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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2001, 06:50 PM
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Winching technique questions

So I finally got the CJ up and running with the winch. I backed down in a retention pond (not in the water), and winched myself out. Yep, winch works. After running a search, I've still got a couple questions.


1. I don't have a tree strap yet, so I just used my recovery strap, wrapped around a huge metal light pole. It seems like the loops could slip off the hook on the end pretty easily. So what do you hook the hook to?

2. While winching, do you guide the line in so it wraps around the spool nicely? It seems too tight to do that.

3. After the trail ride or whatever, do you free-spool the line out and then reel it in nice and purdy, or just not worry about it?

4. What stuff should I get to go along with it? Pulley, tree saver, boat anchor (Florida, sand)?

Type 6-"Woodlands" '82 CJ'7
Type 2-"Occasional 'froader" '96 ZJ
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2001, 08:04 PM
 
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Re: Winching technique questions

Hey dude, if you are winching up a hill or something you dont want to go stand out in front of it while your winching to wrap in nicely. When you get home from trail riding and all the line is crossed and crap, you want to unreal it and rewrap it nice, because next time you use it you will pinch the line causing fray of the line. And before you use it the first time yuo want to pull it all the way out in a parking lot or somethign and winch accross the parking lot and make sure it goes on teh spool nicely. peace
Andrew

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2001, 08:10 PM
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Re: Winching technique questions

One thing to add to the list of must haves is chain wax. I spray my cable down after every ride.

Can someone please bring me a hammer my 33's just ate my fender again. Damn i need more lift.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2001, 09:34 PM
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Re: Winching technique questions

You use a clevis on the recovery or tree strap. And No, you don't try to guide the cable, wind it in keeping an eye on it for bunching and pinching. Then after you are all done wind it in nice and pretty.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-01-2002, 02:10 AM
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Re: Winching technique questions

Stay out of the DANGER zones while winching! I have seen a some guys stay in the jeep with the hood up in case the line snaps. Always put an old blanket or jacket on the line while winching. This will keep the line from whipping around and killing someone if it breaks. I use a snatch block on my winch, doubles the power of the winch.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-01-2002, 07:47 AM
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Re: Winching technique questions

You can never be too careful...I guess it's time to post this again:



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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-01-2002, 10:23 AM
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Re: Winching technique questions

I've been winching for 24 years and broken the cable more times than I can remember. Here are my observations on winching safety:

The biggest danger when winching is spring. A tight cable isn't inherently dangerous by itself because it has very little stored energy. When it breaks, the pieces will fall to the ground with very little snap-back.

BUT if there is something in the rigging that has stretched, or bent like a leaf spring, WATCH OUT!

The nylon recovery straps are a perfect example of what not to do. They are made to stretch like a rubber band, so you can get a good running start. They will stretch to 150% or more before they break. When they are stretched like that they have a tremendous amount of stored energy.

Look at the strap in the picture Leve posted. That's a slingshot, guys. If there is a hook or shackle or snatch block on the end of it, you can shoot it to the moon!

A similar danger can be caused by a tree. Hook a snatch block six feet up a six-inch hickory and you can bend the thing half way to the ground. If something breaks, the tree will snap back like catapult, and take all your hardware along with it. Even a Jeep frame will stretch and bend a little, and store a noticible amount of energy.

When you are making your hookup, look at every component involved. If it is a potential spring, take it out if possible. If it's not possible, minimize it.

1 Don't use a nylon strap. On construction sites and in factories they use web slings for lifting. I don't know what they're made of, polypropylene maybe, but they don't stretch very much. Get one and use it for your tree saver. I have several an ironworker buddy got me. They will stretch maybe 5% and then start to shred.

2 Shorten it as much as possible. Wrap it around the tree a few times. If it breaks it will absorb a lot of energy pulling the wraps around the trunk.

