Capacity: the Numbers
The Deadman is no slouch - he's been eating his Wheaties. When used as a tree strap, the Deadman's minimum breaking strength is a massive 66,400lb after assembly. That's about 10x more capacity than the average off-road vehicle weighs! So when used around trees or rocks, it's safe to assume that something else in your recovery kit will be the weakest link.
But what about using the Deadman in the ground? How much weight can he hold?
Great question -- thanks for asking! The Deadman hugs terra firma with incredible force, yet it can be resurrected without additional digging. We’ve used the Deadman to recover from situations where we were buried to the frame, where the vehicle was hi-centered on a dune crest, and where we needed to make a tough uphill climb in soft sand - we know this thing works in the ground. We’ve spent countless hours on the trail, testing its efficacy in different types of soil, at high and low angles, and at varying depths.
In one such test, knowing that deep soft sand is one of the toughest soil types to anchor in, we grabbed a load cell and headed to the desert to record the data.
Peak load capacity (lb) in soft sand (*recorded 4/23/2017)
We began with a side-by-side comparison of a standard truck spare tire and a Deadman. We were surprised to learn that the Deadman buried at 24” was able to hold more than the spare tire buried 6" deeper! Pretty awesome, but at an equal depth, the Deadman held nearly 2x what the tire gave us. Still, when we dug another 6” deeper to create a 36" hole, the Deadman held over 7,000lb!
We know that Deadman's efficacy in the ground is primarily determined by the soil density and the depth of the hole. Thus, these test results in soft sand illustrate the low end of the Deadman's load capacity as a ground anchor - harder soil types will deliver greater overall load capacities, and equivalent load capacity at shallower depths - making it an indispensable piece of kit.