58 Best (And Worst) Practices When Winching

by The PIERCE Team on 4/29/15 12:46 PM

winchHave you seen the video, "Dumb Ways To Die?" Well, you'd be surprised at all the careless things winch operators do when in the field. Let's play it safe and follow these best practices:


Any of these actions will void the warranty
  • DO NOT: Wear loose fitting clothing or jewelry
  • DO NOT: Step over or under the wire rope
  • DO NOT: Work on or around the winch drum when the winch is operating
  • DO NOT: Operate your winch with an obstructed view
  • DO NOT: Alter your winch in any way. Alterations may weaken the structural integrity of the winch and void your warranty
  • DO NOT: Misuse your winch
  • DO NOT: Lift items vertically. The winch is designed for horizontal use only
  • DO NOT: Operate the winch with less than eight wraps on the drum. The set screw on the drum is not designed to hold pull force of cable.
  • DO NOT: Continuously pull from extreme angles. This will cause the wire rope to jam as it piles up on one side.
  • DO NOT: Move your vehicle to assist the winch in pulling the load. The combination of the winch and vehicle pulling could overload the wire rope and winch
  • DO NOT: Release the free spool clutch when a load is connected to the winch.
  • DO NOT: Exceed the pulling limitations of this winch
  • DO NOT: Shock loads when winching. A shock load occurs when increased force is suddenly applied to the wire rope
  • DO NOT: Use your winch as a hoist
  • DO NOT: Use your winch to life, support or transport people
  • DO NOT: Alter the warning instruction label
  • DO NOT: Overheat your winch. Use your winch intermittently
  • DO NOT: Use your winch for jerking loads, towing, or securing a load.
  • DO NOT: Winch near electrical power lines
  • DO NOT: Abuse the wire rope
  • DO NOT: Carry your winch by the wire rope
  • DO NOT: Yank the wire rope from the winch
  • DO NOT: Overwork your winch
  • DO NOT: Maintain power if the motor stalls
  • DO NOT: Exceed maximum line pull ratings
  • DO NOT: prolong pulls. The electric winch is designed for intermittent use only. If the motor becomes very hot stop the winch and let it cool down for several minutes
  • DO NOT: Unintentionally start winch
  • DO NOT: Attach tow hooks to the winch mount.
  • DO NOT: Allow the wire rope to thread through your hand.
  • DO NOT: Engage the clutch while the motor is running
  • DO NOT: Continue to winch when the battery power is low.
  • DO NOT: Skip using all mounting bolts
  • DO NOT: Tie the winch cable to itself
  • DO NOT: Leave the remote plugged in when not in use.
  • DO NOT: Use the winch as a secure tie-down point.


Any of these actions will ensure safe winching
  • DO: Tie back long hair
  • DO: Wear leather gloves when handling the wire rope
  • DO: Wear non-skid footwear during winch operation.
  • DO: Wear eye and ear protection during operation
  • DO: Keep a safe distance
  • DO: Keep all onlookers away from the work area
  • DO: Dress properly
  • DO: Use a nylon sling when winching
  • DO: Use your winch intermittently
  • DO: Keep your vehicle running while winching. This allows the battery charging your winch to maintain a charge and will not run down your battery.
  • DO: Keep the winre away from heat or sharp edges.
  • DO: Fully disenage winch when not in use and fully engage when in use. The winch dog will disengage from the drum if the clutch is not fully engaged.
  • DO: Disconnect power when not in use
  • DO: Use snatch blocks to increase the winch's pulling capacity and remove tension from the wire rope
  • DO: Use pulleys and guides to keep the wire rope off sharp corners
  • DO: Put the winch in free spool when not in use.
  • DO: Use rachets and straps to secure all loads.
  • DO: Use a safety cut off switch
  • DO: Make sure the winch is fully engaged (clutch) before pulling.
  •  DO: Maintain your winch. Read our winch mintenance article here.


Chris_ClaeysMore Questions?

Just call Chris, Pierce Winch Manager




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This post was written by The PIERCE Team

At PIERCE we work as a team, a family. When you have a problem we combine our expertise and knowledge to find you an answer.

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