NATO Hitch Rear Recovery
Category: Technical Articles
For a rear recovery point (well all recovery points really) you want a very strong mount, as the pulling forces when you’re in thick mud up to the axles can be rather hefty, and chunks of metal flying at high velocity are never a good thing. The NATO hitch is a good idea for use as a recovery point for a number of reasons, the primary one being that it’s bloody strong. Defenders also handily have the correct bolt pattern in the rear cross-member already, making mounting very easy.
Unfortunately one cannot just bolt the hitch onto the crossmember and be done with it. It would probably be okay for on-road towing, but off-road recovery can generate high shock forces which will simply rip the bolts through your chassis. The answer is a spreader plate in front and behind like this:
Why another spreader plate on the outside I hear you ask? Well it’s purpose is to spread any sideways forces generated by anything other than a perfectly straight pull. Without it you would find the hitch would distort the relatively thin material of the crossmember’s outer face.
For reference, the plate dimensions are as follows:
- Outer plate is 195mm x 120mm x 8mm
- Inner plate is 195mm x 85mm x 12mm