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post #1 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Proper Winching techniques?

1st off, I've never used a winch or had a vehicle with one, so please excuse my newby questions.

I had this idea yesterday as I'm driving home in the snow and seeing all the snow cautious challenged drivers spun out, and stuck in the ditch on the side of the freeway. I decided that I'ld like to get a winch for my JK which could serve 2 purposes. I'm thinking I may eventually be a weekend warrior off-road dabbler with my JK and will probably need a winch to get myself unstuck and help others get unstuck as well. My JK is a daily driver, and was thinking that maybe I could also make a few extra bucks helping the dopes who passed me earlier on the freeway doing 70mph on the slippery freeway get unstuck out of the ditch.....and also help pay for the cost of my Winch investment.

What I'm not exactly sure of, is what is the proper way to use a Winch to reduce the likelihood of damage?

Let's say I'm helping someone to get unstuck. Do I hook the winch up to their vehicle and then use the power of the winch to real them in out of the ditch? That method to me, would mean that I'm relying on all the power of the winch motor, which could lead to a lot of stress on the winch where it burns out the motor or other electronic parts in the winch.

-or-
Do I connect the cable of the winch to their vehicle, take the slack out of the cable with the winch motor, then put my vehicle in drive to pull them out? With this method, my thinking is that you are using the drive train of the vehicle to do all the work instead of the winch motor, so less stress on the motor, more stress on the drive train.

-or-
A combination of both?

Additionally, what is the best method to use to get myself unstuck?
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 02:47 PM
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There are a LOT of winching techniques and safety tips available. Go to some websites such as Warn/ Superwinch/ Ramsey/ etc. Also search "winching" on this site.

Most critical aspects are #1. The recovery points (where you are hooking the cable onto the other vehicle or to the object that you are hooking onto for self-recovery). #2. Personal safety/ vehicle safety.

Hook onto the recovery point that will get the most direct pull, and that would be considered a strong point of the vehicle in need of assistance. This will likely be a frame location. On vehicles with heavy-duty bumpers, you can generally find multiple recovery points such as a receiver hitch or d-ring tab. DO NOT ATTEMPT A PULL FROM SOMEONES FACTORY BUMPER OR FROM ANY SUSPENSION COMPONENTS.

A snatch-block can come in handy to double the pulling capacity and minimize fatigue on the winch. Please read up on the appropriate conditions and techniques on using a snatch-block.

Hook-up, take in the slack, and slowly begin pulling. You can also maximize the efficiency in some conditions by asking the driver of the stranded vehicle to slowly give some throttle input.....although this can be dangerous if someone is not familiar with being recovered, and they accidentally give it too much throttle. A 3rd person that can watch what is happening from the side, can be a big help to keeping things safe.

Dampening the winch cable (steel) is also something to consider if possible. This will eliminate a sudden backlash from the cable if it happens to fail/ break.

Before winching, you need to "stretch" the cable by extending it to almost the end of the wind (maybe 2-3 winds left on the drum). Hook the cable to an object like another car in neutral (on flat ground). Use your remote and wear gloves as you slowly wrap the cable back onto the drum, keeping the wrap as even across the drum and each wind from one side to the other.

View pictures- available from many manufacturers- to look at acceptable winching techniques and recovery points, as well as acceptable/ preferred accessories.

An open eye with a closed d-ring or shackle is preferred over a cable that has a fixed hook installed. The fixed hook is much more dangerous in most circumstances due to the possibility of a hook coming lose and flying (as a projectile) from the stranded vehicle towards the recovery vehicle, and more importantly- towards the operator/ driver/ or other people near by. The force can be absolutely fatal upon immediate failure.

This is all only a very small bit of advice regarding winching. There is MUCH more to know. Familiarize yourself with your winch, capacities, techniques, safety, different recovery methods, etc.....BEFORE operating your new winch, and ALWAYS wear gloves. Also consider purchasing a winch with synthetic cable (or purchase after-market if winch isn't available with synthetic). It is safer and easier to use than standard steel cable.

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post #3 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 03:24 PM
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I'm thinking you should buy a $30 tow strap and have at it. You're pulling them out of a ditch, not up a cliff. Many roadside recoveries don't require a winch. The added bonus here is that if you hand them the end of your tow strap and they tie it off to a bumper and..... three seconds later you've snatched the bumper off..... well, you're already in the Jeep and moving so your get-away will get that much quicker!

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fl-mitchells View Post
I'm thinking you should buy a $30 tow strap and have at it. You're pulling them out of a ditch, not up a cliff. Many roadside recoveries don't require a winch. The added bonus here is that if you hand them the end of your tow strap and they tie it off to a bumper and..... three seconds later you've snatched the bumper off..... well, you're already in the Jeep and moving so your get-away will get that much quicker!

