DOUBLE PULLING POWER
Need more winching power? Dig out your winch accessory kit and snatch that shackle, snatch-block, tree saver strap and length of chain.
Spool out the winch cable until it’s down to the last layer on the drum. Wrap the strap around a solid anchor (or to the frame of the vehicle that’s stuck) and connect the looped ends to the snatch-block using the shackle. Run the cable through the snatch-block pulley and bring the winch cable hook back to the vehicle with the winch.
Now try the winch. You’ve just doubled its pulling power.
Of course, you need a safe, convenient way to mount winch to truck. A bumper mounting kit is good and will suffice for most fishermen’s needs. But when you want something stout, a winch-ready bumper is by far the best way to go as it will provide additional frontal protection and is designed to mount both winch and accessories such as auxiliary lights.
My bumper of choice, regardless of winch brand or size is the ARB USA Combination Bull Bar ((866) 293-9078). They are expensive, but worth every penny. I have one on my new Toyota Tundra 4x4 along with a Mile Marker SX9.5. The combination makes a clear statement on and off-road: I’m ready.
These Australian-made bumpers provide the most highly regarded 4x4 frontal protection systems in the world—and they are air-bag compatible with the newest pickups and SUVs, providing a far greater level of occupant protection than most standard brush guards and grille guards.
WINCH RATINGS BY THE NUMBERS
Winch ratings can be misleading if you don’t understand what they mean. The maximum pulling power of a winch is what it can pull when the cable is down to the innermost wrap on the drum.
As a general rule of thumb, the second layer of cable above the drum cuts the winch’s rated pulling power by nearly 20 percent. Succeeding layers reduce effective pulling power by about 10 percent per wrap.
For example, a 9,500-pound-capacity winch may have five layers of cable. The outermost layer may only pull 4,500 pounds—half the maximum rating. The second layer down pulls 5,400; the third layer in, 6,200; the fourth layer, 7,500 pounds; and the innermost wrap, 9,500, as rated.
So, when you need the maximum pulling power from a winch, run the cable out until it’s down to the bottom layer. Make sure there’re at least three full wraps of cable on the innermost layer, then winch away.
BASIC WINCH SAFETY
• Wear leather gloves at all times when handling cable.
• Keep hands well away from the fairlead and cable drum when winching.
• Double-check that the hook, shackles and clevis are fastened securely before applying power.
• Keep bystanders at least 50 feet away and off to the side of the winching procedures.
• Always attach a heavy bag using a shackle over the cable at the midway point to act as a damper should the cable come loose under load.
• Never stand beside the winch when it’s operating because it places you in front of a vehicle and in direct line of the cable.
• Ensure the winching points on the vehicle being pulled are strong and will not be damaged during the winching procedure.
• Never attach a winch cable to a tow ball or around a bumper.
• Never begin winching with less than three full cable wraps on the drum.
• Winch in short bursts with to keep motor from overheating.
• Always Inspect the winch cable before winching to ensure there are no frays or kinks.
• Never stand in front of or walk behind a vehicle being winched.