of about 6%. However, storing hay indoors does not mitigate the need to measure moisture content. Moisture can still cause spoilage to hay stored in even the best barns.

Practical Suggestions for Growers

Hay producers naturally want as little spoilage as possible so as to command top dollar for their product. Doing so is a matter of employing some practical suggestions. To begin with, getting hay under some sort of cover makes moisture easier to control and spoilage easier to prevent. Whether that means storing hay in a barn or under a tarp, it really needs to be covered.

Before covering, hay should be checked for moisture content. One of our moisture testers will do the trick. Hay that is too wet needs to be allowed to dry before it is covered. In the meantime, it’s imperative to keep rodents and other critters away.

Whether in a barn or outdoors, hay should be stacked off the ground. One trick a lot of farmers use is to stack their hay on old tires. This allows air circulation from underneath while at the same time preventing the hay from absorbing ground moisture.


How Electrified Fencing Controls Cattle

A cattle farmer with a full complement of beef or dairy cows has a lot on his plate in terms of keeping that cattle in confined spaces. Despite their docile nature, cattle are powerful animals that can be quite belligerent when they want to be. Keeping them confined to certain spaces is a job for fencing.

Barbed wire fences were the fences of choice in past generations. But barbed wire is harmful to animals. These days, cattle farmers are more likely to use electrified fencing instead. Though it might seem that electrified fence is just as harmful as a barbed wire, it is not. The amount of electricity flowing through an electrified fence is minimal. Furthermore, the shock of an electrified fence is not enough to harm cattle.

Fencing Basics: How It Works

An electrified fence for controlling cattle consists of a series of fence posts, wires, and energizers. The farmer drives the posts in at regular intervals, runs two or three wires between the posts, and then connects those wires to the energizer. A fencing energizer can run on solar power, batteries, or mains power.

The final step in constructing electrified fencing is also its most critical: grounding. Grounding is what makes a fence effective in controlling cattle.

Current produced by the energizer is sent through the wires in quick pulses. A typical pulse might be only 150 microseconds, and pulses are sent through the lines at a rate of about one per second. As you can see, this means the wires are not constantly electrified.

When a cow touches an electrified fence, it completes a circuit by occupying space between the fence line and the ground. This causes an electric shock to flow from the line, through the animal, and into the ground. This minor shock is known as ‘biting’. Cattle are not exposed to a high enough voltage to endanger them; it is just strong enough to teach them a lesson.

Controlling Cattle with Fencing

The beauty of electrified fencing is that it trains cattle to stay within certain spaces without harming their health. Believe it or not, cattle are very intelligent creatures capable of quick learning. Controlling cattle with fencing is all about teaching them their boundaries.

No cow will appreciate the electric shock it receives from contacting electric fencing. Some cattle will learn to stay away with just one touch; others have to touch a fence numerous times before they figure it out. The one thing they all have in common is that they will eventually learn.

From a practical standpoint, a cow’s ability to learn can be helpful to farmers. For example, a farmer could erect a temporary fence that will be moved to a different field when grazing shifts. Yet even moving to a different field does not require the cattle to learn all over again. They will already know to stay away from the electrified fence regardless of where they graze.

We Have What You Need

Electrified fencing has proven itself over the years as an effective way to control cattle without inflicting the harm caused by barbed wire. Electric fencing is easy to build, easy to maintain, and cost-effective. Moreover, electrified fencing is as effective at keeping animals out as it is keeping cattle in.

Mytee Products has everything you need to construct electrified fencing. From energizers to fencing wire, we carry a variety of products to meet a variety of fencing needs. If you are planning to build fencing, just be sure to plan well before you purchase equipment. A good plan will set you up for a productive and inexpensive fence.