Submitted: Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 09:52
ThreadID: 12896 Views:1878 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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One for those with experience in operating power winches.

Are there any hard and fast rules with regard to driving whilst operating the winch??

I have been given to believe it should be avoided as a sudden loss of traction may overload the winch and cable, due to the sudden whack.

However I have watched videos where the vehicle is driven at the same time, obviously to reduce the load on the winch.

It would seem to me it depends upon the individual situation. I now have a leccie job hanging off the front of the Fender, but as yet have not had occasion to use it in anger.

We may need it on our forthcoming trip to FNQ, so any advice in this regard will be well received.

Cheers and ta
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Reply By: Willem - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 11:17

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 11:17
Rosco me old son,

Just a commonsense approach is needed when winching. You can help the winch along with traction(if any) but you must be careful not to get ahead of the winch. So if you feel you need to help the winch along I would go for Low Range 1st gear as a helper. It depends on what sort of situation you have got yourself in to.

It also helps if you make use of your snatchblock in most winching operations.

Remember that the winch is there for your safety NOT for some other person who has got themselves in to trouble. I have seen quite a few winches damaged by trying to winch others out of their predicament and you have to carry the can. It depends on the situation. If it is a matter of life and death, then yes, by all means help out.

AnswerID: 58704

Follow Up By: Member Colin - NSW Bungendore - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 13:47

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 13:47
Hi Willem
Good advice.

But what do you do when you're stuck in an area like the where your Rig photo is ??
We bogged the work Troopie out from Marble Bar - had the big Warn winch fitted - but Damm - nothing to winch to, no trees just acres of wet 'cement' - BUGGER !!!
After lots of digging and jacking and moving huge rocks to make a winch point we got the 'monster' out 5 hours later - in the dark by then too!
Broke the side guide rollers off because the winch point was off centre!

'As useless as tits on a bull'

Personally I would save the money and all that extra weight.

FollowupID: 320421

Follow Up By: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 15:09

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 15:09
Hi Colin, if I travel on my own I never go without 3 or 4 starpickets.
I know, it's more extra weight, but got me out of a few bogholes over the years.
FollowupID: 320427

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen M (VIC) - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 17:21

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 17:21

the answer for being stuck in a place with nothing to hitch your winch to ia a land anchor..... i got mine from ARB... haven't had to use it yet but it's there if necessary, a great bit of equipment actually ...

FollowupID: 320428

Reply By: Matt M - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 17:13

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 17:13
The main reason you wouldnt drive the vehicle as you are winching is control. If you have the winch pulling and the vehicle grips and lurches forward the cable will skip or birdnest and then the cable cuts into the other strands and weakens it considerably.

If you set up your winch task properly then there would be no need to help it along. Use your snatch block for anything other than just a slippery surface. If it is working hard then help it out by halving its load!!

One of those things that are worth their weight in gold when you need them, the other 99% of the time just along for the ride!


AnswerID: 58721

Reply By: Member Eric - Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 19:14

Saturday, May 15, 2004 at 19:14
It very hard to give a answer on this . Lucky or unlucky I probably use my winch 20 or 30 times a year . I always try and have the vehicle in gear to save ware on the winch but sometimes your stuck so hard that you need to help it alont more . You will judge the situatrion as it arises . if you do sudenly get traction and over ride the winch , but stop , get out and unwind the cable and correct it . They is no one chassing you , just think through your recovery every time . As for the gentalman that thinks there as usfull as tits on a bull . It did still get you out of trouble , what would you have done if you didnt have it ? You would have to dig or wait for another vehicle . I dont think you can have to much recovery gear . Just take along the things you think you may need for the perticular trip you are doing . If you going away alone in a area were you dont think you will have recovery ancorts to winch yourself out , then get smothing that will help you . There is also nothing wrong with your spare tyre as a ancour buried under the red top . Yes alot of work but it works .
AnswerID: 58731

Reply By: Peter 2 - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 08:52

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 08:52
The biggest reason for not driving while winching is for the same reason you should never pull a vehicle by its winch cable. You will bend the shaft that the drum rotates on which will eventually lead to winch failure.
Any sudden jerks will also destroy the planetry gears which will also render the winch unuseable.
If you must use the vehicles winch cable to tow it use a Chicago clamp to attach the cable to a recovery point removing the strain from the winch itself.
While I have driven my vehicle when winching myself it is done very carefully to avoid jerking and in a manual will usually require riding the clutch to control the forward motion and avoid jerking.
If using my winch to recover another vehicle I avoid having them drive as they do not usually understand the need to avoid sudden load changes on the cable and also it is not their equipment being used so they do not use due care.
AnswerID: 58771

Follow Up By: GaryW - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 08:32

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 08:32
Love the Humvee!
FollowupID: 320537

Reply By: Alex Callaghan - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 11:43

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 11:43
The biggie with reducing strees on the winch is to utilize ya snatchblocks IMO.
Using one block will help the winch alot and using two will help to reduce the winch load even more. In saying this, the need to "Drive" to "Reduce the load on the winch" is gone.

Thats my take on it anyway.
AnswerID: 58785

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 18:53

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 18:53
I have only just got home from another driver training course. We hade 9 all wheel drive vehicles this time and the story is the same, If you are winiching you are not driving, and if you are driving you are not winiching.
The other post have said that extra strain would be placed on the winch if the vehicled slipped bacc with the cable attached. Most of the time the vehicle would only have to be moved a short distance. The use of a snatch block or two would take the strain off the winch, so will a little road building if possible.
Next week I will be doing driver training again and the story wil be the same for the Camper trailer drivers when we talk about winiching.

AnswerID: 58825

Reply By: Member Eric - Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 21:17

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 21:17
This is ok in the perfect recovery , When your up to your bumper s in mud , you need all the help you can get . We had a GQ stuck hard on Saturday at Gembrook , if we didnt keep the GQ 's tyres turning it was never going to come out . As I said , its all experience . No one said to rev the ringger out of your car , just a gentle movement forward listening to the winch work , you can tell if its loaded or not .

Anyway I am sure Rosco will get out there and be a champ in no time ,
AnswerID: 58842

Reply By: rolande- Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 21:36

Sunday, May 16, 2004 at 21:36
Didn't mention whether you were by yourself or with other vehicles. I have only seen winches used rarely when on trips, always use the snatch'em where possible. The only occasions we were forced to use were on steep tracks where the vehicle was stuck half way up or down and out of reach of other vehicles. In these cases we only winch to the bare minimum, ie, where the other vehicle can gain some traction and go forward themselves. I won't repeat what winch owners have to say when those being winched try to "help" by spinning the wheels while being winched, it must be done very carefully. And has been said previously, help out by using a winch block wherever possible.
AnswerID: 58849

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