LOL!!! Like I said, it's really a dual purpose purchase for when I do some off roading and need to rescue myself.

I've used chains and tow straps in the past. So I know most of the hazards and hooking techniques. I'm more interested in the proper ways to use the winch so I minimize the possible damage to the winch and my vehicle. So I guess, I'm not such a newb at towing and getting people unstuck. I'm more of a newb on using a winch to do it.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 05:30 PM
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NEVER HOOK UP YOUR WINCH AND USE YOUR VEHICLE TO PULL. use the winch motor, thats what it made for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fl-mitchells
I'm thinking you should buy a $30 tow strap and have at it. You're pulling them out of a ditch, not up a cliff. Many roadside recoveries don't require a winch. The added bonus here is that if you hand them the end of your tow strap and they tie it off to a bumper and..... three seconds later you've snatched the bumper off..... well, you're already in the Jeep and moving so your get-away will get that much quicker!
so very true. As a genral rule I let the stuck person hook up their car/suv/truck and I hook the other end to my jeep. and let them know your not responsbile for damage to their vehicle.


collect any money before you hook up to said stuck car. people are more willing to give out money when they are still stuck.Tthe longer they have been stuck the more money you can get . lots of people get cheap when they see how easy you yank them out. TIP: go out at night right after the bars close. I live in a college town so there is lots of drunk students that want to be pulled out before the cops show up. I use to do this all the time.



here are some youtube videos that are helpful.


http://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...NCH+techniques

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 05:50 PM
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BASIC TECHNICAL WINCH INFORMATION


Winches are rated in line pull, and are usually measured pounds, lbs. or Kg.. The rated line pull is with the first layer of wire rope on the winch drum / single layer.

There are three basic power supply types of winch.

(1.) Low Voltage, = 12v. and 24 volt.

(2.) High Voltage, = 110 volt.

(3.) Hydraulic Only.

Low Voltage and Hydraulic winches are suitable for outdoor use.

The winch sees only the load, that is to say that the line pull is the amount of force the winch needs to produce to move an object. This would be the figure that would be measured on a strength gauge if one was fitted in series with the line (wire rope).

When deciding which model winch to buy, consider the length of wire rope required, as the rated line pull is quoted with the first layer of wire rope on the winch drum. As you winch in the winch becomes less powerful with each layer of wire rope on the winch drum. You should also remember that winch cables never spool onto the winch drum evenly, this results in cable bunching which in turn compounds the problem of layer build up and in turn a loss of pulling power as described below.

As a guide for each layer of wire rope on the drum deduct 10% off the rated line pull. e.g. A winch with a line pull of say 6,000 lbs.. will have a line pull of 5,400lbs.. on the second layer, 4,860 lbs.. on the third layer and 4,374 lbs.. on the fourth layer, etc. So if you need to pull 6,000 lbs.. for any distance, you will need a winch with a greater rated line pull to start with.

You can effectively double the line pull capacity of a winch, by applying what is called a 'double line'. By using a Snatch Block / Pulley Block, you will double the line pull of the winch, but will halve the winching speed, due to the gearing ratio, this is not usually important and is often safer if you are pulling an abnormal load. However, for every pulley you use there is a frictional loss of approximately 10% per pulley.

To effect a true double line, attach the snatch block to the load, wind the wire rope from the winch drum out and around the snatch block pulley, then back and attach the wire rope to a place adjacent to the winch itself. This is a 'Double Line'.


This drawing shows a typical Double Line:



A Double Line as used for self recovery using an anchor point such as a tree.




Indirect Double Line Pull

Indirect pulling may be required because of obstacles. The pulley block is attached to the load and the wire rope is attached to an anchor point offset from the direction in which the load is to be moved. Note that this procedure is not recommended unless necessary as the winch pulling power and line speed will decrease as the angle between the wire rope increases.




Single Line Pull



Whilst this configuration uses a pulley block it is only a single line pull and the pulling power will be as the winch line pull rating as described above.


Wire Ropes:

There are different types of wire rope available. The best quality, often referred to as aircraft quality, are of wire core construction, whereas the cheaper types are of nylon core construction. i.e. There is actually a nylon core in the centre of the wire rope, instead of a wire core as in top quality ropes.

Then there is the make up of the wire itself, including how many strands of wire there are, this can effect the strength and flexibility of the rope.

Make sure that if a hook is attached, the hook is also capable of handling the load, and that it is correctly stamped with a safe working load.

