Owning a winch is more than just having a fancy piece of hardware on the front of your rig. It's a big responsibility, so don't take it lightly. If you're on the trail with a small group and you're the only one with a winch, you're the recovery rig by default. For this reason, it’s critical to understand the proper utilization of a recovery winch. Here are the crucial steps to take when setting up your recovery winch.
How To Choose a Winch
Are you having trouble deciding which winch is best for you? Calculating the line pull required for the application is the best technique to pick. To do so, multiply the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of your vehicle by 1.5 to get an estimate of how big your winch should be. The first layer of rope around the drum is usually the maximum load the winch can handle. Each extra layer reduces the rated line pull by around 10 percent. When you don’t spool the rope uniformly on the drum, you cause it to lose its pulling strength. So, before you head out, re-spool your winch!
Before You Start
Setting up a winch is a somewhat involved process that can result in injury if not carried out correctly. Here are some tips to help you complete the process safely:
- Always have a pair of heavy-duty gloves on hand, especially if you're working with wire rope winches. Barbs can form on the wire, which can easily lacerate unprotected hands. Gloves are still ideal to avoid rope burn, even if synthetic rope is less popular.
- Pull the line away from the fairlead with a hook strap. This simple procedure may save your fingers in the end.
- Carry clevis or D-shackles. The safest way to link a winch to a vehicle, chain, or strap is using one of these.
Rigging a Winch
A straight pull is the most common rigging. You draw yourself out by hooking to an anchor straight in front of you. The anchor can be a tree or boulder. Alternatively, you can connect directly to a stuck vehicle and pull it out. Be warned: a cable wrapped around a tree will compress, shatter, or tear the bark, exposing the tree to disease and disturbing the flow of nutrients. This can potentially harm or kill the tree. As such, you should connect the tree strap to the winch line using a 3/4-inch screw pin bow shackle (also known as a D-ring). Tighten the screw pin finger tight after passing the D-ring through both loops on the tree strap.
We hope you have enjoyed this article on the crucial steps to take when setting up your recovery winch! If you’re looking to upgrade your vehicle with winch accessories like aftermarket winch bumpers, be sure to reach out to Supreme Suspensions®!