Recovery Questions Answered

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 19:35
ThreadID: 15070 Views:2667 Replies:0 FollowUps:0
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Hi guys

In regards to my post on winch safety a few questions were thrown my way.

The first being from Biggus

How to reduce or overcome cable binding on the winch drum when doing a recovery if the winch pull is unavoidably from one side for a bit to long?

One suggestion would be to go out and make yourself up a wire rope sling that you could attach to the front or rear of the vehicle(preferably straight down the line of the chassis) being recovered. Once attached place a snatch block on the wire so that it has the ability to move around the wire and keep tension on the vehicle and the winch. Now by attaching that to the two part line that you have coming from the winch, this will have the effect of allowing the winch rope to wind on correctly and prevent over binding. If you are using a two legged chain sling (or on leg chain sling for that matter) to attach you winch to the vehicle you will find that if the vehicle moves in a different direction due to say following in wheel ruts, all the tension will go onto one leg of the chain and shock loading of the equipment can happen. That split second of looseness of the winch rope could result in over binding. One advantage of this is the allowance of the tension to travel down both sides of the chassis instead of only one side thus preventing possible chassis misalignment. This was always the preferred method to use on the job whether you were doing a direct pull or an indirect pull.

It also means that if you want to use this method it means spending a little bit more on your recovery gear. You have to ask yourself what price peace of mind?

I hope that this answers your question. Don't hesitate to ask me to clarify these points if you have any other queries or suggestions.

Martyn asked

Did the people doing the training ever put anything over the wire such as a large blanket did it make / would it make any difference?

During the training that I did at no time did we ever place anything over the winch rope. I think the reasoning behind this was the fact that we were dealing with larger forces when winching and placing something like a blanket to match the size required of the forces involved would have made it impractical, cumbersome and even more dangerous to the crew. Added to the fact the tactical situation would have made it impossible. However upon saying that I personally think that anything that slows down the passage and speed of a broken winch cable is a good thing.


Chris makes a good point in his comments about using kerosene and oil to lubricate the winch rope. How many times have you walked past a winch fitted to a vehicle and had a look at the condition of the rope and have seen that the rope in question has more dirt and corrosion than you can poke a stick at. When it comes to winches the plan to follow is the rule of the seven P’s.


So look after your recovery gear and it will look after you.

In reply to your question Chris.

I started of in 1978 with Krystal EME Services unit as a reserve Recovery Mechanic and changed over to the ARA in 1980. I was down there at RTC back in 1981 for the basic course and back again in 1985 for Sub 4.
Shorty Evans was the chief instructor down there in 1981 along with Ace Smallacombe, Pete Sandilands and a few others. At the time I was posted to 2FER WKSP Enoggera under the capable hands of Ross Pascoe, Spud Murphy Donny Kern and Mal Angus. From there I went to 11 Supply Battalion.
In 1984, I had everyone’s favorite uncle, Reg Widermuth as the chief along with Ace Smallacombe again and I was posted to 22 Construction Sqn WKSP in Perth. Then I went over to Singleton WKSP Platoon in ‘87. Changed Trades in 1988 to become an airframe fitter and then to 5 Aviation Regt WkSP where I got out in 1992.
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