When a car is stuck in a muddy rut, often there is no help around, and no one can push your vehicle on a hard road. In such cases, it is useful to have a compact winch in the trunk. With its help, you can independently pull out the stuck car, and do many other useful things.
The winch is operated by means of a transmission mechanism, which creates a pulling force. That makes the rope coil and pull the load. As already mentioned, winches are used in different areas, but most commonly by off-roaders in their competitions. Choosing a particular kind of winch depends on the frequency of its operation.
Now let us consider the most frequently asked questions about dealing with winches.
How Much Pulling Power Do I Require?
First, it is important to find out the weight of the vehicle. After that, some drivers make a big mistake, buying a winch with the same power. You should not forget that you have not only to pull your car. You will also need to overcome obstacles and sludge. It is reasonable that every person aims to spend as low money as possible, but weak winches are not only useless, they are actually dangerous. Most of the professionals’ off-roaders recommend getting a winch at least 1.5 times as powerful as a car’s weight.
How can I double my winch capacity?
Here are three tips on how to use a winch with maximal effectiveness:
- Use a snatch block
- Find an anchor that allows pulling along the direct line to the center of the rollers
- Do not use the maximum speed, half of that will be enough in most cases
What you need to operate an electric winch?
- Choose a pad suitable for your winch. First, make sure that the motor, drum and gearbox will be in the same straight line after installation. Secondly, make sure that the ground is powerful enough to withstand the effort of your winch.
- Secure the pad. The platform should be installed on the fixed part of the chassis. Move the free unwind handle from the “free unwind” position, pull the rope through the jaws, put on the hook.
- Install and connect the control unit. The control unit should be located near the winch motor, in order to make it easy to use. Ropes must not cross any surfaces that could be damaged, and certainly, no people should be around.
- Before starting, check that the rope is evenly screwed. Throw a rag or jacket on the rope closer to the hook. If the rope is torn, the clothes or rag will act as a damper and prevent the rope from being dropped.
- Give a load on the rope, so that it is evenly wound. Continue working under the load until you remove the car.
What is the difference between hydraulic and electric winches?
Electric winches are the most common and most optimal self-pulling mechanism. The winch of this class is a drum with a rope and gearbox, but it is driven by an electric motor. Managed by a
mechanism with remote control.
In fact, all work with such a winch consists of three actions: pressing the “unwinding” button to extend the rope to the needed length, mounting on the entrenched car and “winding”. On the drum of such a winch it usually fits up to 30 meters of a rope, and the thrust force can vary from 2,500 to 12,000 pounds.
Commercial cars often require more professional equipment. Therefore, here are used hydraulic winches that are using the engine power to operate. They are very unpretentious to operating conditions and have high power and reliability, which ensures their popularity among users of special equipment.
Synthetic rope or a steel cable?
When the winches first appeared, the standard was a steel cable made from “aviation” steel. It was more durable than synthetic but also weighed more. Steel is an excellent material for a cable if it is used on highly abrasive coatings, for example, in the dirt, in stones, in the sand. It wears off much less. In addition, it is cheaper than synthetic and requires less maintenance.
Synthetic cables appeared in the mid-90s as an alternative to steel. The first synthetic cables were made of durable synthetic fishing line, which was used in the marine and fishing industries. Synthetic rope made of high-tech polyethylene is much safer than steel. It is now mandatory in most official off-road competitions.
Despite the fact that the synthetic cable is more difficult to break than the steel one, this does not mean it is impossible. Unlike steel, synthetic can be repaired at once, with suitable methods of weaving. Another advantage of the synthetic cable is its buoyancy, which facilitates the process of pulling the vehicle out of a pond or mud pit.
What Maintenance is Required?
This is not a surprise that winches are always getting dirty and must be cleaned. After each ride, it is necessary to make some simple procedures:
- 1. Put the winch off the car. Disassemble it and make a visual assessment of its condition.
- 2. Remove the remaining water from the winch and dry the electrical part. Special attention should be paid to the state of contacts and the brush unit, especially if it took some time to get to the cleaning after a ride. It is necessary to clean the contacts and remove the corrosion.
- 3. Check out the presence and condition of the lubricant in the gearbox. Add a new lubricant, if necessary. If the contamination is strong, you need to disassemble and wash all parts of the gearbox in kerosene, and then thoroughly lubricate.
- 4. Check out the condition of the contacts in the solenoid unit and on the outer part of the winch.
- 5. Thoroughly clean, rinse, dry and reinstall the winch rope. The rope must lie tightly and evenly, without overlapping. If your rope is synthetic and you are not going to use it soon, it is better to store it separately.
Regular and timely maintenance of the winch is a guarantee of its long and successful operation.
What Is The Best Winch Brands?
The Final Word
It is important to say that any cable and any winch can work well if it is in good condition. In fact, all of this comes down to personal preferences and the conditions they are going to be used in. It should be borne in mind that safety when working with a winch is equally important in all cases, not depending on what type of cable or type of winch you have chosen.