Top 8 Winch Questions Answered

by S. Heacock on 4/29/15 12:47 PM
winchNew to winching? Take a look at our frequently asked winching questions to ensure safe winching. Winch FAQ:

Q: What type of winch do I need? What type of winch you need depends on the application. Are you mudding on the weekend with friends? Are you an industrial wrecker? There are many things to consider when choosing the right winch. To learn more read our blog article "What type of winch do I need."

Q: What should I do about my vehicles wheels while winching? Position blocks under your vehicles wheels while winching.

Q: How do I respool the wire rope? Wear leather gloves while re-spooling wire winch rope. ATTENTION: DO NOT allow the wire rope to thread through your hand. Keep a slight load on the wire rope while re-spooling. Hold the wire rope with one gloved hand and the remote control in the other.

Q: What maintenance is required? A little preventative maintenance will ensure a long winch life. You should regularly lubricate all grease points, inspect all bolts, all electrical connections (even at the battery) and cable. Check to ensure there is no worn coatings or corrosion on electrical connections, and that all connections are tight. Check for wear, flat spots and broken strands on your wire rope. Damaged or worn cable should be replaced. Read more about winch maintenance here.

Q.  How do I secure a load? Use ratchets and straps for secure points. Winches do not make suitable tie downs because the gears can be damaged if under continual undulation.

Q.  Can I increase the line speed of my worm gear winch? Yes, but you will lose about half of your pulling power. On electric winches, a simple exchange of gears can provide up to a 50% line speed increase, and on hydraulic winches, you can change your motor to one with different displacement.

Q.  How much pulling power do I require? You need a winch to be powerful enough to pull your vehicle while overcoming the added resistance caused by an obstacle, moving water, mud, snow or sand on a steep hill. Choose a winch with a maximum line pull of at least 1.5 times greater than the gross vehicle weight.

Q. How can I double my winch capacity? Use a snatch block to double your winch capacity, half the winch speed and maintain a direct line pull to the center of the rollers.

Q. How can I provide a safe anchor point? Use rated D Ring or bow shackles in conjunction with an approved tree truck protector.

Q. What do I do when pulling heavy loads? Lay a heavy blanket or jacket over the wire rope when pulling heavy loads. Should wire rope failure occur the cloth may help prevent wire rope backlash.

Q: Can I use a fuse to protect my winch and vehicle? Use of a fuse, or some circuit interrupting device, is highly recommended. A better idea would be to use a breaker. High amp fuses are costly, and amperage spikes are not uncommon when winching. A breaker that will throw at 400 amps is ideal. It may cost more in the beginning, but will far outweigh the cost of replacing 400 amp fuses. Cut-off switches are less costly, while not preventing amperage spikes, they will allow you to disconnect power in the event of a short in the winch.
 
Gotten out of a sticky situation with your Pierce winch? Follow us on Facebook and post your #winchwin and #winchfail pics or comment on our page! Safe winching! 
 
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This post was written by S. Heacock

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