Cheap wire ropes never pay in the long term and can be dangerous. You only get what you pay for.

NEVER attach the winch cable back onto itself as shown. Always use a sling with a shackle when using a tree. Make sure you use a soft sling or "TREE SAVER" to prevent damaging the tree.



It is good practice to use a heavy blanket or jacket over the wire rope. If a rope failure should occur the weight of the cloth will act as a damper and help prevent the broken rope from whipping. A raised vehicle hood will also give some protection should the rope break. Also, the blanket acts as a visual warning to bystanders and is likely to prevent them from walking into or tripping over the wire rope.

You should always make sure that everyone keeps well back and away from any winching activity. However, in the case of a long distance pull you may not see a person who inadvertently walks towards the wire rope, such a cover will help bring the wire rope to their attention. It is recommended that in such circumstances two operators should be in attendance.



Using Cable Clamps on a Wire Rope.

1. Clamps should be spaced 6 rope diameters apart.

2. Ensure that when forming a loop or fitting a thimble that the first and last clamps are not over tightened so

as to damage the rope.

3. Both the nuts on each clamp should be tightened equally.

4. Re-tighten the nuts after use and keep checking them on a regular basis.

5. Make sure that you use the correct type and size of cable clamp.

6. You must use a minimum of three clamps as shown below.

7. Make sure that you fit the clamps exactly as shown below. This is VERY IMPORTANT.



When handling Wire Ropes always wear protective gloves and use a hand saver bar.

Check the Wire Rope regularly for any damage or wear.

Never use a worn or damaged Wire Rope.

Make sure that the Wire Rope is correctly rated for the winch and the load, including any hooks or shackles it is attached to.

The Wire Rope should be wound neatly onto the winch drum.

Prevent kinks.

All Wire Ropes should come with a safety Test Certificate.

Wire Ropes can be DANGEROUS if not handled correctly.

WINCHES MUST NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BE USED FOR THE LIFTING OR TRANSPORTING OF PEOPLE.

Always Read The Handbook On Safety Before Using A Winch And Make Sure That You Fully Understand It.

THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED AS A GUIDE ONLY.

The above information only briefly touches on the principals of winching and is NOT comprehensive.

DO NOT think you know everything because you have read this.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 05:55 PM
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Go to this page, click the topic on the right "Winching Techniques":
http://www.warn.com/truck/winches/powerplant_hd.shtml

The number one thing to remember is this: personal safety always comes first. People's bodies must be out of the way of harm.

Also, when you ask someone for money to do something, you are also taking on liability. If you want a winch, get one for your piece of mind, not as a money making device.

Nena Barlow

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post #8 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 05:57 PM
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you guys are dicks, I pull people out for free if they need it.

"Yeah, uh I'm going to just leave you out here in the snow...stuck, Have a good night"

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 06:02 PM
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Tons of great info here!

A little tip when using a hook to make your connection.
Always attach your hook with the open end (point) facing up. IF the hook does fail, it will fly into the ground and not up into the air and back at you.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-10-2010, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SONIC View Post
you guys are dicks, I pull people out for free if they need it.

"Yeah, uh I'm going to just leave you out here in the snow...stuck, Have a good night"
Well, I paid a guy $175 to drag me out of the sand in Hawaii because I buried a 4WD Envoy rental to the axles on the beach. I was thankful also, because the evening high tied was headed in, and it would have been sink or swim for that rental...and the rental insurance wouldn't have covered an off road excursion.

I have no problem helping people out. I'm talking about on the highway, where I often see these idiots in 2WD cars doing 60-70mph on slippery roads. I usually wave at them as they're flying past me while I'm driving carefully doing 30-40mpg and say to myself...."see you in the ditch up the road"....and ya know what? I'm usually right. I'll see those same idiots in the ditch as I pass them 10 minutes later. So I would have no problem charging $50+ pulling morons out of the ditch for driving like idiots. No free chili for being an idiot, is my moto. Either that or wait in the cold for a wrecker to come by and charge you $90. On my way home from work yesterday, I passed 4 cars in the ditch on a 15 mile stretch of highway. I look at that as a $200+ easy money drive home from work opportunity.

Last edited by Rednroll; 02-10-2010 at 07:57 PM.
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post #11 of 11 Old 02-11-2010, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SONIC View Post
you guys are dicks, I pull people out for free if they need it.

"Yeah, uh I'm going to just leave you out here in the snow...stuck, Have a good night"

I only take advatage of drunk people,dumb students and people that think its safe to drive 65 on ice. I ALWAYS help a fellow wheeler or hot chicks no matter how long it takes for free

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