3 If possible, after you have wrapped it loosely around the tree, fasten the ends together with a shackle. Then put your cable hook over as many wraps as it will grab. That spreads the load over more tree surface, which causes less damage. It also reduces the strain on each wrap of the strap, which means less stretch, less liklihood of a break, and in the long run, less wear on the strap. Put the shackle on the back side of the tree - it's a potential missle.

4 Keep it as low as possible on the trunk. Lower is less likely to bend or uproot it.

5 Where possible, use a BIG tree. It won't bend or uproot.

6 Keep as much hardware out of the rigging as you can. Every piece of steel is a potential missle. Again, in Leve's post, on the end of that strap there probably is a hook. The strap by itself probably wouldn't have gone through the windshield.

That appliles to recovery straps, too. I prefer the ones with a loop on the end instead of a hook. Too often the hook will tear through, break or bend open. When it does, it becomes a deadly missle. The strap flying around can be pretty bad, but wind resistance will sap it's energy fairly quickly, and if it hits you it's like being whipped; painful but not usually deadly. A hook or shackle, on the other hand, can fly a long way, and do a lot of damage when it gets there.

I have seen pictures of a recovery attempt where the whole bumper ripped off the back of a full-size pickup. Think what that can do at the end of a slingshot!

I prefer to use trailer hitch balls. They usually are pretty well connected to the vehicle, and are easy to put the strap loop over. If they do break off or rip out of a bumper, my hope is that they will spin out of the loop instead of going for a ride with the strap; I've never had to find out, thank you very much. Of course, the whole hitch or bumper can tear off too. Like my ironworker buddy says, "Don't be there and it won't get on you."

My second choice is to put the strap over an axel and pull it through the eye. That's often impossible because the stranded vehicle is buried to the axel in mud, but you rock-crawlers might get away with it from time to time. Just try to avoid the brake lines.

I look carefully for alternatives before I use towing eyes or hooks because the quality of the weld and the integrity of the metal it's welded to are unknowns. If it rips loose you've got a dangerous missle.

And of course, the jacket or blanket on the strap or cable, putting the hood up, keeping spectators to the sides and well clear, are all givens.

Jim

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2002, 08:41 AM
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Re: Winching technique questions

One more thing on winch safety: Don't forget to account for what the vehicles are going to do if something breaks. I was extracting a pine stump while my Jeep was strapped to a maple tree. The cable broke and the Jeep rolled back until the open back window hit the maple. Ruined the window frame and cracked the hardtop. Somebody standing back there would have thought he was safe. Now I always scotch the wheels (in front too, in case the retainer breaks) so that things will stay put, more or less.

Also, if you are using snatch blocks to multiply the pulling power, don't put a snatch block on the Jeep. Instead, anchor it to what you're using to hold the Jeep back. If you have the snatch block on the Jeep, the whole (multiplied) pull is going through the Jeep frame. I bent the towbar, rear crossmember and back of the frame rails to learn that lesson.

Jim

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2002, 12:43 PM
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Re: Winching technique questions

Great Post!! I learned alot.

However, I do not understand:
"3 If possible, after you have wrapped it loosely around the tree, fasten the ends together with a shackle. Then put your cable hook over as many wraps as it will grab. That spreads the load over more tree surface, which causes less damage. It also reduces the strain on each wrap of the strap, which means less stretch, less liklihood of a break, and in the long run, less wear on the strap. Put the shackle on the back side of the tree - it's a potential missle.
"

Are you saying to wrap the winch cable around the tree too, over the tree strap? I don't think so, but that is all I can picture.

I will *Never* use my tow strap as tree strap again (Leve's Picture is burned in my brain!). I will be calling my Iron worker buddy for a strap soon.

Thanks!!

Scott
'85 CJ7 T.H.O.R.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-29-2002, 12:51 PM
 
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Re: Winching technique questions

DAMN LEVE!
That is one hell of a picture! (pardon my french, but golly, gosh and gee were just too weak!)

They say one picture is worth a thousand words, that one is worth a least a million!
That's incredible